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Section 2 Childhood to 1838  

I now return to my own history after giving a discripton of the place of my birth which I think I have done so that any of my children can find it if they should hapen to pass that way the big rock can easeyly be found the creek passes just west of it.

We lived one mile from the district school house and I had but little chance to obtain an education as soon as I was old enough to labor my father needed me to help him. When I was 10 years old I did half a mans work in spring and summer and fall and winters went to school except when it was too cold and snowy which was vary common in that country I have known snow to fall from 2 to 3 feet in one night and all the neighbors would have to turn out to break the roads with teams and shovels and as likely as any way they would have to keep at it for a week at a time, in winter it was generly very cold the ice on the ponds would freeze from 2 to 3 feet thick. I often went with father to fish through the ice on pleasant day, the ice was so thick it caused a great deal of laber to cut holes but when it was done we generly got our pay for our trouble in fish, the ponds or still waters was the places we used to visit but in summer we had good luck generly in both still and running water the stream east was good for trout, eels and bullheads in the night with what we called bobs those ware made by taking strong linnen thread like shoe thread with a stran of broom corn tied snugly on at one end for a needle this thread was generly about 3-1/2 or 4 feet long this we strung full of angle worms by runing the broom stran from head to tail and drawing them on to the thread until it was full then we tied the ends together and doubled it up to about 3-1/2 to 4 inches long then tied a small cord around the middle tight leaving the ends about 6 inches long to tie to the end of a pole this would leave the bob about 4 inches from the end of the pole which was put down 'o the bottom of the stream, when they would bite we could pull them out by their teeth, we always managed to have a basket of saw dust standing near and when they fell off run with hands full of sawdust and grab them; by which means we were able to 'and them safe in the basket other ways they were so slipery we could not hold them in this way we often caught a bushel basket full in one evening.

On this stream stood the old sawmill which father owned until his mother died it being a part of her 3rd of Grandfathers property which she held for her support until she died then it fell to Uncle Moses how her 3rd came to fall to him I dont know but suppose he bought it. this mill father used to tend in spring himself their being no other time in the year when there was vater enough to saw about this time Daniel my oldest brother was married to a woman by the name of Helen Marian King he then took charge of the farm father went to building and getting out timber and I was with him the most of the time to help him saw which I could do vary well, for 2 or 3 years things went on in this way till Daniel took another farm and then the most of the farming was trusted to me I was then about 12 years old Abot this time or a year before Darius went to learn his trade with a man by the name of Adams in Litchfield vilage

Grandfather had died some 2 or 3 years before a good old man he was his age was 79 years he was buried in Milton buğ-ying ground he had a large marble tombstone at his grave his memory is still dear to me I well remember him he died with the dropsy.

We had a yoke of stags I used to plow from 30 to 50 acres in spring and put it into corn and oats and buck wheat and potatoes with the help of a hired man in hoeing time and harvest father was through at the mill and would take charge and help us out, in fall our crops was to gather our cider to make to the amount of 30 or 40 barrels and wood to get for winter which was no small matter, in this way things went on for 3 years.

At the age of 15 years I went to learn the carpenters trade with a man by the name of Augustus Mory. I went to him for trial 2 or 3 weeks and he promised to tell me what he could give me for my labor, accordingly at the end of the time I asked him what he could give me he told me he was not prepared to tell me at presant but I had better stay 5 or 6 months and then he could judge better. I then went home and asked father what I should do, he said I had better stay for he thought Mory would do what was right, so accordingly I took his council and went back

Three years previous to this my oldest sister Eliza was married to a man by the name of Salmon Case Hall of Milton vilage he was a man with a liberal education he followed school teaching winters and summers followed painting she had two children a son and a daughter they ware both born the same day of the month one year apart, the boy was named Henry and the girl Lucy directly after she was born Salmon went to michigan to look at the country to find a good location. I think this was about the year 1835 he was gone something over a year and came back for his family and assisted father in disposing of his farm which was sold to Uncle Moses for 2209 dollars, being tired of paying debts and interest on them they resolved to seek a new country and begin anew. Many unjust claims were brought aganst him and he put 800 dollars into the hands of Salmon the rest he left with mother and went with Salmon to the west this was a long journey for him after living in one house for 32 years, he ownly occasionly went to market to carry his cheese and get some things which the family kneeded such as clams oysters and productions of the sea which was a long journy some 30 or 40 miles

After I had stay the 5 or 6 months at the trade I again asked him what he could pay me, he said he would give me 15 dollars for the first year and 20 for the 2nd and 30 for the 3rd I told him I would write to father and whatever he should say I would do, and I wrote directly to father and in 3 months I got an answer he said it was not enough it would not half clothe me and if he would not give me any more to go somewhere else so I told Mory. he was angry with me and said he would have satisfaction for his trouble which he had been to in showing me the use of tools. I told him then he should have to get it for I thought my father knew what was best for me, not ownly so he knew that I had earned him one dollar pr day and my board while out jobing which was most of the time and not ownly so he had said that I could make as good a door as he could and braged how much I was worth to him, and I thought he ought to be satisfied But all to no purpose he said he should go to law which did not (with some other things) make me feel very sorry to leave him. So I left him and went to Norfolk to work for a man by the name of Birdseye Norton J stayed with him 3 months he promised me 15 pr month he paid me 10 dollars after I had worked about one month, when my time was out I asked for my pay he said he had no mony but told me if I would come to Plymouth in 6 weeks he would pay me so with that promise I went home. Previous to going to live with him I became acquainted with a girl by the name of Ann Wiles I promised to write her and she promised to answer and tell me all the news, while I was there I wrote her 2 letters which she answered among other things she told me that mother was moving to_ Milton she said that Uncle Moses left word with Damon /or Tarmon/Beacher as soon as the time was out for her to give possession to go and warn her out of the house and if she did not go within 20 days to go and put her things out into the streets which errand he was proud to do But she had got out of his way before the time which I felt glad to hear for he had long been a persecuter and I did not want him to have the priv-elage of doing such a task for my mother.

When I got home I found mother and 2 sisters Mary Ann and Harriet living in Milton in a house belonging to Daniel Halls I spent the summer labering for William Tuttle, in the fall I started with my oldest brother Daniel and his family for Michigan we had a hard journey it took us 7 days to cross Lake Erie in storms and gales which seemed at times to threaten us with distruction but the Lord brought us to land in the town of Toledo, that night for the first time I had the ague and fever the next day we took the cars and came to Adrian our things were left about 5 miles from that place on the side of the way by the return cars my brother stopt at the same place when the cars ware going out and went to his brother in laws for a team while I went on with the cars to take care of our things it being inconvenient to onload at that place on account of other baggage in the car and on the top of ours when I returned Daniel had not come with the team and it was nearly sundown, and I began to think that he had lost his way the country was new and nearly all swamp, at length I started after him leaving his wife with the things I took the rail road track leading to Tecumseh it being the course in which he lived it was a fine road to travel on foot on, the flat rills being laid down for about 2 miles, then I came to a swamp and ownly logs roaled into the water so that I was sometimes in the water and sometimes on the logs and I began to wish myself out in this way I went on for 2 miles more at last I got through I a light and by inquiring I found I was 1 mile yet from the place and being directed I traveled on and arrived at the house at 10 oclock being about 2-1/2 hours going 5 miles I found that Daniel had been thare and gone with a team after his wife and goods we staid there 5 days to rest and then he and I left on foot for Kalamazoo where Father was loo miles distant we traveled 3-1/2 days and arrived safe ownly our feet were blistered from heel to toe this was the 17th day of October 1837

This was a hard and toilsome journey but we were thankful when we came to the end of it,

We found father sick with the Ague and fever and also all the rest, we found them on Gull prarie town of Richland about 10 miles north from Kalamazoo

I stayed with them a few weeks when I went to Gull Mills and hired to a man by the name of William Toles for $10 a month makeing bedsteads I here found an opertunity of making furniture to pay Mother for the money she loaned me to come west with which ammounted to $36. 00

I made a bureau a round stand one square table full leaf one square stand one bedstead all together worth abour $45. 00

In the spring of 38 I hired to a man by the name of Henry Rowland for $15. 00 pr month he afterwards became my father in law Just before the time was up I asked him for his daughter Ann Eliza after obtaining his consent for her we agreed to be married in the coarse of 2 years I lived with him 3 months The day that my time was out and the last hour as I was hewing a stick of timber I struck the corner of a broad axe into the side of my knee which laid me up for 6 weeks during this time I boarded at Salmons and paid him in work after I got well, he moved over into Barry Co leaving father in possession of the farm and no one to keep house so I volunteered my service to be househeeper for him till mother and the girls came which we looked for soon accordingly I continued in this imployment for 6 weeks I could get breakfast for 5 men and get my work done by. 9 oclock and go out and help him until 11 oclock and then go to the house and get dinner and by 1 oclock be ready to go out with the men and laber in the field until 5 in the afternoon and then get supper and do up my work by bedtime we were clearing and burning logs and wood for wheat in this way I labered with untireing dilligance hopeing to obtain a permanent home for my fathers family until mother and Darius and Mary Ann and Harriet came at last on the 12th day of July 1838 when they came they hardly knew me I was so thin in flesh soon after this my apetite began to fail but my health was much better than common One monday after I had been to visit with Ann Eliza father scolded me for wanting to get married so young, yet notwithstanding before he new mother was coming he advised me to so that we could have some one to keep house for us, I told him I had thought of that before him which much pleased him and when he heard she (mother) was comeing he found fault with me for going off on Sunday and not geting home till monday morning yet I did my visiting in the day time and went to meeting with her in the evening and staid all night and went home in the morning as it was 3-1/2 miles and through the thick woods all the way I did not think it safe as the country was new and wolves ware plenty and of a savage kind and not unfrequently they would chase men and they would climb trees to get out of the way one ammusing circumstance which hapen-ed in Oakland County I will here relate concerning a fidler he was going to play for a party to dance about 3 miles distant and before he arrived thare he heard them howling in all directions and he run to a log house which had a loft in it and he jumped up on to the beams overhead he found one board which he stood on, they followed him into the house and when the room was full below he reached down his hand and shut the door and shut them all in and then began to play to them and continued all night and in the morning he got out of the window and went and got guns and men and shot them through the cracks.

After father scolded me for wasteing my time so foolishly I felt as though I would try to make up lost time so 1 took a sythe and went down in the meadow and mowed and was gone 1 hour and cut 1 acre of grass of about 1 ton to the acre and father came down and said he wanted me to go and help George Murray get in some wheat this was about 3 oclock in the afternoon, I accordingly went and got in 2 loads of wheat and 3 loads of barley and pitched it on and off and it was 9 oclock in the evening and my clothes ware drenched in sweat from top to bottom I went home and went to bed and I layed in agony all night but made no noise, in the morning they called me to breakfast but I could not get up, and it was soon discovered that I was sick so that the 3rd day I was helpless, the Doctor was sent for immediately and he began to give me calomel dose after dose once in two hours trying to saterate me but could not, thus I continued for 9 days helpless and senseless the neighbors came in all thought that I was about to leave them My legs became cold and lifeless to my body 3 times all hope was lost, at last they sent for the priest who came and sit down by me and asked me if I was ready to die, I told him I did not care I had as soon die as not death was no terrer to me, for I was past fear, he asked me if I did not feel conserned for my souls salvation I told him I did not know that I did at this mom-ment in comes the doctor who walked as fast as he could out and in back and forth and the priest whose name was Calvin Clank took the hint and left and after was invited not to doctor the soul while he was attending to the body.

This was the 2nd time that I had my right mind and this was on the ninth day. When all was still again in the room thare appeared someone in the room he stood some distance from me at the oposite side of the room. He asked me in a still small voice if I would like to serve the Lord. I told him I would, he asked me again if I would serve him if I knew the right way. I told him I would, and then he disappeared and I soon began to get better so that in three days I walked down into the field whare Father and Darius was pulling flax and when they saw me coming Darius cries out, go back and get your coffin for you look as though you had come from the grave Father was glad but yet none of us thought to ascribe the glory to God at that time but I continued to get better so that in 4 or 5 days I was able to do a good many things to help take care of the rest, for all were sick but Father and Darius with the fever and ague after about 2 weeks from the time that I first got about I was taken again with the ague which lasted me about 9 months except at intervals I would break it up, about January or Feby I was taken with the inflamatory rheumutism which lasted me nearly all summer in the month of May I had two seatons put in one in each leg between my ancle and knee, they proved to do me much good in those times I saw much sorrow my head was all bare my hare had all come out and left it naked as I was born After I had been sick 3 or four days I sent for Ann Eliza to come and see me. I sent by William Dailey a young man of my acquaintance one of our neighbors he was vary kind to me while I was sick and spent a great deal of time taking care of me which I shall ever feel grateful to him for.

When he came to her house and saw her, she felt a delicasy about it thinking that people would talk about her and her sister Ann Mariah wanted to oome so she came much to my disappointment and dissatisfaction, as soon as I heard her voice in the other room I immediately told her to go home and send Ann Eliza for it was her that I wanted to see so after staying all night in the morning she started and in a short time Ann Eliza came but I did not know her until near night the first that I knew of her was she was helping mother move her bed which was standing in the oposite side of the room from mine. She had had her bed moved 2 or 3 times the same day, and she was teaseing Ann Eliza to turn the room up side down. I saw how childish she was (for she had the ague) and immediately told her to stop moving things for it troubled me and did mother no good so she sat down by my bed and kept the flies off from me as she had been doing while thare or she since told me. I had watchess at night. The night she was there In the night she heard me groaning she got up and looked down through the cracks of the floor and discovered the satchess both asleep and the mosquitoes were tormenting me to distraction having no power to resist them. She immediately awoke Mary Ann my sister and they came down and discharged the watch-ess and took care of me themselves as I was afterwards told I had one Job Pierce to watch me one night and he wore a pair of heavy boots and to keep from going to sleep he would walk the floor while he walked I would plead with mother to stop pounding my head so, but he could not think what aled me till father awoke and told him to take off his boots. When I got better I was telling how mother pounded me. When I was told that the pounding was Jobs boots and from that time on I determined never to wear boots while I was watching a person who was vary sick.

Edwin Mason was a great friend of mine in my sickness also Orvil Barnesson they stood over me the most of the time days and took the best of care of me which will never be forgotten by me and may God grant for Jesus sake that they may have their reward This is a principle which I have ever sought to cherish never to forget a friend in kneed or a kindness in time of trouble The 9th day my senses came to me and with them came the most excruciating pain which lasted about an hour When the Doctor came and gave me a little blue pill which I have since thought was opium when the pain ceased Orvil Barns was presant soon after this he asked me if I could not eat a piece of water melon I answered I could he went to the garden and got a good ripe one which when I began to taste seemed to give me new life which caused him to express great joy The doctor that administered to me was a good man for all the trouble he was to for me and my family he charged me nothing his name was Upjohn He visited me once a day with his brother William all the time till I was considered out of danger

This was a time of great Affliction and sorrow, for years I was troubled with the ague at intervals and rheumatism.
This was in the year 1838 the llth day of August that I was first taken with the fever, the ague lasted me all winter ownly a week or two at a time, during which time I made sash windows and finished of the most of the house during the winter and spring and made some splint baskets. In the summer I went out to George Barnses mill to work for my board for mother thought it was time that I was doing something for a liveing but yet I very feeble my ceatons ware vary sore and traveling about to work tired me but I gained strength sloly I soon got so that I could drive a team and I went several times to battle creek and Marshall with timber and shingles in the fall I went to making churns in company with Colonel Barns his father on Gull Prarie he found the lumber and the iron work and boarded me and had half I made 19 churns and done considerable otter work he settled with me and paid me honorably out of Joshua Moshers store and this was whare I got my wedding cloathes.

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