A History of Pioneers in Arizona

Names of those who were sent by Brigham Young to Lehi, Arizona, 6 March 1877 (original pioneers):

Name Age Name Age

JONES, Daniel W. 46 WILLIAMS, A.C. 55
Harriet E. 40 Austin 18
Daniel P. 20
Wiley C. 18 ROGERS, Henry C. 44
Edwin W. 16 Emma 40
Elinor A. 14 Henry C. 19
Wesley L. 12 Charles R. 17
Byron D. 10 Alma K. 14
Margaret Elvira 7 Joseph H. 12
Lorenzo E. 5 David John 10
Frank C. 3 George S. 7
Lelsa M. 1 Millie 5
Willis 3
BRADY, John D. 19 Isaac 1
MERRILL, Philemon 56 BIGGS, Thomas 61
Cyrena 59 Syrena 57*
Melissa 28 Thomas P. 18
David E. 13 Jonathan 16
Lot S. 11 Mary E. 13
Morgan H. 9 Angelena 10
Peter H. 7
McRAE, Joseph 39
MERRILL, Thomas S. 23 Maria 32
Esther 18 Joseph A. 12
Thomas S., Jr. 2 John K. 9
George E. 7
MERRILL, Seth A. 18 Annie M. 4
Lucy Ann 16 Mary J. 1

*age given as 67 which must be in error judging from the ages of the children.

Henry C. Rogers took charge of the construction of the ditch the day after arrival. Ross R. Rogers was the engineer. His only instruments were a straight edge and a spirit level. This is still known as the Utah Ditch. Its first cost was $4500. There was the planting of a nursery by George Steel; the trees kept alive by hauling water to them. Jones wrote to Salt Lake that the Salt River was at least four times as big as the Provo and had to be tapped through deep cuts, as the channel was "too expensive to dam."

Sunday, May 20, 1877, Jones baptized his first Indians in the Salt River, four of the Lamanites being immersed. In July, 1877, Fort Utah was located as a place of protection. It was built upon the cross line of four quarter sections of land, enclosed with an adobe wall, and with a well on the inside, 25 feet deep. The families lived there while the men went out to work.

President Young soon wrote Jones in a vein indicating that the stop on Salt River was considered merely a camp on the way still further southward, saying; "We should also like to know what your intentions are with regard to settling the region for which you originally started. We do not deem it prudent for you to break up your present location, but, possibly next fall, you will find it consistent to continue your journey with a portion of those who are now with you, while others will come and occupy the places vacated by you. We do not, however, wish you to get the idea from the above remarks that we desire to hurry you away from where you are now, or to enforce a settlement in the district to which you refer untl it is safe to do so and free from the dangers of Indian difficulties; but regard it as one of the spots where the Saints will, sooner or later, gather to build up Zion and we feel the sooner the better."

Transformation wrought at Camp Utah

The newcomers found pioneering conditions very harsh indeed, for it is a full man's task to clear away mesquite and brush and to dig a deep canal. Joseph A. McRae made special reference to the heat, to which the Utah settlers were unaccustomed. He wrote, "As summer advanced, I often saturated my clothing with water before starting to hoe a row of corn forty rods long, and before reaching the end my clothes were entirely dry." But there was raised an abundance of corn, sugar cane, melons and vegetables, and in spite of the heat, the health of the people was excellent.

Concerning the early Jonesville, a correspondent of the Prescott Miner wrote: "The work by these people is simply astounding, and the alacrity and vim with which they go at it is decidedly in favor of cooperation or communism. The main canal is two and a half miles long, eight feet deep, and eight feet wide. Two miles of small ditch are completed and four more are required. Their diagram of the settlement, as it is to be, represents a mile square enclosed by an adobe wall about seven feet high. In the center is a square, or plaza, around which are buildings fronting outward. The middle of the plaza represents the back yards, in which eleven families or eighty-five persons are to comingle. They are intelligent and all Americans."

The settlers with their missionary turn to mind, were pleased to find the Indians of southern Arizona friendly and even inclined to be helpful. One chief offered to loan the settlers seed corn and wheat. The Indians gathered around to listen to whatever discourses the Saints should offer. The latter at the same time energetically wielding shovels on a canal that "simply had" to be built in a given time. An appreciated feature was that the Salt River abounded in fish, supplementing very acceptably the plain diet on which the pioneers had been subsisting. Possibly it was as well that the Saints had rules against the use of table luxuries. One pioneer of the Lehi settlement told how his family had lived for weeks almost entirely upon wheat, which had been ground in a coffee mill and then cooked into mush, to be eaten with milk. "We thought ourselves mighty fortunate to have the milk." he said.

Soon after the settlement of camp Utah, Jones' methods of administration excited keen opposition among the brethren. There was special objection to his plan that the settlement should receive Indians on a footing of equality, this being defended as a method that assuredly would tend toward the conversion of the Lamanites speedily and effectively. Jones was fair in his statement of the matter, and hence special interest attaches to his own story of the earliest days of the settlement: "We commenced on the ditch March 7, 1877. All hands worked with a will. Part of the company moved down onto land located for settlements. Most of the able-bodied men formed a working camp near the head of the ditch, where a deep cut had to be made. We hired considerable help when we could procure it, for such pay as we could command, such as scrub ponies, "Hayden scrip," etc. Among those employed were a number of Indians, Pimas, Maricopas, Papagos, Yumas, Yaquis and one or two Apache-Mohaves. The most of them were good workers.

"Some of the Indians expressed a desire to come and settle with us. This was the most interesting part of the mission to me, and I naturally supposed that all the company felt the same spirit, but I soon found my mistake, for, on making this desire of the Indians known to the company, many objected, some saying that they did not want their families brought into association with these dirty Indians. So little interest was manifest by the company that I made the mistake of jumping to the conclusion that I would have to go ahead whether I was backed up or not. I learned afterward that if I had been patient and faithful, I would have had more help, but at the time I acted according to the best light I had and determined to stick to the Indians.

The spirit manifested to the company showing a preference to the natives, naturally created a prejudice against me. Soon dissatisfied action commenced to show. The result was that the most of the company left and went on to the San Pedro, in southern Arizona, led by P.C. Merrill. After this move, our little colony was quite weak."

It was a bad blow to the settlement when the Merrill company departed, in August, 1877, leaving only the Jones, Biggs, Rogers and Turley families. Nearly all the teams available went with the Merrills thus delaying completion of the canal, which at that time had reached the settlement. The fort was left in an incomplete state. The few left behind mainly were employed by Chas. T. Hayden of Tempe, who was described as "so very kind to the brethren and their families, giving them work and furnishing them with means in advance, on credit, so that they might subsist."

North of Lehi is a thriving settlement (Pima-Papago-Mormon) known as the Papago Ward. Daniel P. Jones followed his father in its administration. A few years ago it had a population of 590 Indians and four white families, headed by Geo. F. Tiffany, with an Indian counselor, Incarnacion Valenzuela. This counselor has been described by Historian Jensen as "one of the most intelligent Indians I have ever met." Henry C. Rogers was also a successful missionary. Tiffany's son is now in charge of the Indians.

The first Mormon marriage in the Salt River Valley was at Lehi, that of Daniel P. Jones and Mary E. Merrill, August 26, 1877. The first birth was their son. The first permanent separate house, of adobe, at :Lehi, was built by Thomas Biggs, in the spring of 1878. The first public school, as early as 1878, was taught by Miss Zula Pomeroy. In 1880 an adobe schoolhouse was built at a cost of $142. The ground was donated by Henry C. Rogers with David Kimball its main supporter.

Location on the San Pedro River

Much historical value attaches to the settlement of the Saints upon the San Pedro River, even though prosperity there has not yet come in as large a degree as has been known elsewhere in the State.

There had been general authorization of the Jones-Merrill expedition to go as far southward as it wished. Under this, though not until there had been consultation with the Church Presidency, the greater number of the Lehi settlers left Lehi early in August 1877. There was expectation that they would settle on the head waters of the Gila or San Pedro.

There must have been a great deal of faith within the company, for the departure from camp was with provisions only enough to last two days and there was appreciation that much wild country would need to be passed. But there was a loan of wages to A. C. Williams, a member of the party who had been employed by C.T. Hayden of Tempe, and with this money added provisions were secured.

Necessarily, the journey was indirect. At Tucson employment was offered for some men and teams by Thomas Gardner, who owned a sawmill in the Santa Rita Mountains. Much of the money thus earned was saved, for the party lived under the rules of the United Order, and very economically. So, in the fall, with a large joint capital of $400 in cash, added to teams and wagons and to industry and health, there was a fresh start from the Santa Ritas, for the San Pedro, 45 miles distant. The river was reached November 29, 1877. These first settlers comprised Philemon C., Dudley T., Thomas, Seth and Orrin D. Merrill, George Steele, Joseph McRae and A.C. Williams. All but Williams and O.D. Merrill had families.

Ground was broken at a point on the west side of the river, on land that had been visited and located October 14 by P.C. Merrill on an exploring trip. The first camp was about a half-mile south of the present St. David and soon was given permanency by the erection of a small stone fort of eight rooms. That winter, for the common interest, was planted 75 acres of wheat and barley, irrigated from springs and realizing very well.

As was usual in early settlement of Arizona valleys, malarial fever appeared very soon. At one time, in the fall of 1878, nearly all the settlers were prostrated with the malady, probably carried by mosquitos from stagnant water. That year also, it was soberly told, that fever and ague even spread to the domestic animals. At times, the sick had to wait on the sick and there was none to greet Apostle Erastus Snow when he made visitation October 6, 1878. His first address was to an assembly of 38 individuals, of whom many had been carried to the meeting on their beds. It is chronicled by Elder McRae that, "Notwithstanding these conditions, the Apostle blessed the place, prophesying that the day would come when the San Pedro Valley would be settled from one end to the other with Saints and that we had experienced the worst of our sickness. When he left, all felt better in body and in spirit." It was a decidedly ......{the next page is missing)

Merrill built the first house. The following year an adobe schoolhouse was built; this was used for public gatherings until shaken down by an earthquake, May 3 1887, happily while the children were at recess. Much damage was done in the town. The settlement had little or no trouble with Indians, though for nine years Apache bands scouted and murdered in the nearby mountains and committed depredations within the San Pedro Valley, both to the northward and southward.

Early in 1879, John Campbell, a new member from Texas, built a sawmill in the Huachuca Mountains, that furnished a diversity of industry, from it much lumber being shipped to Tombstone. McDonald was a southern extension of the St. David community on the San Pedro, established in 1882 by Henry J. Horne, Jonathan Hoopes and others, and named in honor of Alexander F. McDonald, then president of the Maricopa Stake. It was slow growth, owing to claims upon the lands as constituting a part of the San Juan de las Boquillas y Nogales grant, later rejected. In 191 ? nine miles west of St. David, was established the community of Miramonte.

While the Saints were establishing themselves upon the San Pedro and Gila, the Church authorities by no means had lost sight of the primary objective of the southern migration. January 4, 1883, another party, Apostle Moses Thatcher, with Elders D.P. Kimball, Teeples, Fuller, Curtis, Trejo and Martineau, left St. David for an exploring trip into Mexico. September 13, 1884, another party left St. David to explore the country lying south of the line, along the Babispe River, returning October 7, by way of the San Bernardino ranch, though without finding any locations considered favorable.

St. David was the scene of one of the most notable councils of the Church, held in January, 1885, and presided over by none other than President John Taylor, who left Salt Lake City January 3rd, and whose party at St. David included also Apostles Joseph F. Smith, Erastus Snow, Brigham Young, Jr., Moses Thatcher and Francis M. Lyman with other dignitaries of the Church. At St. David they were met by Jesse N. Smith, Christopher Layton, Alex F. Macdonald and Lot Smith, presidents of the four stakes of Arizona. The discussion at this conference appeared to have been mainly upon Church persecution, then in full sway, a matter not included within the purview of this work. There was determination to extend the Church Settlements further southward. According to Orson F. Whitney: "In order to provide a place of refuge for such as were being hunted and hounded, President Taylor sent parties into Mexico to arrange for the purchase of land in that country, upon which the fugitive Saints might settle. One of the first sites selected for this purpose was just across the line in the State of Sonora."

Possibly the first artesian well known in Arizona was developed in the St. David settlement. In 1885, a bounty of $1500 was offered for the development of artesian water. The reward was claimed by the McRae brothers, who developed a flow of about thirty gallons a minute, but who failed to receive the reward. In 1916, J.S. Merrill of St. David reported that within the San Pedro Valley were about 200 flowing wells, furnishing from five to 150 gallons a minute. The deepest valley well was about 600 feet. At that time about 2,000 acres were irrigated by the St. David canal and by the wells, sustaining a population of 600 souls..

It happened on the San Pedro, just as in many other places, that the Mormons were just a little ahead of some great development. September 3, 1877, at Tucson, Ed Schieffelin recorded the first of his mining claims in Tombstone district, which lay in Pima County. Schieffelin's first discovery was several miles from the later site of Tombstone and about four miles from the San Pedro. Later, with Dick Gird, and Al Schieffelin, the original discoverer located the lower group of mines in the camp of Tombstone, then established. A number of other settlements sprang up, including the nearby Richmond, Watervale, and the mill towns of Charleston and Contention City, both on the San Pedro where water could be secured. Several miles west of Tombstone, just where Ed. Schieffelin camped at the time of the discovery of his Tombstone claim, is a large monument of cemented rock under which lies his remains, brought back from the Northwest for interment in the land he loved. His death was on May 12, 1897.

The Tombstone Gold and Silver Milling and Mining Company, of which former Gov. A.P.K. Safford was presi-dent, in 1880 owned the original group of Schieffelin claims, of which the Tough Nut was the main property. A stamp mill was built on the San Pedro and a contract entered into with the Mormons to build a dam and ditch from which it was hoped to secure motive power. Concerning this job, estimated to cost $6,000, Merrill later wrote that the contractors found themselves fined $300 for six days overtime on completion of the job. Joseph McRae's record tells that, in 1879, some brethren went up the river, twenty miles above St. David, and put in a rip-rip dam and a mile and a half of ditch at Charleston for the Boston Mining Company. This may have been the Boston Smelting and Reduction Company, a Massachusetts corporation which had a twenty-stamp mill and a roasting furnace on the San Pedro between Charleston and Contention, ten miles from Tombstone. This job returned $6,000 in cash.

The mines brought a relative degree of prosperity to the San Pedro settlement, furnishing a ready and profitable market for agricultural products, but especially calling upon all transportation facilities that could be afforded. Teams were busy hauling from the terminus of the railroad at Tucson and Benson, until in October, 1882 there was competition of the New Mexico and Arizona railroad, then a Santa Fe Corporation from Benson to Nogales, much of the way through the San Pedro Valley, past St. David and milling towns. The mines paid $3- a cord for fuel wood and even $40 a ton for hay.

In 1883 there appears to have been determination to move headquarters of the St. Joseph Stake from St. David to Smithville (Pima) where the first formal quarterly conference of the Stake was held June 3. No record can be found of this transfer nor of the subsequent change to Thatcher.