Sgt William Hyde

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About Sgt William Hyde

William Hyde, first Bishop of Hyde Park, Cache county, Utah, was born Sept. 11, 1818, in the town of York, Livingston county, New York, son of Heman Hyde and Polly W. Tilton.

When he was seven years old his father left the town of York and settled in the town of Freedom, Cattaraugus county, in the same State. That being a new country, he cleared the timber from the land and improved a large farm. He also carried on a considerable business in wool carding and cloth dressing.

In 1830-31 the family, which in respectability and wealth occupied a good social position, first heard of the Book of Mormon and of the great latter-day work, through Warren A. Cowdery, whose farm joined theirs. Through his brother Oliver he obtained some proof sheets of the Book of Mormon, which were also read with great interest by Mr. Heman Hyde.

In 1833 Elders were preaching through the country, and Heman Hyde and his son William, hearing the gospel, believed it and were baptized April 7, 1834. Soon afterward they were followed by the whole family, which in February, 1836, moved to Kirtland, Ohio. In the spring of 1838 William left his father's house and traveled 1800 miles to the State of Missouri, where he located in the town of Far West. There he suffered with the Saints in their terrible persecutions, and left Far West in December, 1838, for Quincy, Illinois, with the satisfaction that he had done all in his power for the protection and good of his people. Here he found his parents, who had left Kirtland in September and gone into Missouri, but were soon compelled by the mob to leave.

In October, 1839, he cast his lot with his people as one of the founders of the city of Nauvoo, where he, at a conference of the Saints, was ordained an Elder, and on the 6th of the following month, with Elder Dusette for a companion, he started on his first mission. In accordance with the ancient apostolic method, he traveled without purse and scrip, and preached the gospel through the States of Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. After an absence of about three months he returned to Nauvoo. At a conference held in that city April 7, 1840, he was ordained a Seventy, and soon afterwards he started on a mission to the State of Maine, in company with Elder Herrrett.

He visited Kirtland and preached in the Temple. Traveling and preaching, as opportunity offered, he and his companion arrived on the Fox Islands; off Penobscot bay, in the State af Maine. There they were very successful in proselyting to the truth, and there also Elder Hyde and his companion had an attack of the typhus fever. He recovered, but his companion died. He continued his labors in the State of Maine until March 28, 1840, when he commenced his return journey to Nauvoo.

Falling in with a company of traveling Saints he journeyed with them a few days, and, for the first time, saw Miss Elizabeth H. Bullard, whom he afterwards married. He arrived at Quincy, Ill., April 30, 1841. Near this place his father resided, and with him he remained the most of the season. Feb. 23, 1842, he married Miss Bullard, his former traveling acquaintance.

The following summer, in connection with his father, he labored to make a home in the new city of Nauvoo. At the October conference, of the same year, he was again called to labor in the ministry. On the 23rd of the month, after taking leave of family and friends, in company with Benjamin S. Wilber, he traveled to the State of Vermont, as usual preaching and baptizing by the way. He visited the old family home in that State and found many relatives, to whom he delivered the message of salvation.

In April, 1843, he parted with his companion and returned to Nauvoo, where he arrived about the middle of June. On his way home he visited that ever memorable spot, the hill Cumorah. But a short time was allotted him in which to enjoy the pleasure of home, for he started on a mission to the State of New York Sept. 23, 1843. He was again eminently successful in his labors. Learning through a notice in the "Times and Seasons" that he had been appointed a mission to Vermont, in company with Elder Erastus Snow, he started for his new field of labor May 5, 1844.

At the town of Lynden, on the last day of June and the first of July, a conference of the Saints was held, in which they were instructed as to the course they should pursue in the ensuing presidential election. Thus was Bro. Hyde, in connection with many other Elders, identified with the political moves of the Prophet Joseph just before his death. He and Elder Snow, feeling impressed that serious trouble was upon the Saints in Nauvoo, determined to return to that place.

On the 8th of July Elder Hyde parted with the Saints, crossed the Green Mountains and reached Whitehall on the 9th. There they learned of the assassination of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. At Buffalo Elder Hyde fell in with six of the Apostles who were also on their way to Nauvoo to "comfort Zion" in its hour of peril. He arrived there on the 6th of August. In the stirring events which followed he sustained the quorum of the Apostles as the legitimate head of the Church.

At the following October conference he was ordained one of the presidents of the 8th quorum of Seventy. In January, 1845, he was sent in the interests of the Church to the States of Mississippi and Alabama. He was absent about two months. He spent a part of the ensuing season in laboring on the Temple, in which he received the blessings of the faithful, and afterwards assisted in bestowing them upon others, until Feb. 8, 1846. In company with his parents and other relatives, he left Nauvoo May 18, 1846, and followed the trail of the traveling "Camps of Israel" to Council Bluffs, where he arrived on the 12th of July. He was in time to prove his patriotism by joining that immortal body of men, the Mormon Battalion, and was mustered into service in the company of Captain Jesse D. Hunter as second sergeant on the 16th of July. On the same day the company was marched eight miles to the Missouri river.

On the 17th he returned to the camp in which his family was located, and in describing the situation, he says: "The thoughts of leaving my family at this critical time are indescribable. Far from the land which we had once called civilized, with no dwelling save a wagon, with the scorching mid-summer sun beating upon them, with the prospect of the cold December blast finding them in the same place. My family at this time consisted of a wife and two children, the eldest of which was but three and a half years old, and the situation of my wife was such as to require, if ever, the assistance and watch-care of her companion."

July 31st the Battalion commenced its march for Fort Leavenworth, where it arrived August 1st. On the 13th of August Pro. Hyde, and his comrades, commenced their historic march to the Pacific coast with the thermometer at 101 degrees in the shade and 130 degrees in the sun. From this time until the Battalion was mustered out of service, at Los Angeles, California, July 16, 1847, the personal history of Bro. Hyde is included in its general history. He was one with many of his companions who were desirous at once of returning to their families and to the body of the Church.

On the 20th of July they organized into companies of hundreds and fifties for the purposes of defense and assistance in traveling homeward. Bro. Hyde was chosen captain of the first fifty. They started on their journey on the 23rd, crossed the Sierra Nevada Mountains Sept. 5th, and on the 7th met Captain Brown, who was in charge of the detachment which returned from Santa Fe to winter at Pueblo. He came direct from Great Salt Lake valley and brought letters to most of the brethren, and also a letter of counsel from the heads of the Church. By letters from his family Elder Hyde learned the sad news of the death of his only sister, at Council Bluffs, from a lingering sickness caused by exposure. As if to measurably compensate for his grief, he also learned that a son had been born to him.

On the 3rd of October he reached Fort Hall, about two hundred miles north of Great Salt Lake valley and over seven hundred miles, by the route the party had traveled from Sutter's Fort. From there, without so much as an Indian trail to guide them, they arrived at the camp of the Saints, in Great Salt Lake valley, Oct. 12, 1847. Elder Hyde did not, like some of his companions, find his family there, and determined at once to cross the plains to Winter Quarters, where it had remained. After all his toils, he rested but two days and these were days of preparation.

Oct. 15th he left the Valley, in company with sixteen others, for the Missouri river. The party passed Fort Bridger on the 19th, having traveled 118 miles. On the 20th, as a forerunner of the coming winter, the snow fell two inches. On the 5th, 6th and 7th of November the weather was exceedingly cold, making it necessary to use great exertions to keep from freezing. On the 8th they reached Fort Laramie, where they were very hospitably received. When they left the timber on the Platte river on the 11th, the snow was from eight to twelve inches deep. There were 200 miles to travel with only such fires as could be made with "buffalo chips" obtained from under the snow. On the 19th they came to timber. The weather was now stormy and cold and extremely unpleasant even to men inured to hardship. Arriving at the south fork of the Platte it was impossible to cross at the usual ford on account of high water and running ice. The party were therefore compelled to travel twelve or fifteen miles, over very bad ground, to the forks of the stream. There much difficulty was encountered. Elder Hyde first crossed both streams on foot. In one he had to swim. The water was extremely cold with ice running.

After all the hardships that it would seem men could possibly endure, the party reached Winter Quarters on the 11th of December, a bitter cold day. This party was the first of the Battalion that returned to that place. On the 12th Elder Hyde crossed the Missouri river to Council Point where he found his family and father's house. It took him some time to recover from the hardship and hunger he had endured. In the spring of 1849 he started with his family, in company with his brother Rosel, for Great Salt Lake valley. He was appointed captain of a company of sixty-three wagons, under Mr. Gully, the captain of the hundred. With the exception that several of the company died with the cholera in the forepart of the journey, the trip was ordinarily successful, Elder Hyde arriving in the Valley Sept. 22, 1849. For some time after his arrival he was employed by the pioneer firm of Livingston and Kinkead.

At a special conference of the Church held in Salt Lake City Aug. 28, 1852, he was called to go on a mission to Australia. On the 20th of October he took leave of his family and started on his long journey, by what was then known as the southern route to California. Dec. 3rd he arrived at the camp of the Saints, at San Bernardino, California. On the 17th he left San Bernardino. After a nine days' voyage from San Pedro, he arrived in the city of San Francisco. After spending some time in obtaining funds to meet the further expenses of the journey, he, with the Elders' destined for the same field of labor sailed from San Francisco Feb. 2, 1853. After a prosperous voyage and several days spent in quarantine, on account of there having been smallpox on board the vessel during the voyage, Elder Hyde, with his missionary companions, arrived in the port of Sydney, New South Wales, April 9, 1853. There he labored faithfully and with gratifying results, under Pres. Augustus Farnham, in the duties of his calling.

At a conference of the Saints held in Sydney, Jan. 1, 1854, he was called to take charge of a company of Saints who were soon to start for Zion. Some change appeared necessary, as his health was failing through excessive labors and the heat of the climate. The company about to emigrate were from the district where Elder Hyde had principally labored. "Zion's Watchman," the organ of the Saints in New South Wales, speaking of those about to emigrate, said: "The company is under the charge of Elder William Hyde, who during the past year has labored faithfully, diligently and perseveringly in the Hunter's river district. His labors have been blessed; many obeyed the gospel, and are gathering with him. He goes hence with the full confidence and approbation of all true Saints."

He sailed from New Castle on the barque "Julia Ann," with a company of 63 Saints, March 22, 1854. The voyage was a prosperous one. After being at sea about three months the company was safely landed at San Pedro, California Elder Hyde went at once to the colony of Saints at San Bernardino, and engaged teams to bring the emigrants to that place. A description of his journey home across the desert is best given in the following extract from his journal: "I remained in San Bernardino, until the 27th of July, then left for Great Salt Lake valley, in company with the mail carriers. We had mules for both riding and packing. The weather was excessively hot, and my health being much impaired, I soon discovered that I could accomplish the journey only through much suffering. On the fifth day of our travels it seemed that I must give over, as my body was racked with the most excruciating pain, accompanied with a scorching fever.

"We traveled 55 miles. O, may it never be my lot to experience another such a day! Before we came to our place of encampment, I became so exhausted that I fell from my mule, and was hardly sensible that I was falling, until I struck the ground. The brethren in the company supposed that my journey had ended. On the evening of the sixth day we were attacked by a company of some thirty or forty Indians near Resting Springs. We had a severe round with them, and succeeded in getting away, but not without the loss of one mule and one of the mail bags. Brother Powell was severely wounded in the hip with an arrow; my riding mule was badly wounded, and an arrow passed through my outer clothes, but there was none to touch my body. I arrived safely at home on the 14th of August, but in a very feeble state of health. Found my family well and in every way comfortable."

For some time after Elder Hyde's arrival home his health was too feeble for him to perform much manual labor. In the autumn of 1855 he moved his family to Salt Lake City, and followed the occupation of salesman until the spring of 1857. His health being much improved he concluded to again try the cultivation of the soil. For this purpose he sold his home in Salt Lake City, and moved to Lehi, Utah county. The same year he was chosen as a president of the 44th quorum of Seventy, which was organized in Lehi.

In October, 1857, he was assigned to the command of one hundred men, which were a part of the "Mormon" forces that occupied the mountain defiles in order to check the advance of Buchanan's army. This service occupied about two months. In the spring of 1859 he was summoned to serve as a juryman in the court of the notorious Judge Cradlebaugh. April 6, 1860, Elder Hyde commenced to move his family and effects to Cache valley. It might be considered a mission given him by Joseph Young, then senior president of the Seventies, as he was to have the oversight of the Seventies in Cache county. He arrived at his destination on the 16th of April. Here his labors as a "Mormon" pioneer culminated in the founding of the settlement of Hyde Park the ensuing summer. The Stake authorities organized the settlement on the 1st of July, with Wm. Hyde as acting Bishop. He often exercised his calling as an Elder in preaching in the other settlements of Cache county in company with Apostle Ezra T. Benson and his presiding Bishop. His long varied experiences made him a most efficient leader of the people An developing the resources of a new country.

In September, 1862, he was very efficient in assisting General Benson, as his adjutant, in organizing the militia of Cache Military District. Dec. 30. 1862, a mass meeting was held in Logan, at which seven delegates were chosen to meet in a convention to be held in Salt Lake City Jan. 20, 1863, for the purpose of forming a State constitution, and of making other necessary arrangements for the admission of Utah into the Union. Among the men selected for this purpose was Wm. Hyde. In the election of State officers to act in case Utah became a State. Elder [p.763] Hyde was appointed judge of the 8th judicial district. To assist in home industries this year he started a wool carding machine, which, with the necessary plant, cost about three thousand dollars. His family also encouraged home manufactures among the people by clothing themselves with the workmanship of their own hands. Home manufactures were an important factor in sustaining a family in those primitive times.

Elder Hyde was also successful as a farmer. In the spring of 1864 he was chosen to take charge of the train of teams made up in Salt Lake City; for the purpose of going to the Missouri river to assist the emigration in crossing the plains. For this purpose he left home April 19, 1864, and arrived at Wyoming, Neb., with his train on the 3rd of July. After waiting seven weeks, his was the fifth train to start on the return trip. After traveling fifty miles he was notified by telegram from Pres. Brigham Young, on account of Indian difficulties, to await the sixth company, which was still behind. The combined train made a successful trip and, on arriving in Salt Lake City, were warmly welcomed by several hundred citizens.

Oct. 30, 1864, Elder Hyde arrived at his home in Hyde Park. He found his family in a prosperous condition, and more especially as a son was born to him about a week before his return. In four years, under his guidance, Hyde Park became a very thriving settlement of some forty families. The Territorial legislature of 1865-66 appointed him probate judge of Cache county. In the fall of 1865 Cache county was organized into a military district, with Apostle Ezra T. Benson as brigadier-general, and Win. Hyde as adjutant and chief of staff. General Benson and Bishop Maughan had, for several years, been members of the Territorial legislature, and, during their absence, Bishop Hyde presided over the affairs of Cache county.

In 1866 he entered into co-partnership with Thos. E. Ricks and Wm. Hendricks, and they built a substantial grist mill, at a cost of $27,000. In the meantime the firm did a considerable business in merchandising. In the autumn of 1868 Elder Hyde engaged, with Apostle Benson and others, in grading one hundred miles of the Central Pacific Railroad. This furnished lucrative employment to many of the citizens of Cache valley. Dec. 6, 1868, while employed on the railroad, he was seriously injured by a kick from a horse over the left temple, which fractured his skull. From this he suffered much for about three weeks, and he was under the necessity of remaining at home the most of the following winter and spring.

March 25, 1869, the Hyde Park branch of Zion's Co-operative Mercantile Institution received its first stock of goods and commenced business, having been previously organized with Wm. Hyde as president. In February, 1870, he was elected probate judge of Cache county for the second term in the fall of the same year, at a three days' muster of the militia of Cache county, he was unanimously elected brigadier-general, which raised him to the command of Cache Military District. Aug. 23, 1871, a railroad company was organized for the construction of a railroad from Ogden, Weber county, to Logan, Cache county, and thence on to Soda Springs. Gen. Hyde was elected one of the board of directors of the company.

In February, 1872, when delegates to another convention were elected for the purpose of taking preliminary steps for the admission of Utah into the Union, Judge Hyde was again sent from Cache county. At the general conference held in Salt Lake City Oct. 7, 1872, Elder Hyde was ordained a High Priest and appointed Bishop of Hyde Park. At a conference of the Church held in Logan, June 27, 1873, he was ordained a Patriarch, under the hands of the First Presidency and the Apostles. Bishop Hyde died March 2, 1874. He was an efficient public servant and truly a representative man among his people. Justice, humanity and uprightness were prominently developed in his life's labors. He was a firm believer in the principle of celestial marriage, having married five wives and being the father of twenty-five children. As president, Bishop, general, judge, husband and father, he was kind, courteous and consistent; as a Saint, the embodiment of humility.

Mormon Battalion Company B

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Sgt William Hyde's Timeline

September 11, 1818
York, Livingston, New York, United States
April 7, 1834
Age 15
April 7, 1834
Age 15
February 12, 1843
Age 24
Nauvoo, Hancock, Il
July 12, 1845
Age 26
Nauvoo, Hancock, Il
December 23, 1845
Age 27
Age 27
<Nauvoo, Hancock, Il>
January 7, 1847
Age 28
Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, IA, USA
December 23, 1848
Age 30
Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa