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The Life of Thomas Steed - From His Own Diary

The Life of Thomas Steed From His Own Diary 1826-1910 I, Thomas Steed of Farmington, Utah, in this the spring of 1906, undertake to have this history of my family written under my direction by my wife, Matilda Cecilia G. Steed. ANCESTORS. My oldest ancestor known to me at this time is my grand-father, Thomas Stead, who was born about 1766 near the town of Hereford, England. (The spelling of Stead, my grand-father’s name is taken from an extract of the Registers of Mathon parish, which belongs to Worcestershire). My father, Thomas Steed (for this was his signature) related to me that his father ran away from home at the age of seven years, his mother, (probably Jane Ashton, page 30) being dead and his father remarried. He claims that his step-mother treated him harshly, and he concluded to leave home. After walking the whole day by country roads, the little fugitive came to a hay barn in the fields; hungry and tired, he decided to make it his resting place for the night. He dug a hole deep into the hay, crawled into it, covered himself and went to sleep to forget his hunger. Of this sleep he was rudely awakened in the darkness by something heavy laying upon him. The little boy, nearly suffocating, moved a little, wondering if a wild animal was going to eat him up. Then the end of a stick pounced on him, and our young hero began to cry. The surprise was then on the other party, the wonder of the cane was a tramp, also looking for a sleep on that hay. He pulled him out of his hole trembling and saying that he had nothing to eat that day. That distress touched the heart of the beggar, who reached for his sack and in the darkness gave him something to eat and bade him lay down until morning. This new friend took Thomas to the house of Esquire Coles, a wealthy farmer living on a farm named Hall Court at Ham Green, parish of Mathon, Worcestershire. It was a rule in those days to place boys among the farmers, binding them by law, till they were 21 years of age. So the boy Thomas was bound to him as “apprentice” until that age. His liberty loving nature was subdued by the severe treatment customary in those days. When about 21 my grand-father married Elizabeth Mason of the parish of Colwall, Herefordshire, but he lived in Mathon all his life. They had ten children of whom four sons, my father, Thomas Steed, Jr., being the oldest, born 10 Aug., 1788, and christened 24 Aug. same year. (See the Genealogy of the Steed Family of Utah, 1850-1916.) PARENTS. My father, born in Mathon, Wore., worked as farm hand for Esquire Coles at Hall Court, in Ham Green, but removed to Malvern parish, Worc., when about 20 years and remained there. He married on June 21st., 1808, Charlotte Niblet; William Burston was her father’s name). Their union was blessed with six daughters and five sons of whom I was the third son and 9th child. After his marriage father worked as teamster of Esquire Serman. The latter had a team of five black stallions, weighing a ton each, hitched all in a string as was the custom in those days, and five tons of coal was their load along the narrow streets of the old cities. Father was about six feet tall, heavy set (two hundred pounds), powerful, sober, hard working, honest, industrious, thoroughly reliable. For a number of years he was night-watchman in the town of Malvern and later foreman of the public highway. My mother was of medium size, patient, very religious, naturally kind, open hearted and generous to a fault, giving almost her last crust to anybody in need. About 1835 my parents left the Church of England and joined the United Brethren opening their home to hold meetings, but they continued to send us to the Sunday School of the Church of England. SUNDAY SCHOOL lasted from nine to eleven in the morning. We spent the time in reading, spelling, memorizing passages F.O. the Scriptures and the text of the Responses. We were dressed in uniforms. At eleven, we marched in double file like soldiers to the Church where we took part in the morning services by singing responses, etc., for about thirty minutes; then the minister changed his robe and ascended to the upper pulpit, where he took his text and preached his sermon. At one o’clock we marched back to the school house to eat our dinner brought with us from home, after which we had a few minutes of freedom out of doors. We were called in to read again until half past two o’clock when we marched to church again and took part in the after-noon service. Here is one of the responses I still remember: “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, worlds without end. Amen.” The wife of Lord Littleton was called the patroness of the school and furnished the books and the uniforms for the boys and girls. I was about nine years old when my parents joined the United Brethren and opened their house to hold meetings; although so young I was interested in those meetings and very fond of the singing. Many times they put me to stand on the table after the services and would urge me to sing alone as I knew all their songs. This state of things continued until the summer of 1840, when Apostle Wilford Woodruff, moved by revelation from the Lord, in the town of Hanley, Staffordshire, obeyed the voice of the Spirit telling him to “go south” and was led directly to us in Herefordshire, Worc., and Gloucestershire. (See Leaves of My Journal, by W. Woodruff, p. 77-81.) CONVERSION. I was then in my fourteenth (14th) year and almost a skeptic in regard to the religion of the day. In the Sunday School I had asked my teacher if anybody knew that God lived, and if Jesus was the Redeemer crucified 1800 years ago. He answered: “My boy, you ought not to ask such a question, you ought to believe; I don’t know and I don’t know who could tell you!” The same question I asked of a number of other individuals who I thought could know, and received the same answer. That caused me to think that there was nothing in religion, if nobody knew anything about these things, and I made up my mind to have nothing to do with it. One day of that summer of 1840, I heard that a meeting was to be held in my father’s house (called Pale House) by Apostle Woodruff. My sister Rebecca gave me an invitation to attend, saying: “One of the second twelve Apostles is going to preach this evening, and added that he had the same authority as the first twelve and that the Church was again organized as it was primitively.” I very much wondered at such statement, as I had never heard any intimation of the existence of second twelve Apostles; but I said I would go and hear for myself. Accordingly I went and heard the first principles of the Gospel, a Gospel sermon preached in all simplicity and plainness, for the first time in my life. I was convinced in my mind that the principles he advanced are true, and his closing words I ever remembered. He said: “My dear friends, if you will receive my testimony and obey the Gospel in sincerity of heart, you shall know that God lives and that Jesus is the Redeemer, and that he has raised up a Prophet in our day and restored the Gospel in its fullness, with the authority to administer in its ordinances; and if you will obey it in sincerity, you shall know as I know that God has spoken from the heavens again and organized His Church upon the earth with all its gifts and blessings.” PROPHECY AND TONGUES. Those words sank deep into my soul; they have remained with me all my life. My parents were baptized together with my eldest brothers John and William, also my sisters, Ann, Elizabeth and Rebecca. I followed the meetings around in the neighborhood and was convinced that the message sent to us was from God, and in the month of November, 1840, I was baptized and confirmed by Elder Thomas Richardson, a missionary sent to us from Lancashire. My two younger brothers, George and Henry, were also baptized later on; and thus, with the exception of my oldest sister, Jemima, who was 32 years old and married to Thomas Rowley, our whole family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We attended the meetings regularly, being happy and joyful. I went on in this way for some time, without extraordinary manifestation; but at the close of one evening meeting, the presiding Elder, Samuel Jones, crossed the room to where I was standing, the meeting being dismissed, and laying his hands upon my head he said: “My boy, if you will pray earnestly to the Lord, you will receive from Him a wonderful manifestation as a testimony of the truth of this divine work.” Six weeks later I met with the Saints at 10 a.m. at Jonathan Lucy’s home in Colwall; there were two rooms full; the service was opened as usual with singing and prayer. When the presiding Elder, my uncle William Steed, was preaching with much power, he stopped all at once saying: “The Spirit has left me and rests upon some one in the room. Will they please get up. If they will we will have one of the greatest manifestations of the power of God that we ever had in this branch.” The Spirit said to me:”It is you, get up.” But I hesitated, as I was a very bashful boy. I thought: “What can I say?” And the Elder stood pleading:”Will they please get up?” All at once a power put me on my feet, the Spirit of prophecy rested upon me until I foretold the gathering of the Saints of that Branch with the body of the Church then at Nauvoo, Illinois, and many things that the Lord was about to do in this land of England to gather up the honest in heart, and the judgements that would follow the testimony of the elders. When I thought I could sit down, I could not and suddenly the gift of tongues rested upon me. Then the interpretation was given (by Joseph Williams, said Aunt Sarah). Then I spoke again two or three times and the house was filled with the Spirit and the power of God, and every one present was thrilled with the convincing power of the Holy Spirit and which I could feel through my whole system like fire shut up in my bones. It was then plainly made known unto me that God lives, that Jesus is the Redeemer and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of the Most High God. Of the truth of this a doubt has never crossed my mind from that day to this. The heavenly, calm feeling that rested upon me is beyond description. I was fully satisfied with the testimony that the Lord had given me, according to his promise of Apostle Woodruff. AT THE LODGE. In the spring of 1842 (in my 16th year) I told my father that I would like to leave home and earn money to emigrate to America with the saints. He wondered at my ambition and said I could not be move successful than many of my neighbors, single men, drawing full pay, who said they could not raise enough for their emigration. I answered: “Father, I don’t care anything about those men. I am satisfied that if I was as able bodied as they are, I could do it and I am sure I can do it, even as a boy.” Then he gave his consent saying: “If a good opportunity presents itself, I suppose we will have to let you go.” Two weeks afterwards I heard of a boy running away from a gentleman’s service, even of James Archibald Campbell, Esquire, living in a mansion called the Lodge, in the town of Malvern. It was a door open to me by Providence and I acknowledged the hand of the Lord in it. Although very timidly, I wen and knocked at the door. The butler said:”Come in.” I told him that I had heard that the Lady wanted a boy to work in the garden and in the house; I had come to see if I could get the place. He said: “Sit down, my goy; the housekeeper will be here in a few minutes, and I will tell her.” She said:”I will see the Lady,” and in a few moments I was introduced to the Lady Campbell in the parlor. She began asking me questions:” Have you a character?” “No, Madam, I have never been away from home.” “Do you think you could do any work?” “I think so.” After a number of other questions she said: “You appear to be an honest boy; I will try you. Come tomorrow morning.” I asked the Lord to give me favor with those strangers, and He answered me, so much so that they would not hear of my going away in the fall of 1842 when my uncles John and William Steed, with Aunt Ann Steed, and my two cousins Henry and James Steed and their families emigrated to Nauvoo. It had been discovered by the Book of Mormon in my room, that I was of the L.D.S. Church. Mr. Campbell tried hard to convince me of my “errors,” but failing in his own efforts, he secured some anti-Mormon literature for me to read:”Mormonism Unveiled,” by Rev. Dr. Howe, and “Three Days’ Visit to Nauvoo,” by Rev. Dr. Casewell. He also called on the Minister, Rev. Mason, to come to the Lodge and show me I was in error. I had to appear before them in the parlor and to answer questions about our doctrines. He asked me to explain what our people believed. I answer: We believe in the fullness of the Gospel, as taught by Jesus and His Apostles to the primitive Church, organized with Apostles, prophets, doctors, teachers, etc., as restored by the Prophet Joseph Smith>” “You mentioned a Prophet, go on and state what you believe about him.” At that moment, the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, to testify of the truth. Those two learned men seemed as two school boys; all fear left me and I explained the restoration of the Gospel by an Angel who appeared to the Prophet of God. While I was speaking, the minister turned pale and trembled, and when I was through, he said: “Mr. Campbell, Mr. Campbell, send that boy out of the room, we can do nothing with him.” “Then in a calm voice the latter said: “Thomas, you can go now.” I bowed and closed the door after me, thankful to the Lord for his aid. During my first year at the Lodge, the cook, named Mary Jones, was converted to Mormonism. Three months after my coming Mrs. Campbell died of a fever in confinement, aged 35 years, leaving 5 or 6 children. Then Mr. Campbell prepared to return to Scotland, his native country and proposed to me to accompany them. He offered to place me under a first class gardener, “So you would,” said he, “be fixed for life.” I thanked him for his kindness, but persisted in my project of going to America. Then he offered me to stay in the house where new occupants would employ me for the same work. The latter were two Misses Hinds with their two nieces Fenton. These ladies raised my wages to 3 shillings a week (72 cents) and I remained there until the 10th of January, 1844. EMIGRATION. The ship, “Fanny of Boston,” was to sail on the 15th of January from Liverpool to New Orleans. I had only two days to see my parents and pack up my clothing. My brother William came home to bid me good-by. We had family prayer in which he was mouth, and we asked our Heavenly Father that we might meet again in this life and that he would take care of me. On the morning of the 12th I left home with a heavy heart, having never been far from my tender parents. Mother gave me a little Bible saying: “Oh, Tom, how can I let you go?” ... That bible remained with me all my life. It was still dark when we left Malvern. We walked 10 miles to the station and arrived by rail to Birmingham. Our train stopped there until 4 a.m., then we continued to Liverpool. There we learned that we would have to wait and feed ourselves until the 21st of January, and were very disappointed. Our voyage on the sea cost 25 dollars per capita and lasted six weeks; we cooked our own food. At New Orleans we were delayed three days, then started for Nauvoo by way of the Mississippi on the steam boat, “The Little Maid of Iowa.” A sad incident occurred the first night, about 3rd of March, 1844. The passengers had been asked to help pack cord wood into the steam boat. In doing so, Robert Burston, husband of my cousin Hannah Steed (see No. 34, page 2), with his arms full of wood, fell into the river and never could be found. My cousin married again and lived childless in New Orleans. We finally landed in Nauvoo on April 13th, 1844, after a tedious journey of six weeks on the river. It was perhaps the last trip of the Little Maid of Iowa. The Prophet Joseph Smith was at the pier. At first glance I could tell it was him, by his noble expression. He came on board to shake hands and welcome us by many encouraging words, and express his thankfulness that we had arrived in safety. As he could not stay with us, he sent Apostle Geo. A. Smith to preach on board. “What did you come here for?” asked he. “To be instructed in the ways of the Lord,” answered someone. “I tell you, you have come to the thrashing floor and after you have been thrashed and pounded you will have to go through the fanning mill, where the chaff will be blown away and the wheat remain.” (The troubles of Nauvoo were just coming upon them.) My cousins, Henry Steed (No. 28, page 2) and James Steed, (No. 31, same pate) were at the wharf to greet us. Henry received me into his home and James took his father and family (John Steed, No. 6, page 2). I found work at Mr. Clark’s brickyard. IN NAUVOO, ILLINOIS. The next Sunday we went to hear the Prophet at the Grove. I was thrilled at his burning words of inspiration that illumined our souls; there and then was I confirmed in the strong testimony received in theat memorable meeting in England. I knew that he was indeed a Prophet of God. I joined immediately the Nauvoo Legion, of which Henry and James were members. I belonged to the Company of Capt. Cheese. The enemies of the Saints had threatened to destroy the City; to take our leaders prisoners and drive us away. Martial law was declared, provisions became scarce and many suffered from hunger. We were required to stand guard night after night. I could sleep half of the time in a barn, my gun for my pillow and ready to be called at any time. My companion was a converted Lamanite, used to such work and who taught me many useful things, as putting my ear upon the ground to find if any one was approaching. The day of the last speech of the Prophet Joseph to the Legion, (see the impressive picture of it by the painter, John Hafen, 1888) I stood at the foot of the platform. No man ever spoke as he did to my hearing; and never was a company of soldiers more determined to live or die with him. After Joseph and Hyrum had given themselves up as prisoner, Governor Ford spoke to the Legion, saying that if we would lay down our arms, he pledged his honor and the faith of the state of Illinois that they would be protected and have a fair trial. Then he dismissed the Legion. I went to work with Henry at the brick yard. Early in the morning of the 28th of June, 1844, a woman ran to us saying: “Boys, do you know that the Prophet and his brother have been martyred?” I stopped, astounded, Immobile against the wall. Impossible! That could not be true! Helas! We soon realized it. All business ceased in Nauvoo; we were all bowed down in sorrow. Sarah Layton Steed, Henry’s wife, died of a broken heart soon after the bodies of the martyrs had been brought home. “O though Man of God, whose delight it was to instruct us in the glorious principles of Life! Thy Name and fame cannot be slain!” Soon after this affliction I went to work in the country, as it was harvest time and we had famine in Nauvoo. I wrote to my parents a second letter to inform them of the death of the Prophet. IN ILLINOIS. Twenty-Five miles from Nauvoo I engaged to a farmer, John Green, of Herefordshire for harvesting at $5.00 a month. Four weeks after this I arranged with John S. Smith, an L.D.S. to work for him one year and take in payment one-third of his home field of wheat. But sod plowing was hard for me. I became sick with a fever called “Ague,” then I was released from my contract because of my sickness. Across the prairie from the Smith’s home, I found a place for the winter with a man named Houston and his wife, and worked all winter for my board; but in the spring he paid me 7 dollars for my winter’s work and engaged me at $7.00 a month to be paid in corn, in the fall at 25 cents per bushel. When the fall came, corn sold at twelve and one-half cents a bushel; then my employer, Wm. Houston, bought my corn, gave me $4.00 in money and an order on the store for $6.50. I returned to Nauvoo after harvest and went to work on the brick yard. On the 7th of April, 1845, I was ordained a seventy with about five hundred others during the Conference, and joined the 21st Quorum. Trouble broke out again and the Legion was required again to defend the City. The Mormons agreed to leave the State in the spring. I had another spell of the ague in the fall. I received my Endowment in the Temple of the Lord in Nauvoo, January 24th, 1846. The blessings and anointings which were then confirmed upon my head, and the satisfaction of mind which I experienced on this occasion and the sacred joy of my heart far more exceeded all the trials and afflictions or privations I ever passed through. I remained in Nauvoo until the April Conference; then with my last ten cents I paid the ferry to pass me across the Mississippi with my Uncle John who had come on a visit to Nauvoo from St. Louis; we walked 12 miles to the town of Keokuck, Iowan. It was the last time I ever saw him, for he died in St. Louis in 1848. IN IOWA. I found work immediately at unloading boats, and with my cousins, Henry and James Steed, engaged for six months to a master builder names James Mackley at 20 dollars a month, for building houses, quarrying stone and hauling sand. It was here in Keokuck, in the month of August that I had an attack of cholera morbus which nearly ended my days. Brother Wm. Knowles, native of Lancashire said of me: “He will be dead in the morning if we cannot stop those cramps.” With my cousin Henry Steed he administered unto me; then rubbed me with a solution of sceleratus so faithfully that I was better in the morning. For this I was truly thankful unto the Lord and acknowledged His hand in my deliverance. In a few days I returned to my work. When the six months were up, Henry, James and myself agreed to work together and all share alike. I was very anxious to gather with the Saints in the Valleys and needed an outfit to cross the plains. In order to make more wages, I worked during the night, after my day’s work, at loading steam boats on the river; sometimes adding $2.00 to my daily earnings by working even until daylight, when I would return to my other work. In that way I had made and saved one hundred dollars by the fall. We bought a claim of eighty acres of timber land for 300 dollars. It had a lime kiln and a stone quarry. We took contract to build cellars under large stores and warehouses, furnishing ourselves the materials. Until that time I had boarded with Henry and Rebecca Reed Steed. My two cousins had families. The only log house on the claim was used by James and his family; we built another for Henry’s and I lived with them. Miss Laura Reed, sister of Rebecca, had come with us from Nauvoo and was working at the Rapids Hotel in Keokuck. I had known Laura since my arrival from England, especially since Henry had married her sister. We loved each other, and decided to marry. Accordingly, on the day of Dec. 13th, 1846, my 20th birthday, we were united in marriage by Elder Wm. Williams, in the log house, in Keokuck. My marriage license I had secured the day preceding, from the County Clerk of Fort Madison, walking thirty-four miles. Our wedding, although simple, was a very happy one. To me the prospects of life looked brighter; I anticipated better days when once again with the Saints in the Rocky Mountains. The big log house was divided in two by a curtain, and that was our first home. We spent the winter chopping 300 cords of wood and running our lime kiln; but the next summer brought sickness and sorrow to our little colony, by the death of Aunt Ann Steed, my father’s sister and Henry’s mother, death caused by malarial fever and old age, August 9th, 1847. She was buried in the cemetery at Keokuck on the 12th. In consequence of the emotions that my wife passed through during those weeks our first child John was prematurely born the 12th of August, the day of the burial. Laura took the fever and chills and our dear babe died of the same, aged 15 days; James, my cousin, suffered also with the fever all the summer. In the winter of 1848-9 we continue to shop wood for our lime burning. On February 14th our little daughter Charlotte was born, a very fine child, and we were comforted in a measure from the loss of our little John; but the icy hand of death bereaved us of her too, the 18th of the same month. Laura was then very sick with a fever and I feared to lose her also; but thanks to God she was restored to health. In June, 1849, the great calamity of the Asiatic cholera spread its awful devastations through the United States and was very severe in Keokuck also. Very many were called at a few hours’ warning; a number of our Mormon brethren and sisters were taken, among them John Cook’s wife, Wm. Cook and wife and Thomas Boardman. My cousin, James Steed, who had suffered for the last two years was taken with congestive chills in the fall and died, leaving his wife, Caroline Holland Steed and three children; Mary Ann, (who later married John Hess, the Bishop of Farmington and later President of the Davis Stake ) ; 2, James Henry, born 31st August, 1844, at Nauvoo, Illinois, and died 14 September, 1885, at Elba Idaho, leaving a family of five children (see p. 25 of Genealogy); 3, John Wilford, born 9 November, 1846, at Keokuck, who married Ann Jenkins and brought up a very respected family in Farmington, Utah (see p. 25, Steed Genealogy). So the cemetery of Keokuck had received four members of our little colony. From that time on we hastened our preparations to move to the Valleys of the Rockies. Although our material affairs had been very prosperous we desired to gather with our people in the Mountains and we labored hard to that end. My third child, George Henry, was born in our log cabin the 11th of march, 1850. This spring found us ready to start. CROSSING THE PLAINS. The three Steed families counted ten souls: Henry Steed, aged 33 years; his son, James Henry, born at Mathon, Eng., 12 years old, (the first child of his second wife, Christopher Albert, had also died in our log cabin in 1849,his first wife, Sarah Layton, had died in Nauvoo, not long after the death of the martyrs in 1844. (See p. 10, Genealogy.) Rebecca was 23 years; Widow Caroline Holland Steed was 33 years; Mary Ann Steed, 11 years; James Henry 6 years; John Wilford 2 and on-half years, (another baby of Caroline had died in 1849, making six of our dead buried in Keokuck.) Myself, Thomas Steed, was 23 and one-half year; my wife, Laura, 21 years, and our baby George six weeks old; totaled the ten who were the pioneers of the Steed family of Utah; from 1850 to 1916 they are all recorded in the Steed Family Genealogy, printed by the Steed Family Association in April, 1916, filed in Genealogical Library. On the 1sxt of May, 1850, we said goodby to the old Keo0kuck. Our outfit consisted of four wagons, heavily loaded, nine yokes of oxen, five cows, two mules and one horse. Richard Cook drove the wagon of Caroline; with his family our contingent was augmented to fifteen. It was a late and cold spring; the ground was very wet; we had much trouble to pull our wagons through the muddy roads; the wheels sometimes would sink down to the hub; and occasionally we had to double the teams to get through the swamps toward Council Bluffs, Iowa. At length we reached the Missouri River and crossed it the 1st of June, 1850, landing at the south side of the Platte. There our company was organized with Milo Andrus for Captain. Our train of emigrants consisted of 56 wagons and five captains of ten. President Orson Hyde organized us and his closing words were: “If you will strictly observe your prayers morning and evening, keep the Sabbath Day holy, faithfully hold the name of God sacred, and be kind to each other and to your animals, you shall all go safely to the Valleys.” We arrived all well and happy to our destination the 28th of August, 1850, having had one death and one birth. The gold fever prompted many to go to California that summer, by way of the north side of the Platte, so that the feed for animals was all used up. For that reason President Hyde advised us to go along the south side. Some of the gold seekers did take the same route. The cholera broke out among them; they were all around us–before us and behind us, although we tried to keep away from them, and many of them died, but our company escaped. One afternoon our camp stopped earlier than usual. I stole away about two miles to the bluffs, to see where those people came from who were swept out to such an alarming extent. Such a horrible scene as I beheld I hope never to see again; the graves of the cholera victims were there, with head-boards bearing their names, who were from Missouri; but the hyenas had dug open the graves, dragged the cadavers out and devoured the flesh from their bones; the ravens had plucked out their eyes, and their bloody long skeletons lay stretched out on the ground. That awful sight shocked my feelings beyond expression. I did not take note of their names, unfortunately, but I remembered many were of the mobbers of Missouri, who had so cruelly treated our people. Then I recalled the prophecy of Joseph Smith: “You shall not die a natural death; the judgments of the Almighty shall overtake you; the wolves shall eat the flesh from your bones and the ravens shall pluck out your eyes.” And I saw it literally fulfilled; but our captain had forbidden us to go to their camps and I dared not mention what I had seen to anyone. I am perhaps the only witness who saw that prophecy fulfilled. This was between Fort Kearney and the crossing of the South Platte. At the Salt Creek, the high waters had carried the bridge away. We went to work and in one day made a raft and the next we floated our wagons safely and swam the cattle and horses over. Coming to the South Platte, we found the waters higher than usual, but crossed all in a day, the women and children remained in the schooners, a heavy log was fastened on each side to help it float evenly, while a man on each side of the team drove them across. Our dog had been tied up under one of the wagons. We found it dead at the end of his rope, poor thing. The cows were milked every day, the surplus was kept in a tin can hanging on the side of the wagon. The churning of it during the march automatically made our butter. The emigrant company met the outfit of Captain Davis, who gave his name to Davis County, Utah. He was leaving the West to return East and never came back. When we reached the last hard place in the road on the slope of Little Mountain, my wife Laura nearly lost her life and that of the baby. The bottom of the wagon was filled with boxes, so that she was slipping out near the front, and she screamed. “Hold fast to the bows,” said I, “it is impossible for me to leave my post at the head of the oxen.” IN SALT LAKE CITY AT LAST. I can truly say that my heart leaped for joy when I first beheld the cluster of houses which composed the Great City of the Mormons. When we arrived at the City, being the first Mormon train to arrive this season, the people generally stood in their door yards to take a view of us as we passed. We encamped in a circle on the northwest part of the city, where most of us stayed a few days, until we could determine which way we should go or settle; but we were soon scattered, some one way and some another. I and my cousin Henry obtained each a city lot and began to plan for building our houses. It was beautiful fine weather; everything was industry and prosperity; the harvest was mostly over; crops of all kinds were maturing; some were employed in making adobes, some did haul them; others laying them up to build for the winter; some were drawing timber from the nearby canyons, etc., each striving to vie with his neighbor to see who should do the most in the least time; all worked with such a will and determination as I have seldom witnessed; but it is a will and determination as I have seldom witnessed; but it is a characteristic of the Mormons to do everything possible today and let the rest go till tomorrow. So, having spent a few days investigating this extensive City and visiting some of my old friends, I decided to build my house as there was no chance to rent anywhere. So I went to work and in about two months I built with the labor of my hands a small adobe house 16 by 18 feet in which we wintered pretty comfortably. We were now in November. We had had already two snow storms; the next thing was to get my winter firewood. While his mother was out getting some water, our little George, trying to stand alone, fell against the hot stove, burning his cheek so bad that he carried the scar all his life. AT FARMINGTON. In February, 1851, Henry and myself bought a claim about 18 miles from the City. We took a wagon and some provisions and went to finish the fencing or it. This was a ditch all around with the dirt piled on the outside of it. As soon as the spring opened we commenced breaking up the land to sow about 40 acres of grain and potatoes, etc. I also fenced and broke my city lot in town; I also moved my family out to my farm in June, 1851, and made preparations to build a house in the fall. Henry built his house on the south side of Steed Creek; mine was on the north side. For twenty years we continued to work together on our farm. For dividing the crops we made two equal piles and drew lot. Many people took us for being brothers. Our harvest in July was rather light, but pretty good for the first year. At the April Conference, 1852, the Church agreed to pay one-tenth of all we possessed and as a property tithing to help roll on the public work. I gave my house and lot in Salt Lake for tithing, and the Lord has prospered me all my life. My house did not get finished until winter was nearly over; so we had to sleep in our wagon. Our son George H. Steed was blessed March 6th, 1852. Time rolled on and we rejoiced much in the privilege of the principles of eternal truth taught by men inspired from Heaven, and of living in these peaceful valleys where I can mingle with the Saints, and with them speak of the goodness of God. Thos. Joseph Steed, our 4th child, was born April 5th, 1852, while I was at the Mill of President Brigham Young in Liberty Park (as later called) to grind some of my wheat. The Lord blessed me with an abundant harvest. In August, 1852, was held a special Conference of the Church and a goodly number of Elders’ were sent on missions to different parts of the earth, and a large number of Saints into the Valley came this fall. We had many happy moments together through the winter of 1852. We strove to improve our minds and to store up knowledge. In 1853 the grasshoppers caused destruction in many places; and they injured my crop very much. In July the Walker band of Indians commenced hostilities; they killed several of the brethren and drove off quite a number of cattle. We had to keep a close watch of them . I stood guard every fifth night. This caused the people to gather into closer compass and to build forts, according to the counsel given by our beloved President some two years before. We had a city laid out in the fall of 1853, called Farmington. In laying it took about ten acres of my farm (without pay). C.G.S. This caused me much trouble at first, but when I gave it a calm reflection my mind was reconciled about it. Through the winter of 1854 we had meetings regularly, which were called young men’s meetings in which I enjoyed myself very much. In one of them the gift of tongues rested upon me, and Brother Rose gave the interpretation which said that a time of trouble was close at hand, if we did not repent and keep the commandments of the Lord more faithfully. Our first daughter, Laura Lucinda Steed was born Feb. 20th, 1854. This winter was a long and tedious one. The snow laid on the ground until the middle of March. We began to build our fort well around the city. That summer we had a severe hail storm which hurt the crops considerably. Also the grasshoppers came in great clouds and caused great damages; still there was a sufficient quantity of grain left and a little surplus. A large number of Saints came to the Valley this season, but they had a great deal of sickness in crossing the plains. We had peace with the Indians. President Young said it was better to feed them than to fight them. Our Father in Heaven showered his blessings upon us, for which I thank and praise His Holy Name. Thomas J. Steed was blessed at a fast meeting the first Thursday in February, 1855, by Elders Charles Dalton and Joseph L. Robinson. The winter of 1855 was unusually mild and most of the crops were put in very early this spring. At the April Conference about 150 Elders were called to go on mission to Israel. Our little daughter Laura L. was blessed by myself May the 2nd, 1855, and died the same night. This gave us much sorrow and gloomy feelings, for she was just beginning to talk and was sick but one day. The spring was a very dry one. The grasshoppers came stronger than ever. They swept off whole fields of grain, leaving it as bare as a plowed field. In the spring of 1855 also Henry Steed and myself fenced a new field of 45 acres for plow land. We broke about 16 acres and sowed it in wheat but the grasshoppers ate it all up; also the hay of my meadow. It looked as if they would not leave a spear of anything, but I continued to fight them the best I could to save something and when harvest came I had a little wheat, oats and barley left from the grasshoppers’ war. This w2ill long be remembered by our people. Still I feel to thank the God of my Fathers for the little He has given me. I rejoice in this experience in crop failure, without which I could never have fully appreciated the blessing of a good crop. Who the Lord loveth He chasteneth. I hear very little complaint. All of us appear cheerful and acknowledge the hand of the Lord in all things. The summer of 1855 was very hot and dry; it was hard to save the fall crops on account of the scarcity of water. A great deal was added to our city wall this summer and much improvements made this season in building and fencing. Our little city begins to present quite a pleasant appearance. In September, 1855, I went back on the road of the Plains to meet my niece Emma Turner, coming from England. Three miles on the other side of the Big Mountain I met the Company all in good health and camped with them, and drove home the next day all safe. I threshed my stack of wheat; it made 60 bushels, a very small lot; yet I feel truly thankful to the Giver of all good for it. I spent nearly all the fall working out my tax on the fort walls. At the October Conference there were a number of home Missionaries appointed to travel over the Territory to preach and to exhort the people to faithfulness. My father, Thomas Steed, departed this life at Pale house, the Wyche in Malvern, England, June 21st, 1855, aged 66 years, 10 months and ten days. He was born August 10th, 1788 at Mathon, Worces., England. He suffered much with rheumatism for the last 15 years of his life. He died firm in the faith of our Holy religion and is now gone to rest until a glorious resurrection. For three weeks during the fall of 1855 I went to work in the Little Cottonwood Canyon. We had a fine fall, but the winter set in very severe by the middle of December: the snow fell 10 feet deep, covering all the feed so that we suffered a great loss in cattle and sheep, far more than any winter before. We held a Conference in our new Court House February 2nd and 3rd, 1856. After this long and tedious winter, spring opened about the middle of March; nature soon began to bloom and to wear a smiling aspect; but the loss of stock was very great. The people generally had to go on foot to the April Conference; the hoses were too poor to use them and a great many had died. All that was left to me was our home–cow and a pair of oxen. My cattle and horses that were out wintering had died near Hooper; I found them myself in a place sheltered in bushes, where they had laid down in a circle to die. I remember that on Thanksgiving day previous, while we were at a Ward amusement, we were called by a man saying that all the cattle were running south; and we went to stop them and returned them in the place where they had to perish. The summer was a good one for crops, hay and grass; we enjoyed all a measure of good health in our family. My little son Arthur Albert was born June 23rd, 1856. In the fall Brother Jedidiah M. Grant with other Elders visited Farmington; as a Ward he weighed us in the balance and found us wanting in a great many things. He then called upon us to know if we were willing to repent and renew our Covenant again before God; and we arose en mass to show our willingness to be obedient to the call of the man of God who had come to us armed with the Spirit and power of the Lord Almighty; for so great was the power of God upon him that we seemed to sink before his searching glance. The result was that we all were rebaptized. I was baptized by Brother Grant and now feel more determined to do the will of my Father in Heaven than I ever did in my life before. Our child Arthur A. was blessed by Brother Grant and Brother Clements. I met regularly with the first quorum that was organized in Farmington for prayer during all the summer. I rejoiced much in so great a privilege. In the early part of October, 1856, with a number of others, I started on the road to meet the handcarts Companies. It was late in the season and we had a pretty rough time. We met the first Company one day’s drive east of Fort Bridger; the sight I shall never forget; they looked like Indians from afar. They had encountered a severe snowstorm down on the Sweet Water, a most bitter cold to endure; in consequence a great many laid down their bodies to rest in death, worn out with the toils and hardships of the journey and many others were frost bitten very bad. I could not refrain from tears when I beheld the scene that surrounded me. Here I met my niece, Sarah E. Steed, my brother John’s only child; I had sent for her from England. Thanks to the mercy of Providence she was in good health, although a lame girl, aged about 20 years. With them was also Brother John Bailey whom I had known in England, and his daughter, Mary Elizabeth, who later became my second wife. Brother Bailey was so severely frost bitten that his daughter had to carry him. I calculated to return with these to the Valley. I had come for that very purpose; but there was another Company farther back and Brother Wm. Kimball, who was in charge of the teams, wished me to let others take care of my friends and accompany the teamsters who went after the last Company. We wept together when I had to tell them of that decision. My poor friend Bailey died in arriving to salt Lake. We traveled on until we came to the last crossing of the Big Sandy, going East, but could not see nor hear from them. Here we had a very severe snow storm and concluded to send two men down to the Sweet Water to see if any intelligence could be obtained; but the storm was so violent that the two men returned at night to us. Capt. Amussen concluded to fall back unto Green River where about 50 teams were stopping. In the morning Van Cott and C. Spencer started back for the Valley; the rest followed until we were as far as Fort Bridger and here halted for a few days, waiting to see if we could hear from the Company. In four days an express arrived, telling that those people were down at the Sweet Water. We harnessed up and started and met them about ten miles East of the Pacific Springs. They were in a very sad condition; a great many badly frozen. We used all the care and attention we could to make them as to make them as comfortable as possible. My only blanket I gave to a sick girl to keep her warm. We made good headway towards the Valley and arrived on the 30th of November, thankful that the Lord had brought us safely through the cold and snow to our families. He winter set in pretty severe. I froze one of my feet in going to town with a load of tithing hay. My wife Laura knew what to do for me: “Stay out of the kitchen; I will bring a bucket of cold water from the spring to put your foot in.” That was done and a piece of ice just the shape of my foot formed on that cold water; the circulation of the blood was reestablished and my life saved. About the middle of February I began my farming operations. I became acquainted with Emily Sanders and Elizabeth Bailey; they were sealed to me in the End. House, on the 27th . My first wife, Laura, to whom I was sealed also, was born in Ashtabula County, in the town of Rome and State of Ohio. She was the daughter of John Reed and Rebecca (Bearce); Laura passed through the Missouri troubles with her parents and the Saints She followed with her people to Quincy, Illinois, and from there to Nauvoo, where she remained until the Spring of 1846; then she moved to Keokuck. Iowa, to be closer to her sister Rebecca, and there we married Dec. 13th, 1846, as related above; Laura was born 22 May,, 1829 (not 1828, as related above; Laura was born 22 May, 1829 (not 1828 as on her tombstone); and died at Farmington, Utah, 22 Nov. 1903; Mary Elizabeth Bailey, my second wife, was born at Leigh, Worcester, Eng., 29 Dec., 1838; she was the mother of James John Steed, her only child; she died at Farmington, 12th of May, 1876, while I was on mission in New Zealand. Then Laura took care of him as tenderly as of the other children. John Bailey, father of Betsy, was born 7th April, 1804, in Eng., and died of the hardships endured in the Handcart Company, on his arrival in Salt lake the 9th Nov., 1856 My third wife Matilda Cecilia Giauque (pron. Zhiok) was sealed to me in the Salt Lake Temple on her 38th birthday, Feb. 2nd, 1905. She was a native of the beautiful little Switzerland, being born at Preles, Canton of Bern, Feb. 2nd, 1867, daughter of Louis Emile Giauque and Sophie Adrienne Gauchat, well-to-do farmers, like their parents and ancestors in that pretty village. Preles, Lamboing and Diesse form the parish of Diesse, whose Registers being in 1557 for the Marriages. Cilia taught school in Preles from Nov. 1885 until the summer of 1897. After her entrance into the Mormon Church, she lost her position, having been baptized 17th Aug. 1896 at Bienne, Switzerland by Nicholas Bangerter, and confirmed by same and Gotlieb Schmutz and Abraham Blosh. With the blessing of her mother Cecilia emigrated to Salt lake, arriving Feb. 5th, 1900. She was received very kindly by one of the Giauque family who had preceded her since about 1864; Arnold Gustave Giauque. His family of twelve children and his good wife Louie Poulton Giauque will always deserve her gratitude for their kindness to her. Having learned the English language, Cecilia took a course in nursing and later a course in obstetrics; she worked at her new profession until her marriage to me. “And now she is a farmer’s wife and is quite satisfied. Coming back to my Journal. In the summer of 1857 I suffered a violent attack of cholera morbus that came near ending my life. Again my good wife Laura, skilled in nursing, brought me back to health with the help of the Lord. My aged mother Charlotte Niblett Steed desired ardently to come to us in Utah; with my sister Ann and family (Henry turner’s family) and my sister Rebecca Steed Gatehouse; she left Eng. The 20th of March, 1857, sailing for Boston where they landed the 20th of April; but that journey was too much for her feeble frame and she died an hour after debarking aged 68 years. She was a firm believer in the Gospel and valiant for the truth and resolved in her old age to gather to the Mountains of Ephraim and spend her lst days with me. Now she sleeps among strangers on the far Eastern shore of Columbia, but in full faith in a glorious resurrection. She was a kind and generous parent and would have been a source of great joy to me; I wanted to see her dear face again! Oh! Her memory is dear to me! My sisters arrived in the fall; I went to meet them some distance on the way. The Deseret Brass Band was organized in Aug. 1866. I have been a member of it since then, playing the E flat Sax horn or tuber. THE JOHNSTON ARMY. About the end of 1857 I took a load of provisions and clothing to our troops in Cache Valley, who were out in the defense of Israel against the Johnston Army. It seems to be the design of our enemies to disturb the peace of our homes and to destroy the Kingdom of God if it was in their power. I served in Echo Canyon about six weeks, as member of the Brass Band. Our enemies boasted they were coming right in, but the Lord edged up their way; they could not accomplish it; the army had to camp at Fort Bridger for the winter, and we had a very favorable winter. On the 20th of March, 1858, it was decided that a standing army of 1100 men should be raised, I was called upon to fit out one man and to sustain him in the field, it was a Mr. Pratt from Salt lake. As the Company was fitted out, we learned that the Indians had started hostilities against the Salmon “river Mission; They had killed two of our brethren (one Miller of Farmington) and wounded several more. So our soldiers started and brought in the whole settlement. This Mission was about 300 miles north of Salt Lake City. At the end of March 1858 a general move was proclaimed by the General Authorities of the Church for all the families living North of the Point of the Utah Mountain (now the Jordan Narrows.) This caused a great deal of work; for the Farmington Ward the task was to take all our portable belongings on wagons and go camping 12 miles part Summit to a place called Clover Creek, (now Mona, Utah). There is where our son Walter William was born may the 29th, 1858; Laura got along first rate, although we had to live in the open air. The U.S. Army passed through Salt lake City very peaceably and went to Camp in Cedar Valley. A treaty of peace was concluded and we all gladly moved back to our homes, having learned how to appreciate them; this was on 7th of July. The harvest was ready to cut and was pretty good considering we had ben away most of the season. The army brought a great quantity of wagons, teams and supplies of all kinds, that we could buy very cheap. We got along very well through the fall and winter, although almost every week there was shooting or stabbing scrape, and the feed was pretty scarce before spring. The army brought in great many evils; but also the means to procure clothing and blankets of which we were almost destitute. I see and acknowledge the hand of god in this. During this winter I hauled hay and wood and saved 200 dollars in cash. This I gave to Thomas Smith who was going East to bring me a wagon, stove and bolts of goods to clothe the family The army remained through the nest season, 1859. The Judges tried to make it appear that some awful crimes had been perpetrated; they instituted a court of inquiry in the Provo Court House, soldiers were stationed there to care for some prisoners whom they had taken for examination. This exasperated the feelings of the people that they made a petition to the Governor to have those soldiers removed, which was done. In the fall of 1859, on account of dissatisfaction my wife Emily left me and married again, having obtained from me a bill of divorce. In the spring of 1860 the army received orders to retire from our Territory, except a few to take care of the post (now Fort Douglas). Henry and I bought a farm of 20 acres of first rate plow land; we raised a good crop this season. I sent my wagon and equipment, together with others to help the emigration of the poor from the states. The 26th of August, 1860, our little daughter Laura Lovina was born; (she later married Edward Abraham Cottrell). That same fall I concluded to build a barn; so I went to work in the canyon to get timber, which by great perseverance and the blessing of the Lord, I accomplished; the winter was very moderate, so we hewed the logs during that time. On the 21st of march we were ready to raise the roof; but in so doing I had the misfortune to fall head-long from the top beam down to the cellar on a pile of loose rocks; that bruised my head and face pretty bad and sprained my wrist, which gave me great pains. The Brethren laid their hands upon me, anointing me with oil and in a few weeks I was well again. That summer, for the first time in my life I had the pleasure to thrash my grain on a barn floor, tramping it out by hoses; this was a great help to me. The spring of 1842 was a very late one and wet; we raised a rather poor crop this season. An army from California arrived in the fall and camped for the winter about three miles from the City, called Camp Douglas. Our little daughter Fanny Louisa was born June, 1862. The winter passed tolerably mild and peaceable, although we feared it would be otherwise. We had a moderate good crop this season, 1863, and were prospered. The winter of 1864 was pretty severe; we bought a small farm on the Weber this winter. Our little son Ira Edwin was born Jan. 27th, 1864. The summer was a very dry one. I raised a pretty good crop of small grain; but the corn and the sugar cane dried up. That fall, flour was worth 25 dollars per hundred. There is a very wonderful fact to me; A bloody war had been going on since 1862 between the North and the South, and yet we had peace in these Valleys; in this I feel to acknowledge the hand of God. Charles Marco, our son, was born Nov. 27th, 1865. Charlotte Alice, our daughter, was born June 10th, 1867. It was in the spring of 1866 that we bought a reaper and a mowing machine; they cost us 650 dollars. Franklin David our son, was born Oct. 6th, 1869. Rosea, our daughter, was born Nov. 25th, 1871. Marco died 26thJune, 1872. Lee A., our son, was born Jan. 8th, 1873, and died 30th of March, 1877. This is the end of Thomas Steed’s Journal It has been kept by his widow all these years in the original Red Tin Box, with other old papers. LETTER FROM THE Farmington Sunday School, dated June 13th, 1875. Thomas Steed Esquire. Dearly beloved Brother, On the eve of your departure for your Mission to Australia, we the Supt. And teachers of this Sunday School desire to present to you this expression of our good will. We have for many years known your value as a faithful Latter-day Saint, a truthful man, a peaceful citizen, a person of whose society the good people might always be honored with. As a teacher of the Theological Class of young men, you have been the instrument of saying words of Life and blessing, that will be like the bread cast upon the water and shall return after many days in mutual blessings. And now, dear brother, may the God of Israel bless you on your mission, preserve you to do good work; be your Guide in all your travels; bless you in body and mind and keep you safe until we meet again is the prayer of your brethren and sisters. Signed in behalf of the Farmington Sunday School Teachers: James T. Smith, Supt. Oliver L. Robinson, Secretary. MAKING THE TOUR OF THE WORLD at his own expense to fill a mission to Australia, in company with Elders Job Welling and Jacob Miller, all three matured men, experienced in the Gospel We quote from Thomas Steed’s missionary journal. 1875 June. Adieu to my home. When I think of leaving my own family and friends so dear to me, by the ties of nature and of friendship, I cannot help seeing the possibility of dangers and death, while I roam for years of my life among strangers. To come back to them all is the firm hope of my heart. To the return of that day I shall look forward, to join in your circle once more; and unite with the pure, the valiant and the noble in praise to the God we all adore. The mission that we bear is great for salvation of all who adhere to its precepts and who want the Glory celestial to obtain. Adieu! May the blessings of heaven surround you and the Angel of peace remain at your fireside! ON THE WAY TO LIVERPOOL. Left Farmington June 16th, 1875 at 6:30 a.m.; arrive at the Detroit depot at 4 a.m. Here we had to stop over until Monday. We visited the wharf, strolled around the City and saw wealth in lavish profusion. The cemetery then attracted our attention. It is certainly the most beautiful spot for a burying ground that I ever beheld, decorated with all the taste that wealth and art can produce; then we saw the Fire department and admired the nice arrangement and order that enables them to get on the way in half a minute when the alarm is sounded. Monday, the 21st, we left Detroit, at 2:10 a.m. on the Grand Trunk line thru Canada to Fort Erie, crossed the international Bridge to the U.S.A.; passed Buffalo, Rochester, Utica, Albany and at New York landed at the Hudson River depot at 8 a.m. Here we visited the Offices of Guyon and Co. and secured our passage on board the Manhattan, to leave the pier 46 at 3 p.m. Wrote a little note home, and took a check on the Offices of Guyon and Co. in Liverpool. Capt. Jones true to his time, started out. We got a fine view of the great City of New York, with its fine mansions, churches and towers as we passed up to Sandy Hook; we got a view of New Jersey City, Brooklyn and Stanton Island with its forts and barracks and the long row of towering masts of vessels from nearly all nations; we passed close to a fine French Man-of-War, laying at anchor. Contemplating the scene before me I thought how few souls out of this vast multitude are willing t listen to the words of Life now sent to man! Soon a very stiff breeze began to blow and some of us became sick; there was prospect of it becoming very general. Job and Jacob were of the number and I could not say that I was clear of it. I had eaten only a light breakfast that morning and I was afraid to eat any supper; I continued walking the deck until 10 o’clock; in the morning I felt alright.. Wednesday, 23 June, 1875. Beautiful day, sea calm and smooth; God is prospering our journey. I will mention a conversation that took place on the train between Rochester and New York. Sitting on a seat next to me a New York merchant as soon as he found that I was from Utah, wanted to know “How old Brigham got along with his numerous wives” I told him that I saw him a few days ago; that he was looking very well. “How many women has he?” “I don’t know, but whatever number he has, he takes great care of them” “Do you not suppose they have intercourse with other men?” “I have been a close observer all my life, and I believe they are as virtuous and as good as the world can produce. It is their faith and their aim to be honorable, noble pattern of virtue and chastity. As for Mr. Young, Sir, I always try to speak of all men as I find them! He is a true philanthropist. He has done more than any other man in this Republic to settle the great West. I have known him to take care of the widow, the orphan and the needy, to lift them up, and to assist them in a way to help themselves. Through his wise counsel, settlements have been founded for poor men brought from the old world, by the aid of the Emigration fund; these, by taking his advice, are now prosperous and happy.” This touched his finer feelings; and although he was one of the great merchants of N.Y., during a business of over a million dollars a year; yet he melted down and acknowledged having been acquainted with the coarsest men of business all over the East:”It is no use talking, we have descended below the beast...” “Now, sir, do you not think it would be far more honorable to marry those women, take care of them, educate their children and make them honorable members of society than for men of culture to degrade themselves?” By this time he had change materially: “Yes, Sir. I most certainly do. Now,” said he, “I have never drank any liquor or beer, nor used any tobacco; I have never quarreled with a man; never belonged to any society. But if Mr. Young is the man you represent him to be, my opinion is changed about him.” He gave me his card, asking how long I should remain in N.Y. We parted in a very friendly manner, and I thanked God for the opportunity of allaying some of the prejudice of an individual and of speaking in defense of His servant. 24 June, 1875 Our ship made 11 knots an hour; we saw quite a shoal of whales, also a number of vessels fishing for mackerel. I had a conversation with a gentleman from London concerning Utah and the Mormons. I told him of the wise course of President Young in the settlement of the Valleys, and I lent him the “Voice of Warning.” IN ENGLAND ONCE MORE> July 4th, 1875. At 4:30 p.m. we landed at Liverpool and immediately proceeded to 42 Islington, the office, where President Joseph F. Smith gave us a hearty welcome; we preached in a meeting that evening. The next day I was on my way to Malvern, my old home; 31 years have passed, every person seems a stranger to me; but not so; here is an old man pointing his finger at me, saying: “I know him, I know him, that’s tom Steed.” Soon I am surrounded by town folks who want to talk to me; and who is the elderly lady running this way and who embraces me? My sister Betsy! Oh! The joy of two Mormons meeting after so many long years of absence. Her husband, James Chamberlain, had some hay to put in the stack and I helped him. On the 28th of July, my nephew, George Chamberlain, invited me to attend with him the fete of the Odd Fellows, in this city. With banner and brass bands we marched to the old Abbey Church, where all my Sabbath days were spent in my youth; although the interior had been remodeled, it brought many reminiscences of my boyhood. After the sermon we marched through the principal streets and came to the Lodge, where I used to live. It looks very familiar, although newly done over. A train of thoughts awakes in my mind; this fine garden, these handsome pleasure grounds I had in my charge, when I was looking forward to the day I could obtain 25 dollars to take me to Zion. How earnestly I prayed every day in secret of the tool house! What joy and peace filled my soul, such as the world knows nothing of! Those few moments brought feelings hard to describe. At 2 p.m. 300 had a good dinner in a large hall, with speeches and hearty applause; then to Hollow Meadow we went for the games of foot racing, dancing on the green, etc. In that company of about 2000 I enjoyed myself as well as I could; but my thoughts were up to a far off valley, to my kindred and friends, where I hope to return and share with them many more happy days. MISSIONARY WORK. July 29. Had conversation with Henry Jones, apostate, living at the Bottom of the Link; then went to the Norris to see R. Phillips; stayed with him all night, talking about the valley, his brother (over there), etc.. July 30. Had 2 hours talk with Ann Phillips; who is keeping house for her father. From there I went to Leigh Church to see the genealogy of my grandmother Steed (Elizabeth Mason), but without success. Visited Mrs. Cowley and went for the night to my sister Jemima (Steed) Rowley. July 31. Made another visit to Henry Jones, about the Gospel, in the course of it I told him he was a miserable, unhappy man, then his daughter joined me and said; “father, you know you are a miserable, unhappy man.” Although I used sharp language with him, he wanted me to stay and to call again. Had a long conversation with Mr. Morgan or Malvern, on the restoration of the Gospel, the life of Joseph Smith and testified of the great work of God in these last days. Went to John Steed (his brother, probably, C.G. S.). A missionary N V. Morris came from Birmingham to join me. August 1. We went to Binstey Common, a distance of 12 miles, to hold a camp-meeting at 2:30 p.m. We had a large congregation who listened with attention to my words on the restoration of the Gospel in its primitive plainness. The Spirit of the Lord was with me; Brother Morris and Bro. Belleston followed. We walked to Action Green, where we held a good meeting. The people listened with attention. I have no doubt some will be added to the Kingdom; at 9:30 p.m. we returned to the Cross, a little tired, having walked the whole distance. August 2. I went to Malvern Station to meet Jacob Miller, my Farmington companion, but he did not come. Here I notice the great amount of traffic done in the numerous trains coming and going. August 2, 1875. Bro. Morris joined me and we went to see Henry Jones in his shoe store. Morris asked him: “When did you tell the truth, when you testified of the truth of Mormonism or now?” “I think it was enthusiasm that made me,” said he. This unhappy man is always afraid to die. How great his darkness! That man once enjoyed the light of the Holy Spirit, but now denies the power thereof. We returned to the Wyche. August 4. Along the top of the hill, above Malvern Wells, we walked to the Camp Hill to see John Mathews, the brother of William Mathews; he rents a farm at Heaventain and we had an interesting talk with him concerning his brother William and family in America. (See page 11, Steed Genealogy.) Coming back to the Wyche we found Jacob Miller at my brother, Henry Steed. It was a joy to take him along the blind man’s walk to St. Ann’s Well, where we had a good drink of pure water; together we also visited the old Abbey Church, dating of the 9th Century. August 5. Started for Hereford; we walked to Ledbury, from there we went by train. We held a cottage meeting at night to encourage the Saints to keep the commandments of God. August 6. A rainy day. Visited the old Castle Grounds and the Cathedral of Hereford; it dates of the 12th Century. We took a walk up the River. We then held a meeting in the Lecture Hall, in Bridge Street, where a very respectable congregation appeared to take great interest in our message. Elder Morris, then Jacob, and myself spoke in turn. I hope our visit to the maiden town of England will result in good at least we have done our duty and leave them in the hand of God. The town is very ancient, old fashioned looking, with buildings hundreds of years old. August 7. Left Hereford at 10 a.m. and came to Malvern Wells Station, located opposite the Wyche. We called on Henry, my brother, for any letters from home; but were disappointed. Then we went to the Link Common to visit a sister Williams; had a very good visit. The Malvern College then called for our visit; we were shown the different departments by Professor Wm. F. Prosser, an old acquaintance of mine, who gave us a good supper and treated us very kindly. August 8. Sunday. Morning clear and bright makes us rejoice for we had given out an appointment to hold a camp meeting on the common at 2:30 p.m. We had a great desire to speak to the people of this vicinity before leaving the country. We met just in front of where Pale House used to stand, a good size assembly. Bro. Morris spoke first, Bro. Belleston next and I followed. We held another meeting at 6:30 p.m., which was well attended. Bro. Jacob spoke first. I gave them a sketch of my experience from the time I first heard the Gospel near that very spot, some 35 years ago up to the present; I bore testimony of the great mission of the Prophet Joseph and that it was in obedience to the commandment of God and the love I had for my fellow men, that I now was with them to declare the truths of the Gospel of the son of God, which, if they would receive and obey would entitle them to the blessing of Eternal Life. It was for this cause that I had willingly left my home, my family and my friends and had traveled over 6000 miles to carry the glad tidings to them and to bear my testimony that this is the Dispensation of the fullness of time, in which God would do a great and marvelous work on the earth to prepare a people for the second coming of His Son. I was listened to with interest by many. I also gave them a song that was well received. I hope it will prove a blessing to them . Many came to take my hand and said God bless you, we shall remember what has been said. August 9. With Bro. Jacob and Bro. Morris I went along of my youth, but the weather was too foggy to see far. We followed the old Renters path and came to Henry, where at noon Bro. Belliston came; we all four went to Malvern, where we parted two and two: Jacob and myself going to West Malvern to see Jane Steed and daughter and bid them good-by. Also called on Richard Steed, wife and daughter; she looks quite young and is doing well. We then called on the widow of John Jones, who was brother of Bro. Thos. Jones, (with one leg, living in Weber County, Utah). I had a letter for her. She lives in the same old house that Benjamin Holland used to. We returned to Wyche. August 10. Both Jacob and I went to Worcester to look for Samuel Williams; he did not come; we visited the Cathedral so beautifully decorated outside and inside with all the art, pomp and grandeur of the present age; they had then a High Church service. Then Jacob departed for London; I waited until the last train for S. Williams, was disappointed and returned to Malvern in the dark. August 11. Wrote to Betsy, visited Jane Everil, from there to Henry Steed; had a long talk with him about going to the Valley, also with George Chamberlain, until midnight, then went over the Wyche. August 12. Bid farewell to Malvern friends; Mrs. Steadman, Mrs. Mathews who kept me for dinner; returned to Henry where I found Daniel Hill of West Malvern; at midnight went over the Wyche. August 13. Paid a visit to the Curate of Malvern; Mr. Lee. We had an interesting conversation on our faith and doctrines, the Prophet Joseph and the great work of the latter days. He said he could not spend any more time; I offered to give him a full day later if he desired, but he said no, and promised to write me. My next visit was to my brother, John Steed; his wife, said he, was determined not to go to Utah, but he would come some day, after her death. (There is a space of 12 days missing from the Journal. It was then probably that our three missionaries met in London, for they had their photo taken there, all on the same card: Job Welling, Jacob Miller and Thomas Steed. Here they visited the Crystal Palace, of which the many views remain to this day with his wife Cecilia, 1931.) August 25. Gravesand seems to be a nice place. The River, look where you will, is teeming with life, dotted with vessels and crafts of all kinds. The Great Britain will take us to Melbourne a large steamer provided with sales also. At noon we are called on deck to pass the Doctor’s inspection and show our tickets. At one o’clock Bro. Joseph F. Smith and Bro. Francis M. Lyman came on board to see us for the last time in this country; they cheered us up and made us feel happy in face of the stern reality of a long and perilous voyage before us; they remained half an hour after which came the good-by and God bless you; it seemed like parting with our last friends; but God our Father will be our Friend and we trust in Him. I wrote a letter to Albert. (It was him who had charge of the farm in my absence; George and Thomas J. were married.) ON THE WAY TO THE AUSTRALIAN MISSION August 26, 1875. At 4 a.m. we weighed anchor and steamed down the River Thames; at 7 we passed Sheerness on the Kent Side and South End on the Essex side; soon we are in view of the Castle and fortifications of Dover on our right, and Calais in France on our left. Here we put off our pilot and Jacob sent a letter home as the last news we could give them for a long while. September 1. A beautiful day; we are passing now on the East of the Strait of Gibralter, but the Rock is not in sight. The scene on deck of our ship is like one of those crowded streets of London, as the passengers promenade up and downs for exercise, 2 or 3 hours, all trying to amuse themselves. We have on board 67 first class passengers, 60 of the second, 205 of third class or storage, officers and seamen, 135; total 527, plus a few children. September 4. As we sail on to the Southeast we come in view of the Island of Madeira along the northwest coast, close enough to the shore to see the buildings, gardens and vineyards; the steep hillsides are trellised and present a beautiful sight. September 3. In the afternoon we pass the isle of Palma, one of the Canary group. September 6. The steam is left off, we are going to try the wind. The sailors dress for the occasion to bury the dead horse, which was fixed for the purpose; after it was drawn around the deck a few times it was sold at auction then dropped into the sea, which made a great deal of fun. September 12. Sunday, beautiful weather. We crossed the Line (Equator) this morning. The sun is right above our heads; we witness the north and the south currents meet together; and at noon when the log was taken we were so close to the Line that we had 0 of latitude, which is a very rare thing. I attended services today twice; had conversation with some of the passengers, who should know that we are Mormon missionaries. September 14. Passed the Island of Ascension, lying way east of us. Three large birds have ben seen flying around the ship. I lent some books to some passengers. A large shark came along side, also a bottle-nosed whale. The wind is favorable and we are prospering; I spend the day in reading and conversing. September 21. Spent all the fore-noon with a man who calls himself a free-thinker; he reason from cause and effect or the laws of nature; he acknowledges the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, but his mind is in the dark in regard to the dealings of God with man. I bore to him a faithful testimony which he can never forget; in the evening I had to talk with a Mr. Shepner on the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times and Joseph Smith called to start the great latter-day work. As usual, three times a week we had dance on deck. September 22. This morning is rather cool with a stiff breeze. I notice the ire of the evil one is aroused and begins to manifest itself through some on board, because we have testified of the truths revealed through the Prophet Joseph, but God is our Friend and we fear not. September 28. We pass the Cape of Good Hope in latitude 40, about 400 miles off. September 30. I had a long conversation with Mr. Shepner on the divine origin of the Book of Mormon. October 3. Sunday. A stormy day with heavy squalls of snow and sleet and rain. In the afternoon I went on deck; it was hard work to stand, but by constant practice every day I have become a real sea-man; still for my safety I am strapped to the mast, and I enjoy the sight of a real storm at sea. The Captain had declared this to be the worst storm he had experienced; he was not sure the old ship could stand it. So we the three Elders of Farmington, retired in our cabin and locked the door; we unite poured our souls to our Heavenly Father in a most solemn prayer and received the assurance in our hearts that all would be well with us. “If this old man can do something for us,” said a sailor, “I wish he would do it now.” “Be of good cheer, my boy, we will be all right,” was my answer. That is why, strapped to the mast, I could observe without terror the spectacle before me. The scene was superbly grand, as the storm king rode triumphantly over the mighty deep and drove the foaming billows into little mountains which when they met each other in mighty fury would throw their white spray high into the air then sweep over the deck. Now we go way down into a valley between those mighty waves; I look fore and aft; the foaming sea is far above us; now we are lifted by the monster wave to the crest of the water, the big heavy ship plunges her prow straight into the next mountain approaching; her steel beams vibrate and resist firmly the onslaught of this most severe test of her strength. Again it looks dark and dismal in the valley below, and as the ship rolls over nearly dipping her bulwarks into the water, the crest of the waves is high above the deck and proudly dashes her spray everywhere. That gave some of us a heavy sprinkling. Truly the sight is grand and majestic. October 4. The sea continues rough and squally; the ship rolls very bad; it sends us from one side to the other with a vengeance. We will ever remember the Indian Ocean. It still presents a wild and furious picture, which is grand beyond description. It is quite chilly; most of the passengers crawled into their berths to keep warm. (We wonder if they now envied the strong faith of the despised Mormon Missionaries?) October 7. Today we pass the Antipodes of Farmington, being in latitude 41.15 South and longitude 68.20 East; the weather is like our month of March in Utah. October 21. We landed in Melbourne, Australia, glad to set our feet on terra firma. The days spent on the water since embarking in London total 47. OUR WORK IN AUSTRALIA That immense field of our mission was divided so that Bro. Welling resides in Melbourne; Bro. Miller in Sidney and myself in New Zealand. November 11, 1875. Accordingly I bid adieu to my dear companions. I took passage with a steerage ticket on the ship Albion, for Port Lytleton, New Zealand. For nearly the whole voyage I suffered with sea sickness, because of the poor ventilation. Here is where I felt low spirited, lonesome for my own people. I began to write verses in my own way to console myself. (They are preserved to this, C.G. Steed.) The date is Nov. 15, 1875, “Aboard the ship Albion” the title is: “Thoughts of Home;” begins with: “There is a land beyond the sea,” etc. On Sunday, some of the passengers asked me to give a lecture; the Capt. Granted it. I spoke on deck to some of them; then I went down to my quarters and held a meeting there, for which they gave me a vote of thanks. Arriving at Kaipoi, not far from Port Lytleton, I was well received by the kind family of Bro. James Burnett. The comfort they gave me was indeed the greatest blessing I could have found in arriving to my main field of labor. I started the house to house canvas visits, became acquainted with the English speaking population of part of South Island, around Christ Church. Two missionaries joined me from Utah, namely William McLachlan and John Rich. December 13, 1875. This is my 50th birthday; starting my 50th year, among strange people, at the antipodes, so far away from home, I feel happy. I wrote a letter to Albert for the whole family. December 25. Christmas in New Zealand is not accompanied with our freezing weather of the North Climes. It is on the contrary as warm as our June days. We had fresh peas from the garden for dinner. The people don’t come to our meetings; they are afraid of the dreadful Mormons; so I must go to their homes to deliver my message. The towns mostly visited by me are Wrangiora, Kaipoi, Woodend, Sneed, Southbrook, Papanui and Christ Church. (Thus a full year is spent by the faithful and diligent missionary, Thomas Steed, with interesting events recorded in his Journal.) Wednesday, Jan. 31, 1877. Went to the Waimacariri River and I baptized Thomas Foukes and Ann, his wife. This gave me much joy. February 2. Received a letter from Albert, containing a check of 25 Pounds, on the bank of New South Wales. Tuesday, Feb 6. Having received my honorable release, I now prepare to return home–Sweet home. I went to Wrangiora to bid the brethren and sisters adieu; they were very reluctant to part with me. Wednesday, Feb 7. I visited Brother and Sister Foukes and confirmed them members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The missionary Jacob Miller had been honorably released for cause of ill health; I was to travel with my dear friend Job Welling. We met at Auckland and were sure glad to exchange the story of our important experiences. February 15, 1877. This ship Australia leaving port at 5 a.m. with Capt. Cargill, is to take us to our destination–San Francisco; another brother, Aalsworth by name, is sharing our cabin. March 1. Arrive at Honolulu; we have time to visit the town, also a field of poi. March 13, 1877. Home again! How to describe the deep joy of it? How the boys and girls have grown up. Here is James J., whose dear mother Betsy has died in my absence; my dear wife Laura is all that another mother could be to him. Our dear little Rosie has left us, while I was away. My grist mill has burned also; that makes some test and trials for our faith; but here I am, undaunted, strong and ready to go ahead and to conquer the crown reserved to the Victor. From BIOGRAPHICAL RECORDS of Salt Lake City and vicinity, published by the NATIONAL HISTORICAL RECORD CO., Chicago, 1902, page 371, we read: “But few men are better or more favorable known in Salt Lake City and vicinity than Thomas Steed, the Subject of this sketch. From the earliest settlement of this State to the present he has been closely identified with its history and development. He has passed through all the early hardships and troubles, and now in the declining years of his eventful and successful life he can look back with pride to a life well and honorably spent. He has followed the farming and livestock business ever since he came to this state, (30 Aug. 1850). His first wife is still living, but in feeble health. (Laura Lucinda Reed Steed) she died Nov. 22, 1903, aged 75 years, 5 months, a faithful mother of 7 stalwart sons and three daughters who reached maturity, and of 5 children who died young.) Mary Elizabeth Bailey, daughter of John and Mary (Rice), his second wife, died May 12, 1876, aged 37 years, having been born 29th Dec. 1838, at Leigh, Worcester, Eng. Today he enjoys the esteem and confidence of the leaders of his Church in which he has ever been a faithful and consistent member, and has a wide circle of friends.” His last sickness, caused by hernia, lasted only five days. He died in the L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City, on Sunday, June 26, 1910, in his 84th year. The funeral was held at Farmington June 30th. Bishop Robinson presiding. The latter said that the large audience expressed more eloquently than words the esteem in which the departed friend, brother and Patriarch was held. The Stake President, Joseph Hyrum Grant, said: “It must be a great comfort to the family to hear so many good things said of him. I also wish to mention the services rendered during the declining years of Patriarch Steed by his good faithful wife, who has been all that a kind wife could be to a man. The deceased has rounded out a good old age, lived a worthy life, left a large and respected family, and why should we mourn under such favorable circumstances.” Patriarch Jacob Miller spoke of his association with Elder Steed while laboring with him in far off Australia, while the many years ago he had loved and respected him for his integrity and faith. The two had in connection with the late Job Welling made the trip around the world. A quartet sang: “Who Are These Arrayed in White”; Hyrum Welling, Wilford Hess, Ireta Hess and Hazel Udy. Charles Secrist sang “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.” His monument on the Farmington cemetery, with his name bears these words: “BLESSED ARE THE PEACE MAKERS FOR THEY SHALL BE CALLED THE CHILDREN OF GOD.”



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