Mary Ellen Heap

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Mary Ellen Heap (Ward)

Birthdate: (53)
Birthplace: Manchester, UK
Death: October 17, 1883 (53)
Kingston, Piute, Utah, USA
Place of Burial: Kingston, Piute , Utah, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of George Ward and Isabella Ward
Wife of William Heap and David Leonard Savage
Mother of Mary Ellen Turner; George Heap; Charles Harbourn Heap; John Henry Heap; Isabella Savage and 4 others
Sister of Hannah Ward; William Ward; Barbara Ward; Edward Ward and George Ward

Occupation: Married William Heap on 18 May 1849 in St. Louis, MO
Managed by: Della Dale Smith-Pistelli
Last Updated:

About Mary Ellen Heap

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868 John B. Walker Company (1852) Age 22

Departure: 26-30 June 1852 Arrival: 2-7 October 1852


For our Heap family, the “Mormon Trail” began at Liverpool England, where they boarded a ship sailing to New Orleans, LA. Here they changed to a smaller boat to sail 500 miles northward up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, MO., where they again changed boats to sail another 200 miles in the Missouri up to Council Bluffs. These red Missouri bluffs were a rendezvous point for the Latter-Day Saints. The first settlement there was called "Millers Hollow”, then “Kanesville,” then Council Bluffs, 275 miles from Iowa City, and just across the river from Florence, NE, which was called “Winter Quarters” at the time the Mormon Pioneers were gathering to go to “the tops of the Rocky Mountains.”

William Heap was born in Birch, near Manchester, Lancashire, England. As he was born at midnight, his birth is sometimes given as 1 Apr. 1819, and sometimes 31 Mar. 1819. He was the son of William & Hannah Cooper Heap. William Jr. was born the 3rd of 12 children—6 boys & 6 girls. As was the custom, the boys all learned a trade and William followed in his fathers’ footsteps and became a shoemaker and merchant.

By the time young William was 20, his father had acquired at least two shoe shops and his father turned the one at Pendlebury over to William. The family were then living at “Besses O’ The Barn.” William had to cross “Heap Bridge” to get to his shop on ‘Heap Street.” It was at Pendlebury that he met the Ward family. He fell in love with their oldest daughter, who was the oldest of the three Ward sisters. Her name was Hannah and they were married on St. Switens Day on July 15, 1839. Records show that Hannah’s father George Ward signed as a witness.

About this time the Mormon Missionaries came to that part of England and in Nov. just 4 months after their marriage they joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were among the first to join this new religion and both became very energetic in their new venture. In his diary William later recorded: I was most happy to learn of the Mormon Church and learn there really is a life beyond the grave where again we meet our loved ones who have died before us, and where we are allowed to raise any babies what may die young, because it has been crammed down my throat all my life that the streets of hell was paved with infant skulls----babies who had died without being baptized into the Church of England. They couldn’t have hurt me worse if they had stuck a knife in my heart.”

In June 1840 Hannah’s mother, Isabella Ward, and all the rest of her family, except the father (he was baptized by proxy after his death) were baptized.

Soon after William & Hannah had their first son whom they named Parley Whittaker Heap, they decided to come to America to gather with the saints. They sold their stock of goods and left for America in Sept. 1841. They came by way of New Orleans, then the 500 miles up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, MO. There they remained for a period of about two years, as William, Hannah and the baby were all very ill with chills & fever. They suffered many months without fully recovering, so finally his father persuaded them to return to England.

By the time William & family arrived home in England, his father had already bought another shop at Radcliff Bridge. He gave William his choice of it or the old one at Pendelbury, he chose the one at Radcliffe Bridge and soon set to work to build up a good business. They became members of the Radcliffe Branch of the LDS Church and were able to convert and baptize many new members. After a few years he again grew anxious to join with the Saints in America. His Mother-in-law and her family decided to join them. So again, they sold out and once again prepared to take the long journey to America, even though Hannah was now expecting her third child. Their 2nd child, Joseph had been born while they were yet in England after the return journey.

Second Journey to America

At Liverpool, the Heap & Ward families boarded the ship “Masconomo” in Jan. 1849. The first trip had been made on the ship “Tyrain.”

Hannah gave birth to her third son, William Jr. just as the ship was leaving the Harbor. They had a very rough voyage and there was lots of sickness on the ship. Hannah became very ill and did not recover as she should. When they reached New Orleans she was so ill they decided to remain there until she was well. She became steadily worse until she passed away on April 18, 1849. She was laid to rest in the old Catholic cemetery in the seventh grave from the top.

William was grateful to have his mother-in-law and two sisters-in-law there to help care for his three little sons. As there was nothing more they could do for her, they joined a group of saints who were going to Nauvoo on a steamboat. They left on the 2nd of May, but there was cholera on the boat. The baby became ill and died in just two days. Little baby William was buried in the banks of the Mississippi on May 4, 1849, three months and five days old.

Sudden sorrow struck this grieving family again. Hannah’s youngest brother, George Jr., was playing in the woods with other children one evening. The next morning he was ill with cholera; by evening he too was dead. He was about 13 yrs. Old. They buried him that night May 11, 1849, in the riverbank at Pratt’s Bend, the third one of the family to be laid to rest in less than a month. The next morning they arrived at St. Louis, MO, where they had planned to stay for a while and work to prepare themselves for going West. Here they met many old friends and learned that there was so much cholera and other sickness in St. Louis that they hurried to transfer their luggage to a boat going on to Council Bluffs instead of Nauvoo. On the second day while on the boat getting ready to go, William met his brother Thomas. They were very happy to see each other and Thomas went on to Council Bluffs with them, but he was broke and so homesick for his wife and baby, who were still in England that he returned to England.

William, now desperately in need of a wife to care for his two sons, married his deceased wife’s two sisters, Mary and Barbara Ward about 18 May 1849 at St. Louis, MO.

It was near Christmas when they reached “Kanesville: now Council Bluffs, IA. William obtained some land and began preparing to plant a crop. They had spent almost all their money and here they found they had to purchase oxen, wagons and food for at least six months, and all at very high prices (for those times). They all went out to work to help get money to purchase the needed items. Everything had doubled in price to what had been quoted earlier, as the gold rush hit and people were willing to pay a great deal for supplies to get to the gold fields. They spent a little over two years in Kanesville where William bought some property and through hard work they planted crops to prepare for their journey West with the Saints. They all went out to work to help get money to purchase the needed items.

They wrote back to their folks in England that the lands were abounding with wild animals; elk, deer, turkey, rabbit, partridge, wild hen, and plenty of wolves. The waters were full of beautiful fish.

Mary gave birth to her first child, George, as recorded by his father in his diary: “Mary delivered a boy at a quarter to three in the morning of 14 March 1850 in Kanesville.” He was a small, wiry child, but apparently healthy. Then, in November 1850 Barbara gave birth to her first son, James.

By May, 1852 the family had earned enough by buy the needed food supplies, 2 wagons, 4 oxen, six good milk cows, a good full year’s supply of provisions, and seed to plant when they reached their destination, which they only knew as the “valley of the mountains.” For nearly six months they plodded over a lonely and rugged country inhabited only by Indians, wolves, buffalo, and other wild beasts.

When Spring came, Williams Mother-in-Law and her son Edward joined with a group of people they knew going to the Salt Lake Valley, so they went to Salt Lake in the Vincent Shurtliff Company. William and his family also joined a company going to Utah. For six long months they plodded over the rugged country, inhabited until just recently only with Indians, wolves, buffalo, coyote and other wild animals. They saw for the first time the American Indian in their native dress and tepees. They found lonely graves along the trail, many had been dug up by wolves. There were long stretches where there were no trees or wood of any kind to burn for cooking. The two wives joined the other women as they plodded along with their children, picking up buffalo chips and putting them in their aprons. They used these for firewood to cook their meals. When they reached the mountains, it was a little easier because scrub oak and brush could be found and used as fuel.

The Heap family and company arrived in Salt Lake Valley on October 1852, a few days before the October Conference. This they found a great joy to attend, for there they found many of their old acquaintances from England.

On October 16 William took both his wives to the Endowment House and had them sealed to him, along with his first wife, Hannah. After resting in Salt Lake for about three weeks, the authorities called William and his families to go on South with other Saints to settle the Iron Mission, at Parowan, with the hope that some day they would have a great manufacturing center in that area, as they had found signs of Iron there. They encountered quite a bit of snow on the way as it was winter in Utah Territory. It was nearly Christmas when they reached Parowan, over 300 miles away.

William traded some of his stock for a little land with three houses on it. There was a nice clear spring of water seeping out of the hill to the South, which, when cleared out made a good-sized stream. It was at Parowan where they saw irrigation for the first time. This was a real thrill for the family. William broke up some of the land he had traded for and planted a garden as soon as Spring came. He did a little farming in the Summer and made shoes in Winter. He was able to get a few sheep and his wives washed and spun the wool into yarn and wove it into course cloth and knit it into socks and stockings. This was something both wives knew how to do, for no girl in England was allowed to grow up without learning the art of knitting. From their cows they were able to make their own cheese and butter. From the straw they gleaned in the fields they made hats for the children and themselves, and soon produced nearly all they needed.

The Indians called William “Pats-a-roots,” because he made shoes for the White man. The Parowan census of May 1854 lists the HEAP-WARD families as: William Heap 35; Barbara Heap 26; Mary Heap 24; Parley W. 9; Joseph 7; George Heap 4; James 3; Anna l; Mary Ellen 10 Mo. Also, his Mother-in-Law, Isabella and her son Edward Ward.

In a quote from Parowan Ward records, it states that a letter from President Brigham Young to George A. Smith, leader of Parowan stated that, “William Heap, William Barton, Erastus Curtus, and three other men and their families have left for the West.” The letter is dated Sept. 1854.

At that time the Church send people in all directions to build up the area and the Church. It was a long way by wagon, but a good time to travel the hot desert lands between Utah & CA. It was Christmas time when they arrived at Cajon Pass. Joy filled their hearts to overflowing as they looked over the beautiful green land and sparkling streams. William bought a cabin and twelve acres of land in San Bernardino County for $144, which he paid for in installments. From their cows they were able to do well. The two wives were kept busy selling butter, and the eggs from their one hundred chickens. All were hard workers, and William’s shoemaking business went well. He also hauled lumber from the San Bernardino Mountains into Los Angeles.

In eighteen months William had acquired valuable property in the best part of San Bernardino. Known as Uncle Billy Heap, he was well liked and became a man of prominence and influence. Things were going very well for them and they had begun to prosper, but gold was discovered, so many people of all faiths were pouring into the gold fields. Suddenly word came from the Church in Salt Lake City that Johnston’s Army was on its way to Utah to destroy the Mormons. Brigham Young sent word for the Saints to gather in Salt Lake for protection and strength, so he send freighters to the outlying districts to assist those wishing to join with the body of the Church. It was a difficult decision for the Saints in San Bernardino to make. They had traveled thousands of miles in most difficult situations for the sake of the religion they had joined and loved, but gradually they could see it slipping away.

When the word came, William did not want to give up his holdings. No amount of persuasion could get him to leave what he had worked for and accumulated in those two and one-half years. Neither did Barbara. They had planted their roots too deep in the golden hills of California to want to leave it behind. William & Barbara did stay in San Bernardino where they raised their family—and are buried in the old 7th St. cemetery there. However, Mary feared that things were getting too bad, and thought her children would fall away from the faith if they did not join with the Saints back in Utah. She was expecting again but chose to return with the freighter the church had sent out to help families back to the shelter of the Church. She knew that at Parowan she had her mother to help care for her, also her brother Edward, and his wife and family were there.

David L. Savage was one of the freighters sent to California by the Church to help people return to Utah if they wished to come. Mary Ward Heap, (Second wife of William Heap), her son George age 7, and Mary Ellen who had her 4th birthday on the journey returned with Mr. Savage. It must have been a very long hot journey crossing the Calif. & Nevada deserts in June & July, but finally they reached Parowan, weary, heavy in body and in heart, but at least they made the trip before the expected baby arrived. Three weeks after they arrived in Parowan, Mary delivered twin boys, 20 Aug. 1857. It was a hard time for Mary but she had chosen this way. She had traveled half way around the world for the sake of the Gospel and she intended to do her best to rear her children in the LDS faith. Mary felt that her religion was more precious than gold.

Shortly after Mary got settled in the old home at Parowan, a group of Missourians stopped there and in Cedar, bragging that they were in the group that killed old Joe Smith. They made a big stir going through the towns—killing chickens, sheep, dogs, and anything else they could. They camped at Mountain Meadows. A messenger was sent from St. George to Brigham Young to see what action should be taken, but the massacre happened before the rider reached Salt Lake. This messenger had stopped at the Heaps, who ran the exchange station, to change horses and get something to eat. On his return trip he told the family that Brigham Young said that the party was not to be molested, no matter what, but to let them go on as soon as possible. Brigham Young claimed that what happened at Mountain Meadows was the blackest cloud that ever hung over the Mormon Church.

In 1859 Mary Ward married David Savage, the freighter with whom she had returned to Parowan. There was not much a young mother with four children could do to make a living. The new husband already had two wives, Theodora Finch and Mary Ann White. David and Mary were married at her mother’s home in Parowan. Shortly thereafter David went to his wife Mary Ann in Sever Springs where he told her of his marriage at Parowan. In the letter following we read how the new husband and previous wife accept the new bride:

Sever Springs Feb. 17, 1859

Dear Mary; (Two of David’s wives names were Mary)

I drop a few lines to let you know that we are all well. I was happy to find Mary glad of what took place with us at your place. She was glad that we married and thinks we would get along first rate. She is like you; she thinks it would be better for each one to have a room to them selves. She would be glad to have you close by for company. She thinks so many children in one house would not be agreeable, so we will all agree on this. My mind is unsettled. If I had time I would move you up here but circumstances forbids at present. I have been at home two nights and expect to start for City tomorrow. I wish you would tell Edward that I would like to have him go with me to California and drive one team, if he can tell him to write as soon as he can. May God bless you all, good bye, I remain your affectionate husband.

David Savage

(On the reverse side of the page is the following letter welcoming Great Grandmother Mary into the Savage household as the 3rd wife.)

Sister Mary, I sit down to write a few lines to you, not to find fault with you it is all right and it was as well as if I had been there, and as far as I am concerned you are welcome into my family. I have the best of feelings towards you and have ever since I knew you. I agree with you that we had better live a little separate as we both have so many children and we could not be much help to each other, but I would like to have you live near me for company, I hope that we may all live in peace together and believe we shall. Accept my best respects and believe me your affectionate Sister.

Mary A. Savage

Mary and David moved to Holden, Utah, where their first daughter, Isabella Savage, was born in 1859. They had some good property and a good garden, with a nice spring for water, but David soon traded that off for a cow. They then moved to Cedar Fort. Here David Edward was born in 1862. Times were hard. The children earned their own money to buy the first shoes they remember having by gathering sunflowers, drying them, and then burning them for the ashes, which they sold to Johnston’s Army at Camp Floyd. The ashes were used to wash their clothes.

Mary was on the move again; this time it was to Paris, Idaho, at the upper end of Bear Lake. While there, another son was born, William Albert. David then went to Arizona on a freighting trip. While he was gone, food ran out and Mary didn’t have food for her children. She sent one of her children to a neighbor with her best dress to see if they would trade it for a little flour. They had many hardships, and sometimes all they had to eat were weed greens and rawhide soup.

Mary’s boys herded a small herd of cattle, and running over the rocks in bare feet often cut their feet. William Heap (her former husband) offered help, but Mary would never think of it as she considered it a handout.

The family was living in Hyrum, Cache Valley, Utah, in December 1868, where Parley Franklin was born. At one time all three of David’s wives lived in the same town, but the oldest wife kept the ax and all the tools. She always scolded Mary’s children when they came for the ax to cut wood and said their mother got the best of everything. This was not true; they divided things up as evenly as possible. George and David, Jr., did the milking for all the families. One day when they took the milk to her, she scolded them, saying that they always took the most. George was usually very mild mannered and had a calm disposition, but this time he was sick and tired of all these complaints, and he said, “Here, take it all,” and he threw the whole pail of milk on her.

They went fishing in an old leaky boat. One had to bail to keep from sinking while the other fished. The crickets were so thick that the wind blew them into the lake, then the fish wouldn’t bite. They would gather the crickets and take them home so their mother could cook them and feed them to the pigs. The children were allowed only one pair of shoes a year. They would go to town to have their feet fitted for shoes. All of them were barefoot by the time they could have new shoes. They would run along in the snow until their feet were numb with cold, climb a fence to try to get the chill out, and then run to the shoe shop.

One time David wanted George to go to the mountains with him for a load of wood. George was about sixteen or seventeen and thought he was old enough to get the wood without his stepfather’s help, but David wouldn’t let George drive the team. An argument followed and David told him, “You do as I say or leave home.” George left and the children cried, for they were a close family, even though they sometimes disagreed with their stepfather. Later on, when Charles and his stepfather also had a disagreement, he also left. Although they were half brothers and sisters—four being Heap and five Savage—they loved each other and all had the same mother.

The family finally moved back to Holden. The boys drove the cows and the livestock while the girls had to carry the chickens on their laps because they had no crates for them. There the last of Mary’s nine children was born on August 1, 1872. They named her Barbara Alice. The last move they made was to Kingston, Piute County, Utah.

Mary’s health was failing. The moves, the poor diet, the worry of raising nine children practically alone began taking their toll. Besides traveling halfway around the world for the gospel of Jesus Christ, she had traveled many difficult and weary miles back and forth from place to place. Through it all she had remained true to her faith and loved it and enjoyed it to the last. She taught her children well, and they all remained in the Church. Her last sickness came at Kingston. Mary passed away October 17, 1883, and was laid to rest in a beautiful quiet field east of town. She was only fifty-three years and ten months old.

Mary Ward Heap Savage was a true pioneer, a special lady, faithful and true to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the end of her days. ____________________________________


David Leonard Savage And Mary Ward Heap Savage, By Earl Max Sudweeks, Ph.D, a Great Grandson

David Leonard Savage and Mary Ward Heap Savage came from different parts of the Great British Empire but were drawn together by the Gospel of Jesus Christ as they gathered to the mountains of Zion. They have given us a heritage for which we can be proud and one for which we can be thankful.

David Leonard Savage was born 25 July 1810 at Johnstown, Leeds County, Ontario, Canada to Roger Savage and Phoebe Stevens Savage, the fifth child of a family of nine children. John Savage, the third Great Grandfather of David was born in England in the year of 1627 and came to America as a young man where he married Elizabeth Dubbin (or Dublin) on 10 Feb 1652 at Hartford, Connecticut. The Savage family were among the first families to settle New England with many of the Savage families living in and around Middletown, Connecticut (see Appendix A). Prior to the Revolutionary War and after the birth of Roger Savage in 1763 at Hartford, Connecticut, Roger’s father, William Savage moved his family to Johnstown, Canada. During this period of time a lot of people who remained loyal to the British Crown moved from the United States to Canada and this may have been the reason for their move also.

Little is known of David’s early life at this writing, but he grew to adulthood in the Johnstown area of Canada and married there for the first time. His first wife was Theodocia Finch and they were married 5 Feb 1834. Their daughter, Polly Amanda, was born 23 Aug 1836 at York, but Theodocia died 23 Oct 1836, probably as a result of complications due to child birth.

Where material has been quoted the original spelling and punctuation have been maintained. According to David’s Autobiographical Sketch (DLS A), “I first heard of the Gospel while still in Canada.” This possibly as a result of the missionary work of Joseph Smith or other of the General Authorities (History of the Church 1:421). However, he further states that “I joined the Church in July 1840 while at Walnut Grove, Knox County, Illinois, being baptized and ordained an Elder by Jehial Savage,” (DLS A) his brother. David’s stay at Walnut Grove was probably only a visit as the following fall he was at Nauvoo, Illinois where he married Mary Abigail White, 17 Oct 1841. Their first child, John Roger was born 5 Dec 1842 at Nauvoo. His daughter, Polly Amanda, by his first wife, also came to Nauvoo and lived with her father and his new family.

David suffered the same hardships as most of the early day Saints as he was called to leave his young family and go on a mission for the Church to Michigan in August of 1853, leaving them with little to meet their needs. He returned by April Conference of 6 Apr 1844. However, at this Conference he was ordained a Seventy in the Second Quorum and called on a second mission. “I was called to go and electioneer for the Prophet Joseph as President of the United States. I traveled in Michigan and Indiana and continued preaching, after the prophets Martyrdom at Nauvoo. I baptized a number upon this mission, The Lord working some mighty cures under my hands.” On their third wedding anniversary their baby John Roger died, but new hope came to their Nauvoo home on 1 Jan 1845 with the birth of a daughter, Margaret Elizabeth.

Following his second mission David worked on the Nauvoo Temple. An account of the living of the men and their families and working conditions of the men who labored on the Temple is taken from the Journal of Luman Andrus Shurtliff:

I had helped lay the foundation of our Temple in Nauvoo and now wished to do something more towards the building of it. Accordingly, I went to the Temple Committee and hired to them to work on a boat to boat rock, timber and wood. I here got provisions to keep my family alive and that is all I expected. The committee did the best they could but they had nothing better in their hand to give us. We labored ten hours a day, day after day, on and in the water and at night go to the Temple office and get something to take to our families for supper and breakfast. Many times we got a half pound of butter or three pounds of fish, beef, and nothing to cook with it. Sometimes a peck of cornmeal or a few pounds of flour and before any more provisions would come into the office the hands that worked steady would sometimes be entirely out of provisions and have to live on herbs, boiled without any seasoning except salt, or parched corn or anything we could get to sustain us. I had some milk from my cow and by putting in half water and if we could get corn or meal, we could live well for these times. For breakfast we would eat a little of this mush and then take a pint of milk in a bottle and some mush in a cup for dinner, go to the boat at six and at noon eat dinner and thank God that I and my family were thus blessed. And often work until dark before I could get home. Then if our cows did not come home, we had to take our mush along and thank God that we were thus blessed.

The reader may think the above mentioned scarcity of privision was confined to may family. Not so, my family was as well off s the majority of my neighbors. I have seen those that cut stone by the year east nothing but parched or browned corn for breakfast and take some in their pockets for their dinner and go to work singing the songs of Zion. I mention this not to find fault or to complain but to let my children know how the Temple in Nauvoo was built, and how their parents as well as hundreds of others suffered to lay a foundation on which they could build and be accepted of God.

A great portion of the time sickness or death was in nearly every habitation and some of the time in addition, we had to gird our arms at night and guard the Temple, our streets, landings, and our authorities to keep the enemy from destroying our brethren and our buildings and works and thus break us up or frustrate the work and establishing of this place.

David’s autobiography indicated, “In the winter of 1846 Mary A. and I received our endowments in this temple.” David further states:

In May 1846 I moved my family to Benton’s Fort on the Des Moines River where I made up an outfit to come west with and from there to Saup Creek where we wintered. I was placed to preside over the little Branch there. At this place our daughter Margaret Elizabeth died. Our daughter May Theodocia was born 28 Feb 1847. It being a very hard winter I lost part of my team. May 1st we left for Winter Quarters stopping awhile at Mosquito Creek arriving at the place of our destination about the first of June.


With the first companies of we started for the valleys traveling in Bro. P.P. Pratts company arriving at S.L. City Sept 24, 1847. Here our son David was born July 11, 1849 and we lived here till 1850 when moved to Lehi where our daughter Sarah Maranda was born April 24, 1851. In the winter of 1853 & 1854 I stopped in Salt Lake City and worked upon the public work. While here our daughter Ellen Maria was born March 4, 1854. In the fall following being called I moved to Cedar and labored through the winter upon the tithing office. In the winter of 1855 I managed a pack train of mules carrying provisions for a man by the name of Leach down on the Muddy and the Clara of whom I took a contract to carry mail to California, making a trip from San Bernardino to Salt Lake City one every two months. (DLS A).

During this time their daughter Annie Eliza was born at Cedar City on 17 Dec 1856.

The Indians were very hostile and it was thought to be as much a mans life was worth to (go) through that region of the country but I escaped unharmed. This contract lasted about 8 months. After which I made several trips to California freighting till 1857 I was called to take charge of a company to go to San Bernardino to aid the saints to move to the valleys, meeting many difficulties, hardships and loss return to Holden in April. (DLS A).

During David’s mail runs between Salt Lake City and California, the Church established a settlement at Las Vegas, Nevada led by William Bringhurst, President. These people had a most difficult time trying to start crops in the alkali soil and intense heat. Under these discouraging times mail was most appreciated as stated in a letter from John Steel to Apostle Geroge A. Smith:

According to your request I take up my pen and first acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated August 28 1855; by the hand of Brother Savage, the mail carrier. I should here say some word in favor of the mail carriers, Messrs. Savage, Hope, and Conger, who have [aided] us very much in bringing us letters and parcels for which I, as an individual, in connection with the rest of my [people], tender my warmest thanks and best wishes for their future welfare.

We temporarily leave David Savage while we turn our attentions to Mary Ward.


Mary Ward was born 6 Dec 1829 in Swinton, Lancashire County, England near Manchester to George Ward and Isabella Ward as the fifth child in a family of six children. George and Isabella were second cousins. While Mary was still a small child her family moved to near-by Pendlebury, where her two younger brothers were born. Mary’s older sister Hannah married William Heap of Manchester, a young man who, along with his father, owned a series of shoe stores in the area. About this time the missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made their first effort in the Manchester area (History of the Church 4:76). Manchester, at the time, was once of the large centers of England. William and Hannah were among the first converts in Manchester being baptized in November of 1839. Seven months later in June of 1840, Isabella Ward and her four younger children were also baptized. William and Hannah decided to join the body of the Saints in America and thus made their way to Nauvoo, Illinois arriving in November of 1841. They stayed in Nauvoo for a year but all during this time they and their little son Parley Whittaker Heap suffered from fevers and chills, which prevented William from working. When their money ran out William’s father financed their return to England in Feb. 1843 (Information to follow taken from DUP report by Ila L. Bauer, a Great Grand Duaghter of Mary Ward).

Upon their arrival back in England they lived in Tadcliff where William ran a shoe store for his father. During this time they were very active in the Church and were responsible for converting and baptizing many into the Church. However, it was finally concluded that they should return to America to be with the Saints. Mary’s mother, Isabella, also decided to join the body of the Church, so taking her four unmarried children, Barbara, Mary, Edward and George, they joined with William and Hannah and their two sons for the trip. Travel was booked on the sailing vessel “Masconomo” and as they were leaving the harbor at _____ on 19 Jan 1849, Hannah delivered their third son, William, Jr. Hannah’s mother Isabella, a nurse, and the ship’s Doctors did all they could but Hannah grew weaker as the journey continued. Upon their arrival at New Orleans, April 2nd, it was concluded that they all remain in the city until Hannah recovered. Hannah got steadily worse though, and on 18 April 1849 she died and was laid to rest in the old Catholic [mausoleum] in the seventh grave from the top. William was so grateful that his wife’s family was along to assist him under such trying circumstances.

The Heap and Ward [family] boarded the riverboat “Mamalude” for passage up the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers to Council Bluffs, Iowa. The trip was slow as the boat could travel only during the daytime, as there was so much danger of hitting into the timber and other debris floating in the river. On the second day of the trip, 4 May 1849, baby William go cholera, died and was buried in the bank of the Mississippi River, one mile below the Red River Landing. With so much cholera on board the boat and so many people dying as a result, it kept many busy building boxes to bury the dead.

Sorrow struck for the third time on the trip as Mary’s younger brother George, Jr., contracted the dreaded cholera after playing in the woods with some of the young boys while the boat stopped for the night. By morning he was failing fast and before night he was dead. The same night, 11 May 1849, he was buried in the riverbank at Pratt’s Bend, just two miles below St. Mary’s Landing. The third loved one to be laid to rest in less than a month.

On the evening of 12 May 1849 the traveling group reached St. Louis, Missouri where they were greeted by a number of old friends from England who were also in the process of joining the Saints at Council Bluffs. On this same evening William Heap and Mary Ward were married. The plans were to stay in St. Louis for a while and work as their money was nearly gone, but they discovered that cholera and other diseases were prevalent in the area so they concluded to proceed directly to the Bluffs. The passage cost $5.00 per adult and $2.50 per child, which took all of their money. The boat trip is described by Willaim and Mary in a letter they sent to relatives back in England. “As luck would have it, we left St. Louis a few hours before the terrible fire, which burned for weeks. We saw the heavens light up, as it were, when we were hundreds of miles away.” Cholera broke out on this boat, like the other one, sending many to a premature grave.

Upon their arrival at Council Bluffs, they settled at Kanesville. William took Mary’s older sister Barbara as a plural wife shortly after their arrival. Of necessity, all of the family went to work. Both Mary and Barbara did house work, while their mother, Isabella Ward, did nursing for $1.00 per week (4 shilling, two pence). William obtained 40 acres and planted 15 acres of vegetables. He was amazed at how well the crops grew and he was very proud of his success.

Mary worked as long as she was able to but as the time for the arrival of her first child’s birth approached she had to quit. Her husband’s diary indicates, “On 14 March 1850, Thursday, at 25 minutes to three A.M. Mary’s first child was born in Kanesville, Iowa. We will name him George.” On 3 November 1850, the other wife, Barbara, had her first child, James, also born at Kanesville.

Mary’s mother, Isabella, and her 18-year-old brother, Edward, left for the West with the Parker family in the Spring of 1851, but it wasn’t until May 1852 that William, Mary, Barbara and their [children] were able to go West. The Heap family traveled with the Vincent Shurtliff Company and the Heap outfit consisted of, “Two wagons, four excellent yoke of oxen, six good milk cows, a good full years supply of provisions and seed to plant when they reach their destination.” By this time the Heap family consisted of William, his two boys by Hannah, Parley Whittaker and Joseph, as well as his two wives, Mary with her son George and Barbara with her son James. They encountered many of the difficulties of the Pioneers but due to their thorough preparation, their [trip] was easier than some experienced.

The Heap family seemed to be a happy group as William often ably played the clarinet while Mary accompanied him with her beautiful singing voice. Some of their favorite songs were: Creeping Jane, Old Folks at Home, Home Sweet Home, I’m Going Home, The Old Brown Pants, and several Old English songs. They arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah on 2 Oct 1852, a few days prior to General Conference. They were please to be able to attend Conference, hear the Prophet and other General Authorities speak and also to renew old friendships with ones who had arrived earlier from their area of England.

A dream was realized on 16 October 1852 when William took both Mary and Barbara to the Endowment Hours where they all received their Endowments and he had them sealed to him. Salt Lake City had been their intended destination but after three weeks of rest the General Authorities advised them to travel to Parowan to make their permanent home. Parowan was expected to become a great industrial center because of the great [amounts] of iron ore deposits in the mountains West of Cedar.

Their animals were weary and foot sore from crossing the Plains but they were promised that if they would travel the extra distance, they would arrive with their animals in better condition than when they left. Believing, they traveled for another six weeks through the cold of the winter season and arrived at Parowan just before Christmas with the promise fulfilled.

Upon their arrival at Parowan they were thrilled to be reunited with Mary’s and Barbara’s mother, Isabella, and their younger brother Edward Heap, as they also, had been advised to settle here. A house was the first [need] and that was solved when William formed a partnership with a shoemaker from England. The deal included three log houses and 13 and one half acres of land, all of which they got for trading two milk cows. With leather William had brought from Kanesville, the new partnership became successful from the start.

Adjoining their land to the South, a large spring seeped out from under the hill, which when cleaned out gave a good supply of water for irrigation. As soon as spring came a garden was planted and the Heap family experienced their first use of irrigation. A few sheep were acquired to supply wool for the family. Mary and Barbara washed, corded and spun the wool into yarn then wove the yarn into course cloth or knitted it into stockings or other types of clothing. From the cows milk they were able to make their own butter and cheese. From straw they gleaned from the fields, they made hats for the children and themselves. They also gleaned wheat from the field for cereal and to grind for flour, but gleaning was difficult as the wheat was cut by a hand scythe, which left little for the gleaners. As time went on they also made gloves, mittens, wristlets and worsteds. From the mutton tallow, they made soap and candles. Both were anxious to learn all of the thrifty ways they could care for their homes and their families. Of their cheese, William wrote to his father saying, “I wish you could taste their cheese. It is as good as any Cheshire Cheese.” While they lived in Parowan Mary gave birth to their second childe Mary Ellen.

Farming and shoemaking did not occupy all of William’s time as he made a number of freighting trips to California and this country made a deep impression on him. After two and one half years at Parowan he, along with others, decided to move to the land of no winters. The party consisted of 15 wagons with William as Captain. The group set out in the Fall of 1854 and arrived at Cajon Pass on Christmas Eve. The Heap family had one pound, 12 shillings of English currency when they got to San Bernardino but they got a log home and 12 acres for $144.00, which they paid off on installments. With the same hard work and dedication they earlier applied to their affairs, they prospered in California. With prosperity though, Mary began to feel uneasy and worried about her children falling from the Gospel for which she had traveled half-way around the world.

Johnston’s Army was approaching Utah, which caused the Church Authorities to advise all of the members from the outlying settlements to return to the safety of the mountain valleys. William and Barbara decided to stay in California but Mary felt her religion was worth more than the riches of the world, so she determined to return to Parowan even though she was expecting again. President Brigham Young sent freighters to assist the families to return and the one who took charge of the group taking Mary, her son George and her daughter Mary Ellen, was David Leonard Savage. The journey of the travel group must have been one of the most difficult, with Mary in her condition riding a jostling wagon across the desert during July and August, the hottest part of the year. Three weeks after Mary and her family returned to the shelter of the Church, her mother Isabella and brother Edward, she gave birth to twin boys John Henry Heap and Charles Harbon Heap on 20 August 1857 at Parowan, Utah.

Mary continued to have difficult times as there was no such thing as child support or other type of government assistance, so she had to do the best she could for herself and her four children. Mary indicates in her autobiography (MWHS A), “Though he (William Heap) visited me after ward trying to get me to leave the Church with him which I could not think of. We separated in spring of 1859.”

David states, “Mary Ward Heap of Parowan and I concluded to walk lifes ways together” (DLS A). They were married in February of 1859 but there is no record of this plural marriage except on genealogy sheets submitted for Temple work. The letter to follow shows the date to be prior to 17 February 1859. The marriage seems to have been performed without permission of David’s other wife, Mary A. White Savage, who was residing at Cedar Springs (Holden) at the time. The two Mary’s were acquainted as indicated in the letter exchanged between them after the marriage.

Cedar Springs, Feb 17, 1859

Dear Mary: I drop a few lines to let you no that we are all well. I was happy to find Mary Ann glad of what took place with us at your place. She was glad that we married and thinks we would get along first rate. She is like you, she thinks it would be better for each one to have a room to themselves. She would be glad to have you close by for company, so we all agree on this. My mind is unsettled. If I had time I would move you hear but circumstances forbids at present. I have bin at home to nights and expect to start for City tomorrow. Iwish you would tell Edward that I would like to have him go with me to California and drive one team, if he can tel him to rite as soon as he can. May Gos bless you all, good by, I remain your affectionate husband.

David Savage

On the reverse of the letter is note written from May Ann Savage of Holden to the new wife Mary Ward Heap Savage at Parowan.

Dear Mary: I sit down to write a few lines to you, not to find fault with you, It is all right and it was as well as if I had been there, and as far as I am concerned you are welcome into my family. I have the best of feelings towards you and have ever since I knew you. I agree with you that we had better live a little separate as we both have so many children and we could not be much help to each other, but I would like to have you live near me for company. I hope that we may all live in peace together and believe we shall. Accept my best respects and believe me, your affectionate sister.

Mary A. Savage


David moved his families around the Intermountain West frequently, as he followed his trade of freighting. By the time of the birth of Mary W.’s and David’s first baby, Isabella, on 28 October 1859 they, including the four Heap children, were living in Holden, Utah. In the spring of 1860 David left to take a group of General Authorities to Omaha, Nebraska so they could proceed on to England for missions. As he was returning he was assigned to bring a machine, the first to enter the Salt Lake Valley, and also to bring “some poor who were not able to help themselves. Among the passengers was Margret Evans Jones to whom I was untied Oct 9, 1860” (DLS A). Mary A. gave birth to Agnes Belzora on 29 June 1861 also at Holden but some time during 1862 at least Mary W.’s family moved to Cedar Fort, which is West of Utah Lake.

Johnston’s Army was situated a few miles South of Cedar Fort at Camp Floyd. Ila Bauer quotes Mary Ellen Heap with the following:

Sunflower ashes could be sold to the soldiers to make lye to clean their clothes. The children went out and gathered the sunflowers, let them dry and burned them. They had a good pile of ashes all piled up ready to sell when the rain came and washed they away. How they cried! The process was repeated but the ashes were sold as soon as they were accumulated and the children earned enough to buy each one a pair of shoes, the first she remembered of having.

Mary W.’s son David Edward was born at Cedar Fort, Utah on 29 December 1862.

In August 1863, Margret E. had a daughter but at this writing it is not clear where this family resided. David only states that they were married and nothing else is mentioned of the family in his autobiographical sketch.

During the Fall of 1863, David and at least part of his [family] were called, along with others, to go to Bear Lake to help settle Paris, Idaho. Apostle Charles C. Rich was the leader of this group and David worked as he was assigned in the new settlement. David’s name appears in the cornerstone of the Paris Stake Tabernacle along with the others who helped settle there. Mary W.’ son William Albert was born 29 November 1865 at Paris, Idaho. Mary Ellen tells of the children playing on the ice of the lake with great sport until she and her friend, Tidy Teeples, fell through a thin place. Tidy went under the ice but her long hair came undone and floated out so the boys could grab it to pull her to safety. Tidy was in worse shape but both of them nearly drowned.

While his [families] were in Paris, David went on at least one freighting trip to Arizona. Providing food for the children became a real problem, as the bears would eat whatever they grew in their garden. At one [point] Mary W. sent Mary Ellen to one of the neighbors to trade her only good dress for something to feed the children. The neighbor saw that they got food but would not take the dress in return. Ila Bauer indicated that George Heap and his brother Chalres Harbon Heap left the family and returned to Parowan following [an arrangement] between David and the boys. If this was the case, the Heap boys show up later to work with David in many assignments in many locations of Utah and Arizona.

While still in Paris, Mary Ellen had an experience with an Indian. He came to their cabin begging for some flour and when he was truthfully told him there was none, the Indian pulled a knife on her and started to chase her around the kitchen table. As she passed the cupboard she picked up the rolling pin and swiftly whacked the Indian over the head as hard as she could. Grabbing has head and yelling in pain he ran from the cabin back to the forest never to bother them again. (From Ward H. Turner, a grandson of Mary Ellen).

Mary A. gave birth to Lucy Estella on 18 December 1865 at Paris. In December 1866, Margret E. bore a son, Charles R., but the location of his birth is not indicated.

Hyrum, Utah in Cache Valley became the next home of at least Mary W.’s family during the year of 1868. She brought Franklin Parley into the world here 31 December 1868. In 1869, the family moved to Goshen on the South end of Utah Lake, and in 1870 they returned to Holden where Barbara Alice was born 1 August 1872. Moving was a chore. The cattle and any other livestock they may have had was driven by the boys, but the girls had to hold the chickens on their laps as they had no create for them.

David was called on a mission to Canada in 1874 to which he responded. While on his 13-month mission he gathered his genealogy back for 225 years, he indicated in his sketch.


Thomas Rice King, a man of considerable means, called a meeting at Fillmore, Utah on 30 December 1876 to organize his family and others into a United Order Organization as the United Order in Fillmore had not met his expectations. David Savage attended this meeting and gave “some seasonable remarks upon the United Order”. (Kingston United Order Journal, quotes to follow will be taken from this journal unless otherwise indicated). The organization was approved with Thomas R. King as President Pro. Tem. And Thomas E. King as Secretary Pro. Tem. “The meeting adjourned to meet again on the first day of May A.D. 1877 at Circle Valley at 10 A.M. for permanent organization.” The King family had previously obtained some land in Circle Valley and other land in Grass Valley.

“Bro David Savage & wife Mary H. & family arrived (at Circle Valley) from Prattville Mar 21, 1877.” On the appointed day a fairly large group of persons met at the home of William King (on the Brewer place) and fully organized themselves into the Kingston United Order. The Chairman briefly stated the purpose of the Order then called upon the Clerk to read the following preamble:

Whereas the Latter-day Saints have been counciled by the Prophet Seer and Revelator Brigham Young to enter into & carry out the principles of the United Order as revealed by the Lord through Joseph Smith as contained in the Doctrine Covenants. And whereas We are taught by the Apostles that we as a people cannot advance any farther in the things of the Kingdom of God only by entering into the United Order. And whereas we are told by Jesus Christ our Savior that unless we become one we are none of His. And whereas We are taught in the scriptures that you cannot become one in heavenly things unless you become one in earthly things. Therefore in order that we may advance by carrying out the instructions & councils of those who are appointed to lead and guide us in the ways of life & salvation & more fully accomplish the object of becoming one both spiritually and temporally. Be it resolved that we bind ourselves together by covenant & Promise to consecrate ourselves & all we possess unto the Lord not in name only but in deed & reality and furthermore be it Resolved That we will observe & carry out in our lives the rules that should be observed by members of the United Order as printed & distributed among the saints by the Presidency of the Church.

With this kind of deep feelings and motivation it is easier to see the commitment these people had for the United Order.

Thomas R. King was elected President with J. W. White as First Vice President, William King Second Vice President, Thomas E. King Secretary, M. W. Warner Treasurer and James Huff, David Savage and George Black as Directors. Seventeen Articles of Agreement were passed, which outlined the affairs of the Kingston United Order. The objectives of the organization were “for agricultural, _______, commercial and other industrial persuits and for the establishment and maintaining of Colleges, Seminaries, Churches, Libraries and other charitable and scientific associations.” Given their resources, the objectives seemed demanding.

Article Seven indicates that whomever joined the United Order would “bequeth, transfer and convey to the company all their rights, title and interest to whatever property whether personal or real estate that they now possed of or hearafter become possed of by legacy, will or otherwise…” The Board of Directors appointed a committee to receive goods and merchandise from the people entering the Order at the following prices:

Cows: $14.00

Yearlings: $5.00

2 year olds: $9.00

3 year olds: $14.00

4 year olds: $18.00

All men were to receive $1.00/day for their labors, and all women were to receive $0.50. Flour was at $3.00 cwt, beef 4 and one half cents/lb., potatoes $0.90/ bu., and owners of teams were to be credited $0.75/day. Persons joining the United Order did so by being re-baptized.

The permanent town site was located on the Ephraim Syrett claim about midway near the eastern line of his property. The block that we made our permanent building upon was 40 rods square. The first three rods around the outer edge is for building purposes. The dining hall is in the center of the block. There is a gateway on each side of the block.

The Kingston Branch of the Church was organized under the direction of the Sevier Stake leaders with William King as Bishop, he having been [set apart] for the assignment by Pres. Brigham Young at the previous April General Conference of the Church held in St. George. The Church was fully organized with Relief Society and youth officers as well.

On the Fourth of July the community held a celebration and a dance with David Savage as orator. Also the Board of Directors met and decided to purchase a reaper. David Savage was given the assignment to travel to Salt Lake City and obtain the reaper. On December 2, 1877, David moved Mary A. and family here from Cedar Springs to Kingston. The United States Post Office was established at Kingston on January 15, 1875 with Thomas E. King as Postmaster.

The United Order annual meeting was held on 1 May 1878 with the following progress report being given:

Capitol Stock of the United Order - $27,041.20

Flour consumed during 1877 - 33,937 lbs

Beef - 10,697 lbs

Cash paid out - $1,536.77

Work days by men of United Order - 5,171 days

Work days by women of United Order - 264 days

Work days by boys of United Order - 1,366 days

Money owed to individuals - $218.65

Money due from members - $160.24

A letter was read from Pres. Brigham Young advising the United Order against debt and promising greater blessings for those living the principle. David Savage then spoke upon the principle of the United Order, using the Millennial Star, Vol. 14 as the text of his discussion. All officers and Board Members were [reelected].

The Dining Hall was dedicated 17 Nov 1878 and by order of the Board, assignments were made for the community eating facility, which included, along with others, that Mary A. and Mary W. were to be in charge of companies of women to work in the kitchen. Meals were to be served at 6:30 A.M., 12:30 and 6:30 P.M. and there was to be no tea or coffee served. Apostle F. M. Lyman visited Kingston on 4 December 1878 and was the concluding speaker of a specially called meeting. David Savage being one of the other speakers.

Sometime in 1878, David Savage married Susan Black. An entry in the United Order Journal, dated 16 January 1879, indicates Susan Savage was selected to be Relief Society President, with Mary A. Savage as Second Counselor. It was reported that the new schoolhouse was completed and used for Ward meeting on 9 February 1879. There were 195 people residing in Kingston at the time. By March 10, one hundred acres West of town was ready for planting, and by the 20th, the canal was completed to the town site and water was available. When the annual meeting of the United Order was held on 1 May 1879, William King was elected President as his father Thomas Rice King had died. David Savage was [reelected] to the Board. The annual report shows remarkable progress, as examples: the saw mill had sawed 80,000 board feet of lumber and the women had woven 964 yards of home made cloth.

David Savage and Joel White freighted a gristmill to Kingston from Cedar City, arriving 12 July, and David Savage was elected Coroner for Piute County on 4 Aug 1879. William H. King, who later became a U.S. Senator from Utah, withdrew from the Order in July. Charles Savage was given an assignment to got to Marysvale for steel and blasting powder to be used to build the mill race for the gristmill at what is now Kingston. Charles is the son of David and Margaret, so possibly all four of David’s [wives] lived at Kingston at the same time. At a special meeting held 27 December 1879, David was elected Second Vice President of the United Order.

The gristmill was operating by January of 1880 with a capacity of nine bushels per hour. “Mr. Bryce of Cannonville was our first customer at the mill. He had 9 sacks.” On May first the usual United Order meeting was held with all officers being [reelected]. Some of the items listed in the annual report were: Membership of the Order was 177 persons and 13 dwelling homes were built at a cost of $55.00 each. More of the members wanted to withdraw from the order as time passed and David Savage requested to resign 17 September 1880, but the Order couldn’t agree upon a settlement. Two disinterested persons, Mr. Whittaker by the Order and Bro. Sudweeks by Bro. Savage, were [asked] to act as referees to hear the case. By 1 Nov 1880 an agreement was reached and David left with Mary A. and her family. They stayed in Panguitch then moved to Arizona.

Mary Ward Heap Savage stayed in the United Order where she did her assigned duties and cared for her family. She kept a notebook of the items the family obtained from the Order Store, and part of it is reproduced here so we are able to appreciate how she was in her accounting and also how frugal the family lived.


Entries of items obtained from Kingston United Order

Coal oil: 7

Needles: 1 doz

Blueing: 1

Sewing needles: 1 doz darning

Shirt buttons: 1 lot

Paper pins: 1 doz

Pant buttons and half yard Demmings

2 pound roll

1 bottle of oil

4 1/2 pounds quilt wool

1 pair needles

1 spool thread

1 ball candle wicking

Five cents worth of alum

Five cents worth of terpentine

2 pounds of rolls

59 pounds of beef at 6 cent per lb.

Blue hargg hues in beef on water bill: $3.63

Let Will Thorton: $5.80 in beef

Let David Turner: 4 lbs of hind quarter

Kingston folks quit eating to thay Hall on Wednesday dec the first. John H. Heap and mane White was married Nov 3 Wednesday 1880. David Savage Started to Arizona on Wednesday Dec they 8 1880. Issabellas Baby was born April 14 Thursday 1881 in they morning about a quarter past eleven at Kingson Piute County. Barbara Alice Savage was baptized Sunday June 26, 1881 By Bro Thomas Day and was confirmed at thay waters edge by Volney King when she was eight years and eleven months old at Kingston Piute County.

Shoe Shop 1880

Albert one pair may 6

Edward one pair

John H. one pair May 8

Barbara one pair June 12

Mary Savage shoes half soled June 10

Parley one pair of shoes August the 15

Mrs. Mary W. Savage one shoes Jan 23, 1881

Barbara got her shoes half soled Feb 8, 1881

Parley got a pair Feb 9 1881

Albert one pair Feb 11 1881

Barbara 1 pair April 16 1881

Taylor Account

1180 Jens account

March 10: 1 yd Jeans - $1.00

Also contained in this notebook was an autobiographical sketch in Mary’s own handwriting.


I was born in Swinton near Manchester England December 1829. Joined the church in Pentlebury England; was married to William Heap in St. Louis, where our son was born March 14, 1850; emigrated to the valley in 1850; settled in Parowan where Mary Ellen was born July 17, 1853, also our sons Charles Harbon and John Henry born August 20, 1857 at Parowan previous to the birth of my twins he left me and went to California. Though he visited me after ward trying to get me to leave the church with him, which I could not think of. We separated in the spring of 1859. David Savage and I was married. Isabella was born October 28, 1859 at Holden, Utah. David Edward born December 29, 1882 at Cedar Fort, Utah. Wm Albert born November 29, 1865 at Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho. Parley Franklin born December 31, 1886 at Hirum, Cash County, Utah. Barbara Alice born August 1, 1872 at Holden, Millard County, Utah.

One of the assigned tasks for Mary and her family prior to and following the departure of David was to take their turn at the dairy. The cows were usually kept at Grass Valley where the Otter Creek is now located, but during the summer season the Antimony Creek and the old log cabin was still standing when the author was in the area as a Boy Scout in about 1950. The cows were milked and the milk processed into butter and cheese, products which could be stored as well as transported for sale, usually to the mines in Nevada. Barbara, a daughter of May, has given us an account of the dairy operation as follows:

We usually had from 50 to 75 cows to milk and the sun seldom caught us with the cows in the corral unmilked. We would make cheese every day except Sunday then we would set the milk for butter. We had to take our butter and cheese to Elsinore to sell it. Cheese was 15 cents/lb and butter 10 cents. We got along all right on that wage too. We would sometimes have a cow get into a spring hole, but that made no difference to we girls. We had a horse and outfit all waiting to pull them out, especially Clair and I were always ‘Johnny on the spot.’ We would get things ready and then speak to the old horse Bell and out they would come.

A description of a like dairy operation located on Mammoth Creek, near Cedar Breaks, is taken from History of Parowan and the Iron County Mission and written by Eleanor G. Bruhn about her Grandparents, John and Emily Lowder.

[There was] the homey nest of log cabins among the pines and aspens, the large meadow, the meandering stream, the clump of willows, the rip rap fences, the cattle, multicolored wild flowers and the lake by the knoll.

There were gates to be opened and closed, neatly hung on hinges of pioneer make and fastened in a sturdy style.

There was the log house, the milk house, vat house, Uncle Lew’s house and house surrounded by a strong log fence about three or four logs high, keeping out the animals.

The dooryards were swept and cleaned; the needles and cones, which fell from the sheltering pines we removed from the expansive yard daily.

There was a stream of cold clear water running thru logs, which have been hued to a “V”. Following the stream in the logs to its head we found a beautiful spring. It together with the flume was fenced (to insure cleanliness). Deer and other animals (there were bear, too) were forced to go to nearby streams of spring to get their water. The only living things who shared the water with us were the creeping and flying animals, like the saucy [foxes], the shy squirrel or the cocky birds. They chirped and chattered and screamed away as if to say, ‘we were here first.’

Health inspectors were unknown in those days but we are sure that the ranch would have passed the test. The milk house was clean and cool with a dirt roof having grass growing on it, the same as the other buildings. Smoke curled from the stove pipes in these roofs, rising through the tall pines to the clear blue sky. Posts were set inside the milk house, reaching from the dirt floor to the ceiling. On these posts were nailed pairs of slats on which the milk pans could be set alternating the pans east and west, and north and south. ‘Twas a pretty sight to see the posts when filled with bright tin milk pans. This happened usually on Sunday, for on the Sabbath no cheese was made and the milk was ‘set’ for butter to be used by the family, or put in crocks for winter.

Grandpa had also built a rack out in the sun for the pans to be ‘sunned’ in during the week.

Churning day was really a job. Getting the cream too cold makes on churn for hours, getting the cream too warm makes soft butter and grandma had a horror of soft butter. The coloring too, must be just right. She had a strong dislike for yellow butter.

Now the vat house was chief wonder to us. As it were, we can see the vat full of milk heating with the vat of water beneath it—a giant double boiler, heated by a wood fire. She would add rennin and color and watch the thermometer; cut it with the cheese knife. Have you ever seen a cheese knife? A family of knives together. How pretty the curd looked cut in squares and the green whey starting to ooze out thru the cracks. She tests—not yet—she test—ok—now the curd can be turned and worked gently by hand and arm, the whey can be drained, the sale can be added, and did you ever taste anything so good in your life as that curd.

Now it is ready for the press. Grandpa made that press, yes sir, he was handy and smart. Hurrah! There is more than one hoop full—Two cheeses today! ‘Press it lightly at first’, she says then add a little more pressure later.


In addition to her regular duties at the Kingston United Order, Mary had time to do some visiting. Recorded in the United Order Journal for 30 December 1881 is the following: “Mary W. Savage & family returned from Holden where they have been visiting for most of the summer.” Mary’s oldest daughter Mary Ellen Heap married and lived in Holden so this is where the family had been visiting, apparently. Included in the Journal entry for 31 November 1882 is the information that “J.H. Heap and Edward Savage returned from Arizona and went to Millard,” possibly, to visit their mother. The 10 march 1883 entry indicated, “Edward Savage is going to Cedar Springs as his mother is very ill.” Finally the entry for 16 March 1883 states, “A telegram was received from Issabella King from Holden, her mother is very sick.”

Whatever the illness was that Mary had, she lived to return to Kingston and died at the home of her daughter Issabella King 17 October 1883. She is buried on the farm of a Grandson, Alton D. Sudweeks at Kingston, Utah.


In the book, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, it is stated that David was a missionary among the Indian people on the Salt River at Mesa. This was apparently prior to their removal to Snowflake where he lived out the remainder of his life. Mary A.’s family moved with him and also John Henry Heap moved his family to Snowflake. These people remain prominent in the area even today. Mary A. Savage indicated, in the book, Our Pioneer Heritage, that “David met a tragic death at the hands of a Mexican sheepherder.” David’s youngest daughter, Barbara, always maintained that he was at home, sitting in a rocking chair when he died. The Church records indicate that he died 6 April 1886 and that he is buried at Snowflake. David Leonard Savage lived under circumstances we don’t fully appreciate today. Plural marriage may have given some different relationships between husband and wife than we accept today but it seems odd that David never did return to see Mary Ward Heap Savage after he moved to Arizona. Whatever the situation was, we can be thankful for the heritage they gave us.

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Mary Ellen Heap's Timeline

December 6, 1829
Manchester, UK
March 14, 1850
Age 20
Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
July 17, 1853
Age 23
Parowan, Iron County, Utah Territory, United States
August 20, 1857
Age 27
Parowan, UT, USA
August 20, 1857
Age 27
Parowan, UT, USA
October 28, 1859
Age 29
Holden, Millard County, UT, USA
December 29, 1862
Age 33
Cedar Fort, Utah County, UT, USA
November 29, 1865
Age 35
Preston, ID, USA
December 31, 1868
Age 39
Hyrum, UT, USA