Collins Rowe Hakes (1837 - 1916)

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Birthplace: Grafton, Lorain, Ohio, USA
Death: Died in Mesa, Maricopa, Arizona, USA
Managed by: Della Dale Smith-Pistelli
Last Updated:

About Collins Rowe Hakes

HISTORY OF COLLINS ROWE HAKES, Taken from Collins Rowe Hakes Family, complied by Harriet J. Stradling, 1952.p.24-27. He was the son of Weeden Vander Hakes and Eliza Amanda Beebe. During his childhood he endured many of the persecutions heaped upon the Latter-day Saints at that period of their history. When he was three years old, his family, with others, were forced to move to Illinois. Here they lived for six years. In 1846 the Saints were driven from Nauvoo to Winter Quarters where the Hakes family stayed for two years. Collins was baptized in the Missouri River. They crossed the plains with the Amasa M. Lyman Company, arriving in Salt Lake City Oct. 19, 1848. One day, while on this journey, these pioneers stopped at a willow thicket to camp. Collins father had given him a little hatchet, and told him to stay in camp but the eleven-year old boy couldn't wait to try out the hatchet, so he went to cut willows. An Indian hiding in the thicket took his hatchet away, brandished it overhead and told him to go! He ran safely back to camp, but lost his hatchet because of disobedience.

The Hakes family left Payson, Utah County, Utah on the 24th of March, 1851, under the leadership of Amasa M. Lyman and Charles C. Rich, who had been called to lead a company of settlers to California. They arrived the following June and in September, the Rancho de San Bernardino was purchased, and the settlement located. Collins and his people helped to lay out the city of San Bernardino. While living here, Collins met and befriended a motherless girl, Mabel Ann Morse, whom he married March 29, 1857. The ceremony was performed by Charles C. Rich.

Shortly after this, persecution of the church began again, and once more they faced the choice of giving up their religion and remaining in their homes in peace, or of staying with their faith and leaving. They chose the latter course, and the covered wagon train started back to Utah. Mabel Ann Hakes gave birth to her first child, Ann Eliza, at the Santa Clara River. There was no time to stop for mother and new born to rest, so the company proceeded on, arriving at Parowan, Utah, March 17, 1858. Here they made their home for a time.

In Parowan Collins was ordained an Elder, and later, a Seventy, becoming identified with the 69th Quorum. Governor Shaffer sent him, with others, to guard duties on the Sevier River in 1866 when the Black Hawk War was raging. He served here for three months, and had many encounters with the red men. The following were related by Ernest Turley as being told to him by his father, Isaac Turley. This happened in Utah during the Black Hawk War. Isaac Turley was a Captain with twenty-four men under his command, two of whom were Collins R. Hakes and a man named Butler.

The war was worst on the Sevier River, and more people were killed there than anywhere else. "One evening, the captain got word to send the Pony Express through to Salt Lake City. He asked for volunteers, but no one answered, so he said, 'Well then, who will go with me? Collins R. Hakes said he would go, if Turley went, so they started. Down on the Sevier River they saw movements, and felt very anxious, but it turned out to be beaver. When they arrived at their destination, Governor Wells was surprised to see just two men on such a dangerous mission, and asked why more had not come with them. Turley replied that no one else would volunteer. Governor Wells said, "You should have had more men."

Another time Collins was on duty, and going about his work, not knowing that an Indian was hiding in a wash nearby. Captain Turley came along just as the Indian drew a dead aim on Hakes; he intervened, saving Collins life. In his thirty-first year he was again prevailed upon to become a pioneer, this time moving to Kanosh, Utah, to make his home. He also had a ranch in the mountains that he called the "Porcupine Ranch" on the Deer Flat hills. Here he operated a saw mill and a shingle mill, and his family ran a dairy. He saved them many hours of hand labor by attaching the churn to the water wheel of his mill. He was in business here in connection with his brother-in-law, Riley Morse, for about ten years.

When the Kanosh ward was organized with Culbert King as Bishop, he was chosen to be his second counselor. Once more he responded to a call of the church to help colonize the Salt River Valley, in Arizona. He traded his cattle for two good teams of mules and two wagons, and once more started out on the dusty trails toward a new home. They settled in Mesa, Arizona, arriving in 1883.

Collins and the Merrill brothers, Orlando and Orin, were the first to discover gold in the Goldfield area. They and Riley Morse owned the Mammoth Mine at Goldfield twenty miles east of Mesa. They sold it to a large company for twenty thousand dollars, each receiving five thousand dollars as his share. Most of this money was reinvested in mines, but never again did they find much gold. However, the company who bought the Mammath Mine worked it for a number of years.

Collins, his sons-in-law, Louis E. Lamb, and Lyman Leavitt each owned a third interest in two other mines, the 'Mabel Ann" and the "Old Joe". Collins and Louis worked the mines, while Lyman took care of the work at their home places. Collins and Louis Lamb traded eighty acres of land to the Silver King Mines for a large building which they tore down and freighted to Mesa. From this materiel they built a twenty-one room hotel, the first in Mesa, and also the first building to be erected on the north side of Main Street in Mesa's business district, it was located just west of the northwest corner of Main and MacDonald Streets.

This was the only hotel in Mesa for some time, and business proved successful as Ann was an excellent cook and housekeeper. Her patience, cheerfulness and ready wit made her a friend of everyone. Dances were held in the dining room. Whenever there was sickness, Collins and his wife went and offered their services. Even during a dreadful smallpox epidemic, they took care of many of the victims.

Collins went to El Paso when he heard that Apostle Woodruff and his wife had been stricken with the disease. He cared for him in his last Illness, and was there to see that he was laid away properly. They were especially loved by the sick and the poor. He often spent his last dollar to make someone else happy, and received his greatest pleasure in serving others. They cherished their children and grandchildren, each new baby receiving their love and interest. They often referred to their grandchildren as their "second crop".

Much of his time was spent in the service of his community as well as in church work. He was a school trustee, a county Supervisor, and acted as Secretary of the Mesa Canal Company. He also served in the State Legislature, and was speaker of the house. He had many railroad contracts, and helped bring the "Iron Horse" into this western country. Obstacles were only a challenge to his ingenuity. At one time he served as a guide to a group of wealthy campers. The women of the party were greatly worried because they had forgotten to take along a pan in which to make their bread. He watched them wring their hands and fuss for a while, and then offered to make the bread for them. They eagerly accepted the offer, but were puzzled as to how he would proceed without a pan. By turning down the edge of the flour sack, and mixing the dough right in the flour, he solved their problem.

While residing in Mesa, he served first, as second counselor to President Alexander G. Macdonald of the Maricopa Stake. Then, May 10, 1894, he was made Stake President, which position he occupied until 1905. In 1893, he visited the World's Fair in Chicago. They visited a national Hakes Reunion at Niagara Falls. At this Reunion, he was called the "Mormon Bishop" and was called on to ask the blessing on the food.

He had coal black hair, dark eyes and a well shaped head. His brother-in-law said he was one of the most handsome men he ever saw. He had three months schooling, was self educated. Where ever he lived he had the record of being fearless. Always ready to take the lead in danger, in difficult times he was appointed to be spokesman. Their last pioneer call was an exodus to Bluewater, New Mexico, in 1905. Here he was made a Patriarch of the St. Johns Stake, and here they celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary.

The following brief extract is from a letter sent to Collins on this occasion by the First Presidency of the Church. "...we wish you to know that our feelings of love go out to you and yours, ...your children, and your children's children down to the latest generation ...we wish your children to know that we do love you, and that we admire you for your long life of faithfulness, and for the integrity of your heart... your place will be among the men of this generation who have been valiant for truth... We heartily congratulate you, dear Brother Hakes, in the honor that has come to you, in having celebrated your golden wedding in your seventieth year in company with your children, all of whom, we learn with the greatest pleasure, are faithful men and women in the church and Kingdom of God. We sincerely hope it may be said of them, at the age of three score and ten, as it, now can be said of you, that through a long life of faithfulness, they shall have earned for themselves a place among the men and women who have been true to their covenants, and who are Indeed servants of God." With love, we are your brethren, Joseph F. Smith John R. Winder Anthon H. Lund. Two years after this his beloved wife died. He lived seven years longer, and, although lonely, tried to make others happy. His visits among the families of his children were cheerful and enjoyable. Throughout his lifetime, he was blessed with health; in all his seventy-nine years, he never had a toothache. He pulled many teeth for others and in his later years he had one of his own teeth pulled just to know how it felt.

He bore the following testimony: "I remember having seen the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, in Nauvoo . I have been personally acquainted with Presidents Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and Lorenzo Snow, and I know that they were prophets of God. I do also know that President Joseph F. Smith is a prophet, seer and revelator." He died in Mesa, Arizona. August 27, 1916, having at that time 12 children, 53 grandchildren and 59 great-grandchildren.

SOURCE: https://familysearch.org/photos/stories/2105839?p=142407

The following information is from another source:

Solomon Hakes was born circa. 1688 probably in Devon, England. He was in Westerly, Rhode Island in 1709. He later moved to Stonington, Connecticut where he married Anna Billings in 1718. One of his descendants, Collins Rowe Hakes (1837-1916), was born in Grafton, Ohio, son of Weeden Vander Hakes and Eliza Beebe. The family came to Utah with the Latter-Day-Saints. Collins married Mabel Ann Morse in California in 1857. They later settled in Mesa, Arizona in 1883. Descendants lived in Utah, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and elsewhere.

SOURCE: https://familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=303181&disp=Collins+Rowe+Hakes+family

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Collins Rowe Hakes's Timeline

1837
June 26, 1837
Grafton, Lorain, Ohio, USA
1858
February 14, 1858
Age 20
Washington, Utah, USA
1860
June 7, 1860
Age 22
1862
September 25, 1862
Age 25
1864
September 19, 1864
Age 27
1866
November 27, 1866
Age 29
1869
June 7, 1869
Age 31
1871
December 5, 1871
Age 34
1874
June 24, 1874
Age 36
1875
November 24, 1875
Age 38
Kanosh, Millard, Utah