Child, Son of Robert McBride 3rd and Margaret Ann Howard
Click to see wives stories (1) Elizabeth Ann Burns, (2) Elizabeth Boyd Gould
I, Heber Robert McBride was born in Churchtown, England, Lancashire
May 13, 1843 I moved with my parents to Scotland when I was three years old and began going to school at about six years of age, but not liking school very well I used to run away from school very often. I would go along with other boys and get a small boat and sail out on the bay causing my mother a great deal of alarm for fear of my getting drowned. Whipping and scolding did not do any good for I would be off again on the water at the first opportunity,
Father thinking to frighten me out of the idea of wanting to be a sailor, got a man by the name of Hambleton Stewart to take me with him. Mr. Stewart was the owner of a small boat of thirty-five ton register, which used to ply between Ireland and Rothsay, Saltcoate, Rothsay and other places. He had a trip to make and it took about two weeks for the round trip. This was just what I wanted. We had a very rough trip, but I did not get seasick and this trip made me want to be a sailor more than ever. This was the first time I had ever been away from home and father and mother were very glad to see me home once more after the two weeks trip on the water.
But I was ready for another trip, for when the boat was to leave again, I cried to go along. Father tried sending me to school again, but all to no use, for I would have a small boat and be playing on the water or else playing around the old Rothsay Castle, so it went. This went on until we moved back to England in 1853 and settled in Southport, Lancashire, where there was no chance for me to get a boat to sail in, though it was a sea-bathing place, no shipping was done there.
Since I was so careless about going to school, father thought he would put me out to work and see if that would not make me like school a little better. He got work for me at a watch and clock makers by the name of William Watmough, who wanted me bound to apprenticeship until I was 21 years old, but my parents, being Latter-day Saints and expecting to emigrate to Utah would not hear of such a thing. After working 7 or 8 months, I was learning the trade very fast. I was only ten years old and had to be at work at 7 o'clock in the morning and work until 6 o’clock in the evening and sometimes later if work was crowding. I was to work for nothing the first year, and my parents were to board me, then after that, I was to have some little pay until learned the trade.
But as I was learning the trade so fast, he would give me no rest nor peace. He kept grumbling about my learning the trade for nothing and insisted on my being a bound apprentice to him. But I did not like him very well and I got tired of his ‘jaw' though I liked the work very well. At last he and I quarreled. I went hone and told father and mother all that had passed, and they said I should not work for such a man. He and his wife came to see if they could not talk the matter over and get me back again, but it was no use. Father said I was so very young that he would send me to school and try me there. But the old clock-maker wanted me to come back to work for him again very badly, for I had gotten so I could clean watches and clocks first rate. He had missed me very much. But father would not hear of anything of the kind. He said that the clock-master had abused me before and would do so again.
So father sent me and my brother Ether to the Roman Catholic school because they would not compel us to learn their creed. All the other schools belonged to different churches, and did not care to have us in their schools because we were Mormon children. I then went to school about one year and liked to go first rate; but it seemed like throwing money away for I could learn nothing.
Father got me a place to work again. He was determined that if I would not go to school, I must work. This time I worked as an errand boy in a large drug and chemical store. This I liked very much, for the work was light but I had to be very quick. My job was to take down the shutters of the windows every morning, just as the town clock would strike seven. Everything had to be dusted every morning. The owners name was Fredric Cumine, a very particular man. There was no half way of doing things around him, my legs used to get very tired for I had to be on the go from 7 o'clock in the morning until 9 o'clock at night and on Saturday nights until 10 o'clock. When there was no running to be done I would have to measure up tobacco in ounce papers, to one-half pounds and have it ready for customers. When not busy at that, I would be washing bottles; and my wages were one-half crown per week or about sixty cents in American money, that was very good wages for a small boy like me, and I had to board and clothe myself out of that,
I don't know how long I worked there, but Father thought he would try sending me to school again. I had been under such a strict master he thought that I would be glad to go to school and learn but I soon found out that learning was out of the question. I liked school as well as any boy but it seemed impossible for me to learn, so after trying a while the next thing was work.
Father did not like to put me at very hard work so he got me a place on the Southport Promenade, a place built in front of the Victoria Baths. It was for pleasure parties and had beautiful green walks and water fountains, and persons who wished to enjoy themselves had to pass a toll gate and pay one penny and receive a ticket good for one day. There was a man working there, as well as myself, by the name of Samuel Jackson, but he was hardly ever there and left all the work for me. I was then getting 3 shillings per week. This Promenade belonged to the same company that owned the Victoria Baths so the overseer took a good liking to me and would keep at me to come and work for him, so after while Father consented to let me go. My wages were raised to 5 shillings per week and this was thought an outrageous price to pay a boy not yet 13 years old. I had regular hours from 7 o'clock in the morning until 6 o’clock in the evening, and if I worked any overtime I got paid for it. The overseer's name was Johnston and I never knew what his other name was; he was very kind to me.
The Baths were a very large building, there being one side for men and one for ladies. There were 100 small rooms with private baths and showers with hot and cold water. There were also sulphur and Turkish baths. Every person had to be furnished with 2 towels. My work was to be on the bell rooms. There were about 150 on the men’s side and about the same on the ladies’ side, but I had nothing to do with the ladies side unless business was very dull on the gents’ side. Then I would run and attend the door for the girls if they were crowded with work. I had to be very quick about it, for at times 2 or 3 bells would ring at once, but the doorbell had to be attended first. Once in a while the fathers would get out of patience and scold like everything but that didn't bother me much.
On Saturday afternoons there was no bathing so the place was open to visitors, and my work was showing them through the place. Sometimes I would be very busy showing people through the building. They generally made me a present of a sixpence or a shilling for my services. Any money earned this way I kept independent of my weeks pay. If there were no visitors, I helped the engineer clean things up for Monday morning. All the water had to be pumped out to the sea by two twenty-horse power engines, and all the water had to be heated by steam. The water had to be pumped one-fourth mile, and the engines used to groan and make things tremble.
I had worked about 8 months when Mr. Johnson’s wife died and he left the place. The next overseer who came was a very over-bearing man, so Mr. Johnston told my father not to let me work for him and I never got to see the next proprietor.
I then got work with an auctioneer by the name of Newton. Here I did not have much to do. I had to be at the house at 7 in the morning, do a few chores, open the salesroom, sweep, dust things, and have everything in order when Mr. Newton came. He would have a sale once or twice a week, just as things would be brought in. I only received 3 shillings per week but had a very easy time and I lived or worked for him until my father left England to come to America.
My father and all his family belonged to the Latter-day Saints Church. The gathering place for the Saints was Utah. Everything we had was sold at auction and it brought a good price. It seemed very hard for mother to part with her brothers and her mother who was getting very old, but mother was the only one who belonged to the Mormon Church. Finally everything was ready and we boarded the train May 10, 1856. We arrived in Liverpool in a very short time as it was only about 20 miles from Southport. Father was not very long in finding the ship we were to sail on. I was delighted at the thought of being on the water in such a big ship, and it was all fun and pleasure for me. I was in and out everywhere that I should not have been and kept my parents in ‘hot water’ all the time until we were ready to sail on the 13th day of May.
All things were ready and the ship pulled down the river Merses. Just as we were leaving the harbor, the sailors came on board. The officers were already on board. The 13th of May was my 13th birthday. When we got out on the river and cast anchor the government officers and the doctor came on board.. Everything had to be inspected. After all things had been restored to order and the officers had left, then the sailors and ship officers got into a quarrel and began to fight. That almost frightened the immigrants to death. The first mate was in the cabin, then he came out facing the men who were after him, with a pistol in each hand. This made them stop very quickly, then told them he would shoot the first man that moved. This kept them back until a signal of distress was sent up, then in almost no time boats came up alongside with policemen, and all the crew were taken and put in irons and taken to shore.
The first, second, and third mates and ship carpenter were all that were left, so we had to lay on the river 3 or 4 days until another lot of hands could be obtained. The name of the ship was Horizon Half Clipper, and was built for a 900-ton burden. Ninety-five people were on board. She was a 3-mast sailing vessel, and with a new crew, and very jolly ones. We set sail again, I believe on the fourth day. The steam tug came along with the pilot and I can't say how far the tugboat took us or how long the pilot stayed on board, but after we lost sight of land there came another steamboat that brought the Captain and took the pilot.
I can hardly tell anything about the trip as I was too young to keep a journal. We were 5 weeks* on the sea and some of the time it was very rough. We had head winds nearly all the way and our provisions were sea biscuits, salt pork, and beef with peas, rice, tea, sugar and some dried fruit. Sometimes the water we had to drink would stink so that we could hardly use it for 2 or 3 days, then it would be good again. There was sea-sickness a plenty. Some of the people were sick all the way. I was in my element all the time and the harder the wind did blow the better I enjoyed myself. When the big waves made the ship toss about, I was not seasick, nor was I at any time of the journey. The first land we saw was Cape Cod, but Boston was our landing place. I almost felt sorry when land was first sighted.
It was a very beautiful evening when we slid into the bay and cast anchor. We could see Boston City at a distance so we had to stay out in the bay for a few days and go through the same treatment that we did on the start--the doctor and Custom House Officers coming on board and examining everything. The doctor found no sickness other than the seasickness and the officers did not find any smuggled goods, so we were allowed to land.
During that time of lay over, a great many small boats landed with people who came out to see the Mormon immigrants as we were the first Mormons to land in Boston. They were not allowed to come on board as there were many "sharks" among them. The ship officers did not want us to be swindled by them. All the immigrants had landed at New York before dark. Boston was now a first. Everybody seemed crazy to get on the land after we landed, but we had to walk through the city, so it being late in the day, Edward Martin, having charge of the company counseled the people not to go on shore until the next day,
Guards were placed at the gangways and no one was allowed to go on or off aboard ship except a few men sent on shore to get things that the people wanted. All remained very quiet that night. The next day we had the privilege of going where we were a mind to. Then the ship began unloading and everything was kept in very good order. It took several days to get everything to the depot, meanwhile all the little boys had a good time getting into all kinds of mischief all through the town. I know our parents were very glad to get us on the car where they could watch us a little better,
After all the things were ready, we started on our journey by rail. We soon grew very tired of that way of traveling. We went from Boston to Chicago, then to Rock Island across the river on a steamboat, because the railroad bridge was burned down. After we all got over we took the train for Iowa City. When we got there and our baggage was unloaded, it was getting late in the day. Our camping ground was 3 miles from the city, as there was no place at the depot to accommodate so many people. Some of the people started for the camp on foot just about dark, and I was one of them. We had not gone very far when it began to rain and was so dark we could not see anything. To make things worse, I got lost from the rest of the company, but I made out the road by the help of lightening. For Iowa can beat the world for lightening and thunder, but I never was afraid of lightening. After ascending a steep hill I could see a fire at the camp. They were keeping a big fire burning to let the people know where the camp was for there was a great many people waiting there to get their teams and wagons ready to start across the plains. When I saw the fire I started in a straight line for it and not knowing anything about the country I thought it would be the best way. The rain had quit after it had wet me through and after going through numerous pools of water from ankle deep to knee deep, and wallowing through grass as high as my head, I managed to reach camp. I was nearly given out but after all my bad luck I was there before quite a number of the company. My father, mother and the children arrived after me, 2 of them they had to carry most all the way. When they got to camp they found an old friend, James Fisher from Scotland. He and father had been playmates together and had not seen each other for many years. He took us to his tent to stay all night. I don't know how long they sat up and talked, but after supper I soon fell asleep.
This was my first night in a tent. When I awakened in the morning the sun was shining and I could hardly realize where I was, but it did not take me long to dress and get out. I saw a beautiful country of grass and farms as far as the eye could see on one side, and on the other side of the camp was a strip of timber, not very wide but I couldn't say how long, with a stream of water running through it.
I soon got acquainted with the country and swimming was the order of the day with all the small boys in the camp. We had to stay 6 weeks before all the things were ready to start across the plains and it was a great sight to see about 600 to 800 people starting for Utah with handcarts. Nothing of interest - - only hard work, but we got along first rate until we crossed the Missouri River then our troubles began. We had to lie over 3 weeks at Florence but I didn't know for what. After we left there, a little mother was taken sick with chills and fever, and those that were sick had the privilege of riding in wagons, as there were a few wagons to haul our provisions. As we journeyed along the teams began to give out and our toil began in earnest. There was no more chance for the sick to ride and then we had to haul- them on our handcarts. We were 7 in our family and I being the oldest boy just past 13 and my sister 3 years older than me had to pull the handcart all the way. Mother was sick and not having anything for her comfort she failed very fast. She would start out in the morning, walk as far as she could and then would give out and lie down and wait until we came along. Then we would take her on our cart and haul her along until we came to camp. It was not long before provisions began to get short and we were reduced to a half a pound of flour and children to a fourth pound of flour a day and nothing else only water and sometimes a little tea. The food we had was not enough to support nature and father began to fail very rapidly and got so reduced that he could no longer pull the handcarts, but could manage to walk along for a few days. Then he and mother would start out in the morning and walk as far as they could along with the others that were sick and given out.
There were 3 other children younger than me and so small especially my sister who was 3 years old. She was so small that she had to ride all the time. The other two were boys managed to walk by holding on to the handcart. No tongue or pen could tell what my sister and I had to pass through, with our parents both sick and us so young it seemed as though death would be a blessing. We used to pray that we might die to get out of our misery, because by this time it was getting very cold weather. Our clothing was almost worn out and not enough bed clothing to keep us warm. We would lay and suffer from night until morning with the cold. By this time the teams were given out entirely and we had to take more load on our carts and also haul father and mother.
Sometimes we would find mother by the side of the road first and we would get her on the cart and haul her until we could find father, lying as if he was dead. Then mother would be rested a little and she would try and walk while father would get on and ride. We would never got into camp until way after dark and then we would have to hunt something to make a fire. The captains of the campers were worse than brutes. There was a captain over each 100 and they took a great deal of satisfaction in showing their authority over the people by making them obey orders and keeping back their rations although it was not enough to keep the men from starving.
One night when we came into camp it was far passed dark and it had been raining very hard through the day. There was no wood to be gotten and mother being very sick we thought she was going to die. We had gathered a few sunflower stalks and wet buffalo chips, and just got a little fire started when all hands were ordered to attend prayers. Because we did not go to prayers, Daniel Taylor came and kicked our fire out and spilled the water that we were trying to get warm to make a little tea for mother. I then told him if I ever got to be a man I would whip him if it was the last thing I ever did on this earth. Father had gone to attend prayers and that was the reason he took advantage of us. This is about the way we had to get along, we passed through about the same every day until we crossed the last crossing of the Platte River. We had to ford all the rivers but one, and that was the last fork of the Platte.
That evening as we crossed the Platte River for the last time, it was very cold. The next morning there was about 6 inches of snow on the ground, then what we had to suffer can never be told. Father was very bad this morning and could hardly sit up in the tent, but we had to travel that day through the snow. I managed to get father into one of the wagons that morning, that was the last we ever saw him alive. We could only make one drive as it began to snow so hard, then we camped. The snow was getting very deep and my sister and I had to pitch our tent and get some wood, but that was handy as there were plenty of dry willows on the banks of the river. After we had made mother as comfortable as possible, we went to try and find father, but the wind was blowing the snow so bad that we could not see anything. The wagons had not gotten into camp and it was so dark we did not find him that night.
Photo from Pioneer, Winter 1999 here
The next morning the snow was about 18 inches deep and awful cold. While my sister was preparing our little bite of breakfast I went to look for father, and I found him under the wagon with snow all over him and he was stiff and dead. I felt as though my heart would burst as I sat down beside him on the snow and took his hand in mine and cried "Oh, Father, Father,". There we were away from everything, away out on the mountains with hardly anything to eat or wear and father dead and mother sick and a widow with five small children and not hardly able to live from day to day. After I had my cry out I went back to the tent and told my mother and the children. To try to write my feelings is out of the question. We were not the only family that was called upon to mourn the loss of a father that morning, for there were 13 men dead in camp. The men that were able to do anything cleaned off the snow and made a fire and thawed the ground and dug a big hole and buried all in one grave, some side by side and some on top of one another; anyway to get them covered. I can assure you that the men had no heart to do any more than they had too. We never knew if father died in the wagon and was lifted out or if he got out himself and fell down exhausted and froze to death.
I don't know how many days we had to lay over. The snow was so deep that they could not pull our handcarts through. There we were in a starving condition, and when the oxen that pulled the wagons began dying they were devoured very quickly. We little boys ate strips of rawhide, and the only way we could eat it was to crisp it in the fire and then draw a string of it through our teeth. That way we could get some burnt scales, then crisp it again and repeat the operation until we would get tired.
After a few days lay over, word came to camp that there were ten wagons from Salt Lake coming to meet us. They were about 40 or 50 miles from where we were on what was called Deer Greek, but they could not come any farther. How they came to be there I do not know but I suppose our friends in the valley thought perhaps we were lost, or snowed under, as we started so late in the season. There was no stage, nor telegraph, nor US mail crossing the plains in those days. Alnion Babbot started with the mail that year but the Indians killed him and a woman that was with him. We saw where he was killed. His wagon had been burned and some of his things were lying around (A11 the Indians we saw were friendly with us).
When we received word about the wagons being ahead of us, they gave an extra half-pound of flour and orders to start out in the morning. It had been thawing some so that the snow was not as deep and the news of the wagons waiting for us seemed to put new life into us. In the morning we started in good time but made very slow progress. At night where we camped there was not as much snow. We tugged along through mud and snow until at last we saw the 10 wagons and it was a welcome sight. We thought that we would have plenty of flour but we were disappointed, for they had been much longer on the road than they had expected and were out of provisions and horse feed. They had left some on the road at some deserted trading stations, and had sent a man back to Salt Lake with 2 horses as an express to let the people know our situation. The 10 wagons relieved us of some of our load by taking the sick into their wagons and a few other things such as tents and cooking utensils.
There were 2 men to each wagon and as they were hearty and strong, they took it upon themselves to do all the work about the camp. The captains of the company no longer had any say as regards to ordering the people around. The men from Salt Lake would clean off the snow and pitch the tents and get the wood for all the families who had lost their fathers. They would help the rest if they could.
When we had gone as far as Devils Gate the snow was getting so deep we could no longer pull our handcarts, so we went up the side of Devil's Gate about 6 miles and camped in a little cove in the mountains. There the wind would not get such a sweep at us. We camped for 2 weeks waiting for help if it came in time, if not starvation was our fate. We were now reduced to 4 ounces of flour and two for those under 12 years of age, nothing else. The wagons began killing the oxen, and the hide and bones were distributed among the people trying to keep them from starving. These were the times we heard the children crying for something to eat, nearly all of them would cry themselves to sleep every night. My 2 brothers would get the sack that we had flour in and turn it inside out and suck and lick the flour dust out of it. We would break the bones and make soup by boiling them and put in what little flour we had as it was not enough to make bread.
The men were very kind to us, I mean those that came from the Valley, for my sister and I had nothing to do but try and keep my 2 little brothers, baby sister, and ourselves from freezing. There were 2 men who took a great deal of pains looking after us and caring for mother, as she was so sick she could hardly help herself. One man's name was Thomas Ricks and the other was Linton, 1 never knew what his given name was.
After staying 2 weeks, more wagons cane out, but they came much farther than expected and so did not have much of a supply of provisions. We got our half-pound of flour the night they arrived. The last 5 days we stayed in camp, the weather began to moderate and the snow began to go off some at the time of our leaving. We left the handcarts behind us, which was a great relief to us. There were a few more men died while we were camped in this place but I don't know how many. When we left, all the small children, the old, and those that were weak and worn out, had the privilege of riding in the wagons. My sister and I would see that mother, Peter and Maggie were fixed in the wagons, and then Ether, Jennetta and myself would walk along with the others.
There was snow on the ground every place we camped and some bitter cold weather; many froze their toes and feet. About 600 people left Iowa, but there was not that many arrived in Utah. With hunger and exposure many died and those that lived to get through were in a very pitiable condition. When we arrived in Salt Lake City we were well cared for. We stayed one night at Mrs. Mess’s and were very kindly treated.
They were sleigh riding when we arrived in the valley and the snow was deep. We were 7 months on the road getting to Utah. Our destination was Ogden and we arrived there November 30, 1856. When we arrived, we were stationed at Samuel Ferrin’s house, and he and his family were very kind to us. We stayed there some time, but I don't know for how long. After resting a little, mother began to get better, then Bishop Chaunce West got us a little log house to live in. There was nothing to put into it, but there was a fireplace, which was more important, as the snow was still very deep and cold.
The people were very kind to us and furnished us with wood and provisions so we got along until spring. Then we moved to Slatersville and lived on a farm belonging to Samuel Ferrin. He was a widower and had been over a year, and mother being a widow they got married a while later. He proved to be a very kind father and we all got along first rate. I worked on the farm as I was now 14 years of age. We raised a good crop this year.
There was great excitement about Johnston’s Army coming to kill off all the Mormons. All the men that were able had to train and prepare for war. Every horse and wagon that was in the country, that was any good was taken for war purposes. We soon got oxen to do our work. When winter came, all hay and grain had to be handed over to the army or kept for that purpose, so as to be ready for the army in the spring. The Mormons kept Johnston’s Army back until they had to go into winter quarters at Fort Bridger, but still the Mormons kept a guard on the entire army all winter. When the spring of 1858 came, word was sent in from the spies that the army was going to try and force their way in. The people were all ordered to move south, and leave their homes. I well remember what hard times we had in getting ready to move south, for all the able bodied men were away in the army and a few old men and boys to do all the work, (There were 3 in our family in the army, 2 of them being married,)
After awhile everybody was moved away. The orders were to leave everything in a shape to burn, as there was a guard left in every settlement. This was in case the army did get in, the guards had orders to set fire to everything and leave the country barren and desolate. When the government saw that the Mormons were so determined to fight they began to inquire about matters and a peace commission was sent to adjust matters. I well remember when they came in and met the people in Provo and declared peace with us. There was great rejoicing as they had the privilege of going back home again. The women shed tears of joy for the army was dismissed and families were reunited again. We returned home sometime in July but it was too late to raise crops though we did plant some corn and raised a little, before the frost got it.
The winter of 1859 was a hard one on the people there was not much for food and clothing as there had not been anything brought into the country for so long that we were almost naked and everybody was about alike. Factory goods cost $1.00 a yard, and groceries were not thought of, but we got through the winter in good health and in the spring of 1860 I went to work at a saw mill. It belonged to my stepfather and I worked all summer until it shut down for winter, then I worked again the next summer in 1861.
1 went to school through the winter and had to walk 2 miles every morning and evening, some of the time the roads were very bad, for the winter of 61 and 62 were very wet. It rained nearly all winter and in the spring of 62 the Ogden River became so high that it washed the mill away and the place where it stood, and a good many acres more. This same spring was the year of the Morris War and all those living north of the Ogden river could not get over to see the excitement, for all the bridges were washed away. The river was so full of timber and drift that they couldn’t even run a ferry boat, so I had to be content to stay at home like many others.
The mill was a total loss so father sold out his farm and bought a ranch in Ogden Valley and moved up there. We had to haul all our goods over the mountains for the road was washed out in the Canyon. I had to drive 4 yoke of oxen because it took that many to haul all of what one team would do on a good road. It was only 15 miles but it took 2 days to make the round trip, I would haul wood back every trip as part of the family was going to stay in Ogden until the next spring.
My stepfather married two more wives and things did not move along quite so smooth as they did before. As soon as were moved, father and his two boys began to build another mill. Winter came on very early in Ogden Valley as it is a high cold place. I got tired of the winter with no close neighbors and the snow 5 feet deep. I had to stay home as it was useless to try to get out even with snowshoes. The snow did not get off the ground until May of this year, 1863.
The Indians were very troublesome this year, running off our horses and cattle. They took all of our loose horses that were running on the range, but the settlers saw them driving up Middle Creek Canyon and soon we were all after them. We had to be on guard all the time.
In July of this year I went to Fort Bridger with some others to identify some horses the Indians had stolen and brought there for trade. I got tired of living away from company, so when the fall work was finished I went to live in Huntsville. I stayed there all winter but going home weekends to see mother, I was her main dependence now.
I would walk home Friday morning or Saturday on snowshoes. It was about 5 or 6 miles and I was glad when spring came and this May I turned 21 years old. October 15th I started out for myself. Mother felt bad but things had been going wrong at home and I couldn’t stand it any longer. When my stepfather heard I was to leave, he came and began to scold Mother about my going; just as though she could help it. He ordered me away never to come back again but I only laughed and started off to find work.
The first man I met was Elmer Warren of North Ogden. He was running freight teams from Salt Lake to Montana and he wanted another man to drive 4 yokes of oxen on one wagon, as that was the way they worked the teams. He hired me at $40.00 a month and board.
Our grub consisted of bread, coffee, brown sugar, molasses, bacon and beans and plenty of it. The teams that he had were very poor for they had been on the road all summer, so we had to drive very slow. Some days only making 10 miles. The weather was getting very cold crossing the divides and the upper waters of the Missouri River. We arrived at Virginia City and it was a very cold day with frost flying in the air. This being a mining camp everything was very lively and whiskey was plentiful. The boys got very jolly but we got unloaded and drove down the gulch a few miles and camped. Some of the boys wanted to go back to town but I prevailed upon them not to go. Everything was very expensive, flour $25.00 a hundred, whiskey was fifty cents a drink. We were going to lay over a few days but I prevailed Mr. Warren to let us go on further so the men could not go back. So we were ordered to go on 40 or 50 miles to Beaverhead and then lay over. Virginia City was a very rough place and men were getting killed every day as there was no law except gun law. After we arrived at our camping place we began to worry about being snowed it, so we did not stay as long as we wanted to.
When we were camped on Blacktail Deer Creek, a Jew came into our camp and stopped over night. He was riding a very fine sorrel Stallion. He had rode about 100 miles that day trying to overtake a company of Jews that had camped with us a few nights before with mule teams. He started out early in the morning, saying as he left that he felt quite afraid of the road agents, as he would be traveling in the most dangerous part of the country. We tried to get him to stay with us until he got over the divides and past the timber, but he thought we traveled too slow and he would never catch his company, so away he went.
One night we camped with a company of men going to the mines and they told us of the road agents chasing a lone man on a sorrel horse. They ran him so far his horse was about given out when he came in sight of the company he was after. The road agents began to shoot at him and the company heard the shooting and soon rescued the man. The company was too strong for the robbers to fight with--and it seemed almost impossible for a horse to go so far, but I found out afterwards the horse was over done and died.
We were on the trail Christmas and New Years Day, 1865. Our journey completed, we all left in North Ogden. We were paid off and as I had not taken any of my pay I had quite a nice little sum. After staying all night and getting breakfast I started for home as I was anxious about Mother and little brother and sister, but I was cautioned not to go over the mountains on foot, but I thought I would make it alright and gave it a try. When I got the Canyon there was no sign of any track, I almost backed out, then thinking of mother and her not hearing from me for so long, I kept going until I gave out and could go no farther. I sat down in the snow and thought things over. I was half way home but just how to go about reaching there was my problem. The snow was getting deeper every step and there was a high mountain yet to climb. I was getting very cold and hungry so the best thing I could think of was to turn back.
After working my way down nearly to the mouth of the Canyon I met two ox teams driving a little bunch of sheep after them. Although I told them I was almost given out, they talked me into going back with them. I rode with them until we reached where I had turned back and then they had to tramp snow so the oxen would follow. That left me to drive the sheep, but they left a good trail for me to walk in. By the time we reached the summit it was dark and having overdone myself, I was beginning to feel very sick. Not able to walk another step I took the sled and rode down the foot of the mountains to where an old friend of my father lived, a Scotsman named James Fisher. I was about a mile and a half from home and not wanting to go home sick I stayed at Fisher’s and was very glad I was able to lie down. I began to feel better but when the folks heard I was there they sent a wagon to come and get me.
Father did not come in to see me that night but in the morning early he came and wanted to know if I would stay and help get up some wood as the snow was getting very deep and no wood was up yet. They were in rather a bad fix as they had 3 fires to keep up. I told him I would do all I could as there were 2 boys at home about 2 years old and the other about 4 years younger than I, but they did not have any ambition to get out into the snow and cold and rustle some wood.
About 3 miles from home there was plenty of dry wood, so after resting about 3 days I started in after it and the way I put them boys and oxen through for 2 weeks was a caution. I had them out every morning before daylight to get their chores done and be off after wood. They did not like it very well, I knew that, but if it came a heavy snowstorm we could never keep the road open to get wood. I would start early in the morning to the timber and get a load ready by the time the other boys would get there with the oxen and sleigh. That way we could make 2 loads a day. We hauled that way about 2 weeks and got plenty of dry wood. Then we went down on the river and hauled green cottonwood about a week, but the snow was so deep we had to give it up. We had plenty of dry wood.
I then went to Huntsville by invitation to teach dancing as I had become quite proficient in that art while I lived in Ogden City. I had taken a course of training from Mr. Brim, the best in the Territory. At that time I did not like to undertake the task for there was quite a number of pretty hard characters in Huntsville. I was a little afraid they would make trouble, but at last I concluded to try. I agreed to teach 13 nights, two nights each week, and the understanding was that all the rough gentlemen were to be excluded from taking any part in the dances. I started with 35 couples and got along for a few weeks alright, then I began to get threats, that somebody was going to get hurt if they did not look out. Sure enough a lot of them did come to shoot out the lights and break up the dancing school. Some of the boys were in for a fight but 1 told them to keep cool and I would try to see what kindness would do for them. I then went out and talked with them and invited them in to enjoy an hour of dancing with us. Some were quite sulky but they all came in and sat down very quietly. I then told the school we had some visitors who had come to see us and it was always the rule to treat them the best we knew how. I asked the company if they were willing that our visitors should enjoy themselves in dancing a few quadrilles. They all said yes, then they all danced a few dances and enjoyed it fine. When they got ready to leave they all shook hands with me and thanked me for the good time they had. They said they had come to raise hell but got badly whipped. I invited them to call in again and see how we were getting along but they never came anymore,
When I finished teaching, the snow was still very deep in the Valley and hay was getting very scarce, so 1 took all the cattle and horses over to Three Mile Creek. There I camped out and herded them until the snow was gone. 1 then hired out to my step-father for 4 months to cut and haul timber, put in grain and work in the hay field; for the grain we put in was killed with the frosts. This happened for a number of years so that we could not raise my grain. The sawmill was now running and we had plenty of work until the snow got to deep to do anything.
I helped to get things in shape for winter, and about 3 weeks after New Years 1865 George Marsh came over and visited his folks. He was another step-son of Father Ferrin and lived at Willard, Box Elder County, and was the owner of a very fine farm, with a lot of horses and cattle. He had just returned from a 2-year mission to England and his horses and cattle were scattered all over the range, so he hired me to go back with him.
We could not do much until spring and then the work and fun began; riding the range, hunting, branding horses and cattle. He and I was in the saddle every day for 3 weeks. We rounded up and branded about 500 head, but the worst of it all was that we did not have saddle horses enough, and had to ride anything we could throw a lasso on. Some of them were as wild and mean as the devil. After I got through I was 100 dollars ahead and ready for spring work in Ogden Valley.
When I got back John Garrett wanted to sell his farm of 60 acres with good water rights. Since it was partly fenced I bought him out and put in some grain. It had a very good log house with shed and stable. I paid 500 dollars for it. 1 raised a good crop of barley and some oats, but wheat was killed by the frost and I hardly made pig feed off from it.
I was called to go after immigrants and only had about 24 hours notice. I was to be ready with 10 days provisions for myself and one pair of horses and wagon and there was to be two men with each wagon. I got a team of four horses and got to Huntsville about noon.
The man I was to go with had everything ready and I found it was an old friend of mine, his name was Marshall Hunt. He had one wooden leg but a jolly of a fellow all the same. I was a little surprised, he was a married man with four children. We hitched up and drove to Ogden City and camped in the tithing yard and then found three more teams going on the journey. I found that I was well acquainted with all of them.
We did not get an early start, but by October 9th we were away from civilization all together. By the time we got to Hamsfork we were out of provisions for ourselves, and not any grain for our horses. We did not know what to do as we expected to find the immigrants here, but we were disappointed.
Hamsfork had a mail station, soldier’s station and also a telegraph station. We telegraphed down the road but could not hear anything from them, so we wired down to Denver and heard of the company being there. They had met a stampede and had broke 12 wagons, tongues and wheels and they had to be fixed up before they could leave, so we concluded they were coming up the old Mormon trail, as the mail and telegraph went by the Bitter Creek route to Denver.
We sent a dispatch to Salt Lake to President Young, to know what was the best thing to do. He soon sent word to borrow what we could from the government commissary and he would make it good. So it was opened for us to take what we wanted. We got bacon, flour, beans and coffee, some corn for feed for our horses and one steer for beef. We went down about two miles from Hamsfork and camped for two days.
The weather was quite warm, so we had to jerk out our meat to keep it from spoiling. I happened to be the only one that knew how it was done, as I had watched the Indians. The next night I took the horses across the river about two miles where there was some hills and splendid feed. Hyrum Rose wanted to go with me but I told him to stay and take care of the meat. I knew he would not neglect it a minute for we wanted to start early the next morning.
Of all the nights I ever spent herding or guarding that was the worst and the longest. I have been out cold nights, stormy nights, but never was so lonesome as I was that night. Just after dark the coyotes began their howling, but I did not mind that as I was used to it. But when the big gray wolves began their noise and all of them together it made me feel very lonesome and a long way from home. I got into the saddle and stayed until I saw the morning star, then I rounded up the horses and started for camp and we were on our way again.
We went on until we got to dry Sandy, and we saw the immigrants coming and we thought we would be on our way home, but found it was not the company we were looking for. It was a company of Danish Saints under Captain Atwood and they were glad to see us. We held meeting with them at night and then a dance, they had music but we could not join in their dance for we could not dance their way.
While the boys were dancing some of us were talking business, some wanted to go with the Danes and get them into the Valley, so the captain left it up to Joseph Woolley as he was the oldest man in the company. He called Isaac McKay, Jeff Wilson and myself and we talked the matter over. It was decided to send all of those that were not good rustlers and those that were homesick back. Eight men were chosen to go back, plus the poor and sick horses, making 4 teams and 4 horses. My partner went back and so did Mr. Woolley’s, so he and I were partners.
So we started on our way quite happy as we had no drones or sick horses. On October 25th we tried to get to the Platte River but it began to blow and rain and the rain turned to snow and it blew into our faces and we could not see where we were going and we lost our road. We ended up in a deep hollow and could go no farther so we camped for the night. We took what blankets we had and quilts we could spare and put them on our horses and mules to keep them from freezing. We put the harnesses back on them to keep the blankets on them. All of us got into one wagon and spent the night as best we could without any supper. It was a long cold night.
The next morning was clear and very cold and Mr. Woolley asked me to go down and see if we could get to the Platte River and to fire my gun off if it did. I lost sight of the wagons but after going about half a mile I came to the road. I could see the sagebrush on each side so I gave the signal and waited until the wagons came. Then we went on about 12 miles and came to the Platte River and to the place where my father was buried in October 1856.
We fixed a few bites and a few bites are about all we had. We met the immigrants in the snow and they did not know what to do, they were all from the old country and not used to that kind of life. They were very glad to see us, as they had very poor fires. We took some of our horses and went down on the river and got a lot of green wood. Others went with 2 wagons and got fine cedar wood. Some cleared the snow so the immigrants could get out on the bare ground. We then made a big fire and all could get warm, and we could see them all. Then songs came until the captain warned that it was time for prayers.
I awakened in the morning and found it was snowing. I was very sorry for the poor immigrants as they were worn out from being on the road such a long time and now they would have to suffer with the cold. We took all of the oldest most feeble of the men and women and all of the children, as we were the first to reach them and did not know when another company would come. We had about 70 children, old men and women. We did not have much to eat, and the immigrants we worse off than we were.
All was well as we traveled except for lack of food. We had bread and beans boiled in salt water. The wind blew hard and cold and we tried to get some provisions at the Soldiers station but the officer said they could not spare any. We crossed the bridge and two soldiers came riding up and demanded toll for crossing the bridge. Some of the boys told him go to hell and get the toll. Some men from a freight camp came down to help us out if there was any trouble. When the soldiers saw that they were not going to get any money they said they would be back with a company of men and make us pay. We just laughed at them and that is the last we saw of them.
We did not get very far as the snow bean to fall and the wind was blowing hard, and we stopped for noon and stayed. The next day the wind was still blowing hard and we camped for the night on top of the South Pass. Our horses were beginning to fail with no grain and we were quite uneasy about them, and we had a hard time getting them all rounded up in the morning. We hitched up as soon as we could and got down off the ridge to the Pacific Springs and got out of the wind and snow. It was quite pleasant when we got to Little Sandy, and there we met four wagons with provisions and grain, so we got all we wanted. They told us we would meet wagons with provisions all along the rest of the way.
When we reached Quacking Ash Ridge we had to drive very slow as it was 10 miles to the top of the hill., but a smooth road. The decent was just as good coming down but much steeper, but the way we came down was a fright. We thought we would go as fast as we could as old man Woolley said he could beat any man down. I don’t remember who won but we frightened the immigrants to death, they thought they were in another stampede.
We reached Colville that night. Bishop Cluff met us and showed us where to camp. They had plenty of wood and hay ready for us and places for all the old people and women with small children to go. There was not many went as they preferred to stay in camp. I asked one woman why she and her children did not go into a house and she said she was not fit to go into anybody’s house in the dirty condition they were in. We all thought she was the nicest woman.
Some of the people were very seedy looking, or at least we thought so. But all of us had to make the most of it as we only had one change of under clothing with us. We had only started out for a 10 or 12 day trip and it was 35 days and would be a few more before I reached home.
We got into Salt Lake a little after noon. We drove into the tithing yard and turned the immigrants over to their friends and Bishop Hunter took care of the rest. In all there were 12 wagons, one stopped at Colville and that made 11 and Bishop gave all of us tickets to the theatre.
The immigrants did not like to part with us and many shed tears. One girl had been in Salt Lake and had gone back to New York to visit and came back with the immigrants. Her name was Prude Brown, her parents were there to meet her and I had to meet them. I told her I was too dirty to meet anyone and had not shaved for over six weeks and you know how we would look. Of course the women and girls wanted to kiss us goodbye but I objected to any such treatment. But when I was talking to Prude’s parents she took me by surprise and kissed me. It plagued me nearly to death because at that time I was very bashful.
We went as far as Kay’s Ward and camped for the night at Bishop Layton’s. It was getting dark and Hy and I took a little walk to see what was in the town. We saw a family eating supper and the blinds were up, and as we stood there a man came along and wanted to know what we were doing. We said we were watching them eat and wishing we could help them. He asked us who we were and what we were doing and we told him. He said, "Come on in, he is my brother-in-law." We were so dirty and rough, but we went in anyway and they sure treated us fine.
After supper they asked us our names and we told them. The lady said she used to know a man by the name of Heber, and he was a great dancer. Hy soon told her and explained that I was the man. She invited us all back to breakfast the next morning but we did not want to overdo the thing and we only took two with us.
We were soon on our horses and reported to Bishop Chauncy West in Ogden. He said he had no idea we would be gone 45 days instead of 10.
When we sent word to President Young, I signed the telegram and when the answer came back it said, "To H. R. McBride and Company, borrow what provisions you need from the Government and I will make it good and go until you find the immigrants and God bless you Brother McBride," signed Brigham Young. When I read the telegram to some of the boys they took their hats off to me that day.
November 14th I arrived home and it made 45 days journey out of a ten-day trip. They were surprised for they had not heard anything since I sent my horse home and mother almost fainted when I walked in the house. She took me in her arms crying, "Oh my rough looking boy!"
Father came in to see me in the evening and said he told mother not to worry, we would not starve as long as we had a horse or a mule. But still he wondered what we were doing and then I showed him the telegram from President Brigham Young.
I thought I would get married as I had been deciding on a very fine girl that I had been keeping company with for about two years. We thought we understood each other and she said she was willing to marry me anytime, so I thought everything was alright. But when the time came it was a different thing. She said she would not marry me unless I would make a solemn promise that I would not marry another woman, meaning polygamy. I told her that at the present time it was something I had not thought of. I told her I would not promise to be any angel in heaven and if that was as far as her love and respect goes for me I would bid her a long goodbye. So that settled my getting married that winter. Sometime after that her mother and father asked me what was the matter and I told them to ask her. They said she seemed to be worried over something. I told them there was nothing to worry about that she had just turned me down.
There was not much to do that winter but about May the Indians began to trouble us again. A little band camped close by and pretended to be friendly. Jack and Bushhead led them and sometimes there was quite a bunch. Bushhead did not have a squaw and he was a mean cuss. One day Bushhead tried to take some bread from mother, as he thought none of us men were home. But he got fooled, for father came up behind him and grabbed him by the back of the neck and hair, and gave him a good beating. He ran off vowing vengeance on the whole family. After that we were not allowed to go anywhere without a pistol on us, for dad was afraid he would come and get some of us. It fell my lot to watch him and report.
The Black Hawk War had started and we had to look after things very sharp, although the war was 200 miles south. The Indians up our way knew all about it and all summer we had to corral our stock to keep them from being un away. Whenever we held a meeting anywhere, Joseph Keddle and I had to stand guard; he was a boy 18 years old but with good grit.
Jack and his band had not been in the Valley for some time, and that was strange. All at once he made his appearance with some Indians I had never seen before, I did not like the looks of them and I went to his camp to talk to him. I asked him where Bushhead was and he said he did not know. I said, "Jack you are lying to me, if you don’t tell me I will have to go find him." He said he was with the Sedgwick’s Band, and that he was the meanest Indian there was. ( He was a little sub-chief and claimed Ogden Valley for his own, and when he came around we had to look out pretty sharp.)
Jack only stayed two or three days and he started to move, and I started to move too, for I wanted to know where he was going. So I went up and around to Cache Valley Canyon where I could watch for him. I kept off the trail so they would not see my tracks, for they were pretty keen for tracks. I saw they were not going to camp so I went to meet them. Jack was surprised, and I talked with him for a little while, he wanted to know what I was doing up there and I told him hunting for horses. He said, "Ogden Valley man too smart for Indians." I went down the east side of the North Fork to look around and saw a man coming—it proved to be Charles Wood, a scout from Huntsville. We rode back to the main road together and parted company.
During the summer the Indians made us considerable trouble and we had to herd and guard all the time. About this time the call was made for all the people North of the Middle Fork of Ogden River to fort up for protection, and on the south side to move to Huntsville. Everyone began to plan to move but did not do much until harvest was over.
Father wanted me to go over the mountains about this time to Plain City to take a load of lumber and bring back some corn with 2 yolk of oxen. I started before daylight as I was loaded the night before. It was a long climb going up the mountains and when I got to the dug way it was getting quite light. This road was very narrow and you had to be very careful for if you made a mistake you would fall 2 or 3 hundred feet into eternity. When I got to the worst place I looked ahead and saw an Indian coming on horseback, singing and cutting the limbs along the way. I soon saw it was Bushhead, I believe I was scared for once in my life and I reached for my gun, but in my hurry I had forgotten it, so I reached for some rocks and laid them on the wagon.
I began thinking, if he came on this side he might crowd the cattle off the road, and if he did, I planned to make trouble with the rocks I had picked up. He went off the side of the road and yelled and the oxen stopped and he asked me where Jack and the Big Ute were. I told him where I had last seen them and I don’t think he believed me, but he didn’t seem to care and went on. I went on to Plain City and got the corn and oxen and made it back home safe and sound.
The little town of Eden was surveyed and people got one lot, and some two lots, and paid a dollar per lot, just what it cost to survey it. All we got then was a squatter’s claim as a government survey had not been taken.
When the town was surveyed we drew lots for the town lots and I got a corner one, and I felt entitled to one for I helped to survey and fought hard for the public square.
In August of this year Charles Wood, William Wallace, and myself were called out by order of General West as scouts. I was to take the north end of the valley, William Wallace the center and Charles Wood the south part. Our patrolling of the country lasted every night in August. I had a number one good horse, I believe he could smell an Indian a mile away.
By fall the people began moving into Eden and before Christmas we had a nice little settlement of about 40 families. Richard Ballantyne became our President. We made log houses and helped each other. I happened to put up the third house, we also built a schoolhouse so we had a good time that winter.
When spring of 1866 came everyone was quite busy putting in crops. Word came from the General for Frank Taylor, John Taylor, William A. Moffat and myself and 6 others from Huntsville to form into a company of minutemen and be ready to go as scouts in the Black Hawk Indian War. In a few days we got orders to hit the trail, how to go, where to go, and what to do. We were under the control of Frank Taylor, as he was a married man and older than we were. I was now 23 years old. We said our goodbyes that night as we left in the morning early, not knowing if we would ever be back.
The expedition went well and after about three weeks I got orders to be off again. By this time the mountain streams were swollen and it was dangerous to cross them. We went over steep canyons and most all the while had to ride in single file and at one time came to a complete dead end with a bare mountain hundreds of feet high. We either had to cross over the river, which was roaring over the rocks, or turn around and go back 4 or 5 miles. Frank, having the biggest horse crossed over first and found the trail going over the mountain on the other side. When it came my turn, if there had been any chance to back out I would have done it, and that roaring noise of the water was awful. I took great care not to let them know how I felt, until we were all safely over and everyone of us had a different feeling about it.
After crossing the stream, the trail went up and around the side of the mountain where we looked down the canyon, and what a sight! If man or horse made a miss-step he would drop at least 1000 feet before he would strike anything. That was the worst place I ever saw in all of my experience in the mountains.
We were to meet the other scouts there about dark, but found no one, nor any tracks. We stayed another night but they did not come. Frank and I became very light sleepers and we went home without any contact with the other scouts. In about three weeks we were called to go again in another direction. and we covered some beautiful country.
While the Black Hawk War was on the Indians were very anxious to go south and help them, and our business was to prevent that as much as possible. We never saw the Huntsville scouts nor the Bear Lake Scouts once. We saw one camp of Indians but they were dragging their poles and assured us they were going hunting for food. We found another camp of Indians and we got right to them before they saw us. One Indian looked up surprised at me and said, "Hello Hebo," reached up and shook hands with me. It was Tope and I was glad to see him once more. I asked Tope which way to go as we were not familiar with the country.
We did find the scouts from Huntsville and camped with them a night or two. One night I guess we got a little too careless for a little band of Indians were hiding in the brush and when they thought we were near enough, three guns and some arrows cam whizzing through the brush, but they were in too big of a hurry. If they hadn’t been in a hurry they would have got us for sure. We followed the Indians and crawled up within good shot of them. I gave the signal and four guns went off at once. One horse dropped and three Indians. We then gave our yell and began shooting and shooting off our pistols. I guess they thought the timber was full of men, the Indian that had his horse shot did not wait to get another but jumped on behind another Indian and was soon out of sight. We chased them and fired at them and figured they would not stop until they were in the territory of the other scouts and they could take care of them. We got the three ponies, gathered up their saddles and everything we could and piled it on the dead horse with some brush, set fire to it and left. We got home without any more excitement.
Not being called out anymore this year we began looking for work. We heard of a man that had about 200 cords of wood cut and corded on the promontory in the Salt Lake. We went out to find him and it was John Jost and Jim McIntyre. They were going to ship it to Salt Lake City so they built a big flat boat that would hold about 15 cords and they made one trip. When they got in a storm on the lake the boat broke loose and smashed all to pieces, so they wouldn’t try it anymore. But a man by the name of Meredith had a nice little boat called the "Schooner of the West" and was going to haul it over for them. He offered John Taylor and I the job of delivering the wood on the shores of the lake for $3.00 a cord, so we went over to look over the job.
We had to go over in a boat about 30 miles. We rowed from the shore of the lake below where Hooper now stands. We went westward about daylight and it took us all day and we had to cross back in the night.. We found our horses still hitched to the wagon and it took us all day to get home.
About the middle of November we gathered up some cattle and horses to herd for the winter, for on the promontory was a good place for stock. We had to go around the lake 120 miles and it took us about a week as we were driving oxen. There was a good log house and a large corral, and Mr. Jost was to send a boat over so we could come home and spend Christmas. We got one boatload and another ready to ship so we could go back but we never saw the boat again. It was so stormy and bad on the lake they couldn’t come and get us but we didn’t wait. Our food ran out so we started to walk home without any food—only a roasted badger, a little bread and some coffee. We went about ten miles and got supper at Bill Carbine’s dugout. There were about three or four men there and they were surprised to see us as they thought they were the only ones on the promontory. Bill Carbine was John Taylor’s cousin and he wanted to stay all night; as we sat there talking I picked up a little pocketknife that was sitting on a box. The little blade was open and I was picking my teeth when one of the boys said, "For gosh sakes! Don’t use that knife for we have been using it in strychnine," but it was too late and I got my dose.
We started out for John Edwards’s camp, we walked very fast and got within a half mile of it and I took a fit and couldn’t walk, so John took our two quilts and went to the camp to get help. There was no one there and hadn’t been for a long time, so he came back and found me by my groan as it was dark He got me on my feet and I began to feel a little better. He put one arm around my waist and one of my arms over his shoulder, and that is the way he got me to the camp. I was burning up for a drink of water. He got the fire started and got the coffee pot full of water and I drank it all. We put in a very poor night and in the morning I was so sore all over I could hardly move and John had to help me. We thought we could get to Bear River City that day but we only got halfway and had to crawl under a rock to get out of the storm. It was New Years Eve 1868. I felt lots better in the morning, but John said, "It was a hell of a New Years Day." So we ate some roasted badger, drank some coffee and started out again. In between my resting, we got to Bear River City, a small settlement of Danish people. The old folks could not talk English but a young boy could and he told his mother what was the matter with me and she helped me a little.
We had to cross the river on a ferryboat. About the time we were ready to start a man came and wanted to know if we could help his little boy with four yoke of oxen as far as Brigham City where he would stay and go to school. We told him we would be glad to and when we delivered him to the man we learned John was acquainted with him and they gave us dinner. He wanted us to stay all night but it was only seven miles to Willard and I had lots of friends there and two stepsisters. We stayed two days there and I was alright. We had about 12 miles to get home and the snow was all gone off the mountain so we climbed up but the river was so deep now we could not wade across, so we had to hike back about 1 ½ miles. While we were talking about it and wondering who we could get to take us across, Garret Wolverton came along on horseback and took us over.
We got home and it happened that there was a dance that night. We got cleaned up and it was rather late but we went to the dance and mother went with us and I had my best girl with me anyway. When we got there our girls were dancing.
We were making our way back to work and could have brought horses and went around the lake but we wanted to take the boat back so we could sail around and see some of the islands. On 18th of January, Mr. Jost took us down to Hales landing, brother Ether going with us. We pulled the boat upon the shore and spent about 2 hours tightening it up and then it leaked quite bad. Before we got started, the wind began to blow from the southwest and we were going northwest, so it had a fair clip at us sideways and the water began to get rough. There were three of us, 220 lbs. of flour and five gallons of molasses in a flat-bottomed boat about 14 feet long and 4 feet wide. The wind was getting stronger and if there had been any place to stay, we wouldn’t have tried to go, but we started and a flat-bottomed boat is not a very good thing to ride the waves. When we got out about 10 miles, the wind was blowing so hard it blew the white caps over into the boat and one of us had to bail as hard as we could. We couldn’t go back and it was sure death if we tried to go ahead for it was getting worse all the time, so we turned around and went with the wind and it took us to Little Mountain. It was about 10 miles out of our way, but at last we got there and got behind a big rock and built a big fire and thought we would stay until morning,.
The wind went down, and it was only 10 miles straight west to our destination so we decided to make it. We had no way of cooking anything and the lake was so quiet. The water in Salt Lake is so heavy it soon settles. A little breeze from the north was bitter cold just as we started out. We got about half way and the thin ice came down from Bear River. The fresh water was freezing on top of the salt water, about as thick as paper or a little thicker and coming sideways to the boat. It soon began piling up and sliding into the boat and there was no way of keeping it out. Our only choice was to go with it and after working hard, we finally made it, but we couldn’t have held out much longer. We were plenty warm when we landed although it was a bitter cold night.
We pulled the boat up on the shore as far as we could, fastened it to a huge rock so the waves wouldn’t wash it away. Our trouble was not over yet for we had one half mile to go to get to our cabin. We started with the 100-pound sack of flour, but when we got up on the lakeshore, the snow was about 1 ½ feet deep and the flour held us up, so two went ahead and one was bringing up the flour. John Taylor and I did the carrying as Ether was lame and it was all he could do to break trail. The coyotes soon began to surround us, we counted 20, and we thought they would jump us in spite of all we could do. I wanted to throw the flour down and make a break for the cabin, but John said, "Not by a damn sight." Before we got there we heard a big wolf howl, but he seemed a long way off. Whether it was or not, we were getting nearer home and they began to be more bold. They would run close up to us and snap and snarl and bark and the two that weren’t carrying the flour took off their coats and struck at them and kept them back a little and by the time we got to the cabin we thought they would jump on to us. We got into the cabin, shut the door and fell down and listened to them yelp and howl. After resting a little while, we got up and made a fire and got our two guns. We found they were alright, loaded them and opened the door and gave them two shots in the bunch. We loaded again so if they started their song we would be prepared for them. We made a good fire, and we were awful hungry but give out so we went to bed and slept until nearly noon. I heard that coyotes would tackle a man, but I would not believe it—I do now, for if there had only been one man, that bunch would have got him.
While we were gone, it had snowed so much on the east side of the lake that all the stock had gone to the west. We also found that we had some neighbors in the dugout close by. When they saw our smoke they came over to see who we were. They were with Meredith and they took a load of wood back.
With the snow on the ground we were taking it easy. One day some men came from Willard to see after their cattle. Among them was Osmer Call who married my stepsister and seemed quite surprised to see us. He said, "Don’t you know that your are all drowned?" I said that we did not seem to be and he told us that old man Cale found our boat bottom side up on the shore. He said no open boat could have lived on the lake that night in such a storm. It made quite a lot of excitement in Ogden and Eden, and I worried about my mother thinking I might be dead..
I said, " My poor mother will know by tomorrow night that we are alive and well."
"How will you do that?" my brother-in-law asked.
I said, "We have a boat and we could sail into George Marsh’s field, and it was only a 14 mile walk from there if we can go over the mountain. I said I would be off by daylight, wind or no wind." John said he was with me. Ether couldn’t walk that far so did not go, and John and I were off as soon as it was light, and we got to John Marsh’s sometime afternoon. He was a stepbrother and would have taken us over but he was not at home. Aunt Jane soon got us some dinner and she did not know whether the folks at home had heard anything for sure or not.
Next day we went around the little town letting people know we were alive. I went with John to see his girl and when we went in, she nearly fainted. I left John there and went to see my girl, but when I stepped in the house, she turned gave one look and fainted. We had quite a time to revive her, and the first thing she said was, "Heber !" Her parents had been opposed to me keeping company with her, but after that they were not quite so bad. They wouldn’t let her go to a party if they thought I would be there. The old man threatened to shoot me if I did not let his girl alone, but I didn’t take it very serious. I only laughed at him and said it was a two-handed game, for I never was afraid of being shot by someone that would tell you about it, but when they don’t tell you then is the time to look out.
We stayed a few days, and the boys gave us a dance. John Miller went back with us. It was the first boat, which had crossed the lake at that place. We started at daylight and the snow was very deep but crusted so we could walk on it, and we had a nice trip. In spring we gathered up the horses and mules but had lost our cattle. We had to ride bareback to find them and had a hard day’s ride before we got them; if we had only gone in the right direction. We got to camp a little before sundown, so think how we felt after riding a mule bareback all day up and down hill. I haven’t words to describe our feeling or where we hurt the worst.
In 1868 Heber married Elizabeth Ann Burns. They lived on the farm he had purchased from Mr. Garrard. He was set apart as First Counselor to Bishop David McKay in Eden on January 27, 1855. Later he was counselor to Bishop Josiah M. Ferrin. He was president of the Young Men’s Mutual Association, and also a dance instructor.
In Eden they began to raise a family. Heber would eventually move to Canada but for the next thirty-six years he remained in Weber County, the first seven years in Eden, then about another seven in Plain City, then back to Eden. During the year 1869 he assisted in the construction of the Pacific Railway.
Harold McBride—Heber’s grandson continues the story:
A few months after the birth of their fourth child (Heber Robert, who lived only one day), Heber took part in a colonizing venture into Northern Arizona Territory. A small group had gone earlier to the Little Colorado and established camps. A second group, including his younger brother, Peter with his wife Ruth Burns and child, had been called by Brigham Young to join those already there. Elected by the group to captain the travelers (a total of 14 persons), Heber assisted them in the journey and stayed for a time, helping clear land, build a dam and ditches. He kept a diary of daily activities from February 10, 1876, through June 10, a chronicle of hard work and the perils of travel, sickness and winter weather. Heber, not required to remain with the colony, but only help them get firmly established, arrived at his home in Eden, June 10.
In 1884 Heber entered the practice of polygamy. He married Elizabeth Boyd Gould in the Logan temple. From a previous marriage Elizabeth had a five-year-old daughter, Elnora Elizabeth. Heber adopted her as his own. In the second family there would eventually be six children, two boys and four girls, one of which was the girl by the mother’s first marriage.
Elizabeth Ann, Heber’s first wife, died May 18, 1894, at which time the second wife moved into the home and took care of both families. Four of her six children were born after this move. (One of these, Ira Robert McBride, wrote a short biography of his father’s life, which helped out with the story of Heber’s married life).
Heber and his family were well established in the Ogden Valley—in the town of Eden—which was their home for many years. Then came a call from the authorities of the Church for them to move to Canada. Mormon colonies established earlier in the Province of Alberta needed to be built up, giving the Church a more firm footing in that area. Chosen not only for their firm testimony of the gospel, but because of their ability to get things done. Heber and Elizabeth responded, though not without great sacrifice.
From Harold McBride’s record: In the spring of 1904 grandfather Heber decided to move to Welling Canada. He sold his farm and hauled all his belongings to South Fork, where he loaded all of them on the train headed for Great Falls, Montana. They had three train cars – one for the family, one for the machinery and furniture, and one for the livestock. At Great Falls they had to unload everything and reload it in narrow gage cars, as the line from there on was a narrow gage.
At the new location the McBrides crowded into a small house with their oldest daughter Elnora and her husband, Christian David Peterson, who had one six-month-old son. That winter proved a little uncomfortable for everyone. More commodious quarters were built the following summer, a five-room house on part of Brother Peterson’s land. With the help of a carpenter, Heber and the boys managed the building.
When the Welling Ward was organized in the spring of 1905, Heber McBride served as Counselor to the Bishop, John C. Peterson.
Life was not easy in Welling, Canada. By renting other tracts of land, and despite dry years, grasshoppers and other setbacks, the family managed to make a living.
The head of a happy, productive family, Heber took much pleasure in singing and performing many services in the Church and community. Notoriously strong and healthy, this industrious soul found no task too challenging. He worked on the farm until past eighty then moved to Raymond, a neighboring town, to live a short time with their youngest daughter, Detta. They sold the farm land, then the couple moved back to the home they had built in Welling. Heber died there, July 29, 1925, at age eighty-two, and was buried in Raymond.
The little boy who, wanted to be a sailor
but subdued a wilderness instead, carving his niche in four countries,
had found a resting place in Raymond, Canada.
Elnora Peterson Sabey, a granddaughter remembers her grandfather:
"Grandpa had a beautifully maintained
one-horse buggy. He used this method of transportation to inspect his
farm. He was always groomed to perfection thanks to grandma’s scrub
board. With reins in hand and whip waving in the breeze, he would often
visit us on his mile trek to his property that my dad had purchased on
his behalf in the early 1900’s. Despite his sternness, I was in awe of
him. He had a sense of humor and loved to pull jokes on his
grandchildren. Their yard and gardens were neat and productive. Despite
the harsh elements, their home was surrounded with polar, maple and
cottonwood trees and the most colorful pansy garden that was a joy to