John Somers Higbee
|Birthplace:||Tate, Clermont, Ohio, USA|
|Death:||Died in Toquerville, Washington, Utah Territory, USA|
|Place of Burial:||Toquerville, Washington, Utah, USA|
Son of Isaac Higbee and Sophia Higbee (Somers)
|Managed by:||Randy Stebbing|
Historical records matching John Somers Higbee
About John Somers Higbee
"...Higbee, John S. – (Captain of the 11th Ten) Born March 7, 1804, in Tate Township, Clermont Co., Ohio, to Isaac and Sophie Higbee. He married Sarah Ann Voorhees Feb. 26, 1826, and in February 1832 the family joined the Church. Shortly after, the family sold its farm in New Jersey and moved to Jackson Co., Mo., where they suffered much persecution. During difficulties in Missouri, both his parents died. In 1838, the family moved to Nauvoo. His wife died at Mt. Pisgah, Iowa, in 1846. He volunteered to go with the Mormon Battalion, but arrived a day after the men had marched away. So he traveled to Winter Quarters, where he married a widow, Judith Ball. A hunter on the first company, he remained at the upper Platte ferry, Wyo., until his family arrived. He then traveled with them to the Salt Lake Valley, arriving Sept. 26, 1847. In 1849, he helped settle Provo, Utah, and was president of the Provo Branch. That fall he was called to Great Britain on a mission and served as president of the Newcastle Conference until Jan. 5, 1852. He presided over a company of 333 Saints on the ship Kennebe that sailed from Liverpool. Upon returning, he was sent to explore the Salmon River country in Idaho. He lived a time in Weber Co., and in 1865 moved to Toquerville, Washington Co., Utah, where he died Nov. 1, 1877, at age 73..."
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Higbee, John Somers
Birth Date: 7 Mar. 1804
Death Date: 27 Oct. 1877
Company: Brigham Young Pioneer Company (1847)
Captain of 10
Bullock, Thomas, Journals 1843-1849, vol. 4. Read Trail Excerpt Source Locations
Clayton, William, Diary, 1847 Jan-Dec. Read Trail Excerpt Source Locations
Everett, Addison, Diary, 1847 Apr. Read Trail Excerpt Source Locations
Harmon, Appleton Milo, Diary 1847 April-July. Read Trail Excerpt Source Locations
Harmon, Appleton Milo, Journal, in Library of Congress, Collection of Mormon diaries [1935-1938], reel 4, item 1, vol. 1, 1-42. Read Trail Excerpt Source Locations
Harper, Charles Alfred, Diary, 1847 Apr.-Aug. Read Trail Excerpt Source Locations
Higbee, John Somers, Reminiscences and diaries, 1845-1866, vol. 1 and vol. 2. Read Trail Excerpt Source Locations
Kimball, Heber C., Journal, in Papers 1837-1866. Read Trail Excerpt Source Locations
Lyman, Amasa Mason, Diary, 8 Apr to 10 Sep 1847, 5-45. Source Locations
Pack, John, Letters, 1847, fd. 3. Read Trail Excerpt Source Locations
Whitney, Horace Kimball, Journals 1843; 1846-1847, vols. 5-6. Read Trail Excerpt
John Somers Higbee diary etc from above web site:Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Source of Trail Excerpt:
Higbee, John Somers, Reminiscences and diaries, 1845-1866, vol. 1 and vol. 2.
Read Trail Excerpt:
Winter Quarters emigration April the 9 1847
Left this place about 12 o'clock for the mountains in the pioneer Co. traveled 30 mils organized in a military company of which I was Apointed captain over 9 men[.] this was on the 17 of April
the 18 lay by for Sunday[.] catched with my net about 100 fish[.] on our way thus far the names of the men <of> the 11th 10 is as follows: John S[omers]. Higbee capt.[,] John Wheeler, Soloman Chamberl[a]in, Conrad Cleiman [Kleinman], Joseph Rooker[,] Perry fitzgerald[,] John [Harvey] Tibets [Tippet], James Debenport [Davenport,] Henson Walker[,] Benjamin [Williams Rolf[e.] Brother John Wheeler & myself to one waggon[.] I have a horse[,] saddl[,] bridle & ride my horse to hunt acasionly & fish[.] the law given this day is to go to our Waggon at the sound of the horn at 1/2 past 8[,] attend prayers[,] go to Bed, get up at 5 at the Sound of the horn[,] attend prayers[,] travel with our guns in hand
20 catched 2 hundred fish
21 came to part of the the tribe of the pawnees[.] we gave them tobacco & paper but they were not satisfied[.] put out 50 men for guard[.] expected some danger
22 traveled on to missionary station[.] I got 16 lb of Iron
23 traveled to pawnee village which was Burned upwards of 200 houses
24 crossed the loo[p] fork on the plat[te]. Dangerous crossing[.] got over Safe
25 Sunday Lay by 26 traveled 16 miles at noon[.] Dawn & Day Brake 6 indians cept [kept] closed to our camp[.] 2 fired upon them; did not kill any
26 traveled 18 miles stil on the left side of platt this evening for the first time
27 we behold Buffelow tracks & sighns lately[.] crossed over to the South north fork of platte[.] killed one Antelope[.] seen a number[.] I seen 8 Buffelow as I supposed[.] this morning 4 men went Back xxxx to our encampment on Sunday night to hunt 2 horses the Indians Stole last night[.] 15 Indians fired on them[.] Did not get the horses[.] I was chosen for one of the Buffelow hunters Sunday evening the 25[.] on Tuesday the 27th I went through a [prairie] dog town[.] I suppose I saw one thousand Dogs; it was 1/2 mile long & 2 hundred yards wide[.] the[y] barked much like Dogs[.] the[y] were about the size of Rab[b]its
28 hunted all Day[,] killed nothing[.] there about 25 Appointed hunters[.] Also Brown killed a wolf to Day[.] I found a humans skull with one tooth in camp[.] traveled 16 miles this morning[.] shot [Lewis] Barneys horse that a gun went off the night before & shot thr[o]ug[h] the fore leg[.] Broke the Bone to pieces[.] She could not travel
29 traveled 20 mi[.] I killed one bird[.] Brant still on the left fork one third the way up the grand Island
30th traveled 16 mi
May the 1 killed a Sand hill crane[.] Saw for the first time a drove of Bufelow [buffalo.] we ent out 8 or ten & killed 4 old ones & 7 calves[.] traveled 18 mi
2 Day Ice this morning 1/4 inch thick[.] lay by to Day & went out to attend to the cattle & a Buffelow came up with in a few rods of me[.] we had plenty of meat & its council to not kill any at present[.] it went of[f] unmolested[.] I could of shot it sure if wanted[.] went on a few miles & stopt
3 lay by to hunt & for Blacksmithing[.] I killed an antelope
4 traveled on[.] met a trader going to the settlements[.] sent a letter to my family last night[.] 3 this morning fired the canon[.] reported that there is Danger of Indians[.] Drilled our tens at noon[.] traveled 12 mi
5 I killed a Buffelow calf[.] theres was 6 calves & one cow killed to Day[.] traveled 12 mi[.] We se[e] thousands of Bufelows[.] cast your eye any way you can se[e] Buffelo
6 I went up to & [an] old cow[.] she made at me[.] I had to retreat with my horse as we did not want to kill any[.] traveled 18 miles.
7th traveled 8 miles[.] lay by[.] the feed is eat of[f] so close[.] our cattle & horses can hardly travel for the want of feed[.] There is Bufelow all round us[.] the prarie is spect [specked] with them[.] we are still on the right side of the north platt[e]
8th traveled 11 miles[.] Saw as many as 10 thousand Buffelow at one look <killed one Bufelow[.]> 2 horses got in with them[.] at noon we had ha<r>d work to separate them[.] as far as the eye can see we se[e] Buffelow[.] our cattle & horses are getting weak from the want of feed
9 I traveled on to get Better feed if it is Sunday 4 miles[.] stuck up a post 300 miles from winter Quarters
10 I was sick with the cramp colic half the day[.] theres was one Bufelow & one Deer killed to day[.] traveled 11 miles[.] Saw a wild horse[.] tried to catch him But could not
11 traveled 8 miles
12 traveled 12 miles[.] killed one Bufelow[.] we se[e] Indian sighns [signs] plenty[.] to day[.] we expect they are the sues [Sioux]
13 cold so we need our great coats & mittens then not warm[.] traveled to the Junction of the South fork of platte[.] Staid at the mouth of Baren [sic] river 11 miles Distance
14 Stil cold[.] a little rain & thunder[.] we have to take to the Bluffs as the river & Bluffs come together[.] traveled 8 miles[.] I killed an antelope & Badger[.] theres was a Buffelow killed also
15 stil cold rainey this morning[.] cold north wind all day[.] traveled 7 miles[.] killed 1 Bufelow[.] an alarm sounded last nig<ht> [.] the guard shot at an Indian that was crawling up to take a couple of mules[.] did not hit him[.] every man was ordered out to take care of his horses and get his gun[.] it was 12 oclock at night. lay by Sunday[.] killed 2 Bufelows & <l> antelope[.] had meeting at 4 oclock
17 traveled 13 miles[.] killed 3 Bufelow & 1 antelope, 18 had orders from President Young not to kill any thing unless he gave orders[.] traveled 16 miles
18 traveled on 6 miles & stoped for rain[,] the first we have had since we started of any amount[.] we came a short distance over a high sand ridge[.] came into the Bottom again[.] traveled 2 miles after the rain
19 traveled 16 miles
20 crossed a s[t]ream about 3 rods wide[.] traveled 16 miles out of the Buffelow range
21 traveled 16 miles[.] 3 Indians came to us to day[.] they soon made of[f] again[.] These are the first we have seen since the Pawneese, they are the cut throats of Sues [Sioux] Indians
22 traveled 16 miles to day[.] found mammoth Bones
23 Sunday lay by[.] at night came on a cold rain with thunder & wind
24 cold[.] snowed in the morning[.] theres is 32 Indians come to us this evening[:] Sues [Sioux.] they want something to eat[.] traveled 16 miles[.] I traded my honey with them for a clay bank horse
25 traveled 12 miles past the chimney rock at night[.] killed two antelope to day
26 traveled 12 miles[.] killed 4 antelope to [d]ay[.] about 75 miles from Fort Lareme [Laramie.] I put my horse in gears this morning in the reveneu cutter[.] he was frantic at first But soon give up & drawed as well as any horse[.] I rode in the waggon for the first time to day a bout an hour
27 traveled 14 miles[.] killed 4 anatelope [antelope] to day[.] got up to the Scot[t]ish Bluffs[.] thunder shower this evening
28 traveled 12 miles <Debenport refused to obey>
29 rainy this morning[.] president Young cawled [called] the camp together & said he did not want to go any further without a change of spirit <in> the people[.] covenanted to repent & do Bette[.]r started at 1 oclock[.] traveled 9 miles
30 Sunday lay by[.] had fast meeting & sacrament conducted By the Bishops
31 traveled 16 miles[.] I killed one deer[.] I took my horse this morning he being so lame he could not work[.] the collar hurt him[.] I led part of the day & rode some.
June 1 Travel<ed> 12 miles oposite fort lareme [Laramie.]
2 day[.] went over got a ferry Boat for 15 dollars to ferry all over[.] went a fishing[.] catched about 50 fish
3 Day[.] T[homas] Grover took command of the Boat & put part over[.] I took command & put the Balance over[.] took us til 8 next morning. Started on at 11 o'clock
4 day[.] went 8 miles[.] come in to the Black hills
5 traveled 17 miles
6 day[.] lay by Sunday[.] fast & prayer meeting at 8[,] preaching at 11[,] Sacrament at 3[.] it rained[.] we went on in the afternoon 5 miles
7 day[.] went 13 miles killed deer 1[,] antelope[.] 3 companys passed us from Missourie to oragon
8 day[.] traveled 15 miles[.] traded my horse for a cow & heifer[.] had milk for dinner
9 day[.] traveled 25 miles[,] separated[,] went on to the ferry at platt[e]
10 day[.] traveled 25 miles killed 3 antelope[,] 3 Bear
11 day got to platt[e] and 10 miles[.] got a job of ferrying some missourie emigrants over[.] 22 waggons for 33 dolars[,] flour at 2 1/2 for hundred[,] meal 50 cts
12 day[.] got through ferrying the emigrants
13 Sunday had meeting til noon[.] went then to get timber for to make raft to cross over on
14 ferryed 24 waggons over[.] Brother Tibets [John Harvey Tippets] left at laram[i]e & Debenport [James Davenport] left to day at the second crossing of platt[e.] the river high
15 Stil ferrying
17finish crossing[.] commence taking over emigrants Smites Co. I am counciled to stay here until our Bretheren come up get a boat ready
18th Stil crossing emigrants
19 our Bretheren left 10 of us namely T[homas] Grover[,] W[illiam]. [Adam] Empey[,] James Debenport [Davenport,] luke Johnston[,] Ed[mund Lovell] ellsworth[,] A[ppleton] T [Milo] harmon[,] & F[rancis]. [Martin] Pumenoy [Pomeroy,] [Eric M.] glines[.] They left us <Co. left Saturday> here for the purpose of ferrying over emigrants [..over] Capt.
20 F. Pumenoy [Pomeroy] & Glines left us to day to meet our Bretheren[.] did not go
21 moved the ferry down 8 miles
22 fixing ferry
25 comenced ferrying
26 - 27 - 28 - 29 - 30 stil ferrying
1 June [July] ferrying the purbelow Co. continued ferrying til near the last of July[.] I received about 60 dollars for my share[.] bought 3 cows & t[w]o heifers which I paid 4 dollars[.] 2 of the cows gave milk[.] Staid on til the 16th of August[.] we expect the camp to day as we have heard from them[.] bought a ch
Sheila Jessop possesses a copy of the book Edward Higby and his Descendants by Clinton David Higby 1927 (Originally owned by Sarah Ann Higbee Smith)
There is a life story in my workbook and also on a disk labeled Higbee.
!Endowment reconfirmed and all ordinances and Sealings ratified on 17 Oct 1967
A blessing given to John Somers Higbee in Caldwell County, by Isaac Morley,
Patriarch and my father, December 13, 1838.
Brother Higbee we lay our hands upon Thy head in the name of Jesus Christ of
Nazareth, and we seal upon Thy head a father's blessing; which will prove a
blessing to Thee through all Thy days which will cause Thee to rejoice and Thy
posterity after Thee, when they shall behold the proceedings of this day for
thou art a lawful heir in the kingdom of Thy savior and too an equal
inheritance of the blessings with the Saints who have gone before Thee, and
the angels rejoiced over Thee when thou was born, and if thou are faithful to
keep the covenants which you have made with your redeemer, the light of the
Glorious Gospel shall yet enlighten Thy mind and the spirit of wisdom and
intelligence shall be given to Thee and thou shalt have power given unto Thee to
communicate the truths of the everlasting gospel of Jesus to a people lying in
darkness and are now governed by the precepts of men, and if thou are faithful
and will apply Thy mind and Thy talent to obtain the knowledge contained in the
Kingdom of Thy Savior, thousands shall become flittering stars in Thy crown
when Thy Savior, shall call Thee to render up Thy stewardship, and equal
blessings shall be given to Thee, that are bestowed upon the sons of Ephrium,
for this is Thy lineage and the blessings of the Heavens and the earth be given
to Thee. Thou shall yet see Thy companion and Thy children seated upon their
everlasting inheritance in that Day when all shall know the Lord in name of the
Lamb forever and ever, Amen. Amen.
Recorded in Book "C". page 373
Nauvoo, Dec 23, 1844. A blessing by John Smith, Patriarch of the Church upon the head of John Somers Higbee, born in Clermont County, Ohio, March 7, 1804. Brother John I lay my hand upon Thy head by the authority given me of Jesus Christ even to bless the fatherless and I seal and confirm upon Thee blessings of a father for thou hast a right to all the blessings which the Lord hath promised to confirm upon his covenant people, and I seal them upon Thy head, and upon the heads of Thy posterity to all generations, for thou art a lawful heir to all those blessings by the power of the Holy Priesthood which I also seal upon Thee, because thou are of the house and lineage of Joseph, thou hast a right to all the blessings which Jacob sealed upon his head. Thou are called to be a councilor in Israel and attend to the concerns of the church at home and abroad, thou shalt be blessed in all Thy labors and in all that you set your hands (last line repeated) . You shall be prospered. Thou shalt be a mighty and a powerful instrument in the hands of the Lord in rolling forth and building up the the Redeemer's kingdom on the earth, thou shalt gather through the preaching of the gospel and bring to Zion a great multitude from among the Gentiles, also from among the Laminates, thou shall be a judge and an overseer to set in order the things that are wanting to regulate the foolish elders which always have been and always will be in the church until Satan is bound and Thy words shall be esteemed as the word of the Lord, and those that refuse to obey Thy voice that thou are placed over shall not have a place among the Saints, Thy name shall be had in honorable remembrance to all generations and Thy words and council shall be known to the ends of the earth, thou shall have an inheritance in Zion and great store of riches and large plantation you shall have man and maid servants to Thy business. Thou shall have charge of the Lord's storehouse to receive and deal out money for the benefit of the Holy Priesthood and all other purposes as the Lord hath spoken , moreover thou shall have a numerous posterity and Thy years shall be many until thou are satisfied, that every word which his prophets have spoken since the world began concerning the Latterday Glory and the gathering of Israel is verily true. This is Thy blessing, which I seal upon your head in the name of Jesus Christ and no power on earth or in Hell shall take it from Thee or any other place if thou art faithful even so
John Somers Higbee was a farmer, born in Tate Township, Clermont Co., Ohio,
March 7, 1804. Shortly after his parents removed to that section from Galloway,
Township, Glouchester County, New Jersey.
He grew up on his father's farm and married first at Batavia Clermont County,
February 26, 1826, to Sarah Ann Voorhees, born April 6, 1805, and she died
at Mount Pisgah, Missouri June 15, 1846. He and his wife were probably members of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints at Pisgah, as after the death of his
wife he went to Nauvoo, Illinois and joined with that church in the removal to
Great Salt Lake Valley. His family say that he was with the first company of
pioneers that left Nauvoo and reached the new location in the West July 24,
1847, and that his name is on the monument erected in Salt Lake to the
pioneers. He was one of the captains in the movement. Two years later he and 30
others settled Provo. He was president of this settlement. The Indians opposed
them strongly, and several of the settlers were killed, his nephew Joseph,
being one of those slain.
In October of that year he was sent to England for the purpose of inducing
people of England to come to the new settlement. Only a part of the people in
England owned land and many of the middle and lower classes could scarcely hope
to become landowners. For this reason, the opportunity, even in the Far West of
becoming owners of land was an inducement to a good many to leave England.
January 10, 1852, the ship Kannebec sailed from Liverpool with 333 Saints under
his direction and arrived in New Orleans, March 11, 1852.
He states "I was chosen to preside over the company going across the ocean.
Then was appointed president of the Newcastle Conference and served until 5
January 1852 when I was released to come home.
the following is :
Presented to John S. Higbee of the New-castle-upon-tyne Conference of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, by said Conference, on the
occasion of his departure to the land of Zion.
Dearly Beloved President:
We cannot suffer you depart from this country without presenting you with this
testimonial of our confidence and esteem for you in your course of procedure
since you entered on your ministry among us. Your wise and judicious counsels
and teachings have been duly appreciated by us, and are indelibly engraved on
the tablets of our hearts; but above all, the example you have set before us in
your godly walk and conversation, has been highly praiseworthy and such as will
ever adorn the man of God. With feelings of joy and gratitude to God, we
congratulate you upon your success in demonstrating the Gospel to the world.
Since you took the Presidency of this conference nearly 300 souls have been
brought into the glorious light and liberty of the Gospel.
It has been our happy lot for nearly two years to sit under your
administration, and during that time the Conference has grown mightily in
wisdom and knowledge. Although we feel deeply to part with you because we love
your society, yet we feel glad at the opportunity you now have of returning to
the bosom of your family, after a protracted absence; and our prayer to God is
that He may be your safeguard and defence, may you be wafted in safety to Zion
to enjoy the communion of your family and the Saints. And may we soon follow to
assist in building up the Kingdom of God, and learn to obey celestial laws that
we may have a part in the first resurrection.
Even so Amen.
Signed in behalf of the Conference by the Pres-
I traveled in England 3924 miles mostly on foot.
January 8, I was appointed to preside over 333 Saints on board the Kannebec,
sailing 10 January 1852. Among the passengers was Mrs. Jane Homer Grainger with
her son Christopher and daughter Ann, and Ann's daughter, Mary Ann Carr. Mrs.
Jane Homer Grainger died and was buried near Cuba. Her daughter Ann married
John S. Higbee, March 1852.
Arrived in Salt Lake City about 12 August 1852. In company with Brigham Young
went on an exploring trip to Salmon River (This happens to be where my (Sheila)
other great grandfather, Thomas Sasson Smith was president of this mission)
October 10, 1857 was appointed Captain of 1st 102 fifty militia.
He married secondly in March, 1852, Ann Granger Carr, a widow, born
in Yorkshire, England, March 7, 1817, and died at Toquerville, Utah,
September 27, 1870, and she came to America with him as one of the passengers
on the Kennebec. After his work for the church was performed he settled and
lived for a time on the Weber River, Utah, and removed in 1865 to the
southwestern part of Utah at Toquerville. His second wife had a daughter by her
first husband, and this daughter he adopted. He died at Toquerville, October
I (Sheila only copied the following from a book on Higbee's in possession of my
mother) Starting on page 59:
Now the State rose up against us. The governor sent an army who told us "you
are rebellious and comply with our frontier opinions called law." The army took
our guns and we were left living on the ___ of an Indian country filled with
When I was forced to give up our arms I was forced to sign a deed giving all my
land in Jackson and Caldwell Counties , Missouri, for use of the executives of
the state to defray the expenses in war.
Then they selected 57 of us to make examples of --- us to Richmond, and put
us in the courthouse under a strong guard. After 29 days we were tried nothing
found against us. We were ordered to leave the state, which we did January
1838, going to Illinois in an old rickety one horse wagon. There were three
families on this trip. All that could walk, most of them barefoot, over frozen
ground, women as well as children. Nevertheless in all this trial we seemed to
We traveled about fifteen miles a day, our wagon breaking down every few days.
After arriving at Quincy, Illinois, my father Isaac Higbee, died from fatigue
at 75 years. May 1838 we moved to Nauvoo for a few years where some were mobbed
again and homes burned. Soon after the prophet Joseph Smith and his brother
Hyrum were killed at Carthage Jail, 27 June, 1844. About ten thousand viewed
their remains before the funeral.
February, 1846 I enlisted in Col. Markham's Co. as a pioneer to go thru the
wilderness to California and was elected Captain over ten men. On 9th of Feb
commenced to ferry all those that wished to join the company across the
Mississippi River to Montrose, Iowa. The people locked up their homes, leaving
all they could not take with them or sell, which was little. Very few ever
realized anything on what they left.
In March 1849, Parley P. Pratt and John S. Higbee were called by Brigham Young
to explore Utah Valley, and shortly after Brigham Young called John S. Higbee
to head the settlement on Provo River. There were many reasons why Brigham
Young was anxious to get a settlement started in Utah Valley. The Saints were
crowding in fast from Winter Quarters and room for expansion was necessary.
Provo's setting was ideal, timber bordering beautiful streams with good fishing
and hunting. Blue grass was found in abundance and above all fertile soil with
ample water for farming and the raising of grain which was of uppermost
The company arrived at Timpanogas or Provo River, on April 1, 1849. About three
miles before reaching the river, they were confronted by a Ute Indian named
Angatowata, who placed himself across their trail and commanded the Mormons to
proceed no farther. If took interpreter, Dimick B. Huntington, a full hour to
convince the Indian that the settlers and the Indians might try living
together, that the whites would be friends of the red men and would assist them
in every possible way.
Under the direction of President John S. Higbee, Isaac Higbee, Dimick
Huntington and Captain Jefferson on Mormon Battalion fame, Fort Utah was
constructed. The group began work on the fort April 3, two days after arriving
at Provo River, and in about six weeks it was completed.
Fort Utah was located about 40 rods north of Center Street, and 20 rods east of
Lake View or lower county road, approximately forty-five rods to the southeast
of the wagon bridge across Provo River. It consisted of a stockade, fourteen feet
high, with log houses inside, and an elevation in the center called a bastion,
on which was placed a cannon commanding the surrounding country. The Fort ran
east and West, its dimensions being about twenty by forty rods. There were two
windows for each room, one to the front and the other in the rear. As the
settlement had no glass, coarse cloth was used as a substitute in the windows.
There were gateways at the East and West ends of the fort; and at the southeast
corner was a large stockade corral, in which the cattle were kept at night.
Within the corral was a guard house. The logs for the fort were obtained from
Box Elder Island a forty acre tract lying between two channels of Provo River,
about a mile west of the Fort. Box Elder was preferred to cottonwood as a
building material on account of its greater durability.
A roadway from the fort crossed the river some rods to the east.
By the middle of May the settlers had 225 acres of land laid out and
apportioned to forty families, the colony having increased in number by the
arrival of other settlers from Great Salt Lake Valley. The small grain had been
sowed, and the principal part of the corn had been planted, but on the 23rd of
May there was a severe snow storm;lasting nearly three hours, and on the night
following, the frost was so severe that it destroyed the greater part of the
Like most Mormon Colonies, during the first few months of its history the
settlement at Fort Utah was under the direction of an ecclesiastical
organization and administration, the settlers enacting what laws they needed by
their vote at public meetings. John S. Higbee was the ecclesiastical head of
the colony at first but upon his departure was replaced in about two months by
his brother Isaac Higbee.
For some time after the settlement at Provo, the Indians were quite friendly.
They were however, inveterate beggars and often made themselves nuisances.
A company of emigrants on their way to the California Gold fields camped near
Provo and they traded guns and ammunition to the Indians for horses. This
action bore disastrous fruit early in 1850 in Utah's first Indians war.
Now that the Indians were equipped with war supplies they became less friendly.
They stole cattle and wheat from the fields. Several settlers were shot at, and
animals were killed.
In April, 1850, the stockade and houses of Fort Utah were moved to the
northwest corner of Fifth West and Fifth North. The experiences of the summer
before having shown that the land at Fort Utah was damp and cold while the land
east and near the mountains was dry and much warmer. This location is known as
When the settlers moved farther east in 1850, they built in the middle of their
new fort a commodious log schoolhouse, fifty feet in length. The building was
to be used, not for school purposes alone, but as a meeting house and amusement
hall as well. The erection of this structure was a matter of much interest and
importance to the little community, and when it was completed, President
Brigham Young came from Salt Lake City to dedicate it.
Many immigrants arrived from the States in the summer and fall of 1850. The
influx made it necessary to build an addition to the fort on the south side.
Notwithstanding the danger of Indian attacks, the settlers began to engage in
many new activities outside the fort. During 1850 and 1851 industries began to
develop rapidly in this infant settlement. Isaac Higbee and James A. Smith
built the first grist mill, and Thomas Williams opened the first store.
In the fall of 1849 I (John S.) was sent on a mission to England, Leaving Salt
Copied from Sheila's Corner -----
When I was at the library yesterday I was looking on the fiche # 6031596 of Members of the Church from 1830-48. I saw some things that I will share with you. Some of this information I may have shared before - oh well.
John Somers Higbee
He was baptized May 1830 in Lewiston, Logan, Ohio by Calvin Wilson and confirmed by Lyman Wright.
Ordained a High Priest 4 April 1841 by Isaac Higbee Bishop of Nauvoo 1st Ward by
Amasa M. Lyman, Orson Pratt, and John E. Page.
His Patriarchal Blessing was dated 13 December 1838.
Temple ordinances data:
Endowed in Nauvoo 23 Dec. 1846. Sealed to spouse #1 20 Jan 1846 and # 3 20 May 1856.
Residency: Tate, Clermont Co., Ohio 1827- 1837 Lee County Ohio 1840 Mill Creek, Salt Lake Co., Utah 1855-57 Plain City, Weber, Utah 1859 Ogden, Weber, Utah 1859
Toquerville, Washington, Utah 1870.
1. Gardener (on Utah federal census 1870)
2. Net fishing business - from journal
3. Cabinet maker.
- 1 In 1870, John had a household of 6, a real wealth of $1000 and a personal wealth of $150.(Utah Fed. census)
- 2 John was a member of the Nauvoo 1st Ward.
- 3 John signed a petition indicating he was a prisoner for 30 days. He was forced to leave his home two times because of the mob.
- 4 John was arrested at the time of the fall of Nauvoo (Far West Rec. by Don Cannon p. 268)
- 5 from his journal:
Cabinet trade at age 14. In net fishing business at Cincinnati with his father. Several moves.
Converted to Mormonism. To Missouri 1833.
Persecutions, prison terms. To Illinois 1838.
Fishing business in Nauvoo.
Bishop counselor Missouri 1842.
Description of Nauvoo Temple.
Joined Police to help guard city in 1845.
Enlisted in Pioneer Company 1846.
Death of wife - Remarriage.
To Utah 1849.
Mission to England 1849 - 1852;.
Newcastle. In fishing business after her returned to Utah.
Brief allusion to Utah War.
Farm work. Taxes. Moved to Weber County 1859.
Note inserted late: "Family moved to Toquerville spring 1865"
entries after return from mission are brief and few.
- 6 John was one of the original pioneers of Utah. He was appointed assessor of Caldwell
County. Missouri, while many of the Saints were located there. He was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood by Lyman Wright. He was set apart to preside over the Nauvoo 1st Ward after the martyrdom of the Prophet and the exodus of the Saints from Nauvoo, he became one of the pioneer company and traveled with them as far as the Upper Platt River, when he and 9 other brothern appointed to opperate a ferry until the next large company of Saints should arrive to relieve them. There he remained until 10 Aug. 1847 when he started east to meet his family, who was traveling with one of the westbound pioneer companies; which arrived in Salt Lake Valley 26 Sept. 1847. From 1849 to 1852 he filled a mission to England.
Most of this is repeat but I put it in as it was recorded on the fiche. Hope you enjoy it --Sheila
John Somers Higbee's Timeline
March 7, 1804
Tate, Clermont, Ohio, USA
May 6, 1827
West Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio, USA
August 18, 1840
Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois, United States
February 27, 1853
on ship Kennebec, Atlantic Ocean
May 23, 1855
Millcreek, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory, United States
August 30, 1857
December 30, 1863
Ogden, Weber County, Utah Territory, USA