IIFRANCIS MARTIN POMEROY 1822-1882
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Francis Martin Pomeroy
Francis Martin Pomeroy was born in Somers, Tolland, Connecticutt to Martin Pomeroy (1798-1879) and Sybil Hunt Pomeroy (1798-1845), on the 22nd day of February, 1822 on a farm where his ancestors had lived for several generations. He was the third child in a family of ten children.
At fourteen years of age he was a husky, broad-shouldered, oversized lad, keen of eye, clear-minded, eager and ambitious. Because of the farm being small and the family large, he was apprenticed to his uncle, Oziah Pomeroy. The uncle was austere and hard on the boy, driving him to the limit of his strength, and allowing no recreation.
At one time a circus was coming to town. In order to be permitted to go, Francis was required to memorize a "blue-backed spelling book." This he did, much to the surprise of his uncle.
Francis remained with his uncle for two years and then decided to leave his employment and "go out on his own." He visited with his parents and family and silently bid them goodbye, with his belongings tied Benjamin-Franklin-like in a red bandana handkerchief, he made his way to the south of New London on the southern seacoast of Connecticut. He signed up for a two-year voyage on a three-masted whaling ship, which circumnavigated the Atlantic and Pacific through the great whaling areas.
He soon learned that his uncle's austerity was child's play compared to the pressure and brutality of the captain and mates of the whaler, who drove the new crew members in their training in efficiency with curses and blows, the "rope's end" and marling spike. The crews were made up mostly of the tough "scum of the earth and ne'er do wells" who were husky and tough but seldom served more than one voyage.
When Francis discovered what he had gotten into, he was determined to master the technique of whaling and gave himself, heart and soul, to its mastery. Only sixteen, but clear-eyed and level-headed, with a strong constitution, he scrubbed the deck, rang the rigging, shifted the sails, took his place at the masthead "lookout," mastered swimming and rowing, trained as "boat-stearer" hurling harpoon into the blubber of the whale, tying the 90 foot, 50 ton weight monster of the deep to the boat by a towline. He even drove the thrusting lance into the heart of the whale, the most dangerous period of his capture, for in mighty floundering and death struggle, many a a crew is destroyed by his mighty flukes of tail; sometimes throwing the boat and crew into the air and dropping them into the maelstrom of heaving sea.
He was made of sterner stuff and signed up for three other voyages. He became third mate of the second and second mate of the third. He was in line for first mate on the fourth when the whaler was struck by a terrific storm off the coast of Peru. On the "bridge" at the time, he was swept into the raging sea just before the stricken ship was sunk. By swimming and treading water with the aid of a spar under his arm, he was carried high up on the sand. By this time he was wrapped in seaweed and unconscious, the only survivor of the ship. Thus ended his six years at sea.
The next morning he was picked up by a couple young Castilian Spaniards and carried to their home where he was nursed back to life and health. He remained with them about two years, paying them for his care through service. While there, he learned to speak the pure Castilian language.
Francis made his way by boat to Panama, crossed the Isthmus on a burro and then sailed to New Orleans and then to Salem, Massachusetts where he met Ashbel Green Hascall (1798-1849). He rode with him to New Salem, about sixty miles from where Francis was born. Francis was employed by Mr. Hascall at his sawmill, met and fell in love with his daughter, Irene Ursula Hascall (Haskell), who, two years before, with her mother, had accepted the newly restored gospel. Determined to investigate it and save them from it, if he found Joseph Smith to be an impostor, Francis began to study the Bible and especially the Book of Mormon. The more he studied, the more he was convinced it was the true Church of Christ. A few months later he attended a conference at Petersboro, New Hampshire, with the Hascalls, and heard the inspired preaching of Brigham Young, Orson Pratt, and other elders. He was really converted and at the conclusion of the conference (July 1844) was baptized by Brigham Young and ordained an Elder in the Church. He was also married at the time to Irene Ursula Hascall on the 20th of April or July 1844 (they had eight children).
The ancestries of both Francis and Irene go back to William The Conqueror. Eltweed Pomeroy, born in 1585 in Beaminister, England, came to America on the good ship Mary and John and landed in what is now part of Boston, in the year 1630. He was the first Pomeroy ancestor to come to America. Irene Haskell's ancestry dates back to George Soule, who was the 35th signer of the Mayflower Pact, and, of course, came to America on the Mayflower in 1620.
Had Francis not run away from home, he probably would not have heard and accepted the Restored Gospel, as none of this family, who remained, did. He had circumnavigated the world three times, was shipwrecked and compelled to return by destiny just in time to hear the Gospel, be ordained an Elder and marry a Mormon girl. He thus became the heir of the Pomeroy family.
Not many months after "the spirit of the gathering" came upon them, they migrated to Nauvoo and arrived there May 1845. Francis and his wife traveled by team and light spring wagon, going by way of Somers, Tolland, Connecticut, visiting and preaching the restored gospel to his parents and family. They arrived at Nauvoo two days before the arrival of Irene's mother, brother Thales Hascall or Haskell, and company. Their father had sailed on the Brooklyn for California.
They were greeted warmly by Brigham Young, Orson Pratt, Heber C. Kimball, and leading members of the Church. Francis and Irene had their patriarchal blessings on 2 June 1845 and went through the Nauvoo Temple on the 6th day of February, 1846, two days before it was closed. Their first child, Francelle Eugenia Pomeroy, was born on the 11th or 21st September, 1845 in Nauvoo.
Wicked mobs were burning, pillaging and murdering the Saints at Nauvoo. They had to flee for their lives, leaving their fine homes, new Temple, and all of their possessions. There was no recourse to law. The Governor had issued an order to one of his generals that all leaders of the Mormon Church be executed.
These were trying times for the Saints. The Prophet Joseph Smith had been killed at Carthage. At a big assembly the Lord made it known to the Saints that Brigham Young was to be their new leader. As he arose to speak, after the contenders for the position had finished talking, the "mantle of Joseph Smith" fell upon him, his whole appearance, even his voice, was that of the Prophet Joseph. This convinced the Saints--they knew Brigham Young should lead them, the Lord also made it known that the Saints must move on West to the mountains. Brigham Young became one of the greatest colonizers in history. He was chosen of the Lord and the true Saints were ready to follow him.
Francis Martin Pomeroy was chosen by Brigham Young to be a member of the Pioneer Company. He was a strong man of tireless energy. He was an excellent swimmer and oarsman. He knew a smattering of many languages and could speak Spanish fluently and now they were crossing into Spanish territory. Brigham Young knew he would be a great help in getting others over rough trails and turbulent waters, so among the 143 men, to lead the way, he chose Francis to leave with the first group.
The Saints faced difficult river and creek crossings all along the trail. At Mormon Crossing where the Platte was a mile wide for a month during the rainy season, Brigham Young and the ferrymen built two large rafts out of big scalloped cottonwood logs 20 feet long, cross-covered with heavy plank, and ferried the Pioneer Companies across. Aware that other Mormon pioneers would soon follow. In council Brigham Young suggested in April 1847, that nine men be appointed to operate the first ferry across the North Platte River, established 1/2 miles south:
18 June 1847 "This afternoon, the pioneers finished constructing a new ferryboat for use at the upper crossing of the North Platte River. The new boat and ferry carried over any emigrant wagons they could at $1.50 each. The men appointed to operate the ferry were: Thomas Grover, Appleton M. Harmon, William A. Empey, James Davenport, Luke S. Johnson, Francis M. Pomeroy, Capt. John S. Higbee, Edmund Ellsworth, and Benjamin F. Stewart.
The first passengers were Missourians bound for Oregon. The ferry was made of two large cottonwood canoes fastened by cross pieces and covered with slabs. It was operated with oars.Ferrying the gentiles became thriving a business. Although they had their own wagons safely across the North Platte River, the Mormon pioneers still were hard at work "ferrying over the gentiles." Wilford Woodruff said,. The ferry operation was exceedingly popular with non-Mormon emigrant companies and did a booming business from dawn to dark and sometimes beyond. The ferry operated until 1852. Francis became one of the official ferrymen of the company in crossing the wagons over the many streams and especially the Platte River, by which the pioneers traveled for 400 miles.
They also ferried 4,000 wagons of Missourians en route to Oregon and California, and received $2.50 per wagon, which was for the most part paid in flour at $2.50 per hundred. A veritable "harvest on the desert" which was distributed among the companies of Saints en route to "Zion of the West."
While at these rivers, although rafts were used to transport wagons and people, Francis had to stand waist deep in the icy water. This and other exposures caused him to have a severe attack of rheumatism which plagued him the rest of his life.
He remained here for a little over a month and when the river ran down to normal size after the rainy season had passed, he returned to meet the Abraham O. Smoot and George B. Wallace Co. with whom his family was traveling. He accompanied them on the journey westward. Francis was not able to get in and out of the wagon without help as the rheumatism was almost unbearable. For the remainder of his life chronic rheumatism gave him much distress.
When the company reached Pacific Springs, they found the four companies who had preceded them, camped in the beautifully wooded and grassy valley. They were resting and shoeing their teams and going over their wagons for the final dash for the Salt Lake Valley. Francis Pomeroy as a member of the original band of pioneers, numbering 143 men, 3 women, and 2 children, left the Missouri River on April 14, and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847
Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and 75 of the original pioneers had arrived on horseback, returning to Winter Quarters. They remained together and held a two-day conference. They wound up with a big banquet where the best linen and food in camp was on display and where ice cream dessert was served. It was frozen from snow carried form the mountains in gunny sacks, which with salt grass from a slew, was placed in tubs and buckets with the ice cream moisture and turned round and round in it. The first ice cream was made and served. Little Francelle Eugenia Pomeroy had her first ice cream.
President Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball publicly thanked and congratulated Francis Martin Pomeroy and his associates for their service of ferrying the Saints at Mormon Crossing and other places en route west. They called down the blessings of Almighty God upon him and them for their splendid service. Their company reached the Salt Lake Valley September 26, 1847.
The family settled in Salt Lake City and eventually constructed an adobe house in the center of the city. They housed delegations from Mexico and Francis served as interpreter when they conferred with Brigham Young. The family were devout members of the church and Francis and Irene were convinced that the principle of polygamy was true.
Francis then settled in a log cabin south of the Old Fort and farmed in Big Cottonwood Canyon. A son, Francis Ashbel Pomeroy was born in Salt Lake City on January 10, 1849. They moved to the Third Ward. Another son, Elijah Pomeroy was born on June 26, 1850. After a mission to California in 1851, they moved to the Weber Valley.
On September 1, 1852 Irene gave birth to John Haskell Pomeroy in Salt Lake City. (John married (1) Emily Stratton; (2) Clarissa Jan Drollinger)
On the 20th day of October, 1853, he entered the Patriarchal Order of marriage with Sarah Matilda Colborn, daughter of Thomas Colborn and Sarah Bowers Colborn, in the Endowment House, with President Brigham Young officiating.
On May 23, 1854 Irene gave birth to Irene Ophelia Pomeroy at Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho. (She married William Morris Newell)
On June 18, 1856 Irene gave birth to May or Mary Isabel Pomeroy in SLC. This child died on May 18, 1860, at age of 3 years, 10 months, 28 days.
On the 22nd day of February, 1857, he married Jessamine Elizabeth Routledge, an English girl who had crossed the plains in a handcart company. They also were married in the Endowment House with President Brigham Young officiating.
On June 16, 1858 Irene gave birth to twins, Ella Amelia Pomeroy (md. William Lyman Rich in 1877, son of Charles C. Rich) in Provo, Utah, Utah. The other twin was Emma Adelia Pomeroy (married Hyrum Grimmett).
While living in Salt Lake City, Francis acted as Spanish interpreter for Governor Brigham Young. When a delegation was sent from Mexico City by President Benito Juarez to confer with Brigham Young, he not only acted as interpreter, but housed the delegation while they were in Salt Lake City.
In the early troubles and trials of the Saints in Utah he endured with them their hardships, including fighting and making treaties with the Indians. In the summer of 1858, when Johnston's Army threatened the people of Utah with destruction, he participated in the move south, willing to sacrifice the results of his long years of toil to the flames rather than have them fall into the hands of the enemy.
Francis moved all of his families south on the Provo bottoms, and then left them to join the company of brave men who prepared to meet Johnston's Army as it moved toward Utah.
Irene had burned her arm badly, but in a hastily constructed teepee she gave birth to twin daughters, Ella and Emma. Irene's arm eventually had to be amputated.
He encamped his now large family on Provo bottoms, and then left them to join the company of brave men who prepared to meet Johnston's army in Echo Canyon. From the description of the reception prepared for the army there, it was well for the army that it did not attempt its passage, but decided to go around by Fort Hall. Great was the relief of all when word was received from President Young that their sacrifice had been accepted of the Lord, that he had prepared a mediator in the person of , who had hastened to Utah via California and had found no cause for the Federal invasion. After some negotiations the Saints were ordered back to their homes, and July found the family back in Salt Lake City.
On February 22, 1857 Jessamine gave birth to Charles Routledge Pomeroy, he died on July 6, 1860 in Salt Lake City.
On the 12th day of June, 1860 his first wife, Irene, died at 34 years 7 months 12 day, leaving seven living children. Irene had eight children by then: Francelle, Ashbel, Elijah, John, Irene, May and the twins. In the spring of 1860, within a few weeks, May died unexpectedly and Jessie's baby boy Charles died. Irene's mother, Ursula Haskell, helped Francis take care of Irene's children.
On July 27, 1860 Sarah Colborn Pomeroy had a baby girl, Mary Ursulia Pomeroy in SLC. (Mary married Solomon Farnham Kimball Jr.)
On January 16, 1861 Jessamine gave birth to Martin Isaac Pomeroy in Salt Lake City. (He married Mary Melinda Brizzee).
On November 4, 1862 Jessamine gave birth to Eleanor Rozetta "Zetta" Pomeroy at Salt Lake City, (Zetta married Edwin William Jones).
Francis was now prospering. He had been very industrious. He owned his home in Salt Lake and a farm out in the country.
On May 6, 1863 Sarah gave birth to Talmai Emerson Pomeroy in SLC. (Talmai married Sarah Melissa Johnson).
On February 22 1864 Jessamine gave birth to Gertrude Asolia Pomeroy in Salt Lake City. ( She married Reuben Samuel Collett).
In 1864 he was called by Apostle Charles C. Rich to colonize southern Idaho, specifically the Bear Lake Valley. He left Irene's daughters in Utah with Mrs. Haskell, but took the other wives and families with him. Matilda had two children, Zula and Talma. Jessie had three, Martin, Rosetta, and Gertrude. Irene's sons, Ashbel, Elijah, and John went with their father to the new colony.
Francis settled in Paris, and as a partner to Charles C. Rich, built the first grist mill, saw mill, shingle and lath mill in Idaho. It is said that he prepared the first stone burrs that were used for grinding flour in the mill. He built his homes on Canyon Street in Paris.
In summer Bear Lake was a place of beauty. Jim Bridger reported to Brigham Young thus: "Excellent water, sufficient timber, extensive good soil for growing grains and grasses, and even natural grasses for cattle." The beautiful lake was full of fish and surrounded by pine forest. Its waters constantly rippled so there were no mosquitoes. The altitude was high, winters came early, snow piled high and it was bitter cold in the winter.
There were hardships and lots of hard labor required to clear lands, build homes and start a new community with roads, schools, churches, etc. the first homes were log houses cut from forests; they were one room with fireplace and openings for a door and window. Dirt roofs were used until they could be replaced with shingles. Francis built his homes on Canyon Street, a good location and near to his friends, the Charles C. Rich families.
All men were assigned different special duties and all worked helping one another. they planted grains, gardens, fruits and trees. They brought in cattle, planted feed for them, stored food for themselves and feed for their cattle for use in winter. They built roads, fences, and did many other things.
Bishop Robert Williams called for religious services to be held in the nicest homes in the colony. This they did until a big "Meeting House" was built.
In May of 1864, Brigham Young, with a large group of church dignitaries, arrived to greet and look over Bear Lake. They had some difficulty in getting through the mud, as rains had been falling incessantly. A lot of merriment was caused as George A. Smith (a very heavy man) required a lot of extra help to get him through the mud and over the high mountains.
Brigham Young gave encouragement to the Saints thus: "I find this place a very pleasant valley--a fine place to settle--raise grain, build homes, and make farms and set out orchards and raise all the necessities of life to make ourselves happy here as well as any other place."
"Elder Charles C. Rich, one of the twelve apostles, has been appointed to dictate to the settlement of this valley. We wish the brethren to abide by his council"...."commence at home to cultivate your minds and govern your actions, build up the Kingdom of God--self culture should be strenuously tended to here as in other place"...Be sure to say your prayers morning and evening...Make your homes nice with foliage, do not let the children go away from the settlement to herd cattle, send them to school, and above all, teach them to remember God must be in all our thoughts. Build close together so that if Indians attack one scream will arouse a whole block." These and many other councils were given--they were greatly needed and gratefully received.
Wonderful times were enjoyed by young and old. A Fourth of July Celebration was long remembered. Many dances were held, these were considered "helpful to both mind and body." A choir was formed. There was boating on the lake, swimming, fishing, hunting, and picnicking. Berries and choke cherries were especially lovely some years and they made such good preserves, jelly and jam.
The Indians were bothersome, although a truce had been made with them. The old Chief said: "Indians like white man, some good, some bad." He could not be responsible if some bad Indian would do wrong. A close watch was necessary so Saints were advised to build high fences around their homes for safety.
Winters were bad, sometimes rations were low. Little by little the community was able to advance and overcome the obstacles. The families were good, seasoned pioneers who could take hardships. They had a great purpose and determination.
On January 6, 1866 Jessamine gave birth to Henry Austin Pomeroy in Paris, Bear Lake County, Idaho. Henry died on October 7, 1888, possibly in Mesa, Maricopa, Arizona.
On March 25, 1866 Sarah Matilda Colborn Pomeroy gave birth to William Edley (Corley) Pomeroy (he married Isabel Robson).
On June 6, 1868 Jessamine gave birth to Heber Chase Kimball Pomeroy at Paris, Bear Lake County, Idaho. (He married Cassandria Johnson).
On September 15, 1870 Sarah gave birth to Franklin Thomas Pomeroy in Paris, Bear Lake County, Idaho. (He married Sophia Isador Morris).
By 1871 the two oldest daughters, Francelle and Irene, had married so Francis had Mrs. Haskell and the twins come to Bear Lake. He constructed a lean-to on Matilda's home for them. The young people liked to gather there for good times with the cheerful old lady. Winters were extremely hard and the rations were low by spring, but the hardy pioneers had determination and purpose. The winters were also long and extremely cold, and the boys became so restless and anxious for something to do that they'd break the ice to go swimming long before it thawed.
On March 21, 1873 Sarah gave birth to Sarah Rosina Pomeroy in Paris, Bear Lake County, Idaho. ( She married Adam Rufus Brewer).
In 1875 Emma and Hyrum Grimmett went to Salt Lake City to be married. While they were away Mrs. Haskell became ill and died shortly after their return to the valley. They later moved to Lander, Wyoming. Elijah and John stayed and helped their father and attended school when they could, but Ashbel worked away from home most of the time, sending money and needed articles back to his family. When he came to visit it was like a- visit from Santa Claus - his bag was always filled with things the family wanted and needed.
Ashbel and Mary Ann Rich were married by his father in Paris, January 10, 1875. Mary Ann was bom in Salt Lake City on May 15, 1850 to Charles C. Rich and Mary Ann Phelps Rich. When she was a baby her parents were called to make a settlement at San Bernardino, California. When she was six they returned to Utah to live in Centerville. Then came another call for them to settle Bear Lake Valley. The family moved there in June, 1864. Mary Ann had a studious, ambitious nature and she hungered for more education. Her father took her to Salt Lake with him, but after a time, when he was ready to return, she had become so homesick that she was ready to come back to Paris with him. Upon their return, as they approached Franklin, some forty miles from home, a heavy snowstorm came and it was impossible to get a team through the mountains. Mary Ann had to remain and her father made the trip to Bear Lake on snowshoes. As soon as possible her brothers, Joseph and John, came after her on their snowshoes. She was small and light and determined, so walked between them, mostly on the crust. With much help from them over those rugged mountains the journey was made in safety. She was one of the first women to make that dangerous trip.
Mary Ann was small and dainty. She was her mother's oldest living daughter and due to her mother's delicate health she helped out in many ways - especially cooking for her father's numerous guests. She later took over when the General Authorities and many others came. Provisions were limited, but she and her mother made her father proud of the good meals they served. Mary Ann taught school at Paris.
The first winter that Ashbel and Mary Ann were married, Ella lived with them in Salt Lake and went to school there. She married Mary Ann's brother, William L. Rich, September 6, 1877, just before her family left for Arizona. They did not go to Arizona, but remained in Bear Lake.
This young couple moved to Salt Lake and then to Payson, Utah, where they ran a drugstore. Then they moved to Tombstone, Arizona, but it was a wild mining town and they thought it was too tough for them. Shortly thereafter they decided he would study medicine. Mary Ann moved to Paris to be by her mother and Ashbel left for New York to study. While Ashbel was in New York, Mary Ann, who had now become a mother, took her little daughter Mamie to pay him a visit. She then returned to run a drugstore in Paris. After Ashbel became a doctor they made their home - in Cheney, Washington.When they died they were taken to Paris to be interred near their many loved ones.
Elijah was born June 26, 1850 to Irene, in Salt Lake City. He was fourteen when he came with his father to Bear Lake. One thing that always frightened Elijah was the terrific thunder; often it was so harsh that things in the house would rumble and rattle about. Once, when he was unsaddling a horse, a clap of thunder was so violent that he and the horse were both thrown to the ground. When they decided to move to Arizona, it was welcome news to Elijah.
On May 19, 1876 Sarah gave birth to Edward Leslie Pomeroy in Paris, Bear Lake County, Idaho. (He married Naomi Serena McGuire).
In 1879 Elijah returned to Utah from Arizona and married an old sweetheart, Mary Anetta Coleman.
In the early Utah days, Francis Pomeroy was engaged chiefly in the lumber trade, and was among the first to erect a sawmill in Little Cottonwood canyon also one where Park City now stands, and still later one at Paris, Idaho.
After 13 1/2 years in Bear Lake, the old rheumatism seemed to worsen; the cold weather was very hard on Francis. One day he received a letter from a friend, Henry Rogers, describing the wonders of Arizona with its warm climate and sunshine. Then came a call from Brigham Young to make another move, this time to Arizona.
Francis considered this well and talked it over with his family and friends. It seemed the answer to his problem. George W. Sirrine, Parley Sirrine and Theodore Sirrine thought it good and agreed to go with him. By September 14, 1877, plans were completed to move to Arizona. The company would be small at first, but they knew that others would join them as they went through Utah. The company was joined in Salt Lake City by Francelle and her husband, Charles I. Robson, and Irene and her husband, William Newell.
Final communications were received from the Headquarters of the church and they were ready to go. The Charles Crismon families joined them as they Utah, also Charles I. Robson and William Newell who had married Francelle Pomeroy and Irene Pomeroy. There were several others, (some single men) in all 83 adults and 56 children.braved the one-thousand mile journey acorss rough and dangerous country to help tame a desert valley.
They were a happy group, full of hope and adventure. Zetta Pomeroy (daughter of Jessamine) wrote: "We had the most wonderful time, especially around the camp fires at night with our friends and relatives. When we reached the desert, it was so warm, we loved every bit of it!"
Nevertheless, it was a long, tiresome and hazardous journey, nearly five months. There were times of great anxiety when trying to find water and feed before they could make camp. There were steep, narrow trails over mountains, sometimes slippery from rain or snow. Lee's Ferry, on the Colorado River, was a treacherous crossing. At Lee's Backbone the mountain descent was so steep they turned the wagons and teams around and came down backwards. Long ropes were used to hold the wagons in check until they reached safety at the bottom. The company had good outfits, and they were taking a lot of cattle; everyone knew that this was their all. If a cow was lost or died, or a wagon or even some of their goods were destroyed, it would be a serious loss. yet, they did not hesitate to make the dangerous journey of over 1,000 miles.
On Christmas Eve, 1877, they were in Arizona at Pine Springs near Mormon Lake. Here there was heavy snow. Next morning they went on to Beaver Head about fifteen miles above Camp Verde. Here they remained to get a much needed rest while Francis M. Pomeroy, Charles I. Robson, George W. Sirrine, and Charles Crismon made a trip to the Salt River Valley, to select a location for their new home.
The City of Phoenix had a population of about 400. They journeyed up the river from Phoenix to Hayden's Ferry, where a water power grist mill and store were operated by Charles T. Hayden, who after became a benefactor to the struggling colonists. Seven miles farther up the river they visited the Indian Mission established by Daniel W. Jones and Henry C. Rogers and others living in the United Order.
In the Salt River Valley they found a number of canals projected and underway, and some farming. One canal was found that had been cut by prehistoric people into the edge of the mesa, which it gradually surmounted. While riding over the high lands called "The Mesa" they discovered an old ancient canal called the "Montezuma canal" which had been constructed by the ancients more than 1,000 years before to irrigate the broad level lands of the "Mesa." It could be traced from the river for twenty miles, maintaining an even gradient, possibly as good as could have been laid out with a modern level, and with a number of laterals that spread over a country about as extensively cultivated as at present. They determined to use this canal and locate on the Mesa.
They viewed the network of a prehistoric water system and marveled. Could they bring the water upon the high land as those ancient ones had done and use their old canals by digging them out? They consulted Williams Hancock, the U.S. Government surveyor, who told them that it would be impossible to get the water to the new land. Not willing to give up, Francis Pomeroy and George Sirrine, with a spirit level and a borrowed straight edge, spent long hours along the stream until they located where they thought the canal head would work. They marked the place and went back to Mr. Hancock who came back. He found that the men were right and they had been very accurate in their survey. Very pleased with what they had found, the men went back to Beaver Head and brought their families, arriving February 14, 1878.
They made camp on the banks of the river and homes were built upon the Mesa.When the canals were finished so that water could be had on the higher ground, or mesa, they moved there and founded the town of Mesa, Arizona. The little town of Mesa was laid out with large blocks and wide streets, Mormon style like Salt Lake City. So the Pomeroy family experienced another period of pioneering. There was much rejoicing when the two groups met, all were happy to meet old friends again and to make new ones.
Men started to work immediately on the canals. Little gardens were planted. A letter by Jessamine to folk back in Idaho dated March 31, 1878 states: "They are getting along splendid with the ditch. They are intending to hire help and get it through in 30 days, if possible. Francis rented land from Ross Rogers and we got a nice garden. We have started oranges, lemons, limes, and some grape vines."
It was hot that summer and the men did not finish the "ditch" in 30 days but they worked diligently just the same. Lots were cleared and some adobe houses were built.
Francis Martin Pomeroy was elected one of the Directors of the canal, one of the trustees of the town site of Mesa, and Justice of the Peace of the community. He became the "Pacifier" of the district, both among the white population and also the Indian and Spanish people. The Indians called him the "Great White Chief" and very often their disputes were brought to him for adjudication. It was a common thing to see several Indians camps around his home, and the Indians in consultation with him. This, no doubt, inspired the authorities to set him apart as an Indian Missionary on the 16th of April, 1880. On the 1st of April, 1881 he was set apart as President of the Indian Mission, which position he filled until his death. Francis Pomeroy thoroughly enjoyed the warm climate and bright sunshine, but the hard pioneer work was too much for him and he died on 29th day of October, 1882 in Mesa, Maricopa, Arizona.
In 1883 the city of Mesa was organized and was elected mayor, with Elijah Pomeroy, George W. Sirrine, and William Passey as councilmen. When the Mesa Ward was organized by the Mormon Church, Elijah was chosen bishop. He married Sarah Lucretia Phelps September 27, 1884.
There is a street and several businesses in the Mesa area with the Pomeroy name as well as a school is named after Francis M. Pomeroy, leader of the pioneer "Mesa Company" which migrated from Paris, Idaho to Mesa in 1877.
Jessamine Elizabeth Routledge was born in 1825 in London, England. Her parents both died when she was young. Fortunately her father had left an inheritance for his children, and they faired reasonably well.
As she matured she took an interest in the street meetings held by the Elders of the church. When her family found this out they were very upset and even locked her in her room at night so she would not slip out to the meetings. Finally, at the age of thirty, her convictions remaining strong, she was baptized. Convincing her family her mind would never change and that she wanted to joint the saints in their great gathering in Zion, her brother took her shopping and outfitted her with what she needed to emigrate. Her family was disappointed and she lost some of her inheritance.
Though small and delicate she was determined and had the faith and strength to leave home and brothers and sisters and to strike out for the unknown. The ship 'Horizon' brought her group of saints to Boston in 1856. They then boarded a train for Iowa City where they prepared fro the trek westward. It was July before the ill fated Martin Company rolled out consisting of 576 souls, 146 handcarts, 6 wagons, 30 oxen and 50 cows and beef cattle.
Starting late the group was caught in a terrible snow storm in the mountains and supplies ran out and they nearly starved and many died of exposure and lack of food. Great grandmother refused to talk about the horrors and suffered for the rest of her life with the pain of frost bit feet. Her children would beg her to tell them about her experiences in crossing the plains but she tried not to until they begged so hard she would tell them some things then they would cry and beg her to stop.
Thanks to polygamy upon reaching the (Salt Lake) Valley she found and married a fine, strong man, Francis M. Pomeroy, with whom she had six children.
The following sketch was written by Sarah Lucretia Phelps Pomeroy herself:
I, Sarah Lucretia Phelps, was the oldest child of Hyrum Smith Phelps and Clarinda Bingham. I was born July 23, 1867, at the home of my grandmother, Sara Thompson Phelps, in Montpelier, Idaho.
My father's income was meager, they had a hard time making ends meet. My two brothers, Hyrum and Calvin, and I were often sent to bed early in order for Mother to wash out our clothes so we would have clean ones for the next day. I have seen Mother sew, evening after evening, by the light of a braided rag in a plate of tallow. As time went by she learned to make tallow candles. I remember so well my job of stringing the candle molds. I learned to spin quite young. Mother carded the rolls of wool and I would spin them. My grandmother was a weaver. I loved to fill her spools and bobbins. Sometimes I'd sneak into the room, sit in her stool, and throw the shuttle back and forth through the loom.
My school days began in a one room log house with long benches and no desks. A huge stove was in the center of the room. While attending school in Montpelier I received my greatest thrill - my cousin, Almira Holmes, and I spelled the school down. We were chosen on separate sides and were the last to go down. I went down before she did, but didn't mind because it was Almira.
I remember when I was seven or eight years of age my father was playing for a dance. Mother had gone to bed and I was learning to knot garters, with my feet in the oven, when in walked two huge Indians with blankets around their shoulders. They talked to each other but did not say anything to me. After a few minutes they walked out. I was about two minutes getting into bed with Mother. After that Father took us with him when he played for a dance.
October 3, 1878, Father, with his family of ten, left Montpelier. He had married Mother's sister, Elizabeth Bingham, for a second wife. Seven other families left with us for Arizona. It was a long and tiresome journey for our parents, but enjoyable for the children. One evening my brother Gov was born, December 2, 1878. We camped three days and then continued our journey. Going over Lee's Backbone the grade was very steep. Father took the lead team off and I drove the other team all the way over the dugway. It was very narrow and straight down, and it looked as if it were miles deep. I was eleven years old, but except when we traveled at night, I drove a team most of the way. Though the mountains were covered with snow and we had to make our own road, it was not too cold. We arrived in Mesa on January 17, 1879.
Due to circumstance, I have worked for other people most of my life. I clerked in stores, did a lot of practical nursing, and cooked for thresher and bailer crews. I have worked in all the church organizations - counselor in stake Primary; president in Relief Society for six years; teacher in M.I.A. and Sunday School. I was one of the first teachers to be called to teach Religion Class when Brothers Maeser and Goddard came to Mesa to organize it.
I was blessed with six lovely babies. Sarah, Hyrum and Loren, who died in infancy, Marion who was permitted to stay with me for eighteen years, Monita was with me for twenty-two years. She was serving on a mission when she became ill and died shortly after arriving home. Reuel Nephi is the only child I have living.
I spent some time in San Francisco because of my health and when Second World War broke out I went back to Mesa. (End of sketch.)
Mary Inez Phelps wrote:
"I first met Lucretia July 24, 1947, when Uncle Hyrum's family came to Salt Lake for the Centennial Celebration and the unveiling of the "This Is The Place" monument. On the evening of the 23rd we celebrated her 80th birthday. On the 25th we came to Montpelier for a reunion of the Joseph Morris Phelps and Hyrum Smith Phelps descendants.
When the lights were turned upon the Mesa Temple, to which her father gave so much time and money, Lucretia was given the honor of turning the switch for the first time.
On July 3, 1963 Lucretia came to Bear Lake to celebrate the Idaho Centennial and her 96th birthday. She promised to come again on her 100th birthday, but passed away in 1965.
John Pomeroy was 25 years old when he went to Arizona with the Pomeroy family. He also took a special interest in a Bear Lake girl. He became acquainted with and later married Emily Stratton, who had been living with her grandmother's sister, Elizabeth Bewick Collings. She was the third of five children born to George Fredrick Stratton and Mary Rowell Stratton of Kent County, England. In 1849 her father first heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was baptized.
In 1862 they came to America. They finally settled in Logan, Utah where Mr. Stratton obtained work. In 1864 his wife died. He became ill and had a struggle to care for his children. Elizabeth Collings took five year old. Emily to live with her in Paris, Idaho.
She went to Arizona with John as his bride. Zula, the oldest daughter of Francis and Matilda, taught school in Bear Lake before they moved to Arizona.
PAF - Archer files = Orson Pratt Brown + (4) Eliza Skousen < James Jens Nielsen Skousen + Ane Kirstine Jorgensen Hansen ;
"Mormon Settlement in Arizona: A Record of Peaceful Conquest of the Desert" by James H. McClintock, Arizona Historian. Phoenix, Arizona 1921.
"History of Bear Lake Pioneers", Compiled by Edith Parker Haddock and Dorothy Hardy Matthew. DUP, 1968. Pages 604-610.
Copyright 2001 www.OrsonPrattBrown.org
|This must be a grandson of the first Francis M. Pomeroy:
1017 7th Street The first known resident was Francis M. Pomeroy in 1888, a ticket agent for C & C T Railway.
Emory City Cemetery Obituaries Emory City Cem section 9 row 3
July 22-24, 1847 Mormon Pioneers
This list was published in the Deseret News 1997-98 Church Almanac, pages 123-159, including brief biographies of each. Here is the list of these 143 men, 3 women, and 2 children.