Ebenezer Adam Bryce
|Birthplace:||Dunblane, Perth, Scotland|
|Death:||Died in Bryce, Graham, Arizona, USA|
|Place of Burial:||Bryce, Graham, Arizona, USA|
|Managed by:||Linda Mayoros|
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About Ebenezer Adam Bryce
Ebenezer Bryce, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Ebenezer Bryce (November 17, 1830 – September 26, 1913) was a Mormon pioneer, best known as the person for whom Bryce Canyon National Park was named. Bryce was born in the town of Dunblane in the then unitary council area of Perth and Kinross, which is today located in the Stirling council area of Scotland. He became a ship's carpenter, converted his faith to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and left Scotland for Utah at the age of seventeen.
Bryce married Mary Park in Salt Lake City in 1854. They moved to southern Utah by 1862, and settled in Pine Valley by 1875. It was there that Bryce built what is now the oldest Mormon chapel still in continuous use. Soon after, the family moved a short distance to the Paria Valley, south of Bryce Canyon,  which became a National Monument in 1923 and a full-fledged National Park in 1928.  . In 1880, Bryce moved his large family to an area of Arizona, about two miles north of Pima, where the settlement of Bryce is named in his honor. It was there that he died and is buried in a local cemetery.
References: Ebenezer Bryce bio". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
Bryce Canyon National Park Management. National Park Service. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
Ebenezer Adam Bryce was the son of Andrew Bryce and Janet Adams. He learned a carpenter's trade and that of a millwright. He also sang in the church choir. Ebenezer was converted to the Mormon faith at the age of 17, and despite opposition of his father, made the voyage across to America.
In 1850 he went to Utah, met Mary Ann Park and was married on April 16, 1854. A combination of Ebenezer's pioneer spirit, the Church's colonization plan and the need for a carpenter in various places were responsible for many moves throughout central and southern Utah for the 26 years following his marriage. The couple moved from Salt Lake City to Spanish Fork, Mill Creek, Cottonwood, St. George, and Pine Valley. During this time he build many sawmills and flour mills. The bishop of Pine Valley wanted a chapel for his ward. Ebenezer pointed out that he could build ships, but not houses; so if it would be alright he would build a chapel on the pattern of a ship. It was completed in 1868. Ebenezer bought a steam powered sawmill with which he sawed lumber to build to St. George Temple.
The rigorous cold and Mrs. Byrce's failing health made Ebenezer decide to seek a warmer climate. The Bryces moved to Porreah Creek amid a setting of gorgeously colored walls that towered above. Ebenezer built a road through the canyon to obtain timber. Soon others were using the road and calling the canyon "Bryce Canyon."
In 1880 Ebenezer moved his family to Arizona. After living in several places they homesteaded across the river from Pima, Arizona. The resulting settlement was called Bryce, Arizona.
Ebenezer was respected by all who knew him. He loved to read. He served as a patriarch in the LDS Church. He did much temple work and made a trip to Scotland in search of genealogy. He obtained names back to the 1500s.
From another source: http://scottallen.wikispaces.com/Ebenezer+BRYCE
Bryce Canyon National Park is named after Ebenezer Bryce. He was an early convert to the LDS church in Scotland, and despite the opposition of his family, he was baptized a member of the church in March 1848. He learned the carpentry and shipbuilding trades in Scotland before leaving his family and immigrating to the United States, sailing from Liverpool to New Orleans as a 17 year old young man in 1848. He spent a short time in St. Louis, Missouri area, before saving enough money to travel to Utah with the James Pace Company in 1850.
Ebenezer married Mary Ann Park in Salt Lake City in April, 1854. Together they had 12 children.
Ebenezer was a pioneer and helped to build up several new settlements in Utah and Arizona. He was one of the original settlers called by Brigham Young to settle St. George.
Because of Ebenzer's carpentry and shipbuilding skills, Ebenezer was called to build a chapel in Pine Valley, Utah. He built it like an upside down ship and it was completed in 1868. As a testament to Ebenezer's craftsmanship skills, the Pine Valley chapel is now the oldest LDS chapel in continuous use. Ebenezer said of the church, "If a flood should come, it would float and if a wind came strong enough to blow it over, it would still never crash to pieces."
Ebenezer and his family moved from Pine Valley to Garfield County in 1876 for a warmer climate, due to Mary Ann's health. It was here that he is reported to have followed a lost cow to discover Bryce Canyon. In later years he moved again to Graham County, Arizona and founded the community of Bryce, Arizona, where he died in 1913.
FROM ANOTHER SOURCE: http://barbcornia.com/genealogy/getperson.php?personID=I183&tree=barb
First Mormon settlement in Arizona: Bryce, across the river from Pima, dates from January 1883, when Ebenezer Bryce, Sr. and sons commenced construction of a ditch completed the next year. The first house was that of Ebenezer P. Bryce occupied in December 1884.
EBENEZER BRYCE, by Wendell A Bryce
Ebenezer Bryce was born in Dunblane, Perthsire, Scotland on November 17, 1830. His parents were Andrew Bryce and Janet Adams. Ebenezer was the third child and third son of eight children. there were three boys and five girls. He may have been given the name of Ebenezer in honor of his father's older brother, on the same name, who died as a young man. When he was about 18 months old, the family moved to Tullibody, Clackmannanshire. There the five sisters were born. Only four of the eight children (Ebenezer, a brother and two sisters) grew to maturity. A sister, Margaret, moved to Lynn, Massachusetts. She was married to Peter Wright.
At 10 years Ebenezer began working in the shipyards. At 15 years he became an apprentice. In the Spring of 1848 he became interested in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. His father, family and friends did not share his enthusiasm. His father would lock up his clothes to keep him from attending the meetings. He was baptized in April and was determined to go to Utah. His father followed him on board a ship to persuade him not to go. but he was still intent on going, so his father took his hand and said if he would promise to be responsible for his own sins he could go. Ebenezer agreed and his father returned home. They never saw each other again. Of the brothers and sisters left behind, William was 23 years old at the time, Margaret 12, Mary 10 and Isabella 5. Isabella died at 10 years of age.
Ebenezer came to the U.S. in the John sharp Company arriving in New Orleans on October 27, 1848 (ship records show 28th) aboard the "Erin's Queen" from Liverpool with 232 souls. He spent a little time there and in St. Louis working; also in Paducah, Kentucky before heading west. (River fare from New Orleans to St. Louis was $2.50). He worked as a carpenter and lived at a boarding house in St. Louis. One evening he and some of the fellows went to town. When they returned, they found the landlady had died of cholera.
While in St. Louis he was ordained a Seventy on February 27, 1849. He was a member of the 31st Quorum. He was still a member of this quorum while in Salt Lake Valley.
In March 1850 he started westward, traveling in the James Pace Company. There were 100 wagons in two divisions. the divisions were headed by Richard Sessions and David Bennett respectively. They arrived in Salt Lake City September 16, 1850. No record of the company's travels is known. The company was reported at Council (Cottage) Grove on June 7 by a local paper and 50 miles west of Kearney on June 26 by missionaries going east. There was some sickness in camp and most companies lost some of their number to cholera.
In the winter of 1850-51 he was rebaptized in City Creek (Salt Lake City). He found work at the farm of George A. and Bathsheba Smith. Apostle Smith referred to Ebenezer as his boy. It was at this farm he met a young lady, Mary Ann Park. She was cooking and doing housework.
Ebenezer received his patriarchal blessing from the church patriarch, "Uncle" John Smith on June 29, 1851. On August 18, 1852 he received his endowments in the old Council House. On April 16, 1854 he was married to Mary Ann Park by George A. Smith in the Smith home.
Mary Ann's sister, Jane (just older than Mary Ann) had married Archibald Gardner, as 6th wife. "Archie" had built sawmills in Mill Creek and Cottonwood Canyons. He would build others and also in West Jordan. This would provide the couple with some family influence as they worked in those areas. There was an Elizabeth Bryce Hill in Mill Creek about this time, also her sister Margaret in Salt Lake City. They were from the Glascow area of Scotland where the Bryce's, Hill's and Gardner's were acquainted.
The new couple made their home in Salt Lake City where Ebenezer began working as a carpenter and millwright. ( A millwright in those days was one who was very proficient in making about any equipment that was needed.) He was soon asked to go to Tooele to work on a sawmill. About this time a George. W. Bryce and family are found at Black Rock (where a daughter is born). They also moved to Tooele. Both George W. (William) and Ebenezer and families helped former Apostle Luke Johnson start a new settlement of Clover in Rush Valley. there were about one-half dozen families here. George W. Bryce had apparently come from Kentucky. George W. became discouraged trying to make a living in Utah and moved his family to California. His descendants claim he was Ebenezer's brother, possibly because of his referring to "Brother Ebb."
Apparently there was some communication between Ebenezer and William in later years, as William was aware of where Ebenezer was and the size of his family.
The first child, Ebenezer Park, was born in Tooele. This was February 15, 1855. In March 1856 Ebenezer was listed as a private in Company A of the Tooele Top Battalion of the Nauvoo Legion. His company included 40 privates, 16 muskets and one bayonet. This company was like many others in Utah that would bring the invading U.S. Army to terms. Ebenezer stood guard in Echo Canyon above Ogden where they built campfires on top of canyon cliffs and ridges, then kept busy walking back and forth in front of the fires to make the U.S. Army think they had a great number of soldiers to oppose them.
Ann Janet was born January 19, 1857 and David Andrew January 7, 1858. The family moved to Spanish Fork, then Mill Creek, where William Henry was born. Mary Ann received her endowments March 16, 1861 and was sealed to her husband on that date.
At the October Conference in 1861 he heard his name read along with others to go to Dixie in southern Utah and help settle that area. This must have been a particularly trying time. they had four young children with the oldest about 6 years. Another child was expected very soon. To move this young family those many miles over poor roads to an uncertain future as winter was approaching took much courage. But, reaffirming their faith, they took the name for their new so, Alma Nephi, from the Book of Mormon and prepared to go. They arrived in the present area of St. George in early December. The city consisted of 7 tents before their arrival. Then there were 40 days of rain! - while camped in a wagon with four young children and a baby.
In the spring they were then called to go to Pine Valley about 30 miles to the north to build sawmills. There he and Sam Burgess erected the fourth sawmill in Pine Valley. He also built a shingle mill and grist mill for Asa Caulkins. All mills were water powered. First one mill would use the water, then another, as they were set up along a millrace.
November 22, 1863 the twins, George Alvin and Barbara Ellen were born. It is said that the twins received their nicknames that followed them through life from their father's team of horses, Dick and Nell. In Pine Valley there were five added to the family. In addition to Dick and Nell, there were Jane Louise, Mary Isabella, and Joseph Walter.
In 1864 to 1866 they apparently moved to West Jordan (Salt Lake City); but then Ebenezer purchased a steam-powered sawmill and moved to grass Valley, just north of Pine Valley.
In the fall of 1873 the church asked him, with Samuel Burgess, to move the mill to Mt. Trumbull on the north side of the Grand Canyon, south of St. George. They were to saw lumber for the construction of the St. George Temple. A year later the mill was turned over to the church and he moved back to Pine Valley.
It is interesting to note that what was probably this same sawmill was later sent by the church into northern Arizona (south of the canyon) to saw lumber for the Saints. After a few more moves, a part of the mill was still in service at Lakeside, near Show Low, about 1930.
It was about 1865 when Bishop William Snow asked him to design and be the builder for a Pine Valley Chapel. Ebenezer had not built any large buildings, but said, "If you will let me build it like a ship, I'll build it." He was told to go ahead.
They hand picked some trees from the gorge at the lower end of the valley on Santa Clara Creek. Because of the confines of the rock walls, the trees grew tall and straight. (It was from this same gorge that trees were cut and hauled the great distance to Salt Lake for the tabernacle organ.) These trees were too large for the sawmills to cut, so they were squared into timbers with broad axes.
The sides of the church were build laying on the ground. To raise the sides into place, Ebenezer had a call that was used on ships. Ropes were attached to the sides and the call used to get everyone to pulling together to raise the sides. The building strongly shows his shipbuilding influence. It is said it was built like an upside down ship.
Ebenezer said, "It might burn, it might float in a flood, it might tip over in a hurricane, but it will not break up." He built well. The church is still in use today. The lower story was used as a school for many years and the upper story as the chapel. It is shown on aeronautical charts as a landmark to guide the aircraft pilots. One of the little boys that went to school in the building would later develop the skip bombing technique that was used so successfully in World War II.
The ranchers and cowboys would come for miles to attend dances in the building. It was unusual for them to see such a brightly, lighted building. Kerosene lamps were on the walls in three's to provide light.
In 1876 they were advised to seek a warmer climate for Mary an's health. (Pine Valley is relatively high in altitude and has very cold winters.) Ebenezer trade his home (which is still in use today) to Henry Slade for sheep and moved to the Paria River in Garfield County. Mary Ann's health remained bad and she became bedridden for much of the time.
The family homestead, a small log building, was erected opposite where the creek from Bryce Canyon joins the Paria River. In developing water for home and irrigation, Ebenezer and two sons went up the creek until they found a series of springs. They set about cleaning these springs and developing more flow.
As they were working Ebenezer decided to go up the canyon further and explore. He was gone a long time, and when he returned his sons asked him what he found. He described the fantastic shapes and colors and then said, "Someday that will be a national park." (The concept of national parks had already started with Yellowstone.) The statement commonly attributed to Ebenezer that "the canyon was a poor place ( he would not have used hell) to lose a cow" was first publicly reported at the dedication of the Bryce Canyon Lodge in 1927. This was many years after his death.
The springs they were working on that day are still in use by the town of Tropic for their water supply. They lie astride the park boundary in the bottom of the canyon.
It was into this canyon that he built a road to get the straight, well formed ponderosa pine for his log buildings (one of which is relocated as a museum in Tropic.) Others came and also used the road. It became known as Bryce's Canyon. Another family built flumes and ranching needs in the canyon to the north. It became Campbell's Canyon, then Cope Canyon, Willis Creek, Shakespear Point, etc., all from families of the area. Finally the high school became know as Bryce Valley High School.
The Bryce Canyon springs were of limited volume. to get additional water they had to go into the valley west of Bryce Canyon, the east fork of the Sevier River, and began to build a canal to the canyon rim. There they dropped the water over the rim and let it flow down a natural drainage to the Paria River where they picked it up and used it for irrigation. This was a distance of 15 miles. This was the only pioneer diversion of water outside of the Great basin. The canal is still in use and can be seen as a small ditch just south of Ruby's Inn near the park entrance. The canal was not complete when they left Utah.
On September 9, 1933, Park Ranger Maurice Cope noticed that "the Bryce homestead had been torn down. It was erected in the Fall of 1875-76 and had been a landmark for 58 years between Tropic and Cannonville."
In addition to farming on the Paria, Ebenezer ran his livestock on top of the plateau and west of the canyon. The Bryce Ranch is reported to have been in Blue Fly Canyon, which is south of the big butte, which is south of the top of Red Canyon. ( Bill ranched at Blue Fly later.) The drainage of this canyon runs east to the east fork of the Seiver.
There were three places cattle could be driven from the valley to the plateau. the most direct route was up Campbell Canyon, then single file up the side of the canyon between Boat Mesa and Sunrise Point. Another route was up the "cattle drive" which also was the road into the valley. It went up a canyon which was one drainage south of the present highway over the rim ("The Dump") to Tropic. This was also quite steep with a bad "S" turn at the top. When the Model T's came along in later years, they had to turn around and back up this section. The other route used mostly by Cannonville ranchers was up Sheep Creek and on to Whiteman Bench.
In July 1880 the family moved to Panguitch where Ruben was born September 22, the twelfth and last of the children, all of whom grew to maturity, and all except David Andrew married and raised families. While here, one cold winter morning they went out to milk the cow and found it still standing, but frozen quite dead.
At this time the family sent out two scouting expeditions. David Andrew went to New Mexico and Arizona, and William and Alma went to Arizona. In the summer of the following year David and Alma returned, with Bill staying in Arizona. He was later reported killed by Indians. by September the family had sold some stock and ranches. They loaded three wagons and started for Arizona, driving some 100 head of stock.
They went by way of Lee's Ferry and Echo Cliffs. They arrived at Silver Creek near Snowflake in November and spent the winter. Much to their joy, Bill rode into camp one evening. The went on to Nutrioso and then William's Valley in New Mexico, then on to Arizona through Mule Creek, arriving in Pima November 17, 1882, a little more than a year after leaving Utah.
Soon after arriving in Pima, in addition to starting farming in Bryce, he started a sawmill, planer and shingle mill on the Graham Mountains. This enterprise was in cooperation with four others. the mill was "so our people could build better houses." the sawmill was sold to John Nuttall. (In 1926 John Nuttall, at the Pima Pioneer Days, said he had bought the bill from Bryce and Weech and operated it for 20 years after that.) The canyon where the mill was became known as Nuttall Canyon. Traces of the sawmill can still be seen there. There is a knoll on the flats north of Nuttall Canyon called Bryce Knoll.
In 1891 he and three sons built a grist mill run by water from the Gila River.
Ebenezer was honest in his dealings, precise in his work and would not allow profanity. He used a chalk line to lay out his garden rows. One time some cowboys were going to end a fence they were building over the hill and tie into a tree. The end of the fence was in a remote area and would probably not be seen, but he insisted it be built properly with posts and bracing at the end.
He loved to read and had many good books. In his later years a small personal pleasure was to carry peppermint lozenges.
After a difficult life, he could spend his last years knowing he had lived a good life and had been in the forefront of pioneering. He made regular trips to Utah to visit children and the Temple where he had earlier watched the ground breaking by Brigham Young, then later the cornerstone laying. He made several trips back to Scotland to visit family and to gather genealogy that he was greatly interested in. He served a short-term mission to the eastern states. In 1968 his descendants numbered about 1500.
He died September 26, 1913 in the community of Bryce. His funeral was in the Bryce church and was conducted by Andrew Kimball, father of Spencer W. Kimball. He was laid to rest beside Mary Ann in the Bryce Cemetery on the edge of the Bryce cattle range where the highest peak in Gila Range, 7,304-foot Bryce Mountain, overlooks his last pioneering endeavors.
Written by Wendell A. Bryce March 9, 1983
EBENEZER'S STORY, by William R. Ridgeway
A kindly, unpretentious Gila Valley farmer who died in 1913 has a more beautiful and enduring monument that the famed Taj Mahal which Shah Jahan erected in his wife's memory, or the timeless tombs of the Ming dynasty. Also helping to perpetuate his name is the Bryce community across the river from Pima. And the best memorial of all is a group of direct descendants that presently number in the hundreds. Honored by these memorials - the Bryce National Park and the Bryce community - is a prize Graham County pioneer of sterling worth, Ebenezer Bryce.
To tell the life story of Ebenezer Bryce is to tell a story typical of the many Mormon converts who left their mother countries during the 19th century to play roles in the great adventure that was America. Born in Dunblane, Scotland, in 1830, Ebenezer was converted to the LDS faith when seventeen, and despite the determined opposition of his religious but anti-Mormon family, the young convert made the long and tiresome voyage across a storm-tossed Atlantic.
The first stop for the young and wide-eyed immigrant was a bustling St. Louis where Ebenezer gained employment as a carpenter. This was a trade at which he was particularly skillful, having served an apprenticeship during his youth in the carpenter and millwright trades.
During the 1850 year Ebenezer made the terrible trek across the plains to the then fledgling Salt Lake City where Brigham Young was busy making history. Here Ebenezer worked and lived on the farm of George A. and Bathseheba Smith and there he met his future wife, Mary Ann Park, who was helping the Smith's with their cooking and household duties. The young miss from Canada soon won Ebenezer's heart and on April 16, 1854 their employer united them in the bonds of holy matrimony in a ceremony performed in his home. The bride looked beautiful in the dress on which she had labored so lovingly. It was made of white crossbar and featured a tight-fitting bodice and full skirt. A wedding gift of two silver spoons from the Smiths was not lightly regarded by Ebenezer and his bride, for they were a rarity and not on the market in Utah at that time.
For the next 26 years following their marriage, the Bryces made many moves through central and southern Utah. Mainly responsible for these moves was the fact that Ebenezer was inherently a pioneer, the magic of his saw and hammer and the LDS Church's far reaching colonization plan.
After living for a time in Salt Lake City, Ebenezer and his wife moved to Spanish Fork where Ebenezer worked as a carpenter. Next the Bryces removed to Mill Creek in order to help Ebenezer's brother-in-law, Archie Gardner, construct a sawmill. Still another move took them to Cottonwood in the Salt Lake Valley.
In the fall of 1861, Ebenezer was called by church authorities to St. George to aid in the building up of that area. Still another move took him to Pine valley to hep build a sawmill. Also he constructed a shingle mill and flour mill for a man named Corkens.
The vast underdeveloped country that was Utah in the sixties cried for more and more sawmills, flour mills, and shingle mills. In 1864 the Bryce family moved to Jordan where they stayed two years before returning to Pine Valley. Here Ebenezer purchased a steam powered sawmill which he moved to Grass Valley and then to Mount Trumbull in Northern Arizona where he sawed lumber to build the St. George temple. When this contract was completed, the LDS church purchased this sawmill and the Bryce family moved back to Pine Valley. Still standing today as a reminder of the Bryce family stay in this area is the beautiful LDS Pine Valley Church which Ebenezer erected.
Due to the rigorous cold of Pine Valley and Mrs. Bryce's failing health, Ebenezer reached the decision to seek a warmer climate for his family. So trading their home to Henry Slade for sheep, the Bryces moved to Porreah Creek, amid a setting of gorgeously colored walls that towered into the sky. But Ebenezer and his family found but little time to bask in the grandeur of their new location, so with characteristic energy they diverted the waters of Porreah Creek for irrigation purposes, making it run uphill in Mormon fashion. Also they constructed a road to the nearby timber area where they obtained logs for a house, fences and firewood. Soon, too the folks of Cannonville, three miles below the Bryce home, also commenced using the road which they named the "Bryce Canyon Road", thus immortalizing the Bryce name.
First chapter of the Bryce family's Arizona adventure was written 1880 when Ebenezer sold his farm and a portion of his sheep; he was then to trade the balance of his sheep for others in Arizona. And once again, it was Mrs. Bryce's health that motivated Ebenezer to seek a new home and a better climate. Also, many of his Utah friends were moving to Arizona, so he sent his sons, Al and Bill, to scout the Arizona country. In time, Al returned home with a favorable report on the southern country while Bill remained in Arizona.
Connected with the Bryce family's entry into Arizona was a soul-trying trip made in three horse-drawn wagons with Ebenezer in charge of one and sons, Dave and Ebenezer, Jr. (Ebb) in charge of the others. so over a historic Mormon trail the Bryces wended their way to Lee's Ferry where they swam some hundred head of their cattle across the river while the wagons were ferried across the treacherous Colorado by two men believed to be named Johnson, operators of the ferry at that time.
While en route to Arizona a report was received that Bill, who had started to meet them in company with other men, had been killed while crossing the Indian reservation. Fears for his safety and life, however, turned into a joyous family reunion at Silver Creek where the Bryces had stopped to rest cattle. Next stop for the Bryces was Snowflake which was to be their first Arizona home. From this point, early in the spring of 1881, the family journeyed to Bush Valley where it stayed briefly, next moving to Nutrioso.
One Bryce family activity of note at this period was the taking of sheep to St. Johns for shearing and then hauling the wool to Albuquerque where it was sold. On the return trip home, the Bryce men stopped at the salt mines near St. Johns and loaded their wagons with salt for stock purposes.
During August 1882, a still searching Ebenezer moved his family to the Williams Valley on the San Francisco river in New Mexico. While located here, he sold his sheep in silver City and the Bryce family started for the Gila Valley in Graham County via Mule Creek. Their destination, Pima, Arizona, was reached November 17, 1882.
What the Bryce's found on reaching the Gila Valley was a land still raw and mainly uninviting but Ebenezer, being possessed of courage and vision, knew that at long last he had found the home so long sought; the mesquite thickets bordering the Gila river would become fertile fields, here was ample range for his cattle, the stately pines of nearby mountains could be converted into home. The prowling Apache was a danger he recognized but feared not.
First Gila Valley home of the Bryce family was a tent with a board floor located a short distance northwest of the present Pima high school. Ebenezer planned it only as a temporary abode for his family, serving until he had time to erect a more substantial dwelling. A well was dug near the tent and good water found. Also, a stockade kitchen, erected directly in front of the tent, helped to make life more pleasant on hot days. A stockade kitchen was simply four poles stood upright which were joined by crosspieces, all capped by a roof of brush and mud.
Second of the Bryce's Gila Valley homes was one located east and nearby the present Pima Hardware store of Bush & Shurtz. It was a frame structure of lumber hauled from Tucson.
The cattle driven from the north and into the Gila Valley first ranged west of Cluff's ranch but were shortly moved to the hills and mountains north of Pima. this removal of cattle to the Gila range and its base sowed the seed which resulted in present vast cattle domain operated by members of the Bryce family. At one period the Bryces rented land from the Indian Agency, their cattle ranging far into the San Carlos Indian Reservation.
At the request of LDS Church authorities, Ebenezer took a leading role in the construction of a saw mill located in Nuttall canyon, a slash in the Pinaleno range. Partners in this undertaking were Hyrum Weech, Joseph Cluff and John M. Moody. Lumber from this mill was sod at Weech's store, first in Smithville (now Pima.)
Cattleman and millwright though he was, Ebenezer's heart first belonged to the soil. Across the river from Pima, he commenced clearing ground of the large mesquites which grew in profusion. With the aid of his sons, he constructed the Bryce Canal bringing the Gila River's muddy, life-giving waters to the land. After the canal's 1884 completion, Ebenezer erected a frame house on his farm which became his family's home until 1897 or the time he constructed a brick residence only a few yards south of the lumber dwelling. this still standing home, one of timeless beauty, is a delight to view, even today.
Due to the arrival of other families in the Bryce farm vicinity, and LDS Church Ward was organized during a March 15, 1890 meeting held in the Ebenezer Bryce home.
Also playing roles of interest in the Bryce story was Nephi Packer who operated the community's first store and gave service as its initial postmaster.
Ebenezer and his wife, who died April 10, 1897 were the parents of twelve children, four of them girls. All of the Bryce children lived to marry and rear children with the exception of Dave who died July 1887 at the age of 29 after contracting smallpox from Mexicans while hauling wood a the Vulture mine. All of the children have now joined their parents in death.
Widely known and respected by all who knew him, Ebenezer was long a popular figure in Graham County. Evidently he was a student at heart as he loved to read and his library possessed many fine books. In church affairs, he was honored by being made a Patriarch in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He was of medium height, not tall like so many of his descendants; his features were regular and his hair brown.
And just what did Ebenezer have to say abut the magnificent national monument which honors his name? Simply this: "It was a heck of a place to chase a cow in."
Life ended for grand gentleman Ebenezer September 26, 1913 and he was laid to rest in Bryce's original cemetery located a short distance northeast of the old Ebenezer Bryce home. Intermittent flooding of this burial ground by Peck Wash waters was responsible for the circa 1918 re-location of the graveyard to its present location. Site of the latter burial ground (selected by Heber (Hebe) Bryce) is a serene canyon situated a half-mile northwest of the original cemetery site. Only last spring the activities of a Bryce Family Committee headed by Wallace Bryce led to the erection of a beautiful Ebenezer Bryce memorial in the present Bryce cemetery, one that fittingly links the peerless Pioneer to the magnificent National Park that honors his name.
EBENEZER BRYCE & WIFE MARY ANN PARK BRYCE, taken from the book, "Pioneer Town-Pima Centennial History", Pages 183-186
A kindly, unpretentious farmer of the Gila Valley who died in 1913, has a more beautiful and enduring monument than the pyramids of the Pharaohs, the famed TAJ MAHAL which Shal Jehan erected in memory of his wife, or the timeless tombs of the Mind dynasty.
A tiny hamlet named in his honor will also help perpetuate his name for future ages, and the best memorial of all is a group of direct descendants that number in the many hundreds.
The man is Ebenezer Bryce; the monument is the Bryce Canyon National Park; the hamlet is located across the river from Pima. The story of Ebenezer Bryce is typical of the many Mormon converts who left their mother country during the nineteenth century to play a part in the great adventure that was America.
Born in Dunblain, Scotland, November 17, 1830, to Andrew Bryce and wife Janet Adams Bryce. When he was eleven years old he became an apprentice in a shipyard. Later he learned a carpenter's trade and that of a millwright. He also sang in the church choir. He came to the United States when he was seventeen, landing in St. Louis, Mo., then making the trek to Utah with the James Page Company and arrived in Salt Lake city, September 16, 1850. He worked for a family by the name of George A. And Bathsheba Smith, and it was here that he met his future wife, Mary Ann Park, who was helping with the cooking and household duties. The young miss soon won Ebenezer's heart and they were married 16 April 1854.
A combination of Ebenezer's inherent spirit, the Mormon Church's colonization plan, and the magic of his saw and hammer was responsible for his many moves throughout central and southern Utah for the next 26 years following his marriage. He was called to different areas to help build up the towns, building sawmills, flour mills, and shingle mills. He also built the church house (LDS) at Pine Valley, Utah. While living in Pine Valley, Ebenezer bought a steam powered sawmill which he moved to Grass Valley and then to Mount Trumbull in Northern Arizona where he sawed lumber to build the St. George Temple. When the contract was completed, the church purchased his sawmill.
Perhaps the Bryce's most memorable location was in southern Utah. Their log cabin was built in an expanse of green meadows with clusters of cedars, acres of standing pines, rising rose-colored cliffs and an arching blue sky forming constant and shifting scenes of grandeur.
The location was a practical one, too. The nearby Paria River afforded Bryce waters for irrigation of crops and the watering of cattle, the close forest supplied the settler with lumber and fuel. Bryce built a road to timberline, which was also used by the people of nearby Cannonville. These early pioneers then called the surrounding area "Bryce Canyon", a name which now includes the entire territory of Bryce Canyon National Park. This cabin built by Ebenezer is now serving as a Museum in Tropic, Utah. It was moved a few miles from its original location in the meadows below what is now known as Bryce Canyon National Park.
In 1880 because of the cold weather, they decided they would move to a warmer climate, and this is when the first chapter of the Bryce families Arizona adventure began. Ebenezer sold his farm and part of is sheep, then traded the balance for sheep in Arizona.
The soul-trying trip of the Bryce family was made in three horse-drawn wagons. Ebenezer drove one of the wagons, a son, Dave drove another, and Ebenezer, Jr. (Ebb), who was married by this time and had a family drove the third. They wended their way over the historic Mormon Trail.
Snowflake was the first Arizona home of the Bryce family. Afterward they went through Bush Valley, Alpine, and into Nutrioso. In August he moved his family to Williams Valley and in 1882, the Bryce family started for the Gila Valley by way of Mule Creek and Ash Peak. They arrived in Smithville, now Pima, November 17, 1882.
Ebenezer found the land of the Gila Valley raw and uninviting, but he was a man of vision and possessed great courage. Here was the land he was seeking. The mesquite thickets bordering the Gila would become fertile fields; here was ample range for his herds; the stately pines of the graham Mountains could be converted into homes. The prowling Apache was a danger he recognized but feared not.
The first Gila Valley home of the Bryce family was a tent with a board floor, located a short distance northwest of the present Pima high School. Ebenezer planned it only as a temporary abode for his family, until he had time to build a more substantial dwelling. A well was dug near the tent and good water was found. Also, a stockade kitchen erected directly in front of the tent helped make life more pleasant. The Bryce's second home was not far east of the present Bush and Shurtz store building. It was a frame structure, Ebenezer hauled the lumber from Tucson.
The cattle driven from the north, first ranged to the west of the Cluff ranch, but were later moved to the hills and mountains north of Pima. This was the beginning of the present vast cattle domain now owned by grandsons of Ebenezer.
At the request of church authorities, Ebenezer took a leading part in construction of a sawmill in the Graham Mountains. Partners in this undertaking were Hyrum Weech, Joseph Cluff and John Moody. This sawmill was located in what is presently called, "Nuttall's Canyon". The lumber was marketed to pioneers at the Weech store.
Cattleman and Millwright though he was, Ebenezer's heart first belonged to the soil. Across the river from Pima he began clearing ground of giant mesquite that grew in profusion. With the aid of his sons and many others, they constructed the Bryce canal with teams of horses, using Fresno and Slip scrapers, bringing the muddy, life-giving waters of the Gila to the land. They irrigated their fields, raised cattle and created farm lands.
In 1864, the canal was completed and a goodly part of the land cleared. Ebenezer built a frame house on his farm in Bryce which became his family's home until the time he constructed the red brick home.
Ebenezer began construction of this red brick home for his wife Mary Ann. He obtained brick from the kiln at Safford, and he sought out wood with the finest of grains for the doors and the woodwork. It was crafted with precision and ornamented with careful details. From it you can understand the personality of a man for whom both a foremost national Park and a small Arizona community were named. This red brick home was built just a few yards south of his lumber dwelling, and it was completed with one exception, the front porch was never added for Mary Ann died before the intended addition had begun.
He built a flour mill in Bryce just below the hill, by the Afton Welker home; later flood waters washed it away, but not until it had faithfully served its purpose. He also built a grist mill in Safford for Christopher Layton.
Ebenezer was respected by all who knew him. He loved to read and owned many fine books. In Church affairs, he was honored by being made a Patriarch in the L.D.S. Church.
He died in 1913 and is buried besides his wife in a plot of ground he opened up back in the days of Indian trouble and range mayhem.
In summary, think with me, if you will, words describing this great man and his wife who founded this community. He was a carpenter, millwright, shipbuilder, cattleman, gardener, farmer. He was courageous, honest, religious, determined, independent, cultured, kind, faithful. A missionary and a Patriarch. His wife, Mary Ann was a homemaker, seamstress, candle maker. She was religious and a devoted wife and mother of twelve children.
This settlement was first officially called Bryce, with the establishment of a Post Office August 6, 1883. It was so named in honor if its founder, Ebenezer Bryce.
Encyclopedic History of the LDS Church
Early in January, 1883, Ebenezer Bryce and sons, Ebenezer P., David A., Alma N., and George A., who had arrived at Pima late in 1882 from Utah, commenced the construction of a canal on the north side of the Gila River for the purpose of conveying water upon land which they had purchased from non-Mormon squatters. They were some time afterwards joined by Wm. Henry Bryce, Joel Edgar, Rasmus Lind, Nelson A. and John W. Mattice, Nephi Pack and some others. In 1884 Ebenezer P. Bryce erected the first house built in the locality, into which he moved his family in January, 1885. His father also erected a house the same year nearby. These first settlers attended meetings at Pima until Bryce Ward was organized March 19, 1890, with Alma Mattice as Bishop. At the suggestion of Stake President Christopher Layton, the ward was named in honor of the Bryce family. Meetings were held in the school house for some time, but in 1928 a frame meeting house with a seating capacity of 150 persons, and including five class rooms, was erected at Bryce. In 1891 Ebenezer Bryce and sons erected a flouring mill, the only one in Graham County north of the Gila River. Bishop Mattice was succeeded in 1902 by David H. Claridge, who was succeeded in 1909 by George A. Peck, who was succeeded in 1924 by James A. McBride, who presided over the ward Dec. 31, 1930, on which date the ward had a total membership of 157, including 40 children.
A Brief Sketch of the Life of Ebenezer Bryce by: Layton J. Ott, Henrieville, Garfield, Utah, 21 November 1938 written as a Federal Writer’s Project:
Ebenezer Bryce was born in Dunblane, Perthshire, Scotland, November 17, 1830. He was the son of Andrew and Janet Adams Bryce. At the age of eleven he began work as an apprentice in the Scotland ship yards. He afterwards learned the carpenter trade and that of millwright. At the age of seventeen, he joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or what is more commonly called the Mormon Church.
His parents and other relatives and friends organized and did everything possible to discourage and persuade him to denounce the church. His faith was steadfast, and in spite of discouragement and persecution, he struggled on. However, persecution finally became so great that he left family and friends and came to America. After landing in America he came to Utah where he married Mary Ann Park on April 16, 1854. Mary Ann was born in Nova Scotia, January 24, 1837. She was the daughter of David and Ann Brooks Park, descendants from Scotland.
They settled in Salt Lake City, then moved to Tooele, then to Spanish Fork, and later back to Salt Lake. From there they went to Cottonwood in the Salt Lake valley. While in the Salt Lake valley he was naturally interested in the milling business. He was an expert in setting up sawmills, water wheels and anything pertaining to early day machinery.
In the fall of 1861 he moved to St. George where he remained a few months from where he was called by President Brigham Young into Pine Valley, Washington County, Utah to build a sawmill. He also built a shingle mill and a flour mill for a man by the name of Corkins.
In 1865 he moved back to Jordan, Salt Lake County where he remained two years then returned to Pine Valley. He bought a steam sawmill and moved it to Grass Valley and later to Mt. Trumble in the northern part of Arizona, where he sawed lumber to build the St. George Temple. When his work was finished there he moved back to Pine Valley.
In the fall of 1867, he sold his milling interests in Pine Valley, and moved into Tropic valley; settling two miles southeast of Tropic, afterwards known as the John H. Hatch homestead ranch. He lived there for five years using the waters of Bryce and Tropic Canyons for culinary and irrigation purposes. At that early date, conditions were ideal for cattle and sheep raising. Feed was good and he had much of the range to himself.
In the fall of 1880 he sold most of his sheep and cattle, taking the remainder with him to Snowflake, Arizona. Snowflake is on the little Colorado River.
The next summer (1881) he moved to the Gila valley, settling in Pima, then a town of about twelve families. Moving to the north side of the Gila River in 1885 he settled where the town of Bryce now stands, making his home there until his death, September 26, 1913, at the age of 83 years. His wife died April 10, 1897.
They were the parents of twelve children-eight boys and four girls. All lived to be grown. The children were named in order as follows: Ebenezer Park, Ann Jeanette, David Andrew, William Henry, Alma Nephi, Barbara Ellen and George Alvin (twins), Jane Louise, Mary Isabelle, Joseph Walter, Heber Brooks, and Ruben Adam. Their grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and great great-grandchildren number into the hundreds.
Mr. Bryce built a flour mill at Bryce run by water power supplied by a canal taken from the Gila River by he and his boys in the spring of 1905. The mill was washed down the river during a heavy storm and flood. He was also engaged in the cattle business on the Gila range on the north side of the Gila River.
During the moving from one place to another, he and his family encountered many hardships. The crossing of hot, dry, sandy deserts, the lack of proper food and shelter at times can be understood by the real pioneer.
He served as a minute man during the Indian troubles in Utah. He never tired of hard work and was always ready to help others. During all his pioneer experiences, he never faltered. He and his wife are buried at Bryce, Graham County, Arizona.
According to Maurice Cope (ranger at Bryce Canyon National Park), Mr. Bryce was the first permanent settler in this vicinity (Bryce Canyon.) Due to the respect of our Pioneer life and history; and after much discussion and difficulty the Bryce Canyon National Park was named in his honor.
(This material was received as a result of an interview with Maurice Cope, Ranger at Bryce Canyon National Park.)
Certification of Authentication, Signed: Thomas W. Smith, Nelda Willis R.N., Conquerors of the West, Stalwart Mormon Pioneers, Edited by Florence C. Youngberg, Sons of Utah Pioneers
Born 17 Nov 1830, Dunblane, Perthshire, Scotland, Parents: Andrew and Janet Adams Bryce, Died: 26 Sep 1913, Bryce, Graham, Arizona, Arrived in Valley 16 Sep 1850, James Pace Wagon Train, Married: Mary Ann Park, Date: 16 Apr 1854, Salt Lake City Utah, Born: 24 Jan 1837, Warwick, Kent, Canada, Died 10 Apr 1897, Bryce, Graham Arizona
Ebenezer joined the LDS Church when he was 17 years old, even though his family and friends objected. Shortly after, he sailed for America. He worked in Paduca, Kentucky, for two years as a carpenter and then joined a wagon train to the Valley. He lived in Salt Lake, helping build mills and buildings. He was a carpenter and millwright.
After his marriage to Mary Ann, they moved to Tooele where he helped build a mill. Then they moved to Rush Valley to help establish the settlement at Clover. In 1861 he was called to build sawmills in the St. George area to supply wood for the temple construction. Following that he moved to Paria near Canyon that was later named Bryce after him. In 1880 he moved south to Gila River in Arizona, where he built a ranch and helped others build canals and mills.
He was a jovial individual although stern in the rearing of his children. He remained active in the church and community. He was ordained a patriarch in later life.
EBENEZER PARK b. 15 Feb 1855, Tooele, Utah. Md 26 Dec 1877, Helen Diana Packer. D. 22 Sep 1938, Thatcher Graham, Arizona.
ANN JEANETTE PARK. B. 19 Jan 1857, Tooele, Utah. Md 20 Nov 1877, James Brigham Thompson. D. 12 Dec 1919, Ucon, Bonneville, Idaho
DAVID ANDREW b. 7 Jan 1858, Salt Lake City, Utah. Unmarried D. 22 July 1887, Bulture, \Maricopa, Arizona
WILLIAM HENRY b. 1 Feb 1860, Millcreek, Utah. Md. 1st 16 Dec 1885, Rosa Ann Goulding. Md 2nd 28 Oct 1891, Malinda Isabella Riggs. D. 1 Oct 1930, Roosevelt, Duchesne, Utah
ALMA NEPHI, b. 24 Oct 1861, Millcreek, Utah md. 1st 14 Sep 1887, Caroline Jorgensen. Md 2nd 25 July 1910, Armena Adelaide Oliver Blair. D. 24 Dec 1916, El Paso Texas
GEORGE ALVIN (DICK), b. 22 Nov 1863, Pine Valley, Utah. Md. 1 Jan 1887, Sarah Catherine Carter. D. 16 Feb 1940, Bryce Arizona
BARBARA ELLEN (NELL) b. 22 Nov 1863, Pine Valley, Washington, Utah Md. 2 Mar 1883, George Otis Peck. D. 6 Jun 1936, Bryce Graham, Utah
JANE LOUISA, B. 1 Jun 1867, Pine Valley, Utah. Md. 17 Oct 1888, John Warner Mattice. D. 1 Dec 1957, Pima, Arizona
MARY ISABELLE b. 11 Jun 1870, Pine Valley, Utah. Md. 16 Oct 1890 James Andrew McBride. D. 1 Dec 1957, Thatcher, Arizona
JOSEPH WALTER, b. 7 July 1872, Pine Valley, Utah. Md.25 Oct 1894 Nancy Catherine Nelson. D. 17 July 1943, Bryce, Arizona
HEBER BROOKS, b. 30 Nov 1878, Cannonville, Utah. Md. 205 Aug 1894, Dortheia (Dora) Jorgensen. D. 7 Nov 1926, Safford, Arizona
RUBEN ADAM, b 11 Sep 1880, Panguitch, Utah. Md. 8 Aug 1904, Mae Keziah Carter. D. 4 Dec 1956, Bryce, Arizona
Submitted by Wendall Bryce
The Connection Between Bryce, Arizona, and Bryce Canyon, Utah, Written by Ben Bryce, Descendant of Alma Nephi
Form the pulpit of the October, 1861, conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City, Ebenezer Bryce was called along with about 300 other men to load up their families and belongings and move to the southwestern corner of Utah to produce cotton. A couple of weeks later in the midst of their preparations to move, Ebenezer?s wife, Mary Ann gave birth to a son at Mill Creek. He was given the name Alma Nephi. They also had a 6 year old son Ebenezer Park, a 4-year-old daughter Ann Jeanette, a 3-year old son David Andrew and a 1 2/3 year old son William Henry.
The Prophet Brigham Young determined that there was an area in southern Utah where conditions were favorable for raising cotton and thus began the plan for a cotton mission. The early Utah settlers were able to produce food enough for their needs but clothing was a real problem. There was wool being produced but not nearly enough. Cotton had to be freighted in from the east on wagons drawn by horses or oxen. Now with the Civil War in progress cotton was more in demand and less available due to blockades and disruption of production.
Eleven years earlier, Ebenezer had been the only one in his family to join the Mormons and arrived in Salt Lake City alone except for friends he had met at church in Scotland and while traveling to Utah by ship, riverboat and wagon train. On arriving in Salt Lake City Ebenezer was taken in and given a job by the Mormon Apostle George A. Smith and his wife Bathsheba. Four years later at age 24, Ebenezer married Mary Ann Park who had also found employment with the Smith family. Mary Ann's family came from Scotland to Canada where she was born before they came to Salt Lake City. Mary Ann?s sister married Robert Gardner. Robert had been a successful lumberman in Salt Lake having assisted his brother Archibald to establish the first sawmill in the state at Mill Creek near Salt Lake City. In the Journal of Lorenzo Brown, Lorenzo talks of working with Ebenezer at Gardner?s saw mill in May of 1861. Robert Gardner was also on the list of those called to the Cotton Mission. This mission to Dixie required sacrifice, therefore, the leaders were careful in selecting the most sturdy character, courageous, thrifty, obedient, faithful and hones. The cotton raising area of southern Utah became known as Dixie. Yes these cotton missionaries came to Dixie singing, Away down south in the land of cotton.
The company left Salt Lake City early in November with George A. Smith, Erastus Snow and Orson Pratt, three stalwarts, as their leaders, and arrived early in December at the site for St. George, the city that had been named by President Young before it was ever settled.
While the leaders were making further plans for the new city, they continued to live at the campground. Although there were few trees in the valley, enough brush and willows could be found for fuel, and cottonwood trees could be found along the streams. In spite of their primitive conditions, a wonderful celebration was planned for this first Christmas in the valley. A dance was held for all the children in the afternoon, and another one planned for the adults in the evening. Early in the evening, rain began to fall and continued with such force that the party had to be abandoned. But this storm wasn't an ordinary one, for it continued day after day with almost no let up. Pioneers tell us it rained some every day for forty days until the camp ground was a sticky, bottomless quagmire, and the steams became raging torrents. During this stormy season, Ebenezer and Mary Ann were sheltering a baby and 4 children under the age of 7.
Within a matter of weeks after arriving in St. George, Erastus Snow invited Robert Gardner to visit Pine Valley (about 30 miles north of St. George.) There was good grass over the hills and valley and there was good black soil in the valley. There was a nice stream of soft running water and many nice cold springs. The valley was high and cold. Robert said Brother Snow was anxious to have the lumber business increased for all the settlements needed lumber. He asked Robert if he would come to Pine Valley and take charge of the business.
In the spring Ebenezer and family were called to Pine Valley to build sawmills. A couple of years later, May 12, 1863 Lyman O. Littlefield wrote the following to the Deseret News: Pine Valley is a delightful place. It abounds in large pines of easy access. The hills in almost every direction are covered with pines and cedars and in some places there are groves down to the level land where teams can pass through them without obstruction. There are 12 dwellings here with one good sawmill in operation and two more being built. A shingle machine is nearly completed. Grass is abundant and the soil and water is excellent; but not much will be done here in agriculture, as the design of this mission is to furnish lumber for building the locations in the Cotton Mission. Sam Burgess and Ebenezer Bryce built the fourth sawmill in the valley. It also had a shingle mill attached to it. Robert Gardner, his son William, and a brother-in-law, Pleas Bradford put up a mill with the first circular saw in the valley. This was the fifth mill erected in the town. Up to then all the mills had used the old up and down saws known as Muley's. On November 22, 1863 Mary Ann gave birth to twins, George Alvin and Barbara Ellen. It is said that the twins received their nicknames that followed them through life from their father's team of horses, Dick and Nell. In Pine Valley there were five added to the family. In addition to Dick and Nell, there were Jane Louise, Mary Isabella, and Joseph Walter.
From a history written in Pine Valley for the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers book, Under Dixie Sun, we read:
In 1868 the present combined church and school house was built under the direction of Ebenezer Bryce, a former ship builder from (Scotland), who was living here at the time. The logs for the framework were hand picked form a grove of particularly tall straight pines that had spent a century trying to get their heads into the sunlight from where they stood on the floor of the Gulch below the valley. The expert lumbermen of the day then hand hewed them (They were too long for the sawmills) and put them together with auger holes and wooden pins. The beautifully carved ceiling was built over hand hewn timbers which formed a perfect ellipse. The arch over the stage harmonizes with it perfectly. Its beautiful simplicity of design was copied, of course, from the New England churches that were built all over the land where William and Erastus Snow had spent their early lives. William was Bishop and Erastus Stake President when the building was constructed. Bryce built the church building like a ship and said if a flood should come, the building would float but would not be destroyed or if a wind came it would roll over but not crash.
When the problem of securing the giant timbers needed in the building of the St. George Temple arose, it was decided that a new source of supply must be found. This was located in the Trumble Mountains (North of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.) Robert Gardner and Eli Whipple were the men who collected the materials and moved one of the sawmills out there. Under the direction of the former, the lumber was supplied for the Temple. Not surprisingly Ebenezer was called to go to Mt. Trumble. A year later, 1874, the mill was turned over to the church, and he moved back to Pine Valley.
In 1876 they were advised to seek a warmer climate for Mary Ann's health. Ebenezer traded his home for sheep and moved to the mouth of a canyon along the Paria River in Garfield County.
In developing water for irrigation, Ebenezer and two sons went up the creek until they found a series of springs. They set about cleaning these springs and developing more flow. As they were working, Ebenezer decided to go up the canyon further and explore. He was gone a long time and when he returned his sons asked him what he had found. He described that fantastic shapes and colors and then said, someday that will be a national park.
It was into this canyon that he built a road to get the straight, well formed Ponderosa pine for building. Others came and also used the road. It became known as Bryce's Canyon. Ebenezer has often been quoted as having said it's a hell of a place to loose a cow. Those who knew him well said that he never would have used the word hell. He probably said It is a poor place to loose a cow.
Another son, Heber Brooks was born in 1878. In July 1880 the family moved to Panguitch where Ruben was born September 22, the twelfth and last of the children, all of whom grew to maturity.
While in Panguitch, one cold winter morning they went out to milk the cow and found it still standing but frozen quite dead. This must have had some influence on the decision to move further south. Son David Andrew, now 22 was sent to New Mexico and sons William and Alma, about 20 and 19 were sent to Arizona to scout for a better place to live. I they had arrived at Lee's Ferry at mid winter of 1880-81 they could have crossed on ice. The record shows; The.cowboys drove the herd to the river and found it frozen, only the second time since the place had been settled. As when Ivins had crossed on the ice two years before, the Johnson children sprinkled buckets of sand on the frozen surface to give the animals better footing.
In the summer of 1881 William and Alma returned from Arizona and gave their report. By September the family were moving out, with three wagons and about 100 head of stock. Daughter Jane rode sidesaddle all the way, turning 15 and meeting her future husband, John Warner Mattice, before reaching the Gila Valley. Remember, when they went on the trail Ruben was just a year old and Heber Brooks was three. The oldest daughter, Ann Jeanette married and stayed in Utah. The oldest son, Ebenezer Park was married and was traveling with his wife and two children.
Early in their trip they crossed the Colorado River at Lee's Ferry. Warren Johnson, the ferry operator, would have made several trips with the ferry to get everyone and their teams and wagons over to the other side of the river. Most likely the live stock had been forced to swim across. If that sounds difficult, the climb up Lee's Backbone on the other side was no easy matter. Wilford Woodruff recorded his experience in his journal. It was the worst hill, ridge, or mountain that I ever attempted to cross with a team and wagon on Earth. We had four horses on a wagon of 1,500 pound weight and for two rods we could only gain from four to twenty-four inches with all the power of the horses and the two men rolling the hind wheels. Going down the other side was still more steep, rocky and sandy which would make it much worse than going up on the north side.
Day after day as they crossed the reservation they must have thought about Bill and the news they had received that Indians had killed him on his return from New Mexico. They finally arrived at a place along Silver Creek near Snowflake, where there was feed and water enough to rest a while. One evening, while camped there a rider came into camp. It was Bill!
They moved on to Nutrioso where they found shelter for a while. Their next stop was William's Valley (Pleasanton?) along the San Francisco River in New Mexico. Eventually in November of 1882 they arrived at Pima, Arizona, a three-year-old settlement in the Gila River Valley. Again this was a temporary home while a range was located for the cattle and land could be found to raise crops. As before, Ebenezer found willing partners in building a sawmill, this time in a canyon south of Pima.
They finally settled down across the river where there was land for grazing. It was easy to say that he went there and he did that but, there was a lot of hard work and time involved in building roads, felling timber, sawing lumber, clearing the land, digging the canals, building dams and rebuilding dams. In the process, the settlement of Bryce was established across the Gila River from Pima. Other families joined in, and it wasn't ten years until there were enough Church members to establish the Bryce Ward of the LDS Church. Ebenezer was a builder. A home he built in Pine Valley and one he built in Bryce are still lived in. The Church he built in Pine Valley is still home to the Pine Valley Ward.
Warner Bryce Mattice, a grandson, tells the following story of Ebenezer:
Everything he did had to be perfect. He even planted his garden by a chalk line. Many times I helped him plant his garden. He would tie a string to a stake and have me hold the other end tight, while he would make the row with his hoe. If it wasn't straight we did it again and again until it was perfect. Each row had to be the same width, too. He was a ship builder by trade so everything had to be perfect or he would do it again and again.
Perhaps Ebenezer's reason for moving again and again was to find the perfect place to raise a large family.
The LDS Church History Library (not the Family History Library) has the Bryce,Ebenezer Papers, MS #20984 available to patrons at the Library.
While it is not available online, copies can be obtained by contacting them at this web site: http://chl.altarama.com/reft100.aspx?key=DupPrint.
These papers include original certificates and documents of Ebenezer Bryce, and his son, Heber Brooks Bryce; original patriarchal blessings, correspondence to Ebenezer Bryce from brother in Scotland; genealogical information about Bryce's parents and siblings; original certificates signed by General Authorities and photograph of Ebenezer Bryce and wife, Mary Ann Park Bryce. These papers are several hundred pages in length.
Biography of Ebenezer Bryce:
Ebenezer Bryce, was born in Dumblane, Perthsire, Scotland, November 17, 1830, son of Andrew Bryce and Janet Adams. When he was eleven years of age, he became an apprentice in a shipyard. Later he learned the carpenter trade and that of a millwright. He also was a choir boy in his youth.
At the age of seventeen, he joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. His father was a religious man, but was very antagonistic toward the Mormon Church and kept Ebenezer from attending church meetings by locking up his clothes. Ebenezer made several attempts to leave home, but his father always followed and returned him home. While working in a shipyard, he became acquainted with a company of Saints, who were coming to the United States. He decided that it would be a good thing to go along. He went aboard the ship, but before it sailed, his father went aboard and asked him to return home. Ebenezer told his father that he would return, but when he became of age, he would leave again. His father took his right hand and said if he would take an oath that he would be responsible for his own sins, he had his permission to go. Ebenezer did this, and his father left the ship. That was the last time he ever saw his father. The trip across the ocean took three weeks. After he arrived in the United States, he went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he worked for some time. He survived the cholera epidemic there. He and five other young men were boarding with a man and his wife. One evening after the lady had cooked their supper, they went to town. Upon their return, they learned that she had been stricken with the disease soon after their departure for town, and had died. After working in St. Louis, for a time, Ebenezer traveled to Utah with the James Page Company, and arrived in Salt Lake City, on September 13, 1850. He made his home with George A. and Bathsheba Smith. Sister Smith, always called Ebenezer, her boy.
While working on a farm, he met Mary Ann Park, who was helping with the cooking. Her parents were David Park and Mary Ann Brooks. On the 16th of April, 1854, Ebenezer and Mary Ann, were married by George A. Smith, at his home. Mary Ann, was born 24 January 1837, in Kent County, Warwick District, upper Canada, and had come to Utah 29 September 1847 with her parents. She was an expert seamstress and made her own wedding dress. It was made of white crossbar, and featured a tight fitting bodice and full skirt. For a wedding present, they were given two silver spoons by Bathsheba and George A. Smith. Silver spoons were something that could not be bought in Utah at that time.
They lived in Salt Lake City, for a while and then went to Spanish Fork, Utah, where he worked as a carpenter. Because he was a millwright and a carpenter, he found work readily. He went to Mill Creek, Utah, to help his brother-in-law, Archie Gardner, build a saw mill. Once again they were called to move. This time, it was to Cottonwood, in the Salt Lake Valley. In the fall of 1861, he was called by the Church authorities, to go to St. George to help build up that part of the country. He was then sent to Pine Valley, to help build a sawmill. He also built a flour mill and a shingle mill for a man named Corkens. In 1864 they moved to Jordan, where they stayed two years and then moved to Grass Valley and then to Mt. Trumbull, in the northern part of Arizona, where he sawed lumber to build the St. George Temple. When his contract was completed, the church bought his sawmill and they moved back to Pine Valley.
He was the architect in charge of building the L.D.S. Church at Pine Valley, Utah. It is a two-story building, and was built of Pine Valley pine, in 1868. It is said to be the oldest Mormon Church Building in the world, still in its original form and still used for its original purpose.
He was advised to move to a warmer climate for the benefit of his wife?s health. Before her illness, she did the washing, ironing and sewing for their large family. There was also candles and soap to be made. She and the older girls, would card, spin and knit wool from their sheep.
They traded their home in Pine Valley, to Henry Slade, for sheep and moved to Paria Creek, settling at the mouth of a canyon with colored and towering walls. He homesteaded land adjoining what is now the town of Tropic, Utah. He dug ditches to take water out of Paria Creek, for irrigation purposes, and built a road to the timber to obtain logs for a house, fences, and firewood. The people from Cannonville, three miles down Paria Creek, also used the road to get timber and wood, and they called the canyon Bryce. Bryce Canyon, became the twelfth of the twenty-two National Parks. The town of Tropic, has expanded and covers the area where Ebenezer's farm was located. It is said he remarked of the Canyon, It's a hell of a place to lose a cow.
In the fall of 1880, he sold his farm and part of his sheep and traded the rest for sheep in Arizona. He started for Arizona, with his family which consisted of his wife, seven sons and three daughters. One daughter having married, remained in Utah. His eldest son Ebb, his wife and two children accompanied the family to Arizona. One son, Bill, had gone to Arizona, two years before. The family had three wagons and some cattle and horses.
On their way to Arizona, they received a report that Bill, who had started back with some other men to meet them, had been killed by the Indians while crossing the reservation. However, while they were stopped for a few days rest at River Creek, Bill rode into camp. Needless to say, they were a very happy family. The family moved on to Snowflake, Arizona, and spent the winter there. In the early spring of 1881, they moved to Buch Valley, now Alpine, for a short time and then moved back to Nutrioso, Arizona. The sheep he had traded for were in St. Johns, being sheared. He and son Dave, took the wool to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and sold it. They went to the salt mines to get a load of salt for the cattle. In August 1882, he moved his family to Williams Valley, on the Frisco River in New Mexico. He sold his sheep in Silver City, New Mexico. IN the early part of November, 1882, he moved his family to the Gila Valley in Arizona, arriving on November 17, 1882, his birthday. He located at Smithville, which later was named Pima.
He and his sons homesteaded land on the North side of the Gila River and made a canal to irrigate their farms. The settlement was named ?Bryce?, for him and his family. There they farmed and raised cattle. Part of their grazing land was on the Gila Mountain Range and Apache Indian Reservation and they were constantly troubled by the Indians.
He was asked by the Church authorities to help build a sawmill in the Graham Mountains to furnish lumber for building purposes. He and Hyrum Weech, Joseph Cluff and John Hardy, built the sawmill. Ebenezer, sawed the lumber and it was hauled to Pima, where Hyrum Weech was in charge of selling it. After a few years, he sold his interest to his partners. Later it was sold to John Nuttell.
He built a flour mill in Bryce, and operated it in company with his sons. The mill was operated by waterpower supplied by water taken from the Gila River by means of a canal they had dug for the purpose. In the Spring of 1905, the mill was destroyed by flood waters of the river.
He also built a grist-mill in Safford, Arizona, for Christopher Layton. He moved his family to Bryce in 1884, to be closer to his work. Soon other families moved into the community and on March 15, 1890, at General Conference time, Apostle Francis Lyman and John Henry Smith, called a meeting at Ebenezer's home and organized a new ward and named it Bryce. Alma N. Mattice, was sustained bishop, George O. Peek, first counselor and Alma N. Bryce, second counselor.
Ebenezer's wife died April 10, 1897, leaving two boys at home, the youngest being fourteen years of age. They reared a large family of twelve children, four girls and eight boys. After her death, he did a good deal of temple work. He also made a trip to Massachusetts, to see his sister Margaret Wright. She was the only other member of his family to come to the United States, and he, the only one to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
In 1908, he made a trip back to his native Scotland, in search of genealogy. In his time, he read a great deal and owned many good books which constitute his library.
He was ordained a patriarch in the St. Joseph Stake, and held that office until hi death. He was also appointed a missionary May 28, 1893 to preach the gospel in the New England States. The appointment of missionary certificate was signed by Wilford Woodruff, George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith, First Presidency of the Church.
He was always a strict tithe payer, and at one time was said to be the largest tithe payer in the St. Joseph Stake.
After his health would not permit him to ride the range on horseback, he continued to cover the range by horse and buggy. Some parts of the mountain roads were so steep and rough it was necessary for one of his sons to stand on the upper side of the buggy to keep it from turning over. However, he still insisted on covering the range to see after his cattle.
He was a great lover of flowers and always had a row of carnations in his yard. He also had a nice vegetable garden as long as he was able to care for one. He always kept candy, nuts, oranges and cookies on hand to treat his grandchildren and other children visiting his home.
He was honest to the letter and taught his children to be honest and liberal in the community with labor and means.
Men from the entire valley came to him for advice concerning new projects of buildings to be constructed. He was very precise and everything had to be done to perfection.
At the time of his visit to his native Scotland, his children objected to his traveling alone because of his age. However, independent soul that he was, he informed them that he was old enough to take care of himself. He did just that.
He was very faithful in attending his church meetings. IN his later years, he would walk to and from church through the deep dust of the roads and always carried a black silk umbrella to shield him from the sun. When he was about 80 years of age, being unable to build a barn for himself, he hired a carpenter to build one for him. After working hours, he climbed up to inspect the progress of the work and fell from the raters injuring his back, which caused him much suffering for some time.
While he was not a severe task-master, he did insist on his sons giving undivided attention to the task at hand. When they were still boys, he had them doing a task for him. A neighbor boy came to visit, and continued to distract their attention. Tried beyond his natural patience, he told the boy, Jeter, if you don't have anything to do, please go home and do it, and let my boys get on with their work.
Ebenezer Bryce, died September 26, 1913 at the age of 83. Both he and his wife are buried in the cemetery at Bryce, Graham County, Arizona.
At the present time, 1966, his home in Bryce, Arizona is still standing.
Compiled by A. Elnora Bryce, family genealogist with the assistance of other members of the family.
FROM ANOTHER SOURCE: http://www.lds.org/liahona/2011/08/two-pioneers-across-two-centuries
Two Pioneers across Two Centuries, By Allison Ji-Jen Merrill
A Scottish boy. A Taiwanese girl. A century and a half apart but bonded by faith.
Dear Ebenezer, you do not know me; we have never met.
On November 17, 1830, you were born in Dunblane, Perthshire, Scotland, to Andrew Bryce and Janet Adams Bryce. They named you Ebenezer.
One hundred forty-three years later, I was born in Hualien, Taiwan. They named me Ji-Jen Hung.
You started to work in shipyards at age 10. Later you became an apprentice and were very skillful in your trade.
At age four I started to memorize times tables and the Chinese phonetic symbols. It was not easy, but I managed.
In the spring of 1848, you developed an interest in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, although your father, family, and friends did not share your enthusiasm. They did everything possible to persuade you to denounce the Church. Your father even locked up your clothes to keep you from attending Sunday meetings. But your faith was steadfast. In spite of persecution you struggled on.
On December 4, 1986, two American missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints knocked on the door of my father’s house. Although Father let the missionaries visit regularly, he was never interested in the message. A few months later he divorced Mother and remarried.
When Father informed the missionaries of the sad news of our broken family, he also told them not to come back.
The missionaries left a copy of the Book of Mormon with the address of the nearest church written on the inside cover and said, “We will always be your friends. If there is anything we can do for your family, come to this address, and you will find us there.”
Saying good-bye to the missionaries that evening was difficult, for I had felt something precious in their message.
Stepmother moved in. She and Father became cruel, life became hard, and I became a cynical teenager.
One night, when I could take their horrible treatment no longer, I dashed out the door in fear and hid in the rice fields, lonely, depressed, and hopeless. I wanted to run away, but I had nowhere to go.
Suddenly I remembered what the elders had said during their last visit. “First thing tomorrow, I am going back to find my friends!” I told myself, feeling a sense of inner peace for the first time in years.
Early the next morning I hopped on my bike and went downtown to the church, but the elders who had visited my family a couple of years before had returned home. Just when I was about to give up, two friendly ladies with the familiar black name tags on their coats approached me and introduced themselves.
Dear Ebenezer, despite your father’s opposition, you were baptized in April 1848, the only convert in your family.
A month after I met the sister missionaries, I was baptized, in November 1988, the first convert in my family.
But Father and Stepmother made it difficult for me to attend church.
One day after I came home from a Young Women activity, Father stomped into the den, swore at me, grabbed my scriptures, and tore them into pieces. Flakes of white paper floated and drifted in the air, gracefully and gently landing on the floor, where my teardrops also fell.
It was like a nightmare I could not wake up from.
When I turned 21, I expressed a strong desire to serve a full-time mission. Father responded by disowning me. On Chinese New Year’s Eve, when most people went home to be with their loved ones, I was expelled from home.
Dear Ebenezer, when the persecution from your family and friends became unbearable, you decided to emigrate from Scotland to America to join the Latter-day Saints and cross the plains to Utah. Your father was furious. He commanded you to stay, but you were a determined young man. The day you boarded the ship was the last time you saw him.
Life as a 17-year-old immigrant was not easy for you, Ebenezer, but you managed. Your carpentry, millwright, and shipbuilding skills were immediately put to use. You were called to build a chapel in Pine Valley, Utah. Though you had never built a chapel before, you did not hesitate to accept the calling. Today that building is the oldest Latter-day Saint chapel still in use.
Later you discovered the majestic natural amphitheater that now bears your name, Bryce Canyon National Park.
On June 4, 1994, I reported to the Taiwan Taichung Mission as a full-time missionary. I pinned a black name tag on my coat, just like the elders who had come to visit my family years before. I was humbled. I was honored. I was blessed.
After my mission I emigrated to Utah, where I met my husband. We were married in the temple for time and all eternity. Through my husband’s lineage, I became connected to you.
Dear Ebenezer, you don’t know me. We have never met. But I have heard stories about you. Your feet never stopped traveling. Your hands never stopped working. Your heart never stopped believing. You never stopped serving. After all these years, your faithful example lifts me still. Thank you, dear Ebenezer. Thank you!
Ebenezer Bryce helped build the Pine Valley chapel (below), completed in 1868. He also discovered the canyon that now bears his name, Bryce Canyon National Park (right), in southern Utah.
Ebenezer Adam Bryce's Timeline
November 17, 1830
Dunblane, Perth, Scotland
February 15, 1855
Tooele, Tooele County, Utah, United States
February 11, 1860
Milcreek, Salt Lake, Utah, United States
October 24, 1861
Mill Creek, Salt Lake, Utah, USA
November 22, 1863