John Francis Astle
|Birthplace:||Montpelier, Bear Lake, ID, USA|
|Death:||Died in Logan, Cache, UT, USA|
|Cause of death:||Cerebral Hemorrhage|
|Place of Burial:||Grover, Lincoln, WY, USA|
Son of John Astle and Isabella Jane Astle
|Managed by:||Carson Jared Wheeler|
Historical records matching John Francis Astle
About John Francis Astle
LIFE STORY of JOHN FRANCIS ASTLE
Written by his sister, Sarah Astle Call
John Francis Astle, son of John Astle and Isabella Jane Bradshaw Astle, was born on September 21, 1869, at Montpelier, Bear lake County, Idaho. His parents were of English birth, converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They passed through numerous pioneer experiences and early day events in several parts of the West, especially of the settlement of the Bear Lake Valley and the Star Valley in Wyoming.
He was the second child in a family of nine born to his mother. He had an older sister, Elizabeth, less than two years older than he, who was a real pal and sister to him during his entire life. Training in manual labor began at an early age. Children in those days, worked too hard for their tender years. Times were hard, requiring great diligence and caution, and the help of every member of the family to care for the crops, subdue the land, and perform the many tasks necessary to sustain life in new, uncultivated country.
At the age of seven, he started to school which was limited to a few months of each year. There were two teachers in one room, their salary being the tuition paid by the parent of each child. The building was of logs, and it was used for both church and school. There were no desks. The seat he occupied was a slab about eight or ten feet long, supported by legs of wood, two at each end, inserted into holes bored into the slab. On these crude benches, much too high for the little feet to touch the floor, the younger children sat with legs dangling. They used to get very tired and were happy when recess time came or school dismissed for the day.
John F. was a timid child, afraid to hold his own. This caused him a great deal of annoyance since there were some of the older boys at school who tormented him beyond endurance. One day his father said to him, "If you don't whip those boys when they trouble you, I'll punish you when you get home." Well, something did happen. Father had given him courage. He knew that his father would keep his word in regard to the punishment. The affray began, and John F. gathered every ounce of grit possible and let loose. He came out victorious. From that time on, the boys never bothered him again. These were happy childhood days, free from care and worry.
At the age of thirteen, responsibilities developed rapidly for so young a lad. At this time, his father married a plural wife (Melvina Ann Banks) according to the "Order" that was then in practice by the Latter-day Saint Church. This necessitated many changes in the family life.
The crusade of persecutions was in earnest by the enemies of the cause. Men were hunted down like the worst criminals in the country. They were in danger of arrest and being dragged into prison where they were brutally treated. They had to be constantly on guard lest they be found and forcibly taken away. For that reason, men in plural marriage were seldom at home and when there, had to live in disguise or secret hiding. There were dangerous times and unexpected visits from the mobocrats usually came during the night, thinking they would most likely find their fugitives at home at that time. With loud knocks and cursing, they would awaken the family and demand a search of the house. They would come in, look in every nook and corner, and ask innumerable questions. Some people were frightened by these visits, but at our home, no one seemed to show any fear. Often Mother, and even the children, threw them off guard by asking them to look in the flour barrel, under the bed, in the cupboards, etc., but they went away having made a fruitless visit. On one such an occasion, Father was safely hidden in a small hideout under the bed, covered over smoothly with the floor carpet, and they never dreamed he was under the floor and could hear everything being said. We felt Father had been protected by a greater power than ours. This kind of life went on for some time. Father, although a very industrious man, could not assist with the farm work.
John F., with his two younger brothers, Richard and William, had to carry on the work as few such boys have done in our western states. Being the eldest, John F., of course, assumed responsibility of leadership. At the age of fifteen, he had full responsibility of the farm. The work was extremely difficult, but being blessed by our Heavenly Father, the crops grew and matured. At that time, the most abundant crops we ever had were harvested. It was a marvel to the whole community of Montpelier, Idaho, that so young a boy could so perfectly manage a farm so successfully. All interested neighbors and even our parents were fearful that serious injury to health may result from this steady grind of labor; there was no letting up or resting, even for a day. At one time, Father happed to be at home at threshing time, and he shed tears of sorrow for the way his young sons were working. It was almost more than he could endure, yet it was a situation in which he was helpless to assist without renouncing the principles of plural marriage. He believed this to be a correct order of marriage as revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Mother also believed in this principle as sincerely as did Father.
When John F. was only sixteen years of age, we had hay land on the Bear River flats, as well as land rented from Peter Larsen from which was put up about 75 tons of hay and 2,000 bushels of wheat were harvested. As no modern machinery or equipment was then in use, the hay and bundles of grain were pitched on and off with a pitchfork. Our sister, Elizabeth, often helped with the farm work and proved a valuable assistant as she was a good and willing worker. The labor was too strenuous for any girl, but she never complained. In those times, every member of the family, large and small, seemed to realize the necessity of helping in every way possible. The next year the same procedure was repeated in the home and on the farm with little variation.
During the summer of 1886, Father investigated the Star Valley country in Wyoming and decided to spend the coming winter there. A few Mormon families had moved into this place to get away from the persecutions and where they could at least live at home. During the latter part of 1886, Father, with his second wife Melvina, and their three-week old son, Alma, made the trip from Montpelier to Afton, Wyoming. (Full details are giving in the life story of John Astle, our father). John F. was now seventeen, and it was he who drove the team all the way - a distance of fifty miles. It was a bad, stormy trip, with plenty of snow and cold. He returned to Montpelier where Mother and her family remained and carried on the farm work as usual. During the winter, he and his brother Richard, hauled gravel for the grading of the road between Montpelier and Ovid.
In March 1887, John F. decided to make a trip to Wyoming to see how Father and his second family were getting along. The roads were completely blocked with snow, and the only means of transportation was by snow shoes, or skis, as they are now called. Accompanied by an older person, Mr. John Banks, Melvina Ann's father, the destination was reached in safety.
The Lord continued to bless us abundantly. Our family enjoyed the best of health, and our crops were good and plentiful. In the autumn of 1887, Father sold his property in Montpelier and moved the family to Wyoming where we permanently located. The first winter, we lived in one log room, 16 x16 feet square, with dirt roof and floor of rough boards. We had no furniture to speak of until the next spring. Our beds were bunk style, on top of large sacks of flour (the year's supply for the family). We had no bed springs but plenty of good warm bedding. No one complained. We all enjoyed life as though on a fine vacation. It was a pleasant winter. We children attended school taught by Anson V. Call.
Our good mother had strong courage and faith that never faltered. Her pleasant, cheerful disposition and her fine although firm discipline and instruction in right and wrong were thoroughly taught. It has been said by her sons and daughters that she set an example of honesty and right living above price - that to lie or steal was a real disgrace, and we all respected this teaching.
We belonged to the Bear Lake Stake of Zion but were organized into a ward with Charles D. Cazier as bishop. There was then only one ward in both upper and lower valleys. This same winter, the various auxiliary organizations were completed, and in those "good old days" practically everyone attended these meetings as well as the Sunday services.
In the spring of 1888, we purchased 160 acres of land from a widow; Star Valley had never been surveyed by the government. What was called a "Squatter's Right" was the only law at that time in force. It was necessary that those who wished to secure a farm should build a house and live there constantly. Later, when the survey came through, John F. homesteaded this same 160 acres, and for a few years we made our home on this property. Later, a tract of 80 acres was turned over to our brother Richard.
During this time, my father and brothers did much canyon work getting out timber for fences and building purposes. Later John F. built a new log home a little east of the old one. The logs were hewed on one side so that the inside walls were smooth. The outside was plastered with white lime mortar. The roof was shingled. There were two rooms on the main floor and two above, making the house a nice looking one as well as a comfortable home.
Before continuing further, I wish at this point to write a little incident relating to how my brother John F. met the lovely girl who became his wife. It was a Sunday, and we (the Astle family) were on our way to church as was our Sabbath Day custom. We had just tied the team to the old hitching post when someone remarked, "There is Brother Hepworth with his other family. They have just moved here from Utah." The family consisted of himself, his wife, and two daughters. As young men were interested in young ladies then, the same as they are today, especially newcomers, John F. remarked, "Well, I'm going to marry the heavier one." At the time he said this, he little dreamed that this girl would some day be his wife.
Not long after this, however, the courtship really began. The romance was mostly carried on by means of horseback riding, sleigh riding, attending dances, parties, and such. In those early days, young and old really had enjoyable times, and no one was better than another as far as worldly possessions were concerned. We lacked the modern amusements and conveniences of today, but we were nevertheless happy and contented.
The log house we last mentioned, was finally completed, and John F. decided it was time to get married and have a family all his own. So he asked Miss Lauretta Hepworth to be his wife, and she consented. Soon after this, John F. and his bride-to-be and Lauretta's mother, left in a covered wagon for Logan, Utah. It took three days to make the trip. On the 9th of September, 1891, the marriage took place in the Logan Temple with President Marriner W. Merrill officiating. Lauretta was the daughter of Edward Hepworth and Hannah Cowling Hepworth, both English converts to the Church.
Returning, the newly-weds went to their own home - the new log house. They had very little furniture, and what they had was homemade. The bedstead was one made and used by our grandfather, Francis Astle. The bed had no springs - board slats held up the mattress filled with straw. The cook stove was the one father purchased in Omaha, Nebraska, when returning from his trip to the Missouri River for Saints immigrating to Utah. The stove, still in good condition, had been used many years by our parents.
Home life to this young couple was very pleasant indeed. John F. continued farming. On the 13th of July 1892, they were blessed by the birth of their first-born, a boy, and he was given the name of John Francis, Jr. Then on the 9th of September 1894 (their wedding anniversary), a little girl was born, and they gave her the name of Klea Lauretta. A few days after the birth of this child, a letter arrived from "Box B" Salt Lake City. This, as all old members of the Church recall, was always a call from the First Presidency of the Church containing a request for a mission - to go out into the world and preach the Gospel. The letter came as a great surprise to all, as no one had suspected that a mission was in the offing. The call made John F. and Lauretta very happy and yet sad, for coming at this particular time and under present conditions, they hardly knew how it were possible to respond in spite of the fact that they both were willing that this mission should be filled.
The call specified that John F. was to report to Salt Lake City within three weeks after receiving the letter and be prepared to leave at once for the Southern States Mission. Financially it seemed impossible, not only to go on this mission but to leave a young wife at home with two small babies to take care of. It was surely a trying time for the young couple. Stake President George Osmond, offered to write and tell President Woodruff that everything looked dark, but if possible, John F. would be in Salt Lake City at the appointed time. Through many prayers of faith to their Heavenly Father by John F. and his loyal wife, a way was opened up where he was able to fill this mission. In order to obtain necessary money, John F. sold hay, grain, and cows, reserving a young heifer and enough wheat for the family's bread. The milk cows were traded for fat cows and sold for cash. At this time, there was one of the worst depressions sweeping the country that the United States has ever known. It was during the Grover Cleveland administration. All people of that time will remember Cox's Army marching to Washington, D.C. It is well to note here that fat cows sold for very little money - the best for $16.00 and some at $14.00. John F.'s cows were good ones.
At the appointed time, John F. was in Salt Lake City to report. He was set apart by George Reynolds on the 9th of October 1894 and left there the same night to Chattanooga, Tennessee, in company with Henry Kennington of Afton, Wyoming. They were the first two missionaries sent out from Star Valley Stake.
John F. was appointed to labor in the Mississippi conference. His first missionary companion was Elder Heislet from Colorado. Headquarters of the Conference was at Jackson, Mississippi. John F. had a long walk to reach this destination, in Simpson County, about four miles from the Alabama line. Some of his best recollections of missionary experiences were here. The meetings were advertised with the result that they were well attended, especially the three meeting the first day. After one of these meetings, John F. and companion were invited to the home of a family by the name of Smith. They had fifteen children, all girls but four. The Elders spent the night with these fine people, who treated them to the best that they had, which was very good. The young men returned there many times and always received a warm welcome, never to be forgotten.
The Smith's were investigating our faith very thoroughly. In the meantime, John F. was sent to other parts to labor. However, he did baptize a few in the locality where the Smith's resided. He was transferred to Scotts County for a very short time, had many different companions, and worked in many different localities. His special assignment was breaking in new Elders. When he was set apart by Brother Reynolds, he was told that he would be sent "hither and thither" while laboring in the mission field.
As a Presiding Elder, John F. assisted by a companion, opened nine new fields in Mississippi and Louisiana. In Louisiana, they met the Cook family who really proved very friendly to the Elders. In fact, Mr. Cook remarked that the latch string was always out to them, and even when the Cook's were not at home. The Cook family was also investigators and often attended church. They helped with the music and the singing. In honor of one of the Cook girls, John F. gave the name Arstanie to one of his own daughters.
Many friends were made and some who were especially loyal. John F. tells about one of these friends, a man by the name of Dunk Crane, who befriended him at a time when a mob gathered around his home and threatened violence. Crane said they would have to "walk over his dead body" before harm could come to John F. Another interesting event took place at Howing Ridge out in the country. A conference and Priesthood meeting were being held, and Elias Kimball was speaking when a mob of fifty men assembled outside. Brother Kimball went out alone to meet them, the rest of the Elders remaining inside to carry on the meeting. Before leaving, Brother Kimball had requested to be remembered in their prayers, not only for his safe return but for the safety of all there at the meeting. In the meantime, Brother Kimball met the mob and was told that all of them were to be out of the county in 24 hours, but they finally agreed on a period of three days. The meeting continued, and at its close all were advised to leave as soon as possible; the incident passed without harm to anyone or further disturbance.
At another time, John F. was threatened to be tarred and feathered, while laboring in the city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In those days in the South, strangers were not supposed to go to the house but as was the custom to stand at the gate and call out, "Hello," until someone would come out. But contrary to custom while out tracting, John F. went up the walk to the porch. Someone, however, warned him not to go to the house, but he paid no attention but kept going. Finally, three men came out and ordered him to the street calling him everything but a gentleman. One of them came close to John F. with clenched fists and threatened to tar and feather him that night and ride the other Elders on a rail out of town. In spite of the fact that these three men were very rough and insulting, John F. did not feel in the least afraid, because he knew they (the Elders) were in the service of the Lord and would be protected. The men finally left and the Elders sought for lodgings for the night but were refused at every place. Feeling insecure, John F.'s companion suggested that they go to a certain hotel there and pawn their luggage for a night's lodging, but John F. replied, "We have been asked to travel without purse and script." They knelt in prayer outside the city and spent the night in a partly constructed building.
The next morning they arose and continued their labors in the outskirts of the city. They had previously obtained permission from the city officers to labor in that vicinity, but after the tar and feather threat, the officers absolutely refused to render further protection and told the Elders that they were now on their own to take the risk of being molested. They took the risk all right, and remained in that city until they were ready to leave. They certainly were blessed with our Heavenly Father's protecting care.
Sometime later, President Elias Kimball received a letter asking if John F. and companion would visit a small colony of Indians in Mississippi, who had been taught the Gospel and were ready for baptism. They left at once, finding it necessary to cross the Pearl River in a canoe as the ferry boat was not in working order at the time. It was a hazardous crossing, but they reached their destination safely and met the Indians who treated them nicely. John F. had the privilege of blessing and naming one of their babies and baptizing two adults. Then they returned to Louisiana and their work there. John F. had been in the mission field about thirty months and the time was drawing near for his return.
During his absence, the folks at home enjoyed excellent health and were blessed by the Lord beyond expectation. For a time, his wife Lauretta and her two small children lived with her parents. She was full of faith and never complained. Her letters to her missionary husband were always encouraging. She never wrote of any troubles or trials that must have been hers. Nor did she write about being lonely, or suggest that it was time for her husband to come home. She desired that his mission should be completed and that he should receive an honorable release.
It was in April 1897 when John F. received his release. He bade President Swenson (of the Louisiana Conference) and the other Elders goodbye and left for New Orleans. From there, he proceeded to Mobile, Alabama, then to Kansas City, Missouri, and on to Salt Lake City, Utah. He spent the night with an uncle, Charles Astle. The next day he reported his release to the authorities of the Church and was ready to begin the last lap of his journey toward his home in Grover, Wyoming, where he arrived May 6, 1897. The roads from Montpelier to Grover were almost impassable at this time of the year, and the trip was a very tiring one; he was so anxious to see his loved ones again. It took one day and a night to make the fifty miles from the Church Headquarters. Arriving at Mother's house in Afton, Father came to meet him, driving the three miles from the ranch with one horse and cart. They then drove to John F.'s home. The first one to meet him was his little daughter, Klea, who was a tiny baby of one month when he left for his mission in the Southern States.
Klea was a blue-eyed blonde and very fairy-like. Upon seeing her daddy, she ran to the house as fast as her legs could carry her. She must have been frightened a bit to see a man dressed in a Prince Albert suit and a Derby hat coming with her grandfather. But it proved a happy reunion with wife and children.
John F., while on this mission, was blessed beyond measure. He enjoyed good health, impossibilities were overcome, and he slept out only seven nights. Numerous manifestations of the power of the Lord took place. The sick were healed instantly on many occasions. Other equally great events happened under the influence of the Holy Priesthood. Through faith and prayer, John F. had no fear of mobs, for he knew if he was in the service of the Lord, he would be protected, and he was. The mission proved a blessing not only spiritually, but financially as well.
When he arrived home, he came in time for the spring planting. The Prince Albert suit and Derby hat were put away to be replaced by everyday work clothes. The second day after his arrival, he began plowing. Not being accustomed to such work for more than two and a half years, he felt physically tired after that day's labor was completed, but he got used to it in time.
Soon after his arrival home, John F. was appointed as Superintendent of the Grover Ward Sunday School. He held this position for eleven years until he was again called to take a mission, this time to the Eastern States. He left November 9, 1909. Having prospered in many ways, he now had ten children and a large farm. After being in the mission field for a few months, it became necessary for him to undergo a major operation. He recovered rapidly, and President Rich asked him if he would like to return home, but his answer was, "I would like to finish this mission." President Ben E. Rich then said, "I will give you as honorable a release as anyone who has ever filled a mission." After due consideration, it was decided that John F. should return home, as he was needed there. There was too much heavy outside work for his wife, the boys being too young to sense responsibilities, and also, their daughter Evelyn, was very sick. He was released July 17, 1910, returned home and resumed his labor on the ranch again getting affairs into systematic order, and everything progressed nicely.
He was set apart as second counselor to Bishop Ray S. Thurman, in March 1911. Evelyn, the little daughter seven years of age, passed away the 23rd of March 1911. To John F. this was a great trial.
Previous to this time, the first ranch was sold. He bought another one with more land and extended the acreage. They had a nice large home in town where they lived during the winter months while the children were attending school. The older children went to Afton to the high school and the younger children of school age, to the grade school in Grover.
During the farming season, they all lived in a summer house out on the ranch. On January 16, 1914, a baby girl was born, but lived only a very short time. He name was Jane. She died April 19, 1914. The 14th of July 1915, a little son was born, but passed away shortly after birth. He was blessed and given the name of Isaac. This was the first child of the family to be born in a hospital. All the other children were born at home, and Lauretta was attended each time by a mid-wife. At home, mother and babies were doing fine; but at the hospital it was altogether different. The baby died, but through the blessings of the Lord, the mother was saved, and her life spared for the sake of her family. John F. said that Isaac was the largest baby he had ever seen.
Our mother used to remark, "When trouble begins, it seldom comes alone." This proved the case as far as the John F. Astle family was concerned at this time. John F. had acquired another 160 acres of land his father-in-law once possessed. It was here that Lauretta lived previous to their marriage and here John F. courted her. In all, John F. was now owner of 480 acres of ranch land. They were living in their summer house, when one day in May 1916, the house was razed by fire. John F. and Vernon had left shortly after breakfast to work in the field about half a mile away. All of a sudden, they noticed the house afire - the roof was all ablaze. They both got on horses and rode as fast as they possibly could to the place, but when they got there, the roof was falling in. All they were able to save was a sewing machine and half of one bed. Everything else went up in smoke. All their clothing, with the exception of a Sunday suit belonging to John F. which he had left at the town house in Grover, was destroyed by the fire; also a large tent that happened to be in the house. Everything that it takes to keep house was gone and for a family of twelve.
Just as the fire was under control, but the ruins were still smoking, the banker, Mr. Lynch, of Afton drove up in his car. He was there to sell John F. a car. John F. remarked to Mr. Lynch, "Well, this going some, for you to come here to sell me a car when my home and contents haven't quit smoking yet." But Mr. Lynch was kind enough to take some members of the family in his car to Afton to buy clothing, dishes and food; also to make arrangements for a range. The family spent the remainder of the summer living in a tent. They lived in town during the coming winter, and John F. worked a great deal of the time in the canyon, getting out logs for lumber, preparatory to building a new house. A little later John F. purchased a new seven passenger Overland car.
During the time of World War I, John F. had a beautiful new home constructed and a large barn out on the ranch. Both were strictly modern in every way. The house was one of the first in that vicinity to have hot and cold water and a bathroom. The large barn held 100 tons of hay and 50 head of stock. They were milking at that time from 30 to 35 cows. Each month the milk averaged $300 in cash. The nice home they owned in Grover was sold and the family lived permanently in the new home out at the ranch.
During the fall and winter of 1918-1919, the whole country was visited with influenza and many died. John F.'s home did not escape this dreaded disease. It brought great distress and sorrow. Vernon, the 20 year old son was the first to go. He died December 23, 1918, and then the next day - Christmas Eve, Lauretta, the mother, passed away. Others of the family were seriously ill, but recovered.
John F. had been ordered to bed, as he was sick and running a temperature. A special nurse from Denver, Colorado, was there to care for them. She said to John F., "Mr. Astle, if you don't go to bed you will be the next one carried away." But he felt that he couldn't give up, because his motherless family needed his attention now, more than ever. The Lord was with them in their sickness and in their trials, which to John F. especially seemed so hard to bear. Relatives and friends did all possible for them and for others in similar conditions. It seemed to John F., in the passing of his dear ones, that no one could be so sorely tried, and even Satan himself, taunted him in his great sorrow by saying, "Now do you believe there is a God? And if there is a God, do you believe He is just?"
At this point, John F. was prompted to read in the Doctrine and Covenants, and he let the book open at random. Therein he read about the Prophet Joseph Smith while in Liberty Jail being greatly distressed in both mind and body, and he cried out unto the Lord: "Yea, O Lord, how long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful oppressions?" The Lord answered, "Know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." In reading this passage of scripture, John F. was greatly comforted and a feeling of peace came over him in his great affliction. He felt that God had not forgotten him in spite of the fact that his faith in God had been severely tried.
Of course, that Christmas (1918) was a sad one, but the family of nine motherless children carried on very well with the eldest daughter, Klea, taking the lead and management of many household duties. She proved very efficient, with the aid of her sisters, Arstanie and Pearl. Grace, six years of age, was the youngest of the family.
In 1920 John F. decided to move to Providence, Utah, thinking to improve conditions for school so the children could live at home and not have to travel such a distance to elementary and high school and for other advantages. A well-built, large and spacious brick home was purchased for $14,500. It was surrounded by 12 ½ acres of excellent farm land located on the north edge of town presenting a lovely view of the valley. In the years that followed, the landscape was made beautiful with lawns, shrubs, flowers, and different kinds of trees. On the farm land was grown beets, and abundance of fine strawberries, raspberries, blackcaps, and currants, both English and red. There were also fruit trees, such as cherry, apple, peach, plum and prune. At times, beans and cherries were picked for the canneries. There was a fine family garden too. Abundant crops of alfalfa and some field corn were grown. Most of the time horses, cows, and sheep were kept. For many years, John F. engaged in poultry raising, maintaining the white Leghorn chickens. In this he was very successful financially, supplying eggs to the Utah Poultry Association of Logan, Utah, for more than twenty years.
Less than a year after moving to Providence, Klea, the eldest daughter, was married to Joseph R. Baer, and a little later, his daughter Pearl was married to George I. Carling. Both of these gentlemen were from Providence. There were now five daughters left to carry on the housework: Arstanie, Doretta, Agnes, Elva May, and Grace, with one son, David.
For five years, John F. served in the Logan Stake Mission. From this he was released to fill a short term mission in the Central States Mission for the LDS Church. He was set apart November 16, 1925, and assigned to Labor in Austin, Texas. Within himself he did not want to go to Texas, but desiring to be obedient to authority, he went as requested. Some of the greatest blessings he ever received came to him while laboring in this mission. He did much tracting and sold many Church books, especially the Book of Mormon. He made many friends and a few converts.
Each time District Conference was held, he expected to be transferred to a different part of Texas as was his wish, but instead, he was sent right back to labor in Austin. When he left Providence for Austin, he weighed only 112 pounds, but when he was released to come home, his weight had increased to 138 pounds. While there, he enjoyed excellent health.
He returned to Providence from the Central States Mission in June 1926 finding all well at home and the strawberry harvest in progress - the best crop ever raised on this farm. The very day of his arrival he pitched right into picking strawberries. In a short time after his return, he had lost 20 pounds.
He corresponded with a number of the Austin Saints and among them a sister he had greatly admired, Clara Holm Steen. In March 1927, John F., accompanied by his daughter Arstanie, made the trip to Texas by automobile - their destination being, of course, Austin. When returning home, they brought with them Sister Steen and her two children, Ann and Roy. An older boy, Edward, remained in Texas. At this time, John F. had been a widower for eight years. On March 30, 1927, he and Clara Holm Steen were married in the Logan Temple by President Joseph R. Shepherd.
About this time, John F. ventured into the fox-raising business, purchasing his first pair of silver foxes in December 1926 and January 1927 from George L. Morrison paying $1,800 for the two. Ten pens were built. Later in the summer that same year, he ranched eight pairs of silver foxes for $200 a pair.
As a fox rancher he was quite successful and outstanding. But with fox ranching, as with other types of livestock, there were diseases and losses. Two different years, distemper and encephalitis got into the ranch and resulted in over $5,000 loss in foxes besides $706 for veterinary services. John F. received two awards for high increase and fine quality of pelts and blue ribbons at fairs and fox shows for superior animals. His son David was very good to help his father with the foxes. In December 1944, John F. decided to close out his business, because of a rapid decline in prices of fox pelts due to World War II. So he terminated the industry, being free from debt with sufficient money in the bank to enable him to live in comfort for the rest of his days.
Now let us go back to the time when John F. and his children left the ranch at Grover and moved to Providence. He sold his ranch, machinery, cows and horses to a brother-in-law, Edgar Hepworth. When the depression came, it was very difficult for Edgar to make any payments, so John F. took the place back returning all money Edgar had paid in equity. So his sons, Francis Jr. and David, decided to run the ranch for one year, but they did not do so well. John F. had to borrow $1,000 in order to pay taxes and other indebtedness, so he took over the ranch to work on it himself also retaining the Providence place. He had to travel from Utah to Wyoming almost constantly making the trip mostly by night. He made a little money and bettered his condition somewhat and then leased the ranch to Duill Taylor for three years for a "cash lease". Taylor did well, and at the end of the second year, made arrangements to buy the ranch on time, but because of speculations, he failed to keep up the payments and lost out. John F. had to redeem the place by assuming a mortgage. He had $5,000 equity in the ranch, but by paying the debts, he lost $3,000. David again took over to run the ranch for one year.
In the meantime, John F. went to Southern Utah and purchased 209 head of two year old steers. To pay for them and renew the mortgage on the Providence home, he signed in one day for a loan of $9,000. It was a hard struggle to get out of debt. The Cache Valley Banking Company and the Utah Mortgage Company wanted John F. to forget the Wyoming ranch, or else he would be turned out in the street. But he told them that every cent he owed would be returned to them if it took every dollar he had. This was during the depression that followed the First World War.
To make a long story short, through plenty of hard work and the blessing of the Lord, that debt was paid. The president and the cashier of the bank had told John F. a number of times that he had done better than any of their customers for as they said, "It was one chance out of a hundred, to make good." At this critical time, when everything appeared dark, the sale of the ranch in Wyoming offered the only ray of hope from financial difficulties. A friend, John Anderson of Grover, became the new owner of the ranch, and although the real estate, buildings, hay, and some of the cattle were disposed of at a sacrifice, John F. was able to save his home in Providence. This brought a feeling of contentment that he was so greatly blessed. Although some of these trying experiences of the past were hard to undergo, yet such proved blessings in disguise. These trials meant courage, hard manual labor, and trust in the Lord.
Often had the road of life been very rugged and steep uphill to climb, but through faith and untiring efforts, the Lord was ever mindful of my brother, John F. It had ever been his desire to accomplish the good not only in a material way but in a spiritual way as well. It had been often quote that "God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform." This same quotation proved true in the case of John F. which was indeed a great blessing to him.
It was in Austin, Texas, that he met a lady (Clara Holm Steen), a convert to the Church, who later became his wife. She has proved a loyal and devoted companion. At the close of the year of 1943, they were consulted in regards to both taking a mission. Each underwent a physical examination, but it was found that the wife had very high blood pressure. When she was interviewed by one of the authorities (Alma Sonne), his advice was to remain at home, and although John F. had passed the test successfully, he was advised to also stay at home and take care of his wife. This was a great disappointment, especially to John F. as he was so desirous for going on another mission. President Dunn then called John F. to labor in the Logan Stake as a missionary. In this, and in a previous mission in the Logan Stake, he labored seven years in all.
The children are all married now with families of their own. A daughter, Klea Lauretta, wife of Joseph R. Baer of Providence, passed away November 1939 after several year of illness. She was the mother of seven children, but a son preceded in death while yet in infancy. During Klea's married life, she also mothered the six children of her husband, one of these, an infant. She was really a good mother to all of these children. Klea was the eldest daughter and when her mother died had taken full responsibility in caring for her father, brothers, and sisters. Her death was a sad blow to her loved ones.
Because of the strenuous labors on the farm, John F. decided to sell the Providence home. Now they are living in a lovely place under the shadows of the beautiful Temple where they hope to spend the rest of their declining years and devote part of their time to working in the House of the Lord, for their kindred dead. John F. has been greatly interested in promoting the Genealogical Research for his people. As to his general makeup, he is of a retiring nature, quiet and unassuming, yet businesslike and efficient in any undertaking. He was always a pillar of strength in his father's household, and especially so with his own large family who are all upright and good citizens, both in the church and in every day life.
It can be truthfully said, that while he was born of goodly parents, who endured the hardships and trials of pioneer life in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming, John F., in a measure, carved his own life and made it what it is today. Wherever he had lived, he has been very generous financially with the Church, regarding tithes, offerings, and other donations. He has never refused any opportunity of working in the Church and enjoys those labors while in the service of the Lord. He attributes his success in life to being honest with God, to give Him the credit for all the blessings that came his way. The many experiences of the past have helped to a great extent to enrich his life and have greatly strengthened his testimony at to the truthfulness of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
He lived a long useful life to the age of 82 years. He passed away November 7, 1951, at his home in Logan, Utah. Funeral services were held in Providence First Ward, also a short service in Grover, Wyoming. He was buried in the Grover Cemetery beside his wife, Lauretta. He always loved Star Valley and carried many fond memories close to his heart.
Journal from the 1st Mission of John Francis Astle
Louisiana - May to July of 1896
Transcribed by Charlotte Astle
May 10 1896 - 8 miles North of Covington - Sunday morning, a fine day a short time after going to bed last night we was aroused by live stock that was trying to carry us off. We lay there for some time killing them as they ran across my face and it kept me busy. At last Elder Moore got up as we could not stand it any longer. We lay down to it, he struck a match the bed was literally covered with bed bugs. I never seen the like in my life. There was hundreds of them, We got up took the quilt off the bed spread on the floor and lay down without any covers and only one quilt under us. I put my pants and socks on. I did not sleep much as I never got rid of all the bugs. Got up at 5 o'clock, shaved, cleaned up, had breakfast, set around and talked till 10:30. We went to attend a Methodist meeting one of their Leading elders was there, he was quite a speaker although he did not preach in accordance to our belief, also witnessed them Crison (Christen) a baby. The elders read a prayer then sprinkled it and placed his wet hand on it. Then read another prayer and we went home with Mr. Nathan Whiting took dinner, our meeting began at 3:30 p.m. Elder Moore presided opening exercises. I spoke 1 one hour and five minutes on the Kingdom of God. Elder Moore spoke a few minutes, closed. We had a large crowd and they kept very quiet. At the close of the meeting, spoke of holding meeting again the near future, got commitment to hold meetings. Went home with Mr. Nathan Whiting, had supper we talk on the gospel, retire at 9 o'clock.
May 11 '96 - A good nights rest last night, did not have any bed bugs, arose took breakfast and was treated well by Mr. Whiting, and biding them good by with an invitation to call again. Started east for the Sun P.O. a distance of 18 miles, crossed little Rogue Falls, went up the Colombi Road conversing as we went. The people was a long way apart, about 1 o'clock called on Mr. Strathman, he invited us to dinner also to spend the day and night we excepted. I talked on the gospel, wrote a letter to R. T. Astle, had supper, a talk about our country, at 9:30 I began to write a letter to my wife. Went to bed at 11:30. Treated well. V2 W7 D1
May 12 '96 - Three miles North West of Talisheek PO - After a good nights rest arose at 5:30 had breakfast with Mr. Strathman, biding them good by asked to call again, continue toward the Sun P.O. Crossed the Bouge Chitto River, conversing as we went, arrived at one P.M. But was disappointed as I did not get any mail and the last letter form my wife was dated Apr. 12. Went South, conversed, Called on Mr. A. B. Jinkins, was asked to stay all night, excepted, treated well, had supper, a short talk on the gospel, sang some, went to bed at 9:00 p.m. 12mi D12
May 13 '96 - Sun PO - A good nights rest, got up feeling well had breakfast, biding Mr. Jinkins goodbye with invitation to call again. Went to Mr. Pierce had a long talk on the gospel, from there to Mr. Osker Mitchell a talk on the gospel, had dinner, went on our way West along the line conversed.. Left our washing with a Darky, invited to stay with Mr. E.E. Jenkins, had supper, a talk on the gospel, retired 15 minutes to 10. Also got word that Frank Rackin came down on 27 of Apr. 9F W5 mi. D10
May 14 '96 - Rested well and got up well, breakfast, shaved treated well, asked to call again, biding them good by went our way conversed a few, went to the P.O. got a letter from my wife all very well, the people of Grover had a surprise on her, she got a set of Glass dishes, it was on the 29 of April. also a letter form Mrs. Alvin McCombs all well. Went to Mr. S. L. Jinkins, made arrangements to hold meeting at his place on Sunday the 17of May, had dinner and continued our labors, West to the Bogue Chitto River, then up the river along the Franklin road, called on Mr. Emyle Talley, he invited us to say all night we accepted , a short talk on the gospel, supper, talked about our country, retired at 9 p.m. W7 FV7 revisited 1 Ref.1 D6.
May 15 '96 - Sun PO - Got up this morning feeling well, had breakfast, spoke of holding meeting Mr. Talley said he would be pleased to hear us, said he was willing for us to hold a meeting in their church if the rest of the interested parities are, so we took it in hand to see all the parties. Got to Mr. Jno Talley, he was not willing, said the preacher had charge of the Church. Invited us to stay for dinner, we did so. We talked a little on the gospel, he said he was satisfied with what he had. Visited all the Families on North of Bogue Chitto River, crossed on the south side of River, called on Mr. W.F.Depriest, had supper, a short talk on the gospel, also about our country, went to bed at 9 p.m. W8 F6 D4 Rev1 Ref1
May the 16 '96 - South of the Bogue Chitto Bridge one mile A good nights rest, got up well, had breakfast an long talk on the gospel, biding them good by with invitation to call again. Visited Mr. Crawford, a gospel conversation, he had us lead prayer before leaving, asked to call again, from there crossed the River got our washing cost 20¢ each, changed clothes and left them to get washed, went to the creek, had a bath, set out in the woods and read some in Old Testament, continued was going by Mr. Henry Mizell's was invited in, a pleasant conversation on our country, supper, a long talk on the gospel treated well. W6 Fw1 Re1 D2 gospel convers3
May 17 '96 - Sunday Morning at Sun PO - Got up this morning feeling well as it is fast day for the elders we did not eat breakfast, spent the morning in talking and I read some from Church History, had dinner after or about 2 o'clock. We went to Mr. S.L. Jenkins to fill appointment, Meeting began at 3:15 myself presiding with exercises, Elder Moore spoke on or gave the people a general outline of the gospel. Spoke 45 minutes a little time left I spoke one half hour on apostasy and restoration of the Gospel. We had a large crowd, filled the house and two galerays. We had a pleasant time the spirit of the Lord was with us. The people seemed some what interested, gave 18 tracts away and went home with Mr. Henry Mizell. Had two other invitations to go home, But Mrs. Henry Mizell was the first and we excepted, had supper, a pleasant conversation, went to bed at 8:30.
May 18 '96 - Monday - Got up well, had breakfast, wrote a letter to Prest. Swenson, left a VofW with Mizell and biding them good by with invitation to call again at any time., asked to send word when we was coming again as Mr. Mizell said he would arrange for a meeting. Ordered our mail forwarded to Pearl River as we are thinking of going on Honey Island went and got our washing cost 15¢, crossed Bogue Chitto River, wrote letter to my wife, also to elder Jones in Scott Co, went down the river, called and got entertainment with Mr. Erben Cooper, though he was not very friendly, said he did not take any stock in our preaching, said our doctrine was a curse in the county. Had supper, a talk on our country, retired at 9p.m. W9 V3 D2
May 19 '96 - Thomas PO - Had a good nights rest, had a shave, breakfast, read from New Testament. Biding Mrs. Cooper goodbye, Mr. Cooper slipped off in the field and never said a word. Thanking them went our way. After visiting a few families, and asked to call at Mr. Crawford's, reached the Thomas P.O., P.O. letters, stayed there talking, 12 o'clock came, asked to dinner, a very good one, a short talk on the gospel, thanking Mr. Thomas went our way. Treated well all the way. They was quite friendly, the day was very hot, after Mr. Carpenter asked us to stay all night we excepted, supper, a talk on the gospel, which mad 5 conversations on gospel. V11F W4mi D12 T
May 20 '96 - Rested well last night, got up well, breakfast, got the names of the people down to Violin P.O. was treated well, asked to call again, bid Mr. Carpenter good by, continued our canvas, Mrs. Hyten asked us to stay for dinner. We consented, a long, talk on the gospel, asked to call again, biding her good by, went our way, visited several Grantham's, Mr. Sam Grantham was in the field, asked us to call again. Finished conversing in this settlement and went South, down the River the people seemed to be willing for us to hold meetings in their meeting house, but there is a meeting their next Sunday so we put ours of for some time in the future, received entertainment with Mr. Dave Richardson, had supper, a short talk on the gospel, also on our country, was treated kindly all day. A fine day although threatened rain. W7 V11 F D11 Rev1 GC4
May 21 '96 - Arose this morning feeling well, had breakfast and biding Mr. Dave Richardson good by and thanking him, continued our canvas in Parker settlement called on Mr. Cook, was invited in, his wife was confined to her bed having been thrown out of a wagon and a wheel running across her, breaking some of her ribs. They are spiritualists we had a long talk on the gospel, very nice people. The Lady is a teacher of elocution. We had dinner, the Lady seemed to have a desire to investigate, we left two tracts, she thought of sending for a Book of Mormon, thanking them and biding them good by went to Mr. John Parker, a man 73 years old was sick in bed, a short talk with him, he had us lead Prayer before leaving. called on Mr. Garlet, invited in a talk on the gospel, supper, another pleasant talk, went to bed. visitng14F revisit1 Dis16T Walking 8 miles
May 22 '96 - Violin PO - We arose this morning well had breakfast Mr. Garlet said when we come there, we could hold meeting, biding him good by, continued our journey visiting, had a long talk of the gospel with Mr. Jno Crawford, from there visited 3 indian families, did not get to talk much with them, left a track with one of them, the others could not read, they are all Catholic, went by way of Mr. Welch, called for a drink, he asked us to stay for dinner we did so, thanking them went our way, called on Mr. Crawford had a long talk on the gospel for about one hour, then went on, set by the side of the road, wrote to Bro J. A. Davis of Simpson Co. Miss. Went to another Crawford, the gentleman was not home, and they did not seem to care for us. So we went and spent the night with Professor Hill supper, a pleasant talk till 10 o'clock, had prayers, went to bed.
May 23 '96 - Flesenville PO - Rested very good, got up well, breakfast on bread and milk, thanking and biding Mr. Hill goodbye, made our way to Pearl River Station, got letter form my wife all very well, having cold weather, also letter from J.P.Thompson with $9.00 in the Seventies & elders got up a dance for my benefit on the 1 of May and raised it which I am very grateful for. Went to the store and got two ancherfies (handkerchiefs), started for Honey Island. The day is very hot, went out in the woods had a shave, read some, crossed the tressel work over the Pearl River, a large bridge, the tressel work about one half mile long, first house is man by name of J F. Blackwell, we called on him, introduced our selves, he said he would like to hear us preach, invited us to stay at his place and he would go and notify the people and we would have meeting tonight, we accepted the invitation, he started out. Before we had gone it began to rain, looked as though we would not have a meeting. Finely it let up, we had supper, the people began to come in, meeting began at 8 p.m. The spirit of the Lord was with us, the people kept very quiet. We enjoyed ourselves well, we sat up till 11 o'clock, talked about our people. Mr. Blackwell was some what surprised, did not think we was the Mormons till we held meeting, one of the Bros did though, had met to of our elders in Mississippi, and was very curious to have us preach.
May 24 - Sunday Pearl River PO - A good nights rest, got up a fine day, feeling well, had breakfast, the timber here is very thick, there is no pine, very swampy. We had no meeting for today, so we went with Mr. Blackwell to attend a Baptist meeting, after waiting at the appointed for a long time, a few came. They held meeting, we was invited home with Mr. Hall, ½ miles a pole road, had dinner, the afternoon is very hot and sultry, no breeze what ever, spent the day talking on different subjects, never got on the gospel, though there was a Baptist preacher there by the name of----, He had met the elders in Mississippi. It rained some after supper, a long talk on the Word of Wisdom, retired 9 p.m. W3 D5 V4
May 25 - Honey Island - Arose well, a fine day, had breakfast, wrote letter to my wife, biding Mr. Hall good by with invitation to call again we went over on the R.R.T., posted letter, visited a spoke factory. They average 700 spokes a day, and some of them are for an 8 foot wheel (wheel), a log cart. Went out to Bayou, had a bath and visited some lady by the name of Mrs.___ asked us to stay for dinner, we did so, a pleasant conversation, from there to Mr. Smith's, they both live close by the mill. We was welcomed in, his father lives in Mississippi, a great friend to the elders, one of his Daughters is here, she said there had been 10 elders at her fathers. Miss and Mr. Smith asked us to hold Meeting at their house, so we gave out appointments for 7 o'clock, a gospel conversation, notified the people, took our underclothes to Mr. Barkers to get them washed and back to Mr. Smiths, had supper, and meeting began at 7:00. Mr. Smith and sister sang for us, Elder Moore spoke first on the Kingdom of God. I spoke a short time and closed, they sang God Be With You Till We Meet Again. We had enjoyable time. There were some there that hadn't attended meeting for years. The spirit of the Lord was with us, all seemed interested, after Miss Smith played the organ and sang for us, we retired at 10 p.m. W2 D5 V5 Meet1
May 26 '96 - Honey Island - A good nights rest, got up well, wrote my diary for the past two days had breakfast, Mr. Calvin Smith asked us to take a walk over to the mill and look around awhile, we went on arriving there, Mr. Dr. Benton stepped up to Elder Moore, told him he did not want us Mormons there, said we was no good and wanted us to get of his place. We stood there a few minutes. Dr. Benton said something to Mr. Smith and told us to leave the place, we did so. Mr. Benton was mad because Smith let us preach in the house where he was living as the places around the Mill belonged to him. I am sorry for Smith as he was working there for a living, but think it will turn out for the best, I think it will cause him to think and investigate. Mr. Smith thought it was all right. Told us when we come on the Island again he would have some place to preach. Biding them goodbye and thanking them, made our way down the Island, visited several families, took dinner with Mr.---, a long talk on the gospel, thanked them, continued, came to Mr. Hendley, talked on the gospel for some time. He said we could hold meeting in his house and sent a boy around to tell the people, had supper, went to the school house, has a nice little crowd gathered. I spoke on general & individual salvation. The people seemed to be interested, wished us to hold another meeting, went home with Mr. Budy Hindley, a short talk and went to bed.
May 27 '96 - Honey Island - Got up well had breakfast and shaved. Biding Hendley good by with invitation to call again, continued our canvas, had dinner with Mr. Mike Asher. He has seen the elders a good many times in Mississippi, a pleasant time, when biding good by asked to call again. Had a short talk with a Mr. Lot Smith a friend to the elders in Miss., he wished us to stay all night with him, so we left our grips and finished canvassing in the lower part of the Island. And went back to Mr. Smiths, had supper. Mr. Asher and wife came over and we had a long talk on the gospel. The old man asked a great many questions. Went to bed at 10 o'clock.
May 28 '96 - Honey Island - I did not rest very well, after breakfast with an invitation to call again continued our canvas, went North crossed the R.R.T., we had a great deal of hunting to find the people, got our washing, cost 15¢ each, did not have dinner, and I did not feel the best kind. Called on Mr. Pembrit Mitchel, got entertainment, was very tired, had supper, a pleasant talk on our country, and went to bed at 8 oclock, it was thundering, lightning and raining very hard. W9 V7
May 29 '96 - Honey Island - Rested very well, got up feeling a little better, had breakfast and biding Mitchels good by finished canvassing on the Island, went to Pearl River Station, we got very muddy we brushed up and went to PO got letter from my wife all very well, but the weather was cold, also got letter from Prest. Swenson, stated the Conference would be held in Miss. in the last part of Aug., all the elders very well they Baptized a Lady in St Helena Pa. (Parish) PO card to have mail sent to Abita Springs. Went 4 miles west of Pearl River, to Mr. Jno. Kinedy, had supper, a pleasant talk about our country. Went to bed at 9:30 p.m. 12Mi V3 D3 Rev1.
May 30 '96 - Florenville PO - After a good nights rest and breakfast, we bade Mr. Kinedy and family goodbye. I was impressed to go to Bayou Lacomb, and hold meeting, the coming Sunday. Went by way of Florenville, sent a card to Jno. Deeds. A man 5 miles North West of Covington telling him we would be there on the 7 of June to hold meeting at his place, made our way to Mr. James Henley, on Bayou Lacomb, at 11 o'clock, took dinner, asked to have the privilege of holding meeting, got the Baptist Church gave appointment for meeting at 11 o'clock, a talk on the gospel, went to the creek and had a bath, had supper. Mr. Coffee and wife came over, we had a long talk on the gospel. Mrs. Hinkley is a great talker on the Bible, but will not hold to it, she has her own idea, and wont believe anything,. Went to bed at 10 P.M.
May 31 '96 - Bayou Lacomb P.O. - Sunday morning, very sultry, rested well, arose feeling very well had breakfast, read some, at 11 o'clock held meeting, a nice little crowd. Elder Moore done the speaking, invited home with Mr. Jno Coffee, had a good dinner, spent the afternoon talking a little of everything. At 6 p.m. went to Mr. James Henley, had supper, a short talk on the gospel and went to bed.
June 1 1896 - After a good nights rest, thought the mattress bothered some, got up feeling well, a very warm morning, has breakfast, thanking and biding Mr. James and Mrs. Henley goodbye, went west to Lister Station. Took dinner with Mr. Wm. Mclandon, wrote letter to Prest. S. L Swenson, from there to Mrs. Strain, was welcomed in by her coming out to the gated to meet us. This is the second time visiting her, visited one of her sons on the way over. Had supper, a pleasant conversation till 10 o'clock when we retired. W12 V1 D1 R1
June 2 '96 - Abita Springs PO - We had a good nights rest, got up feeling well, some what cloudy this morning, a breeze from the north, causes it to be a little cooler. Had breakfast, wrote a letter to my wife, biding Mrs. Strain goodbye, asked to call again, went by way of Strafford's, and to Abita Springs, got 100 tracts & 100 cards, then to Thomas Cook's, they seemed pleased to see us I also got a letter from S. H. Jones & elder Kennington in Tenn., all well, had dinner with Cook spent the afternoon talking on the gospel, had supper, another gospel conversation, Mr. Cook and wife seems very interested, as read O.P. Pratts and the VofW, went to bed at 10 o'clock.
June 3 '96 - Abita Springs PO - After a good nights rest, got up well, had breakfast. I think Mr. & Mrs. Cook will be Baptized before we leave the Pa (parish), biding them good by, a warm invitation to call at any time, went to Covington, got 23 papers, the Post Mistress said she sent a letter to Abita Springs last night. I did not get it when we called this morning so I sent a card to have it sent back here. Went to hotel left our things, then down town got new shoes, socks, collar, scissors cost $3.20, went back to Hotel, cut each others hair. Tried to see the mayor Mr. Frederis but was not home, has supper at Hotel, wrote letter to Bro J. P. Thompson went to bed at 10:30 p.m.
June 4 '96 - Covington - After a good nights rest, arose had a shave, did not eat as it was fast day, went and seen the Mayor of Covington, he said there was nothing to prevent us form canvassing the city. Took our clothes to laundry to have them washed, started out to canvas, went to the Printing office subscribed for county paper. The Editor seemed quite friendly, said if we would give him notice of any meeting he would print it. We canvassed about 54 families. I had a long talk with two neither one believed in much of any thing, went to Hotel had dinner, read a little, went our and canvassed. Also seen a Methodist minister about getting a house to hold meeting in he objected, said that Mormonism is not recognized. He is very bitter, had supper, went to PO got letter from my wife, all well, also one from Bro. Creel of Miss. Went to bed at 9pm. V88 D89 Mi5
June 5 '96 - Covington - Last night was so hot we did not sleep very good, got up took breakfast, canvassed all the business houses all so Clabeon I had the privilege of visiting the Mayor of New Orleans. Finished canvassing the City visited the Ice Factory, they was freezing 100 pounds every 25 minutes, had 137 blocks in at once. Took dinner, wrote letter to Mother, read the News Papers, we was thinking of leaving the City, but it looked a great deal like rain, so I fixed my pants, did not eat any supper, as I thought I could live on two meals a day, as money is scarce. Just before going to bed, was treated with a dish of ice cream by the Lady of the Hotel. We had canvassed. Finished the City, did not preach as we could not get a house. 34F D3 W5mi
June 6 '96 - Covington - Got up well after a good nights rest, had breakfast, and settling with the Hotel Lady for food and lodging, which was $2.25. Left the city went north west about 3 miles took dinner with Mr. Wm. Long, had a talk on the gospel, biding them good by, asked to call again, continued on our way, called at Mrs. Hebestveit, it began to rain, and we was invited to stay all night, we accepted, a short gospel conversation. They had a large Barn and some Blooded stock, had a look at them, then supper came, we ate, a pleasant conversation, it rained very hard till 11 o'clock we went to bed out in the barn. W5 V8 D3
June 7 '96 - 5 miles North of Covington - Sunday Morning, we had a good nights rest, cleaned up, had breakfast, it rained a great deal in the night, and the country is very level, so the water stands on the ground, and we was 5 miles from our appointment, and a river to cross. Biding Mrs. Hebestveit goodbye and she invited us to call again, we started for Mr. Jno Deeds, with a Negro Pilet, we reached the river, crossed on a gam of logs. As there was no bridge, we had a great deal of water to wade through, our shoes was good so we did not get our feet very wet, one place we had to take our shoes off, reached Deeds at 11 o'clock the appointed time for meeting, no one there, had dinner, in a shot time a few came, and we held meeting. I spoke on general and individual Salvation. There was the best of order, spent the rest of the afternoon in singing had supper, a pleasant talk with Mr. Deed went to bed in the Barn at 8:30 p.m.
June 8 '96 - 5 miles North of Covington - I slept sound, did not feel much like getting up, but being away from home I could not do as I please, so I got up and took breakfast, it looked a great deal like rain. With an invitation to call again, we bid Mr. Deeds and family goodbye, made our way north up the turn Pike road to Mr. Borrers, had dinner and made arrangements for meeting Tuesday night, biding them good by went to P. Bennett, spent the afternoon on talking on different sub, wrote letter to my wife, supper, went to bed at 9 pm.
June 9 '96 - In the Bennett Settlement - Tuesday - Got up well, breakfast, took our clothes across the river to get them washed, left them with a Negro, went to Mr. JR Greens, stayed with him till after dinner, read some, a gospel conversation, went back, had a bath, and shave. Went to R. Bennett had supper, then to meeting, a large crowd there. Meeting began as usual, I spoke 55 minutes on the Gospel, the people paid the best of attention, was very anxious for us to hold another meeting, gave appointment for Wednesday night, Went home with P. Bennett.
June 10 '96 - Got up this morning feeling well, had breakfast, talked some, read some, had dinner, talked some on the gospel, it rained some this afternoon. I wrote my diary for the past 5 days, spent the evening in talking to Mr. Bennett, had supper, went to meeting. A large crowd there, meeting began at 8:15 p.m. Elder Moore spoke on the Kingdom of God. Let Miss. Bosser have a VofW went home with Mr. R. Bennett.
June 11 '96 - A good nights rest, the night was cool, had breakfast, biding Mr. R Bennett good by, with invitation to call again, went to P Bennett, loaned Miss Bennett a VofW, got our grips, biding all good by with a warm invitation to call again. Crossed the River, got our washing cost 15¢ each, went to Mr. Waren Willie, treated us well had dinner, a pleasant conversation about a little of everything, at 2 p.m. biding them good by asked to call again made our way by way of Pickets turnpike, time still visited two families and called on Mr. E. Rogers had supper, a long talk on the gospel. Went to bed at 9:30 P.M.
June 12 '96 - Verger PO - Arose this morning well, had breakfast, loaning E. Rogers a VofW, and biding them good by crossed the West Bogue. Mr. Rogers is still in for that debate said he would write us about the time, Mr. Creel could be there, mad our way Tom. F. Fussell, took dinner, biding them good by went out to the Sharp settlement on the Bouge Chetto River, visited 8 families, made arrangements to hole meeting in the Gernsalman Church, a Baptist meeting house. Got entertainment with Emanuel Taylor, had supper, a pleasant conversation, touched a little on the gospel, went to bed at 9 p.m. W11 V8 D8 Re1
June 13 '96 - On the head of the little Bogue Falaya. - Last night was quite cool, caused us to sleep well, got up well, breakfast, was treated well by Mr. Taylor, biding the good by, continued our canvas, giving notice of our meeting Sunday the 14 of June, took dinner with Mr. Jno. Spinks, from there to Mr. Ben Williams, asked us to stay all night. We excepted, left our grips and visited a couple more families, came back had supper, a pleasant conversation, went to bed. V10D9W9
June 14 '96 - On the Bogue Chitto River - Sunday morning, a cool night rested well, took breakfast, had a shave, as we did not get to Saturday, red some. At 10:20 a.m. started to the Jerusalem Church, arrived there, meeting began at 11:15. There was a singing class there, they asked to do the singing, we consented for them to do it. I spoke one hour and 5 minutes it seemed to be very hard work for me to speak. The people left very quiet. Sold 3 VofW one to Ben. Williams, 1 Emanuel Taylor & Boy Fauntleray made arrangements for the house to hold meeting some time in the future, went home with Mr. Ben Williams, a pleasant conversation with a Lady form Tex., had dinner at 5 o'clock we bade them all good by with invitation to call again, went down the river a couple of miles, got entertainment with Mr. Enoch Talley had supper, he did not have much to say. Went to bed at 9 o'clock.
June 15 '96 - At the Bogue Chitte River - Monday morning - Arose well, a cool morning, had breakfast, wrote my diary for the past two days, biding Mr. Talley good by went down the river, finished canvassing then west on the Cloumlon road, Loaned a VofW to Mr. Levenhouse, took dinner with Mr, C. Straman, went to Talisheek P.O. Got a letter from my wife, all well. Elder Moore had a gospel conversation with Miss Matice, got a letter form Prest. Swenson, elder Carlisle went home. Went to Mr. Carle Rousche had supper, a pleasant conversation, went to bed at 10 p.m.
June 16, '96 - Talisheek PO - Rested well, arose, a fine day, took breakfast, wrote a letter to Prest. Swenson, biding, Rousche good by with invitations to call again, went over by the Methodist camp ground, had a bath, wrote letter to my wife, Posted them, made our way towards Wm. Cooks, stayed in the woods had a nap, read from Church History, arrived at Cooks found them well, had supper, a pleasant talk. There was a Mr. Basser died in Abita Springs, the boys and girls went and set up. We went to bed.
June 17 '96 - Talisheek - Got up well, the day is fine and warm, took breakfast, read form the Bible most all morning, as we have not much of anything else to do. As our writing is done, had dinner, left appointment to have meeting in the Hickory Grove Church. Biding Cooks good by, went to the P.O. I got my photos of the elders of the Miss. and the Louisiana conference. Sent to home, went to Wm. Dutch's received entertainment, has supper, a pleasant talk, went to bed at 10 p.m.
June 18 '96 - Talisheek PO - It rained and thundered a great deal last night. We rested well, arose, cloudy this morning, had breakfast, Mr. Dutch went to Covington, and we bade them good by asked to call again. We went about a mile stopped in the woods had a shave, read from Church History, did not have any dinner, went to Mr. Cooper, a shot talk, while it was raining, then to Mr. C.L. Baker, 5 miles from Covington. Had a pleasant time, though they did not care any about the gospel, has supper, went to bed at 10 p.m.
June 19 '96 - Covington - After a good nights rest, arose, took breakfast, biding Baker's, good by, went to Covington, got a watermelon, seen two gentlemen about preaching in the Presbyterian Church, a Mr. Smith and a school teacher had rented the house to teach school in, we could not get consent of ether one of them, so we have to give up preaching in Covington, for the present at least, from there started for Thomas Cooks up the R.R. track. Set under the shade of an old oak tree, elder Moore wrote a letter. I wrote my diary, and read some. Arrived at Mr. Cook's, had supper, a gospel conversation, a pleasant time, treated well. W11ReVisited1 D1
June 20 '96 - Abita Springs - After a good nights rest, arose, took breakfast, it looked a great deal like rain. I went to Abita Springs 1 ½ miles, seen the rail road agent about a pavilion hall they have there, if we could get it to hold meeting in, got his consent. Wrote two notices and tacked up on some buildings there, stating that we would hold meeting on Monday night June 22. Went to P.O. got posted cards 5 cents, started for Mr. Cook's, just as I got out of town a man came along with a buggy, asked me to ride, I excepted, road to T. B. Cook' on arriving it began to rain, I read some, had dinner, and read some more, then took our clothes across the creek to a Darky to have them washed. On our way back had a bath, had supper and had a pleasant conversation. Mr. Cook has a pretty good understanding of the gospel, and is very interested, we arrived here Friday night, he asked us to stay with him till Sunday morning, and we would all go to meeting. At 9:30, after prayer, all retired for the night.
June 21 '96 - Abita Springs - Sunday morning, arose well, cleaned up, as it is fast day for the elders we did not eat breakfast. It looks a great deal like rain today. At 8 oclock we all started for Hickory Grove Church a distance of 3 ½ miles arrived all O.K., meeting began at 11:30a.m., usual exercises. Elder Moore done the speaking on the gospel, a nice crowd present at the close of the meeting. Mr. Keen a Haleness and I had quite a talk of Baptisms and other things, went home with Hyrum Cook son of Wm. Cook, had dinner, spent the afternoon in a pleasant conversation, supper, held another meeting in the Hickory Grove Church, a large crowd there, one of the Cook's girls played the organ, they sang two hymns and we sang one. I spoke on Apostasy and restoration. The people paid very good attention, the Spirit of the Lord was with us. Went to Wm. Cook's for the night.
June 22 '96 - Rested well last night, feel well this morning, it was some what cloudy, had breakfast, Biding Cook's good by with invitation to call again, went and visited two families, set in the woods and read from B.H. Roberts, did not have any dinner, went to Thomas B Cook's had supper, and went to Abita Springs, got letter from my wife, all well, one from Prest. Swenson, and a envelope from Prest Enderson, with $8.60 in, but not a line. We then held meeting in the Pavilion Hall, a large crowd. Elder Moore spoke 30 minutes. They did not keep very quiet, there was two men drunk, one of them kept talking and all did more or less. I spoke about 20 minutes, they kept more quiet. Meeting closed, we sold 2 VofW and could of sold more if we had them, gave 12 tracts away, went to Thomas Cook's and retired for the night.
June 23 '96 - Abita Springs - Arose this morning well, had breakfast, wrote letter to my wife, got our washing cost each 20 cents, biding Cook's good by with a warm invitation to call again, went to Abita got one bunch of envelopes, Posted letter, it started to rain we stayed there till 2 p.m., we started out in the rain, went to Mr. Schick on Bogue Falaya, walked 8 miles, 6 of them in the rain. Had wet walk without dinner, a gospel conversation with Mr. Schick, supper, went to bed at 9 p.m.
June 24 '96 - Got up well, had breakfast, wrote letter to Prest. Samuel Enderson, had a pleasant time with Mr. Schick, treated well, biding him good by, crossed the river, left our washing with a Darky at Jones still, from there to John Fitsgerial to see about meeting he was not home, then to Nathan Whitney, had dinner, a pleasant time, he thought we could get the house, biding him good by went to Mr. Luke Eleson, a gospel conversation with his wife, had supper, we was invited to attend prayer meeting, we excepted, on arriving we was asked to take part, which we did. Elder Moore read a chapter form St. John, opened by prayer. I spoke to the about 20 minutes. We had a pleasant time, went home with Mr. Luke Eleson and retired for the night. We also gave appointment for two meetings Sunday.
June 25 '96 - 8 miles North of Covington - We are feeling well this morning, the sun is shining bright, had breakfast, shaved and biding Eleson's good by went and spent the day with Ben Rogers, had a long talk of the gospel, also dinner with him, biding him good by, went to J F Fussell for the night, gospel conversation, supper, and retired for night. A very hot dry day.
June 26 '96 - North of Covington 8 miles - A very warm morning, feel kind of drowsy, had breakfast a short talk with Mr. Fussell, biding them good by and asked to call again, started out, we can not do much the people don't seem to be interested, and we have to lay around till Sunday to hold meeting, so we went in the woods and spent off the day reading form Church History, went to Mr. H. Roberts, had dinner, the thermometer is 98 above zero, very hot indeed. I went to his shop fixed my knife as on blade was broke out, a gospel conversation between elder Moore and Mr. Roberts mother, supper, a pleasant conversation on religions and other Sub., retired for the night.
June 27 '96 - Got up well, had breakfast and biding Robert's good by with a warm invitation to call again, went to Jones & Pickets Still, got our clothes cost 15 cents. A Darky Baptist Preacher asked up to hold meeting for them, said some white people would be there, we gave appointment for 7:30 at night. Started for Mr. Nathan Whitney's, elder Moore thought we could go a shorter rout. I did not think so but we started out and traveled 5 miles to get 3. Took a bath, had dinner and supper together, went to fill our appointment. We learned that Mr. Davis a professed Haleness (Holiness) had been doing all he could to prevent us from holding meeting, and through him there was but few there, while we was waiting for the crowd to gather, the darkies, held a prayer meeting, our meeting began, there was not a white person there, singing and prayers, I spoke on the first principals of the gospel. Enjoyed the spirit of the Lord, we had a pleasant time. The darkies appreciated very much, went and stayed with Mr. Whitney all night. W11Re1M1
June 28 '96 - Semitucy Creek - Sunday morning, a fine day, feeling well, had breakfast. At 11 oclock went to meeting, a quite a crowd. Elder Moore spoke on the Gospel, a nice meeting, went and had dinner and went to Sunday School. They went through there exercises before prayer, they read and some had a verse committed to memory. After Sunday School, went to fill an appointment. The people did not get there so we could begin till 8 oclock, usual exercises, I spoke on Apostasy and restoration. I well, never felt better in my life, spoke on hour, the night was very warm, prepared very bad went to Whitney's for the night, went to bed at 12 oclock with out supper.
June 29 '96 - Got up well, cleaned up, wrote my dira (diary) for the past three days, had breakfast, biding Mr. Whitney good by with invitation to call again, Went East to the Talisheek P.O. got letters from Prest. S.L. Swenson, also from Prest. Kimball instructing us in regard to our labors, said it was absolute of a necessity to travel with out purse and script, had dinner with Mathice, a gospel conversation with his daughter, wrote letter to my wife and Prest. S.L. Swenson. Went to Mr. Rouck for the night, had supper and a pleasant talk on politics, went to bed at 10 p.m.
June 30 '96 - Talesheep PO - Arose this morning feeling well, had breakfast, biding Rouck's good by, they asked us to call again, made our way East along the Columba road, came to Mr. Smith's after walking 8 miles in the hot sun, had dinner, we learned that our appointment was not give our as we expected, so Mr. Smith sent his little boy around on a horse to notify the people, we remained there had a long talk on the gospel with Mrs. Smith had supper, it rained very hard for a short time, we went to the church, distance of 1 ½ mile, a nice crowd, opening exercises, Elder Moore spoke on the Kingdom of God, gave appointments for a meeting July the 1 at 7:30 p.m., had a pleasant time went home with Mrs. Smith, the road was very mudy (muddy), walked 9 miles, We retired to rest at 11 oclock.
July 1 '96 - At Jones and Pickets Still - 13 Miles North East of Covington - It is a fine morning, we are feeling well, after a good nights rest, took breakfast, biding Smiths good by with an worm invitation call again, and leavig a VofW went and had a chat with Mr. Ladinghouse, he said he liked the VofW well, also asked about which was the best news paper of the west as he wished to sub scribe for one. We told him the Desseret News was, left a sample with him and went to the little Church House, and wrote my dira (diary) for the few days, went to Mr. Benton took dinner, a short talk, Mr. Benton went to work, told us to stay as long as we whished, so we stayed all afternoon. I read the sub. Book of Mormon, in VofW, had supper, then we went to meeting. The house was close by, a nice crowd, usual exercises, I spoke on Apostasy and restoration, spoke of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. As soon as I sat down when Elder Moore said a few words and was going to close, a professed Holeness (Holiness) Preacher by name of Booth stepped up with a bible in his hand wished to say a few words we gave him permission. He tried to prove we was preaching a fake doctrine, said that the Book of Mormon was not true, said the Apostles were not needed in our day, quoted from 16 Chapter of Luke, he spoak (spoke) about 30 minutes. On his stetting down I arose, spoke on the points he referred to, and bare testimony to them, all with the exceptions of one was on our side, instead of gaining anything he lost. A Mr. Benton, was very much taken up with our Doctrine, preached of VofW, said if he could hear the gospel like that he would know what Church to belong to, gave us a very warm invitation to call and see him, said as long as he had a home we had one. We never got away from meeting till 10:30 p.m., went home with Mr. Benton and retired for the night.
July 2 '96 - 13 miles North East of Covington - Got up well as it is fast day, did not eat any breakfast, biding them good by went east along the Cloumbo Road, had a bath in the Bogue Chitto River, crossed the Bridge, left our washing with a Darkie, went to Mr. Henry Mizell's, then to P.O. got a letter form my wife all well, also from mother, and a letter form Mr. Elic Rogers a Haleness on the Bogue Falaya River, wanting us to be at the Welcome Church on Thursday before the third Sunday, to discuss the Book of Mormon and other sub. Took dinner, spent the afternoon chatting with Mr Mizell, supper and retired for the night 9:30 p.m.
July 3 '96 - Sun PO - Arose very well, had breakfast, looked rainy this morning, biding Mizell good by, started out to revisit some, set in the woods, and read some, then to Mickel's, form there to Mr. Perce, had dinner and a pleasant gospel conversation and other Sub. Went to Mr. Henry Simkins and spent the night, had a pleasant time.
July 4 '96 - Sun PO - Got up well had breakfast, a short talk, thanking them for their kindness, with a warm invitation to call at any time, we started our for Hebren Church, went by way of Henry Mizell, a short talk, on biding them good by, they wished us success and asked us or any of our elders to call and see them at any time, and they would do the best they can. Got our washing cost 20¢ each. Crossed the river had a bath, there is picnickers in several places to day, went down the river, thought of staying with Grantham, he has company, then to Mrs. Hyten, the gentleman was not home, then to J.D. Carpenter, his folks was not home, so we had to go on to Mr. Slades, spent the night with him, treated well, a short gospel talk, retired for the night, after walking 8 miles, the people in the settlement seems very cool.
July 5 '96 - Thomasville PO - Sunday morning, a fine day, got up well, had breakfast, talked awhile, went to the meeting house, claim to be a union house, on our arrival we found a notice on the door, No Admittance for the Mormons to preach here. So we had to stay out side, there was but very few came out, not one that had any interest in the house so we held meeting under some Oak Tree. Thought there was but a few of us we had a pleasant time. Invitee home with Mr. Wilkins, had dinner a conversation of the gospel and other Sub., had a fill of figs, went to bed at 9 p.m.
July 6 '96 - Thomasville PO - Monday morning after breakfast, biding Mr. Wilkins good by with invitation to call again, went down the river, called at Wm. Cook's, then to John Parkers took dinner, a pleasant conversation, on biding them good by they asked us to call and see them again, continued down the river, called at Press Crodic's , they seemed pleased to see us, had supper, a gospel conversation and went to bed at 9:30. Walked 14 miles, rained a great deal on the road, we was just behind it.
July 7 '96 - Florenville - After a good nights rest and breakfast, we bade Crodics good by and thanking them, they asked us to call again, we made our way to Pearl River, was disappointed in not getting any mail. We went to store, got a box of shoe blacking & laces 10¢, then to the woods, wrote letter to my wife, also to Mr. Alex Rogers, about the debate, crossed West Pearl on the R.R. bridge, went to E.J. Blackwell, found them feeling well, he had received the VofW and liked it the best kind. He also testified to the truthfulness of the word, we had supper, a long talk on the gospel, he loaned the VofW to his bros., said they liked it well. The people in this Blackwell settlement seems to be very friendly, went to bed at 9 p.m.
July 8 '96 - Honey Island - Got up well this morning and it is a fine day, after breakfast we and E J. Blackwell went a fishing. I caught 7, 5 blue cat and 2 perch. Went to the house, had the fish for dinner, after din, went and visited on old man by the name of Mr. Beets, he said he had heard a great deal about the Mormons, but we was the first he ever saw, had a long talk on the gospel, loaned him a VofW, biding him good by, went and talked with Mr. Blackwell's wife, from there to Calvin Smiths, the was an old lady by the name of ____ a member of the church there, she was pleased to see us, she had not seen the elders for about two years, we had supper and a pleasant conversation. As Mrs. Smiths was not feeling well, was expecting to be confined, we went to Mr. Wm. Hindley's for the night, a short talk and went to bed.
July 9 '96 - Honey Island - The night was cool, arose in the morning feeling well, had breakfast with Mr. Hindley, thanking them, went to Smiths, got our grips, went to Rev. Burks, left our clothes to have them washed, set in the woods and read some, took dinner with Wm. Hall, thanking them and told them of going to hold meeting in Mr. Whites Spoak (spoke) factory, had a shave in the woods, read some went to Wm. Hindley. Had supper, then held meeting in the Spoak (spoke) Factory. Had a pleasant time, I spoke 40 minutes on general and individual salvation, then to Hindleys and went to bed.
July 10 '96 - Honey Island - After a good nights rest, arose well took breakfast, Mr. White said if we wished to hold any more meetings in Factory we was welcome to do so. Biding Hindleys good by, made our way down the Island, took dinner with Budy Hindley a talk on the gospel, left a VofW with him, gave appointment for meeting Sunday at 11 a.m., biding them good by, went to Lot Smiths, found them well, there was a man by name of Johnson there from Miss. he asked us to call and see him if we got in his neighborhood, had a pleasant time. Had supper, after a short talk went to bed. W6Rev3
July 11 Saturday - Honey Island - Rose this morning feeling well, after breakfast with Mr. Lot Smith, thanking him for his kindness with an invitation to call again, call by Mr. Burks, got our washing cost 15¢ each, from there to J.T. Blackwell, had dinner, a pleasant conversation of the gospel . Loaned a VofW to J F Blackwell. The Blackwell's are very interested held meeting. After supper a nice meeting, Elder Moore spoak (spoke) on the Gospel. Retired to rest a t 10 p.m. Got a letter from my wife. The little on is not well. W8 Re2
Sunday July 12 '96 - Honey Island - Got up this morning well, it is a fine day, after breakfast walked 3 miles to a little school house, where we held meeting at 11 a.m., There was a large crowd, the house would not hold them all, the people seemed to have a desire to learn, after the usual exercises I spoke on the apostasy and restoration for an hour, the people was very quiet, and I was blessed greatly with the spirit of God. The tears came to the eyes of some of the people, at the close of the meeting, expressed a strong desire for us to come back and hold some more meetings, from there went to J.F. Blackwell's, had dinner, after had some singing and talking, supper, at 8 oclock held another meeting, Elder Moore spoke on faith. I spoke on repentance. Mr. E.J. Blackwell said when we came back he desired to be baptized and there is a good prospect of 6 or 7 being put under water. Retired to rest at 10:30.
July 13 '96 - Honey Island - Monday morning, after breakfast, biding Blackwell's good by asked us to call again soon as possible, went to Pearl River, got a ticked which cost 60¢, went to Abita Springs, then to Thomas Cook's, found them all well, and pleased to see us, had dinner, a pleasant talk with Mrs. Cook. We Moore and I cut each other hair, had a bath, then supper, a long talk with Mr. Cook on the gospel. He said if we went to the Blackwell settlement to send him word, as he wanted to come over. Retired to bed 10p.m.
July 14 96 - Abita Springs - A fine day, the sun is shining bright and we are well. After breakfast, biding Cooks good by went to Covington, we sent two O Pratt's works to the Blackwell's one to Enoch & 1 to J.F. Blackwell. Got a letter from my wife and Swenson,all well also one from Prest. Kimball stating that two Elders in the Texas Conference was sick and asked the elders to fast and pray for them, which we will on the 19 of this month, as that is the day set apart for that purpose, wrote and posted letter to my wife, went to store and got a tye (tie) and a few other little things cost 60¢, then North on the Hornesville Road. It is very hot and dusty. When we got out of town 4 miles a man by name of R.J. Green caught up with us, asked as to go and stay with all night, he lived 7 miles form there and it was 5:30 p.m., he took our grips in his buggy, and followed him, arriving at his place at 15 minutes to 8, had supper, was quite tired, as we walked 17 miles in the hot sun, talked a while on the gospel and retired a 10 p.m.
July 15 '96 - Verger - We are well this morning, after breakfast had a shave and long talk with Mr. Green, left a VofW with him, biding him good by, with invitation to call again, said we was perfectly welcome, made our way to Alex Rogers, a distance of 4 miles, had dinner, spent the afternoon talking with Mr. Rogers. About sun down Mr. Creel came, we had supper and had a long talk on the gospel, but we differed widely on some points, he said the Church was not built on revelation, he did not think the gospel was taked entirely for the earth, referred to 12 Chapter of Rev. said that it was fulfilled, claimed the those two prophets laid dead in the streets which is called spiritually Sodom & Egypt, he referred to the woman question. We tried to make arrangements what Sub. we was going to discuss on the 16. He said he was going to prove what the Latter Day Saints was only people that the Lord hated. He seemed to be quite rathey, on that we retire. Well he said he knew that we could not defend our selves, I thot we made competent of defending our selves and was going to do it.
July 16 1896 - Verger PO - About 11 miles North of Covington, at the welcome church the professed Haleness (Holiness). After a good nights rest, we arose well, we cleaned up as we concluded to fast we, did not eat any breakfast, but we felt the serenity of a richly portion of the Spirit of God. & assist us in our labors, in defending the precepts of the gospel, as the lad came for us to debate with Mr, Creel a professed Holeness (Holiness) Preacher. We went to the woods offered prayers. On our return to the house a conversation was entered into between Mr. Creel Rogers and Elder Moore and my self. It was pretty warm for a little while. At 10 oclock meeting began. Mr. Booths spoak (spoke) ¾ of an hour trying the spirits, he infured (inferred) that we were fake. Elder Moore then arose, spoak (spoke) 20 minutes explained what we had come here for, what the gospel once was, and that it was taken from the earth, and was restored again. Mr. Creel then took the stand, his remarks bearing on Polygamy declaring that the New Testament condemned it quoting Tim. III:2 and going on about Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. I then took the stand spoke 1 hour and 10 minutes on Apostasy, the restoration and the coming forth if the Book of Mormon, also a few words on polygamy, as Mr. Creel forced the Sub on. We enjoyed the spirit of the Lord, I never felt better in my life. Bore a faithful testimony to the truthfulness of the work the we are engaged in, spoke like I never had done before, meeting closed for dinner, which was eaten on the ground, we had a bite with J. Z. Bernard, after which meeting continued. Elder Moore took the stand, spoke on general and individual salvation for ¾ of an hour. Mr. Creel took the stand quoted Rev. XI:8 to prove that a spiritual interpretation should be placed on all parts of the Bible, carried the idea that every thing was spiritual and nothing literal Also Rev XVI:13-14 said that one spirit came for the devil one from the Catholic, the other from Joseph Smith, he also said he had read a book about Brigham Young's 19 wife. The meeting closed by Jno. Booth, reading a clipping from some paper stating that three men went to Ariz. Got stripped of means and wrote to the Gov. of Miss for help to get back. I gave…
- John Francis Astle's Mission Diary unfortunately ends here -
The Third Mission of John Francis Astle, Sr.
Central States Mission
As recorded in his journal November 12, 1925 to May 27, 1926
John F. Astle was 56 years old at the time.
Spelling corrected-language as written in journal Transcribed by: Leon C. and Blanche L. Astle
November 12 - Having been called to take a short-term mission to the Central States Mission by Heber J. Grant, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and as I will soon leave the Providence First Ward of the Logan Stake, there was a farewell party held in my honor the night of the 12th of this month. A large crowd and the spirit of the Lord prevailed. I surely had a pleasant time and feel that I am honored to be called the third time to go in the world to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
November 15 - This being Sunday, I was asked to speak in Sunday School, also in Sacrament meeting at 2 p.m., speaking on the principle of love. At night, 8:00 p.m. being invited to the Providence Second Ward to speak and bare testimony of the work of the Lord, which I did. At 4:00 p.m. all of my sons and daughters, some of my brothers and sisters met at my home, had dinner, a time of rejoicing prior to my leaving for the Central States.
November 16 - This day I took my Buick Sedan car, sold to the Blair Auto Co. for $1,250.00 credit on a new Buick that I will get on my return from this mission. I went to Salt Lake City, stayed with my brother, R.T.
November 17 - Went to the Church Office Building, arranged for ticket to Independence, Missouri, and was set apart for my mission by Apostle Orson F. Whitney. He says, "Brother Astle, I bless you with the spirit of this mission from this very time. You shall go in peace and return in safety. You shall have, while traveling by rail, opportunity to bare your testimony and be asked many questions. Through the power of the Holy Ghost, you shall be able to answer them. I bless you with health, you shall be preserved from the powers of evil. You shall perform a labor that will renown for your good throughout eternity." Returned to R.T. Astle. My sister, Sarah and her husband, A. A. Call visited us.
November 18 - This morning talked to Lehi and Sylvia, my brother and sister by my father's second wife. Encouraged them to be faithful. Bought Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, combined, also briefcase. At 4:30 p.m., D. and R. Railway Co. for Kansas City, Missouri, arriving there after two days and two nights. Took street car to Independence at 10:30 p.m., the 20th of November.
November 21 - The mission President Bennion was not there. Elder Lyman, mission secretary, appointed us to our conferences, seven of us, myself and Sunihal Hill of Idaho Falls was sent to Austin, Texas, the West Texas Conference. We stopped in Fort Worth, Texas a few hours on Sunday the 21st, attended Sunday School and meeting. At 8:40, we took train for Austin, arriving there early in the morning. After breakfast at restaurant, called at 311 1st East Street, found Elders and Afton W. Steiner.
November 24, 1925 - Went out two miles, took dinner with Mrs. Meller, a member of the church. Held cottage meeting at night with some of the Saints and investigators.
November 23, 1925 - Visited with Elders, went out at night, visited two families of Saints, stayed with Grandma Extrum. Visited Saints with Elders, one meeting. Elders kept coming in for conference, four Elders from Mexican Mission.
Friday morning, 27th - Fifteen Elders met with President Bennion in Priesthood meeting. Reports was given which was not very good. President Bennion asked Elders to do better. A public meeting at 7:30 p.m., not many present. Received our appointments. I was appointed to labor in the city of Austin with Elder Christenson, a young man. It is said to be the worst place to labor in the West Texas Conference.
Saturday, 28th - Spent most of day cleaning up room. Sunday went to Sunday School and Sacrament meeting, took dinner with Goldstein, held meeting on street. Paid one months room rent.
November 30 - Monday, went to breakfast and out to work tracting. Went to and west of state capital. Met a minister that was not very good, in fact, very bitter. I bore my testimony in all soberness that we had a message for him. Loaned Book of Mormon, one little book, sold one, had four Gospel conversations. Got a letter from Doretta, all well at home.
Tuesday we went to hold a funeral of a lady that was very friendly, Mrs. Boburge. On account of one brother of hers that could not get there till Wednesday, it was postponed till 11:30. We then had a very nice meeting. Elder Ernal Christenson spoke on Salvation for the dead, and I spoke on the Resurrection of the dead.
Thursday we tracted. We had a new Elder form Salt Lake City, Livingston, three of us had a very good time and got in a number of homes, sold one book, had some good conversations.
Friday was very cold, a north-west wind. The day was not as good as the previous day, met some good people.
Saturday sent off reports. Got two letters from home, all well, had breakfast in room as we got some groceries yesterday. Went to Brother Bells and selected some broom straw for him to make us a Swiss broom. He is a blind man, makes brooms and baskets.
Sunday, held three meetings. I spoke in the street and in the hall, enjoyed the Spirit of the Lord. Two Elders came, Bert Linford of Afton, Wyoming and Talbert from Idaho. The rest of the week tracted, had a very pleasant time, invited into many homes, some good Gospel conversations, sold six Book of Mormon, 15 little books.
Friday, the first home I visited was invited in. The lady Miss Rosa Lee Owens, said she had been praying that a minister would come to her home, said she wanted to talk to me about marriage of one that had been divorced and said she was some worried. I told her I thought all right if she could get a good man. She then asked me to perform the ceremony. I tried to avoid it but she insisted, so on Saturday at 4:30, after talking to county clerk about what was required, I performed the ceremony. Elders Christenson and Talbert being present, there was about 20 others there. The parties names J. J. Thompson of Georgetown and Rosa Lee Owens of Austin, Texas. I signed up as an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We held two meetings.
Sunday rained all day, held four meetings.
Monday was a cold day, a poor day for tracting, sold one little book. Bought another meal ticket, $5.00. We got a 10% discount on them. Rained all night, had breakfast in room. I talked the old man here into put in a little cot as there was three of us sleeping in one bed. I had him put it in for the same price, $20.00 per month. Two Elders were paying that. I put up a talk, got a little cot put in for the same money. We had a pleasant time tracting, sold a number of the Book of Mormon and little books. Bought a parasol, $2.50. Sent a few cards out for Christmas. Got three cakes for Christmas, one from Klea, Pearl, and Arstanie, a picture of David, some handkerchiefs form Doretta. Done some revisiting, ate supper December 24th with Grandma Eckstrom, dinner on Christmas with Fanney Eckstrom, a meeting at night at Sister Lundy's.
December 26 - Saturday morning clear, done some studying and cleaning.
Sunday, a very cold day, held Sunday School, no meeting at night as no one came out.
Monday, the ground was covered with snow stayed in room all day.
Tuesday, visited some, loaned 3 little books to a lady that had a Book of Mormon. I left some tracts with her a week ago, seemed to be very interested.
Wednesday, sold one Book of Mormon, two little books in Spanish. Held meeting at Goldstein's at night after had a long talk on the Gospel with his son-in-law, somewhat interested.
Thursday, wrote letter to Klea A. Baer. She had sent me a box of apples that I had received, went and see Mr. Frits near the capital, a Catholic, sold a Book of Mormon that I had loaned him and five other books, a very nice man. Then we baptized a young lady by name of Mildred Walmsley in Colorado River. Elder Ernal Christenson baptized her and John F. Astle confirmed her on this the 31st day of December 1925. After supper, held meeting at Grandma Eckstrom's home.
January 1, 1926 - Rained all day, went to Mr. Millen's on 600 West 13th, loaned two little books. Took dinner with Mrs. Walmsley, a very good dinner. Mr. Fritz was thee. I had a long talk on the Gospel with him, sold him Pearl of Great Price and Practical Reference.
Saturday, revisited, cleaned up some in room.
Sunday went to Sunday S
John Francis Astle's Timeline
September 21, 1869
Montpelier, Bear Lake, ID, USA
July 13, 1892
Grover, Lincoln, WY, USA
September 9, 1894
Providence, Cache, UT, USA
April 5, 1898
Grover, Lincoln, WY, USA
October 19, 1899
Grover, Lincoln, WY, USA
March 12, 1901
Grover, Lincoln, WY, USA
August 12, 1902
Grover, Lincoln, WY, USA
January 4, 1904
Grover, Lincoln, WY, USA
March 17, 1906
Grover, Lincoln, WY, USA