Back to Table of Contents
THE LOGAN PERIOD 1883 to 1889 - By Eva Covey Madsen
On the last fifty-two pages of Grandfather Phineas Wolcott Cook's original journal he made copies of many letters which he wrote and also copies of many replies from others. In this "Letter Book", as it was called, is a letter which he wrote dated Logan City, March 30, 1883, indicating that sometime shortly before that date and after he had divided his property between his families , he had moved my grandmother, Johanna, and her young family of three boys, Carl 4^ years old, .Moses 3^ years old and Kib about six months old, to Logan, Utah. Grandmother's mother, Ulrika Lundgren was with them, having come from Sweden in September of 1879 when grandfather sent the money for her passage.
Uncle Carl, the eldest son, tells in his history that they lived in a rented house in Logan at first and that while they lived there a doctor came to the house and vaccinated the family against small-pox. Soon afterward they moved into a lumber house, which they always called "the shanty" and a little later grandfather built a concrete house where they lived until they left Logan. Iheir home was located in the low land south of the Logan Temple and not too far from the mouth of Logan Canyon. It was then known as "Logan Hollow". Uncle Carl locates their home on a tract of land of about 3 or 4 acres, fenced with a willow fence, adjacent to and west of what is now Crocket Avenue and south of Canyon Road.
The Logan Hollow area was some distance from the city proper and also a long way from the center of their ward and in this regard it is very interesting to know that even in those days they circulated petitions. In Grandfather's Letter Book is a copy of a petition which he wrote to the Church authorities as follows:
5th Ward Logan City
3rd of May 1887
To the presiding authorities of the Cache Valley Stake of Zion:
Whe the undersigned inhabitance of this ward living in what is comonly known
as the Logan hollow or river flume being somewhat isolated from the center of
the ward or cite of the meetinghouse now in process of erection fend inasmuch as
there is a number of persons who are getting in years; that are living here and
it is quite inconvenient for them to walk so far to meetings especialy in the
evening; and inasmuch as we have had our district meetings in private houses; We
do earnestly desire and ask the privelage of building a house of sufficeint
capasity for worship; schools; recreation; and other purposes; which with the
blessing of God; and your approveal, we believe we have the means and ability to
do within a reasonable time and as in duty bound we will continue to ask in our
The petition was duly signed by fifty of his neighbors whose signatures appear in the "Letter Book".
(I have copied trie spelling and punctuation in the petition as he wrote it.)
In the early summer of 1883 Hilma, one of grandmother' daughters who was born in Sweden, came to Logan to visit the family. She had been away from home working and had 'nought a pair of red shoes, to her, the most beautiful things in the world. She proudly showed them to her mother who was very great with child, expecting tavins in the late summer. Suddenly grandmother said, "But where is Kib? Go look for him. Run and look in the well!" And she did run and did look in the well. Now I'ib was just about a year old and toddling all over the house and yard. Outside, not too far from the house was a well that was still covered just with boards nailed together. Grandma had been worrying about it, reminding Grandpa to move the boards and enclose the well so the children would be safe, but he had not gotten around to it yet. Grandmother was so heavy that she could not get around very well and had to support herself with one of her knees on a chair to help carry part of the weight of her twins, and she was frantic for Hilma to reach the baby. Hilma dashed outside and sure enough the board over the well had been pushed askew and to Hilma1s horror when she looked down into the well she could see the baby's little head and hand. Without a thought of herself or her beautiful red shoes, she jumped into the well and held little Kib above her head until neighbors could be called to help get them both out of the well and they were both brought out safely. Grandfather fixed the well the next day!
The twins were born on the 18th of August 18P3 and now there were five boys. The twins were named Emer and Omer, fine old names from the Book of Mormon, names of Jaredite kings.
While the family was growing larger down in Logan Hollow, up on top of the hill the Logan Tanple was being built. The cornerstones were laid on September 17, 1R77 and the Temple was dedicated flay 17, 1884. So during the years 1883-84 grandfather used his skill as a builder and carpenter to help in building the Temple. After the Temple was completed, grandfather and grandmother worked diligently in the Temple to bring salvation to their ancestors, and during that year they received what grandmother told us was their Second Annointing and Uncle Carl refers to as their Second Blessings. Whichever is correct it was a great honor and blessing, and rarely received. As grandmother told us about it in her later years she expressed deep joy and happiness because of it.
Great-grandmother Ulrika Lundgren passed away on November 9, 1883 and was buried in the Logan City Ceme-tary. On February 11, 1885 little Omer died and was buried beside his Grandma Lundgren. Parley Abraham was born in Logan on the 23rd of March 1886.
Carl and Moses were old enough now to go to school and Moses tells in his history, "When I was six, I went to school up the dugway and over the Temple bench and a couple of blocks west down the other side of the hill and sometimes I got pretty cold and did some crying when I got to the school house but my teacher was very nice and rubbed my hands, she was so nice."
On page 30 of Uncle Carl's history there is a page titled, "ANCIENT NEPHITE PROPHET" which is as follows:
"In the summer time about 1886 a strange man came to our home Sunday
afternoon, about four o'clock. There was nothing remarkably unusual about him
that would set him apart widely from tramps, except he appeared clean, and as I
remember he had a kerchief of modest color about his neck. He asked mother who
came to answer his knock at the door, if he could have something to eat.
She said, "Yes. We are just going to have dinner. Come in and sit down a few minutes and you can eat with us." He entered at the west door of our house, and sat facing south with his left side near the doorway into the north room, that door being open. Mother sociably asked him if he was out of work or something to that effect. He answered that lie had heard there would be a chance to get work at the titiling office soon. Mother was busy preparing the table for dinner in the same room where he sat. Father and I had just a short time before returned from Church services in the Logan Tabernacle. It was a warm afternoon and father sat resting in the north room about eight or nine feet to the rear of the man, but the wall was between them, except the open doorway. I being interested was in the room perhaps five or six feet from the man. Father, in the adjoining roan asked sane of our children about it and they said it was a man, or to that effect, whereupon father casually remarked in a low tone of voice, "I guess he's a tramp." The stranger immediately arose and went to the door to leave as he had entered. Mother hurried to him and begged him not to go, but to stay and eat with us. She then said, "He (meaning father) never meant anything by what he said. No harm was intended.
But he would not stay. He opened the door and went outside. Mother said, "Wait just a little," She hurried to the table, took some cookies from the jar and gave them to him. He took them from her, thanked her and then said: "He says I'm a tramp. I am no tramp, but he shall be a tramp, and you shall be blessed." He closed the door and was gone.
Mother turned back to her work and father asked: "Is he gone?" One of us children answered, "Yes." Quickly father said, "Follow him, go out and see where he goes." We did so. Father and several of us children went immediately, but the man was nowhere in sight. We asked neighbors caning up the street and others coming down it. But none of them had seen him. A normal man could not have walked more than 15 or 20 rods, from the time he left our door, til we were out looking for him. Thereupon father said, "He must be one of the Nephite Apostles, who were permitted to tarry upon the earth." We do not know that certainly, but his sudden disappearance could not be otherwise accounted for, and what he said came literally true.
Not long afterward, father in common with many other polygamous men, was hunted and obliged to flee from home and to hide where he could. He walked from place to place. Worked a little while where he could find employment but could not stay long in one place for danger of being arrested by U.S. Marshals and sent to jail. He slept in hay-stacks, in shacks and sheds, and begged food, much as a tramp and finally was taken and sent to prison for a short term, through the leniency of the Judge, because of father's appearance of illness and old age.
Mother said that when father was brought into court, to be sentenced, having previously been tried and found guilty of having mere than one wife, he looked unusually pale and trembly, and the Judge remarked, "Well, Mr. Cock, it appears like you are not going to be long with us." We shall therefore give you a short term and \ve hope you will never come before this court again, on a like charge. You are therefore sentenced to serve thirty days .in the Utah State Penitentiary." Father at that time was about 69 years of age.
After having served his prison term, he still dared not be found at home, therefore he decided to move to Ham's Fork, Wyoming."
Note: Many of the details of the above account vary with the
story as my mother, Idalia Cook Covey, remembers her mother telling her about
it, but the fact that the family felt that the visitor was indeed, one of the
Three Nephites is the same.
Uncle Moses remembers the night grandfather got hare fran jail. He says, "The night he returned home, I remember very well for it was in the winter time and when he entered the nouse his beard was all covered with frost so thick we could hardly see his face."
After this experience Grandfather decided to move to Ham's Fork in Uintah County, Wyoming, farther out on the frontier where there was less chance of interference by government officials. Early in the summer of 1889, grandfather wrote his son Hyrum, Ann Eliza's son, and asked him to come to Logan with team and wagon and help move the family to Ham's Fork where there was open land and where he could raise his boys and teach them how to work. They first went to Garden City for a week or so, then around the north end of Bear Lake and east to Cokeville, Wyoming and over the Dempsey Trail where they had two very large Mils to climb and according to Uncle Mose they had a very difficult time getting over them. It took all their horses on their one wagon to climb over the steep grade. They finally reached their destination and put up the large tent by a very cool spring of water where grandfather figured to live.
All the country was wild and open, no fences except occasionally a large round pole corral where cowboys separated and branded cattle. There were hundreds of cattle all around them and among them were many large bulls which frightened grandmother for their safety, especially for the children. Neighbors were very few and miles apart so they had few visitors and those that did visit were mostly Indians. The squaws came asking for "Beeskit", they wanted biscuits or bread.
Grandfather had about thirty head of range cattle, the final payment his son, Alonzo, made for his part of the Swan Creek property. Grandfather thought he could cut and cure some of the tall meadow grass that was plentiful and feed his stock through the winter, but the few neighbors whom he talked with told him it would be impossible to remain there through the very hard winters and said that they would freeze to death-trying to live through it in a tent. After considering their advice for some time and realizing he wasn't well himself and that johanna was expecting a baby in the early fall, he decided to take Ms family back to Logan.
In Uncle Moses' history he writes: "Before we left Ham's Fork, one day a team of horses and a light buggy came up to our tent and in it were two people, mother's daughter Alvira (the younger of her two daughters born in Sweden) and her boy friend, George Shurtleff. They had come from Idaho where Alvira was working, by train to old Ham's Fork station and hired a team from a man at the livery stable so they could come and ask permission to be married. Alvira (who was always known in the family as Allie) was only 15 years old. Grandfather's and grandmother's permission was given and Aunt Allie and Uncle George had a happy life and a fine family.
Not long after the family arrived back in Logan, their youngest child was born. Idalia Johanna, my mother, was bom on September 4, 1889. Grandfather was in Garden City when my mother was born and when he received, word that he had a baby girl he went from house to house telling his friends that now he had a little daughter to take care of him in his old age.
In mid-October, just srx weeks after mother was born, Grandfather decided to take his young family to Afton, Wyoming.