|Joseph Taylor (1825-1900)|
Having studied both History and English and the process/product of scholarly writing, I can't help but wonder at this narrative. I wish there were sources cited and less of the authors own bias. But, I guess this is a product of its time and the rose-colored look back at history, where things are very black and white. I just have to be sure to be careful in my own writing. I will also have to go back and verify everything stated in this narrative.
Joseph Taylor, third son and eighth child of William Taylor and Elizabeth Patrick Taylor, was born 4 June 1825 at Bowling Green, Warren, Kentucky. He moved with his parents to Missouri and went through the trying times of the early church history. In Nauvoo he met Mary Moore and married her 24 March 1844. They went through the Nauvoo Temple 24 Jan 1846. At the same time his mother, brothers Allen and Green also went. He served as one of the body guards to the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Under the leadership of Brigham Young, he and his family and his mother and some of her children crossed the Mississippi River on the ice 8 February 1846. They reached Council Bluffs in June and had planned to go on to Utah, but the calling for the Mormon Battalion upset all his plans and he was marching away without bidding his wife good-bye, leaving her in a campwagon and in a delicate condition. He suffered the terrible persecutions and starvation that this body of men had to endure. History treats it lightly in comparison to what it really was. When the men became sick, the government doctor would give them medicine to make them worse. If they had diarrhea, the doctor would give them medicine to make them worse or to increase the cramps. Because of this the men would stay on duty as long as possible before admitting that they were ill. They were so near starvation that they would eat the decaying meat of dead sheep, even picking out the eyes and eating them. One time they had one this sheep for a group of starving men. One man was left to keep guard and cook the meat while the others rested. The sheep was so this the firelight shone through. This man was so hungry he ate all of the sheep while he was cooking it. All the rest of his life he would never eat mutton.
Joseph returned to his family in 1847 but his cattle and belongings were so scatted that he couldn’t leave until the last of May 1850. In the company of fifty wagons where James Lake was captain, Joseph was lieutenant. He had his wife and children: Clarissa, Mary Melvina, Joseph Allen, and William Andrew. The latter was two weeks old when they began the journey. Joseph baptized Sarah Jane Marler in the Platte River on the way to Utah. They suffered the hardships, privations and horrors of the Indians but were always faithful. They came by way of Parley’s canyon and arrived in Salt Lake valley 5 September 1850. They settled in Salt Lake for a time, then moved to Kaysville. He had a farm and was building a log cabin when his wife took ill and died at childbirth 4 April 1852. He made her coffin out of his wagonbox, and placed her and the tiny baby in the coffin took her to Salt Lake for burial. She was one of the first to be buried in the Salt Lake Cemetary.
Soon after he married Jane Lake Ordway. After they lived in Kaysville for a time, she persuaded him to move to Ogden so that she could be near her parents, se he moved and settled in West Harrisville, now Farr West. He settled where Eliza Taylor now lives. Very few people lived here. He and two others built a small irrigation ditch to their farms. Tey [sic] made a proposition that if people would work onand [sic] enlarge this canal they could have water at four dollars an acre, where it had cost them therty-two [sic] dollars. People flocked here because of such good terms. He was water master for years. A branch of the church was organized with Daniel Rawson as head, and Joseph Taylor and Green Taylor as his two counsellors [sic].
During the Echo Canyon War, when Johnston’s Army came to Utah, Joseph Taylor was appointed Major and sent out with forty or fifty men to the Oregon road near the bend of Bear River to help delay the progress of Government troops and trains. The instructions given him were “Burn the whole country before them and on their flanks, keep them from sleeping, by night surprises, blockade the roads by falling trees and destroying river fords, take no life, but destroy their trains, and stampede and drive away their animals at every opportunity”. After he had passed fort Bridger he left his men and returned to that place on important business. He came upon a body of United States troops unexpectedly and he and his assistant, William Stowell, were surrounded and taken prisoners. The soldiers tried to poison them by putting poison in their soup after starving them. Joseph told his friend not to eat the soup because it was poison. Mr. Stowell just tasted his soup and then they buried it, yet he became deathly sick. Then the soldiers tried to smoke them to death in a tent. Joseph told his assistant to dig a hole in the ground with his hands, put his face in the hole, hold his hand around the hole and breath in it. By so doing they lived. One day Joseph said to his companion, “I’m leaving here tonight”.”You’ll be killed if you try it”, his companion replied. The officers had been given instructions to fire and kill the men if they tried to get away. In spite of this, that night Joseph kept asking the soldiers to build the fire higher because he was cold. He took off his shois [sic], supposedly to warm his feet. The sentinels kept up their duty of coming together, giving the password, and facing around to go back to meet the next sentinel, then coming back, which they did every few minutes. He waited until the sentinels turned to go back, their backs being toward him, then he bolted from the fireside and out into the midst of the cattle and horses. This caused a great commotion and started a stampede. His guards fired and searched but they couldn’t find him. He ran for miles without stoppingthen [sic] he slowed down some. A day or two later he found an overcoat and in the pockets of which were some clean, dry socks. He made good use of these, especially the socks, since he had left his shoes behind and it was winter.** The next day he saw two men coming toward him on horseback. At first he thought it was the men hunting him but soon saw that it wasn’t. They were hunting the overcoat. They gave it to him and ride back besides. William Stowell was released at the close of the war.
Joseph Taylor was stern, strong charactered man. He married two other wives, Maria Harris and Caroline Madsen.
About 1859 he took a herd of cattle to care for on shares. They milked about fourty head in summer and took them down to Salt Creek in winter. The winter that Joseph Allen was eleven and Andrew was nine, they stayed with the cattle, living in a dugout and their only clothes being straw hats, shoes and canvas suits. One night some Indians came into the dugout, motioned for the boys to go to bed, that they wouldn’t harm them, and they ate all of the boy’s food. Of course the boys didn’t sleep. Next morning Joseph Allen send Andrew home to tell his father what had happened while he stayed with the cattle. Andrew walked the twelve or fifteen miles through the snow, arriving hole late in the afternoon. His step-mother had no food ready so he had to wait until the next day before his father could take fresh provisions to his brother.
He was father to the following twenty- 4 children: Clarissa, Mary Melvina, Joseph Allen, William Andrew, Moroni, Esther, Emma Jane, Lydia Anne, James bailey, Janette, Julette, Mary Ellen, Elizabeth, Philomela, Amanda, Lamone, James, Heber, Hyrum, Ada, Evelyn, Frank, Joseph Jr. and Esther.
He lived to a ripe old age, doing good all his days. He was a Patriarch. He died at Farr West, Utah 9 August 1900 after a three week illness. His funeral was held in Farr West with a large attendance. Five Mormon Battalion members were present, all of whom spoke. They were: John Thompson, James Owen, Lorin Clark, Alexander Brown and Jess Brown. Bishop James Martin presided and he and George Middleton, William Fife and Thomas Doxey all spoke of long acquaintance with him and of his faithfulness in forwarding the Lord’s work. He had always been willing to defend his people, even to laying down his life.
** some say that he took his shoes with him when he ran away from the soldiers in Johnston’s Army.
Some of this was from Orson F. Whitney book “The Making of a State” Page 107.
(by Lola Taylor wells)Source: Lund and Taylor Family personal papers, (genealogical research and documents, ; privately held by Jeanine Lund (Clontz Allen Sinsel), [address for private use], Plain City, Utah); Joseph Taylor narrative report of his life, great-grandfather, scanned and transcribed, 31 Aug 2012. Written by Lola Taylor Wells.