Henry William Bigler (1815 - 1900)

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Birthplace: Shinnston, Harrison County, West Virginia
Death: Died in Utah
Managed by: Susanna Engberg Barnevik
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About Henry William Bigler

Autobiography:

Henry William Bigler, 1815-1900 "...I, Henry William Bigler was born on the 28th day of August A.D. 1815 near a small village called Shinnston; in Harrison County, Virginia (now called West Virginia). My father's name was Jacob. He was the son of Jacob and Hannah Bigler. My grandfather was Dutch and from the best information I can get his parents came from the river Rhine in Germany in an early day and settled in Pennsylvania and that grandfather and grandmother Bigler were both born in Bucks County in Pennsylvania and were married about the year 1779 and soon after immigrated to what is now Summerset County, Pennsylvania. There their first child was born and in 1782 they immigrated again to what is now Harrison Co., West Va., and settled on the west fork of the Monongahela River near the present village of Shinnston. There they lived many years, raised their family and grandfather died and was buried on the old home farm. I think grandfather died Sept., 1829. I never learnt the exact age of my grandfather. I remember his death and of hearing my father say that he was 76 years old which would make him to [have] been born about the year 1753. Grandmother Bigler was born June 1760, her maiden name was Hannah Bookes and always understood that she was of Welch and Dutch descent, they had ten children. I will here give their names, when born and to whom they married, beginning with the first born.

Sarah born April 30th, 1780. Married John Right.

Hannah born January 30th, 1783. Married James McCanly.

Mark born May 19th, 1785. Married Susannah Ogdon.

Ruth born April 28th, 1788. Married Abel Whiteman.

Nancy born Nov. 29th, 1790. Married Henry Whiteman.

Jacob born June 9th, 1793. Married Elizabeth Harvey.

Henry born April 24th, 1796. Married Hannah Dickerson.

Bathsheba born June 29th, 1798. Married William Smith.

Mariah born January 29th, 1801. Married William Flowrs.

And if I remember aright they had one other they named Rebecca, died while an infant, neither her age nor birth I have got. I have understood that she was born with what they called a hair lip. Bathsheba, Ruth and grandfather died before the gospel found them. I will now speak of my mother's side. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Harvey. My great grandfather Harvey came from England, his name was William. He married Peggy Wheeler. Her parents came from Wales, they had six or seven children, three sons, and three or four daughters. Their names were William, Allen and Basil, Nancy, Mary and Dorcus. And my Uncle Basil Harvey thinks they had one by the name of Peggy. My grandfather Harvey whose name was Basil was the youngest one of the three boys. He was born sometime in the year of 1763 in Montgomery County, state of Maryland. He married Elizabeth Lewis sometime in the year 1783 being in the 20th year of his age. His wife had two children, Jonathan Lewis and William but Jonathan was the eldest he was born in 1784. I have no account of William's age. It was thought however that he was some two years the youngest. Their mother died about the year 1790 and in the year 1793 grandfather married my grandmother whose maiden name was Mary Hall, daughter of Gabriel and Tenna Hall of Fredric County, Maryland. She was the eldest child of her parents. She was born in the same place where she was married A.D. 1763 and my mother was her first by grandfather born in the same state, Montgomery County, on the 10th day of January, 1794, and I think it was in the winter or spring of 1799 my grandfather moved to Harrison County, Va., where he settled himself for life. One of my uncles thinks or rather states that little boys, their names were John and Isaac and thinks that John was born next to my mother in the year of 1796 but died soon after childbirth and that Isaac was born in the spring.

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. . . we were in St. Louis and offered me $50 a month to go as second cook. I felt much out of humor because they did not pay up like men as they agreed to. I however left and returned to Quincy, Illinois, found my father living near Payson, Adams County. He had rented some land to work for the present season. In a few days I was able to go to work. I went to work for a farmer near Quincy for twelve dollars a month.

I worked until the following August when I was called to take a mission to preach the gospel (having been ordained an elder under the hands of Elders Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball in the city Far West, previous to our leaving Missouri). I went forth in company with a young man by the name of Amos Lyons, a priest of the order of Aaron. Our labors were mostly in Harrison County, Virginia. I baptized five persons.

When I returned the most of the Church had settled in Hancock County, Illinois, and built up (Commerce as it was called) Nauvoo as it was afterwards called by the Saints. My father was still living near Payson. I, however, went to Nauvoo where the main body of the Church was and worked in the temple or rather in the stone quarry getting out rock for the temple that was now being built. This was in the summer of 1842.

About this time John C. Bennett apostatized and left the Church or more properly speaking he was cut off from the Church for adultery. As soon as this was done he became one of our most bitterest enemies. He left Nauvoo and commenced publishing all kinds of falsehoods against Joseph Smith and the Twelve Apostles and the Church in general, filling the minds of public with hatred against the Saints. A special conference was called by the Prophet, I think it was in August, 1842. At this conference a good many were called to go on missions and rebut Bennett's lies and disabuse the public mind.

Among the number sent out I was sent. I started in company with my cousin Jacob G. Bigler and Josias W. Fleming. We traveled together as far as Fulton County, Illinois, preached a few times. Here we parted and I was left alone. I traveled a few miles and stopped and tried to get a place to preach. I did preach once or twice and offered to preach but to no purpose.

While I was here trying to open up an elder came along from Nauvoo, his name was Alpheus Harmon or Harmin. We continued our journey together through Illinois into the north part of Indiana also to the edge of Michigan. We then turned our course into Ohio. Not meeting with any opportunity to preach and growing pretty late in the fall season, he concluded to return home (perhaps felt discouraged) to Nauvoo. So we shook hands and parted, leaving our blessings on each other, he for Nauvoo and I to continue alone once more on my mission. Poor man, I heard afterwards that he froze to death just before he reached home while crossing a prairie.

I continued my journey traveling in a north western part of the state of Ohio, preaching every chance I got till I struck the Angloze River. The weather began to grow cold and my clothes not good, getting worse of the wear. I commenced to inquire for labor with my hands instead of preaching, though however telling the people who I was, where from, and what my business was, etc. A man that owned a sawmill on the Angloze River (put) me to work one month, his name was Samial (Samuel) Mires, a Dutchman. He treated me very kindly though he would oppose the truth. While at work for this man I preached a few times in the neighborhood. After my month was up and got my pay which was all very good except a pair of shoes. In this Mires put me off with a very inferior pair and all together too large for me. In this thing I felt hard towards him for I have no doubt but he could [have] done better. I left his house feeling more like leaving a cursing than a blessing upon him.

It was now winter and snow on the ground and very cold. I think it was the first or second day after leaving Mires I called late in the afternoon at a respectable looking house to get lodging for the night was cold and I was hungry and tired having walked some distance that day through woods the most of the way. I rapped at the door and was bid come in. When I entered I asked if they would please keep a servant of the Lord all night. The man of the house was either making or mending a pair of shoes. He looked at me and asked where I was from and what persuasion I was of. I told him I was from Nauvoo, Illinois, and belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I saw he was puzzled and did not understand. He, however, replied and said he had never heard of that order before. I then told him we were known as "Mormonites," a fictitious name given us in consequence of a book we believed in, entitled the Book of Mormon. He hesitated and at last said he had heard of them [those] people and could not keep me. He had a large family mostly grown up and they all gazed at me as I stood with my valise in my hand (for they had not offered me a seat) as though I was some great monster.

As soon as he told me he could not keep me overnight I turned round on my heels and went out, shutting the door after me and passed out of the yard into the road leaving for some other quarters, when all at once I was called back by the same person, who told me he could not keep me or let me stay over night, I believe his name is Mr. McMelon. He called me back and told me he would keep me all night and wished to have a talk with me and make some inquiries about my people and our religion, etc. He invited me to take a seat near the fire and as I began to talk a friendly spirit was manifested and Mr. McMelon told me to make myself as comfortable as I could, that it was chore time, for me to sit by the fire and warm myself while he was out doing up his chores and it would soon be supper time. So I had a good supper and warm fire to sit by and all seemed anxious to listen and learn what the Mormons had to say. At dusk a peddler called to stay all night, as soon as he learned who I was he commenced to put down Mormonism and did his best to upset it by the Bible but the Lord was with me and I confounded him at every turn and McMelon and his family saw it so plain that my host told the peddler that it was no use for I had the scriptures all in my favor.

It was Saturday night, the next day being Sunday, Mr. McMelon invited me to go with him to a Lutheran meeting there was in the neighborhood and I might give out an appointment to preach that evening at his house at early candlelight. He introduced me to the Lutheran preacher. The minister received me very kindly and in a friendly way he preached a very good discourse. After he got through he invited me to speak which I did and at the close of my remarks I gave out my appointment for the night at Mr. McMelon's. The preacher invited the people to turn out to hear me for he believed I was a good man. I had a crowd to preach to, that night and from thence doors were opened for me to preach and I sent out appointments and made my home at McMelon's for some time, but soon the people began to grow hard.

While I was preaching one evening a mob came to tar and feather me and ride me on a rail. The man of the house where I was preaching told them that the first man who attempted to lay hands on me he would shoot him with his rifle for I was preaching the truth and he meant I should not be molested while I was under his roof and bid the mob sit down and listen. There was another man who was my friend he came to the _________ where I stood and took his seat on it, he was determined I should not be disturbed if he could help it. The mob quietly sat down and when I got done they dispersed without any fuss.

A few evenings after this I was invited to preach in a school house. When I got there the house was filled with men and but one candle. I knew there was something up. I, however, did preach as soon as I dismissed meeting one man came to me with a light and invited me to go home with him. As soon as we were out of the house I received a snow balling, though the most of the balls missed me.

At that instant two men rode up on horse back and inquired if there was not a Mormon Elder and where he was. I spoke and told them I was the elder, they then invited me to get up behind one of them and go home with them for they wanted to talk with me, that they lived six miles hence and at a late hour they heard of the meeting and had come to hear me preach and was sorry they had been so late. I was glad enough to meet with seeming friends. I got up behind one and after riding a short distance they told me they were brethren in the Church were on their way with their families to Nauvoo and had stopped in the town of Lima to winter. The names of those two brethren were Cale and Ire Oviatte, with them I had a home and preached in the court house in Lima and in the adjoining neighborhood. Here a Campbellite minister by the name of Moses Bornorn would follow me to my appointments and do his best to down the truth and to destroy my influence among the people. A number told me they believed what I preached but no one obeyed it.

[The remainder of the page is cut so badly it cannot be read.]

. . . I told him that I had left an appointment or two I wished to fulfill on my return back. He was in for going on the spot. He asked me to stay with him a day to help him to get up firewood some, told his wife to fix up his clothes and have all ready by next morning and he would go with me. So accordingly the next morning we set out together. When we got near Lima to where I had left an appointment we stopped for the night and for to fill the appointment. No sooner had we commenced our meeting in came Bornorn, the Campbellite priest to oppose as usual. The result of this meeting terminated in a two days and nights public debate held in the Lima courthouse where in it was acknowledged in their public papers that the Mormonite had gained the day. This Bornorn was a regular graduate from college, but with all our preaching, and they appeared to be quite a goodly number who heard our testimony yet not a soul came out and obeyed the gospel.

[The remainder of page is cut badly.]

He would often argue to try to convert me to his faith and I ________ to convince him that Mormonism was __________, neither of us succeeded. I think his name was Mike Cannady. He had married into a Protestant family and I discovered that there was not that union between him and his wife by a good deal as there ought to be in consequence of their religion. He was young, his wife's maiden name I think was Wheat and if I remember right she had property to quite an extent when Cannady married her and he had nothing and that perhaps had something to do with their union or disunion and I think unless a change for the better had taken place they have broke asunder as man and wife long since.

I continued traveling and preaching whenever I got a chance till I arrived in Athens County, Ohio. Here I found a small branch of the Church built up by Elder Abraham Rose who was living here with his family. Here I stopped a few days and preached several times. I being ________ from Nauvoo, Brother Rose and some others of the branch desired me to return (with) them which I did. We went alone and did so quietly for fear the outsiders or the world would get hold of it and make a wonderful noise about it. I left the little branch feeling pretty well and made my way into Jackson County, Virginia where I stopped.

It was now the close of the summer of 1843. Here I took up three months school, preaching every chance I could get on Sunday. I baptized a woman by the name of Belinda Thomas wife of Peter B. Thomas, her maiden name was Carney. I taught school all this winter and the next spring. I here sent and was taking the "Times and Seasons," a paper that was published at Nauvoo by our people. I think it was in July of 1844, I went to Ripley the county seat of Jackson for it was to this place I had my papers sent and it was here where Sister Thomas was living. Lawyer Smith told me there were papers in the post office for me in mourning. There was a report that Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed but I did not believe it because I had heard years before of Joseph's death. But as soon as I was informed that my papers were in mourning I believed the Prophet was dead. I hastened to the office with breathless anxiety to learn the truth about it. When I read the death of the Prophet and his brother Hyrum I felt as though I wanted to go through and tear in pieces.

I learned from my papers that they were killed in Carthage Jail, Hancock County, Illinois. Shot by an armed mob painted black about 5 o'clock P.M. on the 27th day of June, 1844. John Taylor and Willard Richards, two of the Twelve, were in jail at the time they were shot. Brother Taylor was wounded in a savage manner by four balls. Brother Richards escaped without a hole in his robe. For particulars of this transaction see Book of Doctrine and Covenants [D&C], page 334, European editions. I felt they were innocent men and were murdered by wicked men and apostates. Afterwards I felt more like crying than fighting. The elders out on missions were advised through the same papers by the Twelve at Nauvoo not to preach unless they were invited to do so and even in that to do as they advised to preach or to let it alone.

Joseph had offered himself as a candidate for the presidential chair of the United States. The presidential election was to come off the ensuing fall and I had his "View Upon the Powers and Policy of the General Government" sent to me and I used all my influence lectioneering for him and there were a good many who declared they would vote for him before they would for Henry Clay or for James K. Polk. And as the way had almost shut up for preaching to the people and besides not feeling very anxious to do so unless invited I went to school keeping though I did preach several times in the courthouse and in the adjoining settlements. In the spring of 1845 I returned home to Illinois, found my Father had left Payson and had settled himself on Bare River or rather Bare Creek some 16 miles south of Nauvoo. After I returned home I took up a summer school, boarding or living with my father.

My sister Hannah was married to Daniel Arnold Miller, a widower.

In September of 1845, a mob commenced to burn the houses of our brethren in the southwest portion of Hancock County, also burning their stacks of grain and other property belonging to our people compelling defenseless children and women to leave their sick beds and exposing them to the rays of the parching sun, there to lie and suffer without the aid or assistance of a friendly hand to minister to their wants in their suffering condition. The Sheriff of the County, J.[Jacob] B. Backenstos issued a proclamation solemnly commanding the mob to desist forthwith, to disperse and go to their homes under the penalty of the laws, calling upon the law abiding citizens as a posse comitatus of Hancock County to give their united aid in suppressing the rioters and maintain the supremacy of the law. To the sheriff's proclamation no attention whatever was paid except by the mob who used it as a justification for trying to kill the sheriff although he was not a Mormon. A second proclamation was issued calling upon the Mormons in the county as well as other law-abiding people to arm themselves and be in readiness to act at a moments notice in the defence of the lives and property of our people and to suppress mob violence throughout the county for house burning and the driving of our people began to be quite general.

My father moved his family into Nauvoo. Governor Thomas Ford then sent General John J. Harding with 400 militia to Nauvoo who dismissed the sheriff's posse but made no arrest of the house burners. I believe he did not try but informed the Saints that the state could do nothing for them in the shape of protecting them from mob violence that the mob was determined to drive us from the state and therefore we must go.

In the spring of 1844, the Prophet Joseph had prophesied that within five years the Church would be located in the Rocky Mountains beyond the influence of mobs requesting it to be written that when it came to pass it might be remembered for persecution had followed the Church ever since its organization.

The work on the [Nauvoo] temple was pushed to its completion in the face of relentless persecution and amid obstacles of the most difficult and trying kind and on Monday, the 6th of October, 1845, the first General Conference was held by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and lasted three days where upon it was agreed to leave the state enmasse and go to a country where we could enjoy the fruit of our labors and God himself, be the sole proprietor of the elements. President Brigham Young moved that we take all the Saints with us to the extent of our ability which was seconded by Elder Kimball and carried unanimously. The height of the temple from the ground to the top of the eaves 60 feet, from the eaves to the top of the attic story 16 1/2, tower 12 1/2, belfry 20 feet, clock section 10, observatory 16, dome 13 1/2, ball and rod 10, total 158 1/2 feet.

On the 31st day of December, 1845, I received my endowments in the [Nauvoo] temple. I have forgotten the size of the temple but the Nauvoo house that was commanded by the Lord to be built as a public house to entertain strangers in was 240 feet long and 5 story high when completed.

My father when he was forced to move into Nauvoo on the account of the mob moved into Brother George A. Smith's house with Brother Smith's family being invited so to go and I acted as the private clerk for Brother George A. [Smith] and I make or rather take the following from his journal.

February 7th, 1846. Upwards of six hundred received the ordinance of the priesthood, this being the last day for administering it for the present.

Feb. 8th. The Twelve met in the southeast corner, room No. 1, the upper story in the [Nauvoo] temple, kneeling round the altar and dedicating the building to the most high and asked His blessings upon our intended move to the west, also asking Him to enable them someday to finish the lower part of the building and dedicated it to Him and to preserve the temple as a monument to Joseph Smith, the Twelve, then left. Elder B. Young addressed the Saints in the grove and informed them that the company going west would start this week across the river.

Feb. 9th. Sunday Brother George A. [Smith] packed up his goods and family and sent them over the river, he remaining behind to close up some business. Some 30 or 40 state troops are in town. In the afternoon the [Nauvoo] temple was discovered on fire which was put out before much damage was done. The band played several times on the top of the temple.

[Feb.] 11th. Today Father, John Smith crossed over the river.

[Feb.] 15th. Today Brother George A. came and found us at Brother John S. Martin's, relative of ours.

[Feb.] 16th. Today we moved to camp where the company is gathering on Sugar Creek near the bridge in Ambro______? township where there is plenty of timber and water. Here we pitched our tents for the first time, we slept in it and in the wagons. The night was clear and cool.

[Feb.] 17th. Brigham called the Saints together and proceeded to organize them into companies of hundreds, companies of fifties and tens, gave them considerable instruction relative to going west, preparing outfits, etc. Last night was severely cold. Seven of the Twelve met in council today. Their council chamber was formed by a small hollow of the branch of Sugar Creek, two letters were read, they directed their clerk to write a letter to the Church in Nauvoo.

Wed., [Feb.] 18th. The camp was called together, the organization still continued. Brother George A. [Smith] organized his family into a company as follows.

My father, Captain; myself, clerk; John D. Chase, commissary. Outfit five wagons, nine horses, six of which are good serviceable horses, two yoke of oxen, one thousand pounds of flour, twelve bushels of cornmeal, two bushels of parch cornmeal, three hundred and fifty pounds of biscuit or sea bread, one hundred and fifty pounds meat, two bushels of seed buck wheat and one hundred pounds of fall wheat, (this wheat he exchanged for flour) and a variety of garden seeds. Two set of plows, one shovel plow, two spades, two hoes, two froes, one iron wedge, five angers, thirty pounds of iron, 20 extra horseshoes, thirty pounds cutnails, one extra king bolt, two three quartered bolts, two light draft chains, fifty pounds of soap, one hundred papers of smoking tobacco, three rifle guns, three muskets, one brace of belt pistols, two kegs of powder, 100 lbs. of lead and Brother George [Smith] appointed me to keep his private journal. Four pieces of artillery came into camp today, two six pounders, one three and one short twelve pound cannonade. The night was moderate, we had an excellent fire.

Feb. 19th. Snow began to fall early this morning in large quantities--everything looked gloomy. At night the snow continued to fall, the wind raised from the northwest upset our tent. The boys all turned out with considerable ____________ the snow and put it up. Jessee __________ killed several rabbits and today we ________ cornmeal and potatoes.

Feb. 20th. Clean and cool, the wind from the N.W. We had to turn our tent and change our fire. The council met and made arrangements for purchasing three hundred bushels of corn. The captains were called together to make out their lists of outfits. Although is very cold yet our company or camp has the appearance of comfort.

Feb. 21st. Morning cold and cloudy. Steven Markham was appointed Capt. over the pioneers of 160 men and was instructed to have seventy-five bushels of wheat ground at the Farmington Mill, also one hundred bushels of corn ground up immediately. John Schott appointed over the artillery. My father put up a coal pit today.

Feb. 22nd. It froze hard last night, most of our company complained of sleeping cold. Jessee Martin and I went to Mont Rose to trade a calfskin for salt and to get some other articles.

Feb. 23rd. I returned with 34 lbs. salt and a little pork and brought 1 load of straw from my cousin's, John Mathis. My Brother Jacob shot eight quails and added to our stock of provisions.

Feb. 24th. Jessee returned today with seven rabbits and four quails he had shot and says the Mississippi River froze over last night above Mont Rose. It commenced snowing this morning about 6 and continued till 10 A.M. My father and John Harvey went to Brother Litle's blacksmith shop and got their horses shod, furnishing their own coal.

Feb. 25th. Very cold. President Young called the camp together and gave notice that he would move tomorrow to the Des Moines.

Feb. 26th. President Young did not move, the day was clear and cold.

Feb. 27th. Jesse Martin and I brought in a load of hay from Brother Dotys.

Feb. 28th. At 2 o'clock this morning it commenced snowing in large quantities and continued until 6 o'clockthis afternoon, it then became close and warm.

March 1846

Sunday, March 1st. Morning clear, at 10 A.M. President Young called the camp together. Elder Kimball spoke in his place and said it was not wisdom to wait any longer for so many were running back to Nauvoo to see their grandmother or grandfather or somebody else, that it was impossible to organize under such circumstances, that every person as soon as the meeting was out return to their tents and make preparation to move forth with and those who were ready to move could go and those who were not had the privilege of staying if they choose. At 2 o'clock P.M. the whole camp was on the move with about four or five hundred wagons. The day was warm and beautiful for the season, went five miles and encamped for the night.

Monday, [March] 2nd. Moved today ten miles.

Tues., [March] 3rd. The camp was called together by the blast of the bugle and was addressed by President Young advising the Saints to be careful not to crowd their teams on each other when driving, also he gave the pioneers some instructions relative to their duties, likewise the guard that they should bring up the rear and see that nothing was left behind or lost, etc. At 11 A.M. the camp was on the move. Went 8 miles and encamped.

Richmond Point

Wednesday, [March] 18th. We arrived here on the 8th, since then we have been in camp. Owing to the weather being so wet and the road muddy, many of the brethren made rails for the Gentiles for provisions. Several of the brethren have been sick. My father has been very unwell. The man on whose land we are now encamped upon by the name of Cox presented a bill of ten dollars damage sustained by the horses gnawing the oak and ash trees.

Thursday, [March] 19th. At ten o'clock A.M. the camp was on the move, had some bad road, made 13 miles.

Sunday, April 5th. Since the 19th we have made about 45 miles though we had been in the encampment several days. The weather had been snowy and rainy and a time of suffering.

Monday, [April] 6th. Rained all day.

Tuesday, April 7th. It rained and was cold and disagreeable.

April 8th. Moved to the 6 mile fork where all the companies are encamped.

Thursday, April 9. Made today, 6 miles.

Friday, April 10th. It rained all last night. Teams were sent out to double and bring in the wagons out on the prairie and the women and children.

Sat., April 11th. Today myself, Jesse Martin with some other was sent with teams to buy corn of some of the Missourians.

Sunday, [April] 12th. Tonight we got back to camp with a load of corn. It was about midnight when we got back. The roads being so bad that we were obliged to leave our wagon loaded with corn back on the road. A Mr. John Ratliff with whom our party stayed all night with, as we went out charged us two dollars for sleeping on his floor, furnishing our own bedding or blankets together with two dozen sheaves of oats and two bushel of corn that our company got to feed our animals. We furnished our own grub. He said he had been pestered enough with the Mormons once before in this state (Mo) and he was not going to be pestered for nothing. He said he had helped to take Joseph Smith once. This kind of talk was when we came to settle our bill this morning.

Wednesday, [April] 15th. Fine day. The camp made ten miles and encamped. Here we laid by three days, it being a good place of grass to let our teams rest and eat grass. Here two oxen got snake bit, belonging to Bros. Kimball and Yearsley.

Friday, [April] 17th. This afternoon John Harvey and myself took our guns and set out to hunt turkeys as we are now in a game country where the deer and turkey are plenty and expect to be gone all night. About sundown we heard them flying up in the trees to roost. Pretty soon we discovered them, as it was late we concluded not to disturb them or to try our luck until early next morning. As we thought we would apt to have a better chance to get more of them. So early the next morning before the break of day we were up with gun in hand and made our way quietly to the turkey roost with the understanding to both fire at once as near as we could, each one picking his own turkey as each gun went off. My turkey fell and John's did not. I reloaded my rifle and shot and brought another turkey to the ground, but John fearing he would miss again handed me his gun, ready for shooting. I took it and fired at the third and brought it bumbling to the ground before all left the roost. We then returned to camp with __________. Camp moved today about 10 miles _________ camp will stop for several days as it is a good camping place and wait for the return of some brethren who had been sent out to trade with the Missourians for oxen. Council met and decided to make a settlement on Grand River, a place for the Saints to gather to going to California or elsewhere in the great west.

Sunday, [April] 19th. The day was fine. The Saints met in a beautiful grove for worship where they were addressed by President Young, George A. Smith and others.

Monday, [April] 20th. Nice day. Brother George A. sent my father with some others down the country to trade off some boxes, chests and trunks for cattle and for flour.

Wednesday, [April] 22nd. Most of the camp is gone ahead to Grand River, 25 miles to commence the settlement by putting up a few buildings, opening a farm, putting in crops of grain, making gardens, etc. This encampment where I am now is called "Point Pleasant," by some it is called "Medicine Creek." At night it began to cloud up from the south with heavy black clouds, lightening all around with heavy gales of wind and thunder.

SOURCE: Henry William Bigler; Autobiography (covering time period between 1815-1846). Acquired 1937 from St. George, Utah Public Library (missing pages). Retrieved online at http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/HBigler.html

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Henry Bigler's Timeline

1815
August 28, 1815
Shinnston, Harrison County, West Virginia
1837
July, 1837
Age 21
1845
December 31, 1845
Age 30
1855
November 18, 1855
Age 40
<Farmington, , , Utah>
1878
March 6, 1878
Age 62
St. George, Washington, Utah
March 6, 1878
Age 62
1889
September 13, 1889
Age 74
1900
November 24, 1900
Age 85
Utah
1998
March 31, 1998
Age 85