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Section 14 Events of 1855

I must now go on to 1855 whare I left the subject I had previously appointed assistant water masters in all the wards and such men as the bishops would suggest but some of them ware vary indlferant as to whether they done anything or not this made it hard on me as well as many other things the scarcity of water and the carelessness with which many used it. one man by the name of Williams took the water contrary to law and he was complained of and according to my oath I was compelled to bring him before Alderman Ralah for a breach of the law he was fined and cost was eleven dollars it made him vary angry!

And many times this hapened to sundry persons which had a tendency to get up a prejudice against me, and among the many things that hapened was one thing that I cannot forbear to mention Daniel H. Wells had two young men that ware in the habit of turning the water on to his lot whenever they pleased and as often left it to run all night and it would flood the church barn yard and fill up the lower end of the pavement back of the general tithing store forming a stagnant pool that would stand for a week after. This annoyed the feelings of the Mayor vary much and he often told me that I must put a stop to it. at length he came out seemingly in a rage and charged me to put a stop to it at all hazzards I told him that I did not like to interfere with the water on that block for if I did I should have to give each one their portion and as the president and Br. Kimball both owned lots on that block it would be likely to interfere with them he said it made no odds they made all the laws and they no doubt ware willing to sustain them and that was no excuse for me, accordingly I made a division of the time for each one on the block to use the water. I had been previously ordered to furnish the public shop all the water from 7 o'clock A. M. until 6 P. M. which compelled others living in another direction to use it in the night I gave the whole creek if kneeded to President Young from 6 o'clock to ten each night Tuesday & Fridays and Br. Kimball the same Wednesday and Satardy and Br. Wells Mondays the same and Whitneys Thursday the same.

When I called at Br. Kimballs to give notice of his time to use the water he asked me how I got along with the people and the water I said I got along as well as I could and I did not know many times hardly how to do for the water was vary scarce and some of the people would go and take it when it did not belong to them which made more or less confusion and sometimes I was compelled to bring them before the aldermans court and have them fined a thing that I did not like to do for I did not like to injure the feelings of anyone and then refered to the case of Br. Williams and stated the amount of fine and cost. He then remarked you are sorry are you? I said yes I did not like to wound the feelings of anyone and would be glad if the like would never hapen again.

Well he said I am ownly sorry that it did not cost him twice as much, and Now sais he it was Br Brigham and me that made you water master of this city and I want to know if you are willing to do your duty. I told him I was willing to do the best I could, he said that is not the question I want to know if you will do your duty I said I will do the best I can the Lord assisting me. That is not what I want to know. Will you do your duty I then answered yes. Well sais he if you dont I will cuff your ears for you. I then explained to him his time of useing the water and the reasons why it was so and it hapened to be his turn that same evening And early next morning as I was going my usual rounds I found he had left the water runing through his lot all night and it had flooded the Church barn yard and filled the sink in the pavement. I went to his gardener and asked him why it was so he said he did not know Br Kimball had turned it on with his own hands and did not tell him to turn it off I also went to another of his men and he told me the same story At the ringing of the bell I was at my post at Br Youngs house, and soon the Mayor appeared and told me that he thought I was going to keep the water out of that pavement. I then explained how it had hapened and wanted to know what I should do he said as to bro Brigham and bro Kimball I have nothing to say but we have made you the cheif executor of the water in this city and it is your duty to levy fines issue processes and put them into the hands of the martial and order him to collect them. This placed me in a vary peculiar position Br Kimball has commanded me to do my duty Br Grant the Mayor has told me what it is. And will it be lawful for me to say thought I ! I am but a servent must I this time do as I am told! has Br. Kimball done it to try me? My own judgement teaches me that I am not a judge

The Mayor sais I am shall I presume to deny it and refuse to do my duty as I have been commanded If so I shall soon meet Br Kimball what will he say thought I ! Why he will say you are affraid of big men and now I will cuff your ears. Finely after much reflection I determined what to do. I immediately went down to the clerks office related the circumstances and asked him to write me a process which he did. I then took it and went and gave it to the martial and told him that he was to collect it. the amount was $5, 00 fine $6. 00 cost amounting to $11. 00 dollars the same that a simular act cost Br. Williams The martial soon met him in the office as I was informed and read it to him Br B Young was presant he said Br Kimball you must pay that fine in flour and take it to him and make his family eat it. This is as it was told to me

Soon after I went to the Mayors office and found him and the Martial discussing the matter, the martial contending with him striveing to convince him that none but his honor or an alderman had a right to levy fines under the charter The Mayor however contended to the contrary how they settled it I never knew but left them still talking A day or two after I met Br Kimball He said he would pay that fine in flour and should bring it to my house and my family must eat it. I said I do not want it. it does not belong to me it goes to the city treasury I did not fine you becuase I wanted the pay but I done it because I was afraid I should get my ears cuffed if I did not He said when he told a man to do anything he expected him to do it. I said I thought it was to try me but I do not want the pay he said I must have it We then parted.

In about a week after he was passing whare I was at work and he halted a little and said you think you are a bigger man than I but you will find yourself mistaken and passed on I answered'nothing for I did not know what to think I at first thought he was ownly joking me but I soon began to think he meant what he said and I felt vary sorry that he should have any feelings against me for I thought I have done the best I oould under the circumstances but still I hoped It would pass of alright but I have not met him with the same feeling since he has always treated me with the greatest coolness

On Sunday after I gave Brother Klmball his notice of the time he was to use the water I gave one to Prest Young he asked me what that was for I told him that I was ordered to do my duty. Well he sals then do it and turned away.

Monday after he sent for me and asked me why he could not have more water I told him I intended that he should have all he wanted. He answered you have ruined my potatoes for want of water at the same time holding up a vine in his hand and my fruit trees will also be spoiled My garden is worth a great deal more than many others and I must have the water I said you of course are at liberty to use all the water you want but I was obliged to divide the time so that I could keep things strait, he then said I shall take the water when I please and you can fine me if you like I said I had no desire to take anything from him but was striving to do right he then left the room but I knew what the matter was with his potatoes his ground had been trenched about 2 feet deep and all the small stones taken out and the ground was vary light and consequently vary dry and as I before stated his gardner was not willing to use a large stream and his crop had not been thoroughly watered during the season, but I did not tell him that it was the fault of the gardner for he was an old man and needed his employ so I chose rather to bare it than to expose him

By this time the walls of the house ware nearly up and I was framing the roof but much time was lost by haveing to work to a great disadvantage for want of timber as the water at the sawmill was vary low it being used on the land for irrigation purposes, but still I managed as well as I oould Thare was nine bents in the roof. Myself and two more men had framed six of them and hoisted the most of them up with a tacle rope and blocks. Br William Gaboon was the foreman to rais them to their places while I was framing, our timber had become exhausted and ownly the six ware up. Br Gaboon had got out of wood at home and he said he should be gone two or three days to the canion after some but he thought he should be back in time to rais the rest as thare did not seem to be any prospect of timber being furnished, but after he was gone home and all hands but myself had left the timber came for the other three bents. In the morning I called on our foreman for 4 hands to help me frame And in two days we had them all framed and put together and in their places ready to rais. the third morning Br Gaboon came and I had got his same hands that had raised with him before with the exceptions of three and including those who had helped me frame I had the same number makeing in all seven

He had imployed six days in raising the six bents with this number I asked him to take hold and help us which he refused to do saying he was boss and it was his right to take charge I said the whole work was under my care and I had nothing to do but to attend to it and if he was willing to help it was all right but if not he could go to the shop so he left but soon came back and said he would go to work but I found he had been to Miles Romney he had told him to come back and whatever I told him to do he must do it as I was foreman of the work. At the ringing of the bell at noon we had raised the last timber and pinned it to its place thus accomplishing in one day with the same help half as much as he had done in six days half the day previous being imployed in putting the timbers together but with ownly five of us makeing a differance in the expence of $35. 00. This made quite a talk among hands and ownly had a tendency to make things worse for while I continued on with the work with ownly from two to three men to assist me (as this was all that could be imployed for want of timber) it took us some days to get up the frame work around the gothingk windows and while roof boarding Prest Young came out one day and said my hands did not earn their salt. I said I thought we ware doing first rate but if we ware not we must try to do better, but when we got on the last roofboards I made a calculation and found we had spent twenty six days work putting on the roofboards and thare was twenty two gothic windows which actualy proved that we had done more than two days works in one as it was commonly called a days work to put on two hundred feet in a day and thare was over 9000 feet.

I had agreed with Prst Young for my fuel to be furnished me but it hapened that I got entirely out and went to Br E D Wooley who was his agent and asked him for some, he said I must carry it on my shoulders as the teams ware all busy, and they had no time so I picked up the binding pales and such things as I could find around the building. One day Prest Young saw me carrying some and he sent Hiram Clawson one of his clerks to inquire why I took such liberties. I said that it was agreed that I should have my wood drawn for me but it had turned out that I had to back it home but I expected to pay for it He asked me how much I was willing to allow for what I had carried away, after calculating the time according as I had paid him for wood that he had furnished me it ammounted to 10 dollars, he had charged me from six to eight dollars a load at from 1/2 to 3/4 of a cord to the load

But it was a hard cruel way to have to live after working all day hard to back home everything that my family needed. It cost me about six dollars a week for wood and about five for flour which was the principle portion of my liveing Occasionaly I could get some beef but it was vary high from eight to twelve cents a pound, and I soon found that I was falling in the rear or getting in debt as I did not think that I could count over three dollars a day. And after considerable reflection I concluded to ask Prest Young to let me have a yoke of oxen to haul my wood which would make considerable differance in my expences. Accordingly the 20th day of August 1855 after I had finished my days work I called at his office and found him standing in the door I asked him if he had time to talk a little he said yes, I then said I wish to ask you if you are willing to let me have a yoke of oxen to get my wood and I have thought that I would try to procure five acres of land to raise my bread from another year for as it now is my wages are not sufficient to sustain my family and I am not willing to get vary much in debt if it is possible to avoid it, and as the Lord has given me a family and a prospect for more I feel it a duty to take care of them the best I can. He answered at the same time sitting down on the door step come and set down and I will tell you what you had better do, and I set down on a stone beside him. He continued I have been wondering why you are not out jobing among the brethren. I said you told me to work here and I have considered your council as law to me and I do not know that I ever allowed myself to disobey one word of it. I have no fault to find on that score he said but I now council you to go out and take jobs among the brethren You are a builder and you had better get you a good pardner some one that has some capital and go to furnishing and building and I think you will do well. Thare is bro Townsend or bro Jolley he has about a thousand dollars either of them will i do I said I do not know whare to get the first days work the times are hard but if it is your council and I can go with your influence and blessing I am willing to go. He said that you can have, and Thomas Williams is going to build a store here next season and you can have the job it will cost 20,000 dollars and I want to build a carriage house and by and by when I can get to it I want to build a house on the island and you can do it. You have worked here a good long time and I do not want you to stay another day but go and do the best you can for yourself. We then parted he went into his office and I went home with a heavy heart not knowing what or how to do. It seemed as though I could never think of leaving him but his word had gone forth to me and I felt that my salvation depended upon it and I must do it. I have the consolation of always doing my duty by him and I felt to console myself that he would stand by me let what would come.

When I got home to my family I told them what had been done. And all joined with me in a general feeling of surprise I but he had dismissed me with good feelings and felt that all was right I then asked Ann Eliza my wife if she would take ^ the trouble to keep daily journal as I was begining a new life 1 and wished to keep a record of passing events I immediately set about to get into business by going to see the men he refered me to for partners Townsend said he would be willing to to in with me but the times ware vary dull and he did not know i whare the first job could be got but if the way should open another year he would go in company with me, I sought for work every whare I went but did not find any but after three or four days I went to John Young a bro of Brigham and told him my situation he said he had a job he would give me. he wanted a stoop or portico on the front of his house and asked me what I would do it for I told him I would do it for fifty dollars which he said he would give. I was vary glad to get to work again so as to earn something for my family. Soon after I took another job of Bsp Hunter but before I had commenced it or before he was ready Jeddediah M Grant came to me and wanted me to go and work for him a few days as he was going to build him a farm house ten miles north of the city, but I told him I could not work by the day as I had been counciled to work by the job and if he could give me a job I would go and do it But he said he had not much of a job to do but if I would go and put on his stupers and set his window and door frames he would pay me what was right so I agreed to go and while on the way he told me something of his work and in a few days after he asked me what I would do it for I told him I did not know but from what he had told me I thought it would be worth about one hundred and seventy five dollars, he said that he thought that I was walking into him rather steep but he did not know as he was a judge but he would tell me what he was willing to do I might keep an account of my labers and when I got done I might take an account of it to Miles Romney and he would leave it to him and whatever he said was right he would give me To which I readily agreed so I hired help and went on with it with all my might. But before I got through he had added considerable more work nearly double, And according to agreement I took my bill to Romney and went for Jeddediah to come and have an understanding about what I was to have, and when he came he said he did not want Miles to have anything to say but bro Cook must make out his own bill and he would settle it I said it was agreed that he (Romney) should set the prices and I was on hand to fill my agreement but on hearing this he refused to have anything to do with it. And then I had to do it and after I had made it out I submitted it to the inspection of suitable judges and they said that it was cheaper than they could work. So I took it to Jeddediah and he looked it over and when he came to the footing he found it amounted to three hundred dollars at which he appeared angry and found a great deal of fault with it I told him I had rather have nothing than for him to have hard feelings about it.

And if he was not satisfied with it he might either say himself what was right or I was willing to leave it to any man or set of men that ware judges that he was a mind to choose, but he would not do it but said he would pay it I said he could please himself I should leave the matter in his hands. So he gave me a n order for what was due to receive credit on the tithing office Books as that was the way I was to have my pay.

By this time winter set in and I had not done Bp Hunters job which had been waiting for me sometime
I got that done in due time and he seemed pleased with me but he was not willing to pay me by the job but paid me by the day in such things as I needed for my family He said I was an honest man and as such he could reccomend me

While I was working on J M Grants house Ann Eliza had a pair of twins which she Named Alonzo and Ann Eliza they ware born the 29th of September 1855.

About this time Augusta & Phineas was taken vary sick with the flux but they ware healed, after a month or so

I was appointed assesser and collector for the 18th ward to build a school house I was directed to take the assessment from the city collectors books by the trustees for which I paid him one dollar but I did not collect it for the time soon came that I left the city and then I resigned as also the Office of City Water Master and Captain of the fire company in the 18th ward. It began to be vary hard times with me, as I had nothing due me from the public works and I could not get anything to do My family ware considerable out of health had a vary poor liveing as flour was vary hard to get and every way seemed to be hedged up

About the 25th of Feby 1856 Amanda and six of the children, Augusta Phineas and Phebe Wolcott Alonzo Ann Eliza Jr had the measles Harriet never took them This was indeed a hard time but it might be said with propriety that it was ownly a beginning of trouble. About this time I needed some brandy for my sick family and I tried to get credit but could not even for a pint, at last I met Jesse C Little in the street I asked him if he new whare I could obtain some good liquor telling him my circumstances, he replied that thare was a plenty at Godbys drug store I said I new thare was but I had no credit and no money but without asking he stept into a store and called for a pen and ink and wrote me an order in his own name, for this I felt vary thankful that I had yet one friend, I continued to try to get laber but I could not get any. Some three years since I had been to Br Brigham and told him of the situation of the people in San Pete whare I had lived. How they had fed and cloathed the Indians to a great expence and as he was at that time Governor of the teritory and superintendent of Indian affairs, I asked him if it was not possible for something to be done by the general Government for them. He said if I would tell the brethren to come and make out their bills he would send them to Washington and use his influence to have them paid. I asked him how they should be made out he said that did not make much difference so that they made them enough the clerk is at the office he will give a form So I went to the office and made out my bill which amounted to two hundred and sixty two dollars I immediately sent word to as many as I could to come as soon as possible which many did until a large amount was made out.

The next session of Congress it was published in the papers that about forty thousand dollars had been appropriated for the relief of the Indians in Utah territory, I made some inquiries from time to time but could not learn that those claims had been paid.

About the time of the great scarcity previously spoken of (which was caused by a great many millions of grasshopers that had eaten the crops before they came to maturity which caused great distress among many of the poor) I heard that Thomas Williams had been delegated with authority by Governor Young to go to Washington and draw the money and had done it and had paid over into Governor Youngs hands two thirds of the amount in cash and those claims in Sanpete ware included The one that first told me was a man by the name of Jackson Aired he had a lame or stiff knee and he said he went to Daniel H Wells for his but he tried to put him off but he had stuck to him till he had finealy got it

I did not feel realy satisfied with his story until I went to William Claton who was chief clerk for T Williams and he con-firmed it I then went to Brigham and asked him if anything had been paid on thos accounts He said he did not know as thare had he thought not I said I had heard that thare had. he said that it was not so He asked me how I got along I said that the times ware vary dull and I could not get but vary little to do I had made out to get my wood which had cost me 17 dollars for the winter and last winter when I had my wood of him it cost me 75 dollars for the same length of time He said he thought that Sister Famyswood had gone off faster than common. This saying grieved me much but I made no reply but left the office. I went strait to her and asked her if anyone had stolen any wood from her she said not unless they stole it out from under her bed for she always put it thare as soon as it was brought to her. I went again to see him and told him that Aunt Fanny said she had not lost any wood for she always kept it under her bed he asked what of it. I said you intimated that I had stolen from her and I wished him to know that I had not done it He said he ownly intended it for a joke I told him that I once heard br Klmball say that him and br Brigham always joked in earnest but he said he had no idea that I would steal even a pins worth.

I in the mean time continued to hear from time to time that the claims had been paid and by this time we ware redus-ed to almost extreme want as we had nothing but a few potatoes in the house to eat Amandas aunt came to see us and she (Amanda) went to the neighbors to borrow some bread for her Sunday 4th of Feby

This morning we had potatoes and fish Uncle John Young gave me four small fishes and alittle butter seemed a feast indeed Just after eating Margarette Pierce Young one of Brighams wives as an angel of mercy came and brought us four quarts of meal and 4 quarts of shorts and-a good nice loaf of bread and seven and half pound of beef our hearts ware full of gratitude and in view of our situation she was truly an angel of mercy

I finely concluded to go again to the office and see if it was not possible for me to get something on the Indians account. Thare was no one in but Daniel Macintosh one of the clerks and I made known-my business to him he went into the other room but soon returned and said he was authorized to give me credit on my tithing but I could get no money or provisions I told him that I had a young heifer in the hands of Joseph Mur-dock and he charged me six dollars for takeing care of her and an order on Snows store would pay it otherwise he would keep her. by this time Squire Wells came in and I explained the matter to him and he consented that I should have the order but nothing more but said that the boy aught to consider it a God send even to get credit on tithing I told him that it was the fruits of toil and hardship which caused him to give me an angry look I was then asked how much my bill was I told them it was two hundred and sixty dollars or thare abouts which was ordered to be credited to me on my account as I was oweing him The amount was one hundred and seventy dollars and thirty three cents it being two thirds of the whole amount

When I settled with him I found a charge against me of the same amount that neither I nor the clerk Hiram Clawson could account for but he insisted that it must be right or it would not be thare. So I paid it

About the 22nd of February 1856 I became much impressed to go and talk with Br Brigham concerning loses to the people caused by the Indian disturbances in 1853 reccomending something to be done as a recompence by the United States government and I wrote a letter on the subject and read it to him. as soon as I had read him the letter he said he had invited many of the brethren to come to his office and make out their claims but they had not done it. This was all that was said but ariseing from his seat, took the letter out of my hand and put-ing it in his pocket went out of the room saying that it quite an epistle. I had previously read this same letter in the presance of William Claton and Capt Hooper Claton said that it was just what was wanted and advised me to read it to him But Hooper said that he would not do it for he thought it would have a bad affect. He was at that time in partnership with T S Williams in the mercantile business and just about that time or soon after Williams went through the settlements south whose the heaviest claims ware among the people and engaged as many as he could m this letter I reccomended the appointment of an agent to go through the territory and collect those claims together and forward them to Washington and sue the government and if possible to obtain something for the benefit of those who had labered and toiled in poverty to settle this desart and distant territory My thoughts ware as the government had passed a resolution that no land should be granted to the Morman on account of their peculiar institutions (meaning polygamy for it has always been a costom for enterprising people who ware will ing to launch forth pioneer and settle new country and that too on the borders of civilization to receive as a presant from one hundred and sixty to less or more for each person so settling, and as this was their plan for no other reason but a hatred of our religion) I thought it was but right for us to get something as they had claimed the honor of opening the mountain country, But not receiving any deffinite answer or what coarse to persue I thought that if I could get some assistance I would make out something in the shape of a claim and try it at a venture, so I went to Curtis & Bolton who was accustomed somewhat to business of the kind but this was a new born plan of mine he said and he did not exactly understand how to proceed but like all other new plans I told him we should learn upon trial after we had made a bill of 14 or 1500 dollars I carried it to the Indian agent and he signed it and reccommended to congress that it be paid so I sent it to my brother in law who was then acting as clerk for someone belonging to the congress from Michigan he had it presented to the department but it was rejected and I re-cieved letters from the department informing me that my form of claim was not right but by this time quite an excitement was got up through Hooper and Williams they had sent to Washington and got forms and had entered into a copartnership with Alexander Moray who had been to Brigham and he had told him to go and collect as many claims as he could so I concluded to have my claims sent through that chanel but I shall speak more of those matters hereafter.

Journal Sections
  1. Brief history of Phineas' ancestry
  2. Childhood to 1838
  3. 1839 - Spring of 1843
  4. 1843 - 1845
  5. Conversion to the Mormon Church
  6. Leaving the family to join with the Mormons in the west 1845-46
  7. To Mechanicsville, Winter Quarters
  8. Winter Quarters 2
  9. Traveling West to Utah
  1. Settling in the Valley
  2. Run in with Indians
  3. 1851 - 1853
  4. 1854-1855
  5. Events of 1855
  6. September 1855- March 1856
  7. May - July 1856
  8. August - December 1856
  9. 1857 - Journal Conclusion