Our Family Legacy
Much of the information
on Abraham, Tamer, and Flora Clarinda contained in this
Abraham's Early Years
Abraham was born the 17th of March 1805 at Nine Partners, Duchess County, New York, son of Daniel Washburn and Nancy [Ann] Wright (While Nancy often used the name Ann, in her father's will she is listed as Nancy. Ann is a common nickname for Nancy). He had two brothers, Isaac and Jacob (actually, Abraham had three brothers. There was an older brother bom in 1803 who died as an infant. Jacob died 13 September 1884) and one sister Philena. His father was a farmer, one of the early settlers of Mt. Pleasant, New York.
His first ancestor in America, William Washburn, was a pioneer of Connecticut and Long Island. We have in our possession a copy of a deed of apart of Long Island from the Indians to William Washburn and others. William Washburn still had property in England, and his son John died while there looking after family interests in that country. As we come down the line of ancestors, they were pioneers of Weschester and Duchess, and other counties of New York.('The correct spelling is Dutchess County and Westchester County. Abraham and Tamer Washburn descended from a line of English ancestors dating back to the time of the Norman Conquest. The name Washboume developed from two Saxon words--"wash," meaning a fast-moving current, and "bum" or "bourne," a brook or small stream - see Daughters of the Utah Pioneers lesson for October 1988, written by Beatrice B. Malouf, a great-granddaughter of Abraham Washburn).
Abraham Washburn's father died the 14th of July, 1813. His mother had delicate health from the time of the death of her husband until her own death the 8th of March, 1824. Young Abraham had many responsibilities as a child, he being the oldest of the family of children. At an early age he assisted his mother in the management of the farm, and in caring for the younger children.
From the time of his father's death he helped his mother with washing, ironing, and cooking, and the many home duties, and as he grew older he took charge of the family affairs, and was like a father to the family. He looked after the education of himself and the children, and put the boys out to learn trades when they were at the proper age, as no boy's education was complete in those days until he mastered some trade. He put his younger brother Jacob out to learn the cooper's trade, but young Jacob was not satisfied. He rebelled and ran away, but Abraham brought him back, and he finished his apprenticeship, but did not follow the trade for long. As he grew to manhood he decided his job was too small for him, so he studied for the ministry and was a minister in one of the Methodist churches of New York City until his death which occurred after 1870.
Abraham was educated in the schools of those early times, plus continual study through his entire life, and late in life was pronounced by educators a well educated man. His trade was tanner and shoemaker.
Tamer's Early Years
Tamer Washbum was bom 4 July 1805 in Mt. Pleasant, Westchester, New York. She was the ninth child in a family of eleven children, and all eleven children were bom in Mt. Pleasant (The eleven children were, Oliver F., Richard, Isaac, Jane, Amy, Noah, Mary, Abraham, Tamer, Sarah L., and Jesse). Both her parents and grandparents were long-term residents of New York. Her father, Jesse Washbum, had also been born in Mt. Pleasant, and her mother, Susannah Tompkins, in Greenburgh, Westchester, New York.
Little is know about Tamer previous to her marriage to Abraham. We know that like Abraham, she was raised a Quaker. Tamer's father, Jesse died on 26 July 1809, a few weeks after her fifth birthday. Her mother, Susannah (Tamer's mother, Susannah Tompkins Washbum died in Westchester County. She is listed in the Chappaqua Book of Deaths as "Sukey" Washbum. Sukey is a common nickname for Susan or Susannah), lived until 1861 and apparently did not remarry. It appears that Susannah did not come west, but remained in New York and died in Mt. Pleasant.
Abraham and Tamer Marry
On the 16th of March, 1824, shortly after the death of his mother, he married Miss Tamer Washbum, who was born July 4, 1805 at Mt. Pleasant, New York. She was the daughter of Jesse Washbum and Susannah Tompkins. Her father, Jesse, was the brother of Abraham's grandfather, Daniel Washbum. After his marriage, Abraham went into the business of tanning leather and making shoes. A shoe store was one department of his business house. He was very successful in each department and his business grew with the years.
Ten children would be born to this marriage. Another child, William Davis, was adopted. Of these eleven children, only five would survive to marry (While family tradition is that William Davis or Davidson was adopted, it is not known whether a legal adoption took place. It is known that he was taken into their home and raised by the Washbums. He was bom in 1820 in Bedford, Weschester, New York, and died in either 1841 or 1842 (see Jesse Ordean Washbum, Hyrum Smith Washbum, 1853-1924,-p. 1). While living in Mt. Pleasant, their first child, Daniel, was bom 23 July 1826. Mary Ann was bom 15 November 1828, and just over eighteen months later, Emma (or Amy) Jane was bom 28 July 1830.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
In about the year 1836 or 7 (It was probably 1837. Parley recorded, "Late in July  I arrived in the City of New York, on a mission, took lodgings, and commenced to preach and write.. .. During our stay in New York I made frequent visits to the country and to other towns. Branches of the Church were formed at Sing Sing, and in Jersey, and also in Brooklyn and various other parts of Long Island." (See Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 144, 148). Both Parley and his brother Orson were bom in New York. Parley was baptized in 1830 and then baptized Orson, who was age 19. Parley was ordained an apostle in 1835. He then served missions to Pennsylvania, New York, New England, Canada, and New York again before settling in Missouri in 1838. The above quote references his second mission to New York. In 1840, he served a mission in England. Orson was ordained an apostle in 1835), Parley P. Pratt came to New York preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Abraham Washburn was soon converted (Abraham was baptized 6 February 1838 by Parley Pratt and ordained a seventy by Orson Pratt March 1838 - see Nauvoo Seventies List, P-Z, pp. 136, 63). He said this new gospel was like a light in the darkness and he thought that every one who heard it would see the 'beauty of it, but his wife felt differently. At first she fought it with all her energy.
Hearing the gospel message, ". .. was too much for this dear lady who was a staunch Methodist, yet retaining may ideas of the Quaker faith in which she had been reared.10 She was infuriated at what she had just heard, it was impossible for God to give new revelations to man; all such things had ceased with the death of the ancient prophets and apostles. This man was surely an imposter teaching false doctrines. Her righteous indignation arose and she turned on Brother [Parley] Pratt and poured out the venom of her wrath in no gentle tones. Her husband tried in vain to sooth her."
Shortly after [Abraham] was baptized in the Church, Brother Pratt was holding a meeting one evening when a messenger arrived telling Brother Washburn that his wife had fainted. As he arose to leave the room, Brother Pratt said, "Brother Washburn, be not alarmed about your wife. I promise you in the name of the Lord that she will soon be a member of this Church. " In a very few weeks she was baptized.
Abraham Washburn was raised a Quaker. Their Sabbath began Saturday evening at sundown ("The Quaker religion began in England in 1652. Quakers were reportedly frugal and plain in dress and speech. Sometimes called "The Friends," church services had no ritual, sacrament, or ordained clergy. The meeting for worship was held "on the basis of silence." Members spoke in prayer or testimony as the "Inward Light moved them." After an hour the meeting would end with members shaking hands (from Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia) (Lorena Larsen, Leaves from the Book of Life of Tamer Washburn. Quakers were often not receptive to the restored gospel. A history of Orson Pratt records his visits to Jericho, LeRayville, and Antwerp, New York, predominantly Quaker communities. The settlements, "met him with a quiet audience of two. He declined to preach" - see The Life and Thought of Orson Pratt, p. 48) and ended Sunday evening at sundown. During this Sabbath, no one could laugh aloud or engage in any pleasant pastime. Brother Washburn said it was very hard for young people with their fun loving natures to keep the Sabbath day strictly. In his young manhood before he heard the gospel, he investigated other religions and felt that the Methodist was more to his liking than the others so he joined that church and persuaded all his family to join them. In his young manhood, he saw the evils of tobacco and whiskey and decided that they were very harmful, and that he would leave them entirely alone.
After joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, his mind was lit up by the Spirit of the Lord and he felt that if he just explained its principles to his brothers, they would see the beauty of it immediately and join with him in his new faith, but he was sorely disappointed for though he labored diligently, they did not see the light. He was baptized February 1838 and confirmed by Parley P. Pratt, and ordained a teacher by Orson Pratt, and later an elder by one of the Pratt brothers. He was appointed and set apart by either Parley or Orson Pratt to preside over the branch of the Church at Sing Sing, New York.
On one occasion, Orson Pratt brought his wife to visit with Sister Washburn while he attended to missionary matters. The ladies in those days wore lace caps trimmed with ribbons and sometimes flowers. Sister Pratt's hat was beautifully trimmed and Sister Washburn had not yet been able to get away from her Quaker notions of perfectly plain clothing, so she asked Sister Pratt to please take off the decorations from her lace caps while she was her guest. Sister Pratt did as she was requested. In later years. Sister Washburn often related the incident, and wondered how she could have been so narrow minded.
While Abraham Washburn was presiding over this branch, Orson Pratt went to England on a mission. On arriving at New York, he stayed with Brother Washburn until his vessel sailed. The evening before he sailed, Brother Washburn asked him while they were at a meeting what about money to pay his fare. Brother Pratt said the Lord would provide. Brother Washburn intended to hand him the necessary money the next morning before going to work, but it slipped his mind. Later in the day he rushed home to give Brother Pratt the money but on arriving was told by his wife that the ship had sailed earlier than Brother Pratt had thought it would, so Brother Pratt was gone. Brother Washburn was very sad about it, and told his wife that he was sure that Brother Pratt had no money for his fare. His wife told him not to worry about Brother Pratt, for she had given him the money for his fare to England and more. She said, "From the 75 dollars which is my monthly allowance for household purposes, I have a good savings account. I have given to Brother Pratt plenty for his needs, and have a fine sum left."
Tamer Washburn, Abraham's wife, related the following vision which she had while living at Sing Sing. She thought she went to heaven. Everything was beautiful beyond description. Such beauty and order prevailed everywhere. She came to a beautiful park where children were playing. She then came to a small group and found her own two children among them, very happy and contented. The beautiful lady who had charge of the group said to her, "Do not grieve for your children, it is your privilege beforehand to see their joy and happiness here, and all the conditions which will surround them so that you will not mourn for them. " A short time after this the two children died, Daniel 11 and Elizabeth 3, and [Tamer] said she could not shed a tear because her spiritual eyes could see the vision of the beautiful place where they had gone.
Abraham and Tamer would lose three children to death while residing in Sing Sing. Their third daughter, Elizabeth Underbill, was bom on 23 August 1834, but she lived less than three years, dying sometime in 1837. Daniel Abraham was bom 8 September 1837. Their oldest son, Daniel, died on 6 December 1837 at age eleven. An additional daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, was bom 16 August 1839. How long she lived is not known, but she died sometime before 1843. The Washbum family moved to Nauvoo in the spring of 1841, leaving three graves behind.
The Move to Nauvoo
Brother Washburn presided over the branch at Sing Sing until about 1841 when he sold his business house to the husband of Sally Kider a near relative of his wife. He then took his family and moved to Nauvoo, Illinois (Settlement in Nauvoo, or Commerce as it was originally known, began in the summer of 1839. The place was virtually a wilderness with much of the lower parts near the river so wet that travel by team was impossible. The land was drained. In December 1840, the city of Nauvoo was incorporated, a mayor elected, and authorization granted to establish the University of the City of Nauvoo (see Joseph Fielding Smith, Essentials in Church History, 266-273). There he was ordained a Seventy by Hyrum Smith. He became a member of the School of the Prophets (The School of the Prophets was established in Kirtland, Ohio following the revelation in which the elders of the Church were commanded to "teach one another the doctrines of the kingdom" (D&C 88, Dec. 1833). The school was continued in Nauvoo) taught by Joseph Smith, and also a member of the Nauvoo Legion (The Nauvoo city council was granted the provision to "organize the inhabitants of said city, subject to military duty, into a body of independent military men" called the Nauvoo Legion. This legion was to "perform the same amount of military duty as other bodies of the regular militia, and to be subject to the call of the mayor in executing the laws and ordinances of the city, and the governor for public defense" (Essentials in Church History, 271-272). He was a close friend of the Prophet Joseph and other leaders of the Church. They visited at each other's homes and on one occasion when the Prophet was visiting with the Washburns, he gave Sister Washburn a special blessing. He told her that her salvation in the Celestial Kingdom was assured on account of her liberality ("Liberality" apparently has reference to generosity and charity).
Tamer and Abraham received their patriarchal blessings on 7 March 1842 under the hands of Hyrum Smith. A son, John E., was bom 13 April 1842 (The 1842 Tax Assessors Record, Personal Property, Hancock County, p. 213, lists Abraham Washbum living on Kimball Block 25. The value of his cattle was $10, watches $5, other property $50 for a total of $65). He died as an infant that same year. A year later, a daughter, Susanna, was bom on 23 June 1843. Their last son, Joseph Bates, was bom 20 July 1845. He died as an infant.
Temple ordinance work in the Nauvoo Temple finally began in December 1845, and the building was occupied both day and night to allow the Saints to complete as many endowments as possible ().'5 Abraham and Tamer received their endowment 6 January 1846 (Essentials in Church History, p. 400. '''The Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register).
They went through all the persecutions and trials of the saints after they came to Nauvoo. Brother Washburn assisted in all public works, the finishing of the Temple (On May 1, 1846, after most of the Saints had departed Nauvoo, the temple was dedicated in the presence of about three hundred persons (see Essentials in Church History, 400), and did all in his power to further the work of the Lord. When Joseph gave his last address to the Legion, Brother Washburn stood at the corner of the platform from which Joseph was speaking. He was there when the Prophet and his dear brother Hyrum were so foully murdered (Essentials in Church History, 384. The martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith occurred on 27 June 1844. It is reported that on the night of the martyrdom, long before the first word of the tragedy came to Nauvoo, a i spirit of death pervaded the city. Bathsheba Smith, wife of George A. Smith, stated, "Such a barking and howling of dogs and bellowing of cattle all over the City of Nauvoo I never heard before or since" (Ivan J. Barren, Joseph Smith and the Restoration: A History of the Church to 1846, 621).
Abraham and Tamer experienced, with the other Saints, a devastating sorrow when Joseph and Hyrum were murdered on 27 June. "On the following day, the bodies were interred amidst the deep mourning of a stricken people."(Essentials in Church History, 384. Essentials in Church History, 388). As soon as Sidney Rigdon heard of the death of Joseph Smith, he hastened to Nauvoo, arriving there 3 August 1844, and offered himself as "guardian to the Church." On 9 August, a meeting was held. President Brigham Young addressed the meeting. "He spoke with great power and the people were convinced that the authority and power of presidency was with the apostles. When he first arose to speak the people were greatly astonished for President Young stood transfigured before them and they beheld the Prophet Joseph Smith and heard his voice. . ."
[Abraham] was at the meeting in Nauvoo when the Mantle of Joseph fell upon Brigham Young. He sometimes related the incidents of those trying times when the people were overcome by great grief on account of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum, and mob violence was everywhere about them. Sydney Rigdon trying to establish himself president of the Church, the people were confused and did not know who should be president of the Church. A conference was called, and the apostles came home from their missionary labors. It was a gloomy time. At a meeting of the conference Brigham Young arose to speak, he was the president of the twelve apostles. As he began to speak the people were startled and some arose to their feet, for it was the voice of Joseph, and as they looked he seemed transformed and looked like Joseph. To the people who saw and heard this, there was no more doubt in their hearts and minds as to who should be president of the Church.
The Washbums experienced some financial difficulties while living in Nauvoo. In later years, Tamer laughingly related the following story: She said that Abraham was very devout and always asked the blessing on the food, no matter how sparse it might be. One morning, when their money was nearly gone, Tamer was frying hot cakes for the family breakfast. There was very little to go with them to make the morning meal, and Tamer was thoroughly disgusted with such conditions. After the usual morning prayer, Abraham sat at the table and thanked the Lord for the food and asked Him to bless it, just as he did when they had plenty. Tamer related that at that moment she could not see anything to be thankful for and when Abraham said, "Amen," Tamer responded, "Oh, damn the stuff." (Lorena Larsen, Leaves from the Book of Life of Tamer Washbum).
Abraham continued his shoemaking and tannery business in Nauvoo. An advertisement dated 18 June 1844 appeared in the Nauvoo Neighbor. It read, "Cash paid for hides, bark and sumac. Cure your sumac in the shade. All kinds of leather and shoes will be sold cheap for cash, and will be exchanged for country produce, by Abraham Washbum and Company on Warshaw Street near Parley Street." (The bark and sumac were boiled in water to create a solution of tannic acid used in the tanning process. A photocopy of this newspaper article is in the possession of Larry Washbum. Apparently Abraham was also in partnership with a B.W. Townsend in Nauvoo, as a tannery and leather manufacturing business under the name of Townsend and Washbum is listed at Warsaw Street, near Rich (included in materials provided by Nauvoo Restoration Incorporated).
Just before the people were forced to leave Nauvoo, they knew they would have to leave and go to the Rocky Mountains, Brother Washbum's ready cash was about exhausted and he did not know how to get money to fit himself out for that great journey across the plains. The thought occurred to him to write to his brothers and get some help, because he knew they had plenty, but he knew that if he told them all, they would not help him because they were not in sympathy with is people. So he wrote a history of the mobbings, persecutions, hardships and trial he had gone through since he saw them, and then added that he was tired of it. In a remarkably short time a nice roll of money came to him, enough money to fit him out well with teams, wagons, and provisions for his journey.
Abraham and his family left Nauvoo, crossed the Missouri River, and headed west in early 1846. The date they left Nauvoo is not known. Again they left three graves behind-those of John E., Sarah Elizabeth, and Joseph Bates. Tamer was pregnant. Mary Ann was married to Joseph Bates Noble and pregnant. Amy Jane was 15, Daniel Abraham 9, and Susanna not yet 3. They settled in Nebraska in the camp known as Winter Quarters, just a few miles away from what is now Omaha, Nebraska. While at Winter Quarters, Abraham served as first counselor to his son-in-law, Bishop Joseph Noble (Winter Quarters was divided into thirteen wards initially. This eventually increased to 22. A bishopric was appointed over each, with instructions to look after both the temporal and spiritual welfare of the people, to supervise industrial activities, and provide for sanitation in the community. This is the first time in Church history that wards of 300 to 500 members were created (see William E. Berrett, The Restored Church, p. 224).
[Abraham] left Nauvoo and was among the first of the saints to reach Winter Quarters. He built a comfortable home for the family and assisted in building houses for those who would come later.
During the winter, those in Winter Quarters suffered greatly. Weakened by the long trek from Nauvoo and the lack of sufficient vegetables in their diet, people became victims of malaria, scurvy, and other diseases. Before the cold of winter prevented the spread of disease, 300 fresh graves appeared in the cemetery outside Winter Quarters ("See William E. Berrett, The Restored Church, 245). Fortunately, the Washbums had no deaths either during the travel to Winter Quarters or while residing there.
When the early pioneers were going to the Rockies in 1847, [Abraham] loaned a yoke of oxen to assist them. These oxen were to be returned so that he could be ready to start early in the spring of 1848. There was a colony of Infidels who had taken up land and made a small settlement a distance from Winter Quarters. While Brother Washburn was waiting for his team to be returned he went and worked for this colony. They liked him very much and told him if he would stay with them, they would divide their land with him, but he declined. Early in the spring of 1848 while working for this colony, and waiting for his ox team to be returned, as he went out to his work one morning there stood a fine yoke of oxen with the yoke on all ready to hitch to a wagon. He went immediately and inquired of every man living in that section of the country, but no one knew anything about the cattle. He accepted them as a gift from God, a direct answer to his prayers, for he had earnestly prayed for the return of his team so he could continue his journey. He prepared immediately to start for Utah. He arrived quite early that season.
While he was living in Winter Quarters. . . there arrived with one of the companies in late December or early January a young woman. Flora Clarinda Gleason Johnson, driving her own mule team (Flora Clarinda was bom in Tolland, Massachusetts on 2 August 1819 to Joel and Lorena Williams Gleason. She was baptized 18 April 1834. On 23 January 1846, she became the second wife of Benjamin Franklin Johnson in Nauvoo. B.F. Johnson did not make the trip west with Flora, reportedly stopping often route to court a possible third wife). She had been married second wife to [Benjamin Franklin] Johnson in the Nauvoo Temple. She and his other family had started out from Nauvoo together, but he decided he wanted another woman so he lagged behind to keep in touch with that other woman, and let Clarinda go along with the company which they had started with, so she arrived at Winter Quarters alone, shortly before her child was born. Brother Washburn went to work preparing a house for her, but before the chimney was complete, on January 15, 1847, her baby, Clarinda Huetta, was born while she was living in her wagon.
A few months later, Tamer's last daughter, Artemisia Minerva, was bom 17 June 1847. When the initial companies of Saints left for the Salt Lake Valley, Abraham's family remained behind. There was much work to do in Winter Quarters to prepare for those who would follow. As one autobiography records:
"After the companies had left, I joined with Brother Abraham Washbum in fencing, breaking up and planting some land. We planted considerable corn and buckwheat and garden where we raised turnips, cucumbers, beans, etc. I remember when the first fruits of our labor began to be gathered we had been over a year without green fruit or vegetables of any kind so it seemed that the first cucumbers that came to be eatable was the nicest thing that I ever tasted. In the fall we had sufficient to keep us through the winter, principally buckwheat and turnips. I gathered a quantity of hazel nuts which grew in abundance around Winter Quarters. My brothers herded cows through the summer and thus added to our comfort and Brother Washbum cut considerable hay for the winter. As winter came on we began to lay plans to get a fitout to go to the valley of the Great Salt Lake from which the pioneers had returned." (Benjamin Ashby Autobiograpy, copy of holograph, Brigham Young University, BYU-S, p. 20. 30;. Ordean Washbum, p. 12)
In January 1848, Church meetings were held in the Log Tabernacle in Miller's Hollow (the area subsequently to be known as both Kanesville and Council Bluffs), Pottawatami County, Iowa. There were instructions and a dance. A petition was signed and sent to the Iowa Legislature requesting that a post office be established at Miller's Hollow. Abraham and his son Daniel Abraham's signatures appear on the petition. There had not been time for temple sealings to be performed in the Nauvoo Temple. Tamer and Abraham were sealed as husband and wife by Brigham Young 30 March 1848 at their home in Winter Quarters.
Leaving for the Salt Lake Valley
The emigration from Winter Quarters to Salt Lake in 1848 was comprised of three divisions. Abraham and Tamer came in the third. It was 29 June 1848 when the Washbum family left Winter Quarters traveling as part of the Willard Richards' Company which included 502 Whites, 24 Negroes, 169 wagons, 50 horses, 20 mules, 515 oxen, 426 cows and loose cattle, 369 sheep, 63 pigs, 5 cats, 44 dogs, 170 chickens, 4 turkeys, 7 ducks, 5 doves, and 3 goats. (Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 31 Dec. 1848, Supplement, pp. 1, 17, and 20. Abraham, with his last name spelled Washboume, is included in a partial list of the Third Division of Emigration of 1848. Abraham, age 41, Tamer 41, Mary Ann 18, Mary 15, Amy Jane 15, Daniel 9, and Susanna 3, are listed)
Those in the company were encouraged to be alert and vigilant both day and night. Finding the necessary provisions was a challenge. Elder George A. Smith, writing from Winter Quarters to Brigham Young said, "We have raked the country almost with a fine tooth comb for cattle and wagons for Bro. Richards and find that the brethren who are willing to help have done all they are able, consistent with the condition of their farms, and those who were liberal in the Spring remains so." (Journal History of the Church, 28 June 1848) The Willard Richards Company and the Amasa M. Lyman Company apparently traveled closely together, assisting each other as needed, and sometimes camping together.
The companies crossed the Elk Horn River by pulling the wagons with double teams. It was mid-July when they reached the Platte River. Here they found that wood was scarce, but deer and elk were abundant and feed for the animals was good. On August 2, they met a band of about 2000 Sioux Indians and gave them presents including sugar, coffee, beans, corn and a plug of tobacco in exchange for buffalo robes and buckskin. They reached Fort Laramie 18 August and camped on the Sweetwater on September 15. The travel to Salt Lake City took about 108 days. On 19 October 1848, the Willard Richards' Company traveled six miles into the Salt Lake Valley. The camp historian wrote, "The day was warm and sunny." (See J. Ordean Washbum, pp. 13-21, for more specific information from the Willard Richards and Amasa Lyman Company journals)
[Flora Clarinda] continued her journey alone with her baby, driving her mule team the entire distance from Nauvoo to Salt Lake City. On one occasion while crossing a river her baby came near falling in while she was managing the team. She became alienated from her husband on account of his behavior and laid her case before President Brigham Young, and he procured a divorce for her. She was married to Abraham Washburn 11 February 1849 by Brigham Young in his office in Salt Lake City (When Brigham Young heard of Benjamin Franklin Johnson's desertion of Flora Clarinda, he granted her a divorce. Abraham and Flora Clarinda were sealed by Brigham Young at Salt Lake City, 11 February 1849. Abraham then adopted Flora Clarinda's young daughter, Huetta Clarinda). Jedadiah Grant was married to his wife at the same time. The two couples were in the president's office together.
It is reported that Tamer did not adjust easily to Abraham's marriage to Flora Clarinda. "She was unhappy at first, but her prayers for understanding and for help in making the adjustment were apparently answered. She came to love Flora Clarinda, and they became the best of friends." (Beatrice B. Malouf, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers lesson, October 1988)
On 14 June 1849, Brigham Young received a visit from Ute chiefs Wakara (anglicized to Walker) and Sowiette. They came to Salt Lake City to ask President Young to permanently locate Mormon settlers in the central Utah valley named after Walker's brother, Chief Sanpitch. The valley was described as "good land with much water." (A History of Sanpete County, Albert C.T. Antrei and Alien D. Roberts, Utah State Historical Society, 1999,24)
Early in 1849, Brother Washburn was called by Brigham Young to go and help make a settlement at Manti ("Announcements about new settlements and who was called to settle them were generally made in General Conferences. In the conference in October 1849, it was announced that a settlement would be made in Sanpete Valley in acceptance of Utah Chief Walker or Walkara's invitation. Isaac Moriey headed a company of 124 men and 100 women to found the town of Manti on November 19th. According to one historian, while the invitation to settle came from Chief Walker, his professed friendship was based on a hope of profitable trade. He 1 reportedly became increasingly uneasy as the settlements expanded (see Gustive 0. Larson, Outline History of Utah and the Mormons, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1958, p. 63, 145-146). The company arrived there November 21, 1849. The next day, November 22, his wife Clarinda gave birth to the first white child bom in Sanpete County. They named her Almeda Maria.(During their residency in Manti, six additional children were bom to Abraham and Flora Clarinda: Louisa Ann, Hyrum Smith, Philena, Parley Pratt, Lorena Eugenia, and Orson Pratt) The night after her birth there was a terrific snow storm. Next morning the snow was knee deep.
The winter of 1849-1850 would be one of the most severe ever recorded. Thirty-two inches of snow fell in the valley soon after their arrival. Some of the people lived in tents or wagon boxes, while others, including the Washbums, built crude dugouts in the hillside below where the Manti Temple is now located. Some began log cabins. In an epistle by the First Presidency written in April 1850, the experiences of the settlers in Manti were recounted:
"They have suffered many inconveniences through deep snows and severe frosts, for want of houses and other necessaries common in old settlements and have lost many of their cattle. But they have laid the foundation of a great and glorious work. . . Their cattle now living, have been sustained by their shovelling [sic] snow from the grass and feeding them with their provisions and seed grain, and we have sent them loaded teams to supply their necessities until after seed time. They have been surrounded by a tribe of Indians who appear friendly and who have suffered much from the measles since they have been among them and many have died as have most of all the tribes in the mountains; and those who live have urged the brethren to remain among them and teach them how to raise grain and make bread; for having tasted a little during their afflictions, they want a full supply. There is plenty of firewood easy of access; some of the best of pine, bituminous coal, salt and plaster of pans at this settlement or its immediate vicinity". (B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol. I, p. 311. 11)
Brother Washburn took with him from Salt Lake City about 30 head of cattle. The snow came so deep that the grass was all covered up and all the extra cattle died before spring and the settlers had a hard time to keep their teams and milk cows.
When the people had been there but a short time, the Ute Indians warriors came there and camped. They had been fighting with other tribes of Indians and had been victorious so they held a war dance for three days and they compelled the settlers to come and watch them dance. During the early period of the new settlement, Indian Chief Walker had his band of Indians camped for some time near the mouth of the Manti Canyon and on several occasions in the early morning he would ride into the settler's camp, all excited, swinging his arms and gesticulating, saying that the Great Spirit had visited, him in the night and told him not to kill these white people, because they were His children the same as the Indians were. The people felt that his nightly visions of the Great Spirit were all that saved them from this hostile band.
The people built their first houses on the south side and against the hill where now stands the temple. . . But the place was infested with snakes, and often the people found them in their houses. Those first little cabins had just a little mud plastering on and the snakes found their way through quite easily. One morning, Clarinda Washburn found a large rattle snake on her mantle piece. (In May 1850 and the warm weather, the rattlesnakes came "from caves situated above us in the ledge of rock that had been our shelter and shield, from the piercing northern blast of winter, they invaded our homes. . . The male portion of the community turned out en masse with torches to enable them with more safety to prosecute the war of extermination, and the slaughter continued until the 'wee small' hours. . . . The number killed that first night [was estimated] as near three hundred." Adelia Cox Sidwell, "Early Days in Manti," quoted in A History of Sanpete County, Albert C.T. Antrei and Alien D. Roberts, Utah State Historical Society, 1999, 27)
In 1850 the census lists Abraham as having a household often, with a real wealth of $150 and no personal wealth (Utah Federal Census, 1851).
President [Brigham] Young came to visit the new settlement and found them all living against the hill. He told them to survey their town site, build a strong fort, and move out away from the hill. He said the Indians could come down from the hill and massacre every man, woman, and child before they were aware of what was happening (Skirmishes became increasingly frequent. One historian's perspective suggests that in 1851, civil authorities began to interfere with Chief Walker's lucrative slave trade. His warriors would raid the weaker southern tribes stealing women and children and then selling them and sometimes their own children to the Spanish in exchange for arms and ammunition. When the Utah Territorial Government prohibited this practice, the Utes demanded that the Mormons instead purchase the slaves, which they often did in exchange for food and clothing, then freeing them. Chief Walker became increasingly sullen over this arrangement. Broader warfare broke out 17 July 1853 in Springville, when Walker's warriors attempted to kill the Mormons outside the forts and drive off their livestock (see Gustive 0. Larson, Outline History of Utah and the Mormons, pp. 151-152). The people took his advice and built a good sized fort, the northwest comer of which was directly across from the present Manti City Hall. A little old rock school house now stands on the spot where the northwest corner of the fort was, and on that spot Clarinda Washburn had her home. Several of her children were born there, the last one being Lorena E. Washburn Larsen.
The Deseret News, dated 27 June 1852 reported, "Manti is at least blessed with a strong fort. The wall is twelve feet high and two feet thick and is set upon a foundation of stone three feet wide (Actually there were a series of forts built in the first few years in Manti. The Little Fort or Stone Fort was completed in June 1852. This is the fort referenced in the Deseret News. In 1853, four additional log forts were constructed. Big Fort was built in the summer of 1854, and in 1866, a fort was built around the Tabernacle).
This heroic colony were true pioneers. While they built homes, cleared the land and got it under cultivation, they had to keep a watchful eye on the bands of Indians who roamed through that part of the country, and occasionally had to battle with crickets and grasshoppers, which without a mighty united effort would have destroyed all their crops. They also had to produce all their shoes and clothing. The women took the wool newly shorn from the sheep, cleaned it, then with hand cards, carded, spun, dyed and [wove] it into suitable cloth for men's, women's. and children's clothes.
One year, when the crops had been almost destroyed by insects, Brother Washburn took his wife Clarinda to Sessions Settlement (Sessions Settlement is present day Bountiful, Utah) and left her and her family there while he went [back] to the Platt River and helped run a ferry. Abraham Washburn built a small tannery where both upper and lose leather was tanned with a tan bark which he procured in the mountains near by. He also built a shoe shop where he and others made shoes for the towns people.
He was a studious and a kindly man. He advocated free schools in those early days, and often said that every man has the right to be well born and well educated. Each morning he told his children to be kind to their mother and save her all the steps they could. He was always active in Church affairs. He was a ward teacher during the time which he lived in Manti. He was the first superintendent of School in Manti. He was presiding over the School there in 1855. He was also a member of the first city council.
In the 1850's the Church was experiencing some financial difficulties (See Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830-1900, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1958, 145-147). Tithing donations were insufficient and in 1854, Church leaders began encouraging a return to the original law of consecration. Those desiring to comply were encouraged to deed over to the trustee-in-trust of the Church, Brigham Young, all of their property. The trustee-in-trust would then assign them an inheritance according to their needs. It is estimated that about forty percent of the families in the Utah Territory deeded their property to the Church at that time. Abraham, always faithful, was one of those who consecrated his property ('The book containing this recording is entitled "Church Transfers, Book B" and this transaction is recorded on page 131. The book can be found in the Sanpete County Court House, Recorders Office. A photocopy of this agreement is in the possession of Larry Washbum). The deed, dated 9 February 1857, reads:
Be it known by these present, that I Abraham Washbum of Manti City in the County of San Pete and Territory of Utah, for and in consideration of the good will which I have to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, give and convey unto Brigham Young, Trustee in Trust for said Church, his successors in office and assigns, all my claim to and ownership of the following described proper to wit:
Lots one (1) and twelve (12), Block three (3). Big Field Survey containing seven and a half (7 1/2) acres each block containing two and a half (2 1/2) acres.(J. Ordean Washbum, pp. 28-29).
Lots thirteen (13) block six (6) Big Field Survey
Also lots five (5) and six (6) block one-hundred and five (105) containing five eights (5/8) of an acre each, of the Manti City Survey.
He built his permanent home one block east of Main Street. He owned the lot next south of the little fort on Main Street, and then straight through to the next street east. His lot on Main Street is where apart of the main business section is now, on the east side. In the spring of 1864, there were some glowing reports circulated about the fine opportunities for making a settlement in Marysvale. Thomas Bowles (Thomas Bowles was Abraham's son-in-law, married to his daughter, Susanna) from Nephi, several men from Fountain Green, Abraham Washburn and Edward Faux from Manti loaded their wagons with farm implements, seed, grain, and some provisions and started for the place. On getting as far as Marysvale hill they met some men who told them they could just as well go back, for there was six months of winter and seven months of more cold weather in Marysvale.
They came back to where Monroe now is and looked over the land and decided to make a settlement there. While Ed Faux surveyed the land, Brother Washburn took his son Hyrum and went up the canyon to find out something about the water and wood supply. They visited the hot springs and examined that water and declared that it contained curative qualities. Hyrum said that his father cleaned out a spring and took a bath, perhaps the first bath that a white man had taken in that water. He and Thomas Bowles decided to return to their homes, but the majority remained and made preparations to make a permanent settlement. A town one square mile was surveyed and laid out into lots or blocks with wide streets.
When Brother Washburn and others reached Manti again, all the neighbors came to hear a report of their trip. During the evening, while neighbors were busily talking, baby Orson, the youngest of the Washburn children, fell into a bed of hot coals in the fireplace and was seriously burned, but not fatally.
The Black Hawk War
Any settlement of the Washbums in Monroe (or Alma as it was then called) was postponed because of Indian problems. In 1865, a full-scale war erupted between the settlers and several bands of Utes under the leadership of Chief Black Hawk. For over three years, extensive conflict and devastation was experienced throughout Sanpete and Sevier Counties, and to a lesser extent, in the southern portions of the Utah Territory. (The Black Hawk war was the last and most costly of the Utah Indian Wars. One historian reports that it might have been avoided or brought to a speedy conclusion had the United States government delivered its obligations in money and goods as promised. The war began as an incident during a peace conference in Manti on 9 April 1865. John Lowry became involved in a personal controversy with a young Ute chief Yenewood whom he i claimed had stolen his horses. "John dragged him from the horse and proceeded to thrash him. Messengers carried the war spirit to distant Indian encampments and Chief Black Hawk emerged as the Ute leader. The depredations spread across Paiute, Sevier, and Sanpete Counties. The settlements in Kane, Iron, Beaver, Juab and Wasatch Counties were also forced to adopt costly protective measures" (see Gustive 0. Larson, Outline History of Utah and the Mormons, pp. 159-160). Obviously, Manti was in the center of the controversy)
In May 1865, the Black Hawk War commenced, and Abraham Washburn with nearly every other man in Sanpete and surrounding counties had to help protect themselves, their families, and property from their savage foes. There was standing guard on the outposts of the settlements, guarding the cattle in large corrals where they had been brought for safety, and many duties incident to such a time.
Most of the confrontations between settlers and Utes occurred during the spring, summer and fall months, which were critical months for the settlers to plow, plant, irrigate, and harvest crops. During the winter months, Black Hawk and his band camped in Castle Valley, between Fish Lake and the Green and Colorado Rivers. During 1865, the Indians reportedly drove off as many as 2000 cattle, occasionally killing settlers and travelers. The pioneers of the county also battled a grasshopper infestation in 1865 that destroyed much of their crops.' (M. Guy Bishop, A History of Sevier County, Utah State Historical Society, 1997, pp. 70-71. 15)
Those who were living in the parts of the country affected by that war will remember the feeling of dread and excitement which took hold of every individual at the sound of the bass drum in the night time. That was the signal that the Indians had made a raid on some settlement, or had killed some individuals, or were running off the cattle from some section of the country. It was also the signal for every able bodied man to gather on the public square, ready for immediate action. The mothers and children were terrified as the fathers and big brothers dressed hurriedly, took what guns, often an old musket, and ammunition and rushed out into the darkness to learn what had happened and if necessary to go in pursuit of Indians. . . All members of the family left at home would huddle into some corner filled with anxiety waiting for news of the cause of the night call.
There were many soldier boys, volunteers from Salt Lake and surrounding country who came to Manti to help the settlers during that war, and their headquarters was in the little fort just back of Abraham Washburn's corrals. His young son, Hyrum, often helped take care of their horses, and many are the good meals that some of the officers and men ate at his home. Among the soldiers was Benjamin Ashby (This is the same Benjamin Ashby whose journal is quoted above), an old friend of Brother Washburns. As I remember it, Mr. Vance and Houtz, two soldiers from the camp who ate their breakfast at our house in the morning were killed during the day at Twelve Mile Creek, by Indians in ambush. Mr. Washburn had an old style flint lock musket with a bayonet on the end, which he had used as a member of the Nauvoo Legion, but when the Indians got on the war path, he sold a fine young ox valued at 40 dollars for a new Bollard gun.
There were a few Indians who had worked for Brother Washburn prior to the war, and some of them loved him dearly for his kindness to them and his honesty in his dealings with them. Among them was Indian Joe, a chief, and on a few occasions when the whites were in battles with them, or very close on their trail, he would call to some man who he knew and send a message to Brother Washburn and others of his dear friends. On some occasions, when cattle were being driven off, he would turn back some that had the brand of his special friends on them. It was understood quite generally among the men that he was the friend of the whites.
Years after that war, Indian Joe met some of Abraham Washburn's sons in Grass Valley and he hugged and kissed them for the love which he bore for their father. On one occasion after Abraham moved to Monroe, the son on Indian Joe, who was now a chief, brought his band of Indians there, and when he saw Brother Washburn he was overjoyed and gave him his finest buffalo robe as a token of his father's love for him.
Hyrum and Parley Washburn have both stated that while living in Manti, about the year 1862-63, that grasshoppers had almost destroyed the crops, and when the next planting time came, seed wheat was so scarce that their father was compelled to plant the small amount of 15 pounds per acre, but through the blessings of the Lord, he reaped 45 bushels per acre. (There were many battles with crickets and grasshoppers. In 1865 there was a grasshopper infestation that destroyed much of their crops (see M. Guy Bishop, A History ofSevier County, Utah State Historical Society, 1997, pp. 70-71))
In 1870, the Utah Federal Census lists Abraham as having a household of eight, with a real wealth of $500 and a personal wealth of$700. (Utah Federal Census, 1870)
The Move to Monroe
After the Indian war in the fall of 1871, Brother Washburn took a part of his family, sons and sons-in-law, and went to Monroe to see what the prospects were for getting farms, as his great desire was to keep the family together. They all decided to move to Monroe the next spring, so his sons and sons-in-law worked a part of that winter on the old canal along with William Warnock, one of their Manti friends, who had decided to move with them. In the spring of 1872, they sold their possessions at Manti and moved to Monroe. Brother Washburn continued to work at his trade of shoemaking but he sent to Salt Lake City for his supplies of all kinds. At that time many men were working in the Marysvale mines and from them he received many orders for fine boots and shoes, which were promptly filled. (Mining in Marysvale, Piute County, began in 1878 when George Thomas Henry and Joseph Smith discovered gold just outside Marysvale. Later mercury, silver, potash, and alunite (used in fertilizer and to produce alum which was used medicinally to stop bleeding) was also found. Linda King Newell, A History of Piute County, Utah State Historical Society, 1999, pp. 108-109, 222-223)
After a few years, the United Order came and Brother Washburn was called to go to Glenwood and preside over a county tannery to make leather mainly for people in the United Order in Sevier County (On 2 October 1874 a branch of the United Order was organized in Glenwood (see Irvin L. Wamock, Sevier County Centennial History, Art City Publishing, Springville, Utah, 1947, p. 176). The plan usually entailed that participants deed all their property and labor to the church, receiving in return what they needed to live on from the local order's officials, usually the bishop and stake president. At the quarterly conference of the Sevier Stake in November 1877, the United Order in Sevier County was dissolved. In concluding this endeavor, the Apostle Orson Hyde reportedly said, ". . . you have tried to do the will of the Lord, and it will be a record in your favor" (see M. Guy Bishop, A History of Sevier County, pp. 91-93). The tannery was located on the stream in the canyon above ' Glenwood, below where the fish hatchery is currently located). He held this position until the order was dissolved. He had Andrew Helper, Charles Segmiller, Rudolph Richambough and others working under his supervision in that tannery (According to the Venice and Sevier County books, the proper spellings are Heppler, Richenbach, and Seegmiller). The Washburn family turned everything they owned except their house, lot, and sewing machine into the United Order. His wife, Tamer, kept house for him there. It was while living in Glenwood that Tamer received a legacy of a few hundred dollars from her father's estate in New York (This would have been sometime between 1874 and 1877. Her father had died in 1809. It is believed that her mother died in 1861). Again her liberality and generosity were exhibited. She gave fine presents to all her children and to members of Flora Clarinda's family. Lorena received cloth for a new dress and a new clock and dress were given to Flora Clarinda.
Before the United Order was organized, Brother Washburn dreamed that he saw President William Segmiller, who was then president of Sevier Stake and Thompson Lisonbee, the bishop of Monroe, holding men down and forcibly shaving their whiskers off. In the years that followed, the dream was fulfilled, not exactly in the way in which he saw it. President Segmiller was appointed County President of the Order, and Brother Lisonbee the President of Monroe.
Brother Washburn was always looking for ways to serve God or his fellow man. He was a saint in every sense of the word. He was a gentle, kindly nurse in his own family. His wife, Clarinda, was always busy with many public duties, and often when members of the family were not well, Brother Washburn would nurse the children while his wife, Clarinda, went out to nurse, comfort and cheer others. At Christmas time early in the 1870's, the Washburn relatives joined together and had a large Christmas tree, the first one in Monroe, and Abraham was Santa Claus.
Shortly after they arrived in Monroe, [Abraham] went to the hot springs, cleaned it out, and bathed there very often (The hot springs are located a half mile east ofMonroe, and cover an area one quarter mile wide and about a mile long. The land was filed upon by Thomas Cooper in 1882, and in 1886 Cooper built a box of lumber ' and lined it so it was water tight. This became the first swimming pool in the locality. A few years later Cooper erected a building that included a pool and dressing rooms. In 1908, it was sold to Beck Industrial Company. Beck planned to establish a chicken ranch and use the hot springs for hatching chickens. The ranch was never established and the Coopers regained ownership. In 1911, the property was sold to Mountain View Hot Springs Company and a large open air pool was built. In 1915, the property was returned to the Coopers (see Wilford and Mildred Murdock, Monroe, Utah: Its First One-Hundred Years, published by the Monroe Centennial Committee, 1964, 62-64). The pool is currently closed). His son Parley was entirely healed by bathing in that spring, from a pain which had settled in his left shoulder at the time he had measles when he was a small boy, about the year 1864-65. Abraham Washburn was a peace loving man, who always put oil on the troubled waters and tried to draw the innermost feelings of people together, and cement them with love and good fellowship. He looked for the good, the genuine qualities in his fellow men.
In the early days of Monroe, there was a crowd of boys who did many things which were very disagreeable to some of the people. Mr. Washbum said that anyone who is capable of doing mean things, is just as capable of doing good if you could just get them turned in the right direction. So he often visited the leader of this crowd of boys, Samuel McCarty, and had long talks with him and found him to be very intelligent and he tried to turn the young man's feet into paths of usefulness. He said all the mischief had come through misdirected energy.
Abraham Washburn was a very hospitable man and had many fine friends throughout the country, dear friends whom he had known and associated with in Nauvoo, friends whom he had met and worked with in Winter Quarters, and on his journey across the plains, and his friends were often his guests. His home often resembled a free hotel. Even in the early days in Monroe, when hay was very scarce, I have known times when he has fed as many as 11 teams in one night, teams belonging to his traveling friends, who were also housed and fed. His children sometimes felt that it was quite a burden to have so many people to look after. He never made a charge for food nor shelter.
Mr. Washburn and his friends, after the evening meal, would sit until a late hour relating their early experiences in the Church, and discussing religious problems. Those who listened to those discussions grew spiritually while volumes of unwritten Church history was given verbally by those who took part in it. And to those yet living, those talks of the early days are treasured memories.
Brother Washburn was ordained a patriarch for Sevier County by Apostle Albert Carlington in 1884. He gave 162 patriarchal blessings in 19 months. Professor B. F. Larsen, his then small grandson, received the first blessing.
Brother Washburn died of Bright's disease (Bright's disease is another name for the kidney disease, glomerulonephritis. It is a common cause of kidney failure) at Monroe, Utah, June 17, 1886, and was buried in the Monroe Cemetery. For three successive Sundays after this funeral in sacrament meetings the speakers referred to the splendid life and labors of Abraham Washburn.
B.F. Larsen remembers Abraham:
"Grandpa Abraham Washbum came to our house quite frequently. When he arrived I watched him remove his tall hat. He placed it upside down on a chair or table. I wondered how he managed to carry so many letters and papers in his hat when it was atop his head. Grandpa Abraham often removed his big Prince Albert coat before he sat down in the old rocking chair. He generally called me to his side. Then he put his arms around me and lifted me onto his knees. He sang jolly songs to me and kept time by trotting me up and down on his knees as he sang. When I was a wee babe I was very ill and neighbors and relatives thought that I would surely die. But Grandpa Abraham who was an ordained Patriarch, gave me a very unusual blessing and promised that I would live." (B.F. Larsen, unpublished document, "Many Wonderful People Have Walked the Trail Beside Me)
Following Abraham's death. Tamer moved to Nephi to live with her daughter, Susannah Bowles. She lived only three months after Abraham's death, passing away 4 September 1886 in Nephi at age 81. She was buried in the Bowles family plot in the Nephi City Cemetery. Family members have recently placed a new marker there.
Lorena recorded of Tamer:
"Tamer was a social person and usually very optimistic, yet she was capable of very intense feelings. When she was at our home and I but a child, and when I had grown to womanhood she would have me comb her hair each day and as I combed, she would tell me incidents of her past life. She has told me how hard it was for her to live in plural marriage, and that for a long time she was unkind to my mother, although she loved mother and that she prayed often for strength and God finally gave her victory over herself, after that plural marriage ceased to be a trial and my mother had been one other best earthly friends. [She]. . . had a disposition which was a fine blending of many human virtues. . . . She usually looked on the sunny side of life, was a liberal giver and was always thankful for something to give to others." (Lorena Washbum Larsen, unpublished writings on Tamer)
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