John Lytle Whipple was born April 7, 1874 at St. George, Utah. He was the second son of Eli Whipple and Caroline Lytle. John had one older brother, Eli, and two younger brothers, Will and Charles, and two younger sisters, Leah and Effie.
John received his "book" education in the First and Second Ward School House, in the basement of the Tabernacle and in the Court House in St. George.
He was baptized into the L.D.S. Church in the St. George Temple when he was eight years of age and went to Sunday School in the basement of the Tabernacle.
Until John was fourteen years of age the Whipple Family lived in St. George in the winters and Pine Valley during the summers. His father owned the upper end of Pine Valley and had alarge farm, cattle and a sawmill there.
From Pine Valley his father shipped lumber to Pioche, St. George and other nearby towns. He hired men in the summer to help on the farm and with the cattle. They also helped at the sawmill and hauled logs.
Though John was just a lad at this time he received some valuable training. He helped as best he could and learned many things that were to help prepare him for the rigorous life ahead ofhim.
At the age of fourteen or fifteen he went to ride for cattle at Parashaunt for Antone Ivins; and at the age of 16 he started to work for Preston Nutter, a big cattleman and rancher.
The experiences this young sixteen year old young man had at this time must have done much to temper and build character, for in reading his life history, I find nine typewritten pages on this particular time in his life.
Preston Nutter had bought 4400 head of steers near Kingman, Arizona.
He planned to drive these cattle to Strawberry Valley near Provo, Utah. When his outfit, which consisted of a four horse outfit with two wagons, seventy-five head of saddle horses and twenty men arrived in St. George they decided to hire more men. They hired five St. George boys; Hon Snow, Dave Foremaster, Bryant Ashby, Ralph Keate and John Whipple, who was the youngest of the group.
They left St. George Sept. 15, 1890 planning to meet Mr. Nutter at the Colorado River. Hewas bringing supplies to the men; but, when they arrived there he wasn't there. Hot weather had delayed the cattle trailing and their supplies were practically gone. Then men had nothing to eat but dried peaches and they were wormy. After living on dried peaches for about six days their boss, Allan Montgomery went over the high mountain range to St. Thomas, Nevada (about fifty miles) to get supplies. When he arrived there he found no stores but one of the ranchers gave him two sacks of flour and some coffee.
They had no baking powder, sugar or other supplies but they sprinkled flour in the frying pan, mixed water with flour and had flapjacks and coffee made of river water.
After three more days Nutter arrived with 35 men, the cattle and no supplies. This made a total of 56 men without many supplies. They shared their flour and coffee with Nutter and hismen, then they killed a steer. Their big problem was cooling out the meat because the temperature was 110 to 120 degrees.
It took several days in getting the steers across the river. After getting about half of the steers (2200 or 2300) across, seven of the boys, including John L. started on the trail. They changed their route and swung over the high mountains and figured on coming into the Virgin River above Bonella's Ferry.
The next few days was an endurance test for both man and beast. Two of the five horses laid down and died. They loaded the other three horses with saddles and turned them in with the cattle. Then the five men or boys, herded over 2000 head of cattle over those rugged mountainsby foot. By 10 a.m. the sun was so hot, and the boys were so near choked and so hungry theywere forced to abandon the cattle and walk to the Virgin River in order to save their lives. Threeof the boys' tongues became so swollen from thirst that they could go no farther. They left Hon Snow, Bryant Ashby and Allen Montgomery in the shade of some ledges, then Dave Foremaster and John Whipple continued to the river. But before leaving, the other boys bid them farewell and told them what to tell their folks because they didn't think they could survive. John L. said itwas a tough and hard parting but they promised they would do all they could to get water back tothem. After they had traveled about a mile and a half they met the horse wrangler who was bringing a coffee pot of water to them. The horse wrangler hadn't had food or rest for 48 hours and was unable to take the water any farther. John L., a boy of sixteen, took the water back to the three boys.
John said, "I had a real scrap with them to give them a little water at a time. They practically went crazy, being so thirsty. 1 had to hold each one by the hair of the head and force him to takejust one swallow at a time until they had enough and got quieted down so I could leave them. I left the coffee pot of water with them and advised them to lay in the shade until evening before trying to make it onto the river."
After joining Foremaster and the wrangler they went another twelve miles before they arrived at the Virgin River where the cook had left some flour and coffee for them.
As there were no flint or hard wood in this vicinity. they were puzzled as to how they were going to make a fire to cook something to eat. But Foremaster had an idea. "I'll tell you what we'll do," he said. "I have an old six shooter; we will take a piece of this old quilt the cook has wrapped around this flour and take some cotton out of it." He then took the slug out of the cartridge and stuffed it full of cotton, leaving the powder in. He wadded up the other old cotton and some brush, and shot the gun into it. Then both boys blew and blew. In a few minutes they had a fire and made their flapjacks and coffee. The other three boys came in about sundown, andthey fixed some flapjacks and coffee for them.
John L. tells of many more interesting incidents that took place during the five months these men worked to get these cattle to their pasture before winter should overtake them.
I am sure John L. Whipple's family and we who knew him can see that his training and schooling on the cattle trail probably did more to develop the man we know than his formal schooling in the school room.
After working for two or three years for Nutter and other men, John L. made a trip to Pioche and got a job cutting ties to build a railroad track from Pioche to Jack Rabbit. While there he met with an accident and he couldn't continue working there. He went back to St. George where hehired out to build a fence to enclose Green Spring Pasture, some range owned by Antone Ivinsand Heber J. Grant.
On July 3, 1893 he married Rose Ellen Warren in St. George, Utah.
He worked for a while for James Andrus then later got a job freighting from St. George to Milford. He hauled a large part of the silver bullion to Milford that was produced at Silver Reef. In order to keep people from knowing he was hauling silver bars he would stay all night at Leedsthen would pick up the bars at Silver Reef the next morning. The silver bars were put in leatherbags then he would pile loose hay on top of the wagon and stay with the wagon day and night inorder to insure safe delivery.
In the fall if 1897, he and a Mr. Kelley sank a horseshoe shaft at a gold camp, Deer Lodge, near Modena. The next spring he returned to St. George and hired to Thomas Judd, a Mormon Colonizer.
He left St. George April 12, 1898. Destination: White River, Nevada where he was going totake charge of a ranch and cattle owned by the L.D.S. Church. He arrived in Lund on the 17th of April 1898, the first St. George man to settle there. Bishop Judd had gone by way of Salt Lake City and arrived at Lund on the same day. After moving the Church cattle to Ephraim Mountain he took the saddle horses and out fit back to Lund about July 15th. He then left for St. George tomove his family out. There was his wife, Rose; Murry, their oldest son; LaVerne, their second son; and their daughter, Eliza Dent.
In Lund, they moved into an old log cabin. The next fall he went to Taylor, about twenty miles from Ely, where he bought an old lumber house. Joe Oxborrow, Steve Williams and John L. tore it apart, loaded it on their wagons, and hauled it to Lund. It was the first lumber house in Lund. Leone, their second daughter was born July 4, 1900. Leone was the second girl born inLund, Lillian Ashby was the first.
He ran cattle for the Church for 4½ years. By that time the Church, called the "Nevada Land and Livestock Co." had sold out all their land to colonizers so had no feed for the cattle. Then they sold all their cattle to James Andrus of St. George.
In 1902, John L. and others trailed the cattle to Modena, Utah where they turned them over to James Andrus.
Beulah was born Dec. 29, 1902.
In the spring of 1903, he bought the Barnes' Ranch from Pete North and after harvesting the fall crops, sold it to Joe Judd and John Moffet of Manti, Utah.
He went to Taylor and bought another old house, brought it to Lund and made a store. Heran this store about two years then sold it to Jacob Gubler, Moses Harrison and Dolph Whitehead before moving to Sunnyside.
John L. bought the Horton Ranch at Sunnyside late in the fall of 1904, then moved the familydown after Christmas. He bought 100 head of cattle with the ranch then moved 100 head fromLund down. He fed beef during the winter of 1904-05 and sold in Delamar, to make paymentson ranch.
In 1905, he took a sub-mail contract from 0. H. Snow from Sunnyside to Pioche. This he had for two years.
In 1906, he located the Silver Horn Mine and sold it to an English Company for $10,000. With this money he finished paying for his ranch.
On September 27, 1917 he was appointed Postmaster and held this post until 1934. In 1917 he bought the Lewis Ranch from Castin Olsen. That same summer he sold one-half interest to Ed Hendrix. That fall after the crops were harvested LaVerne and the Hendrix boys went into theArmy.
During the winter of 1917, John L. Whipple, E. A. Hendrix and Jim Riordan built a flour mill in Lund. That same winter he sold to Hendrix the other half of the Lewis Ranch.
In 1929-1930 he bought about 1480 acres of meadow land from Adams and McGill. He split it up and sold it to the men in Lund.
In the meantime, all their children had finished local schools.
Leone, Beulah and Vivian went to St. George. LaRue went to Salt Lake City and Logan, Utah. Leone went three years in San Jose, California. Dent went to Brown's School ofDressmaking in Salt Lake City. Caroline went to Henager's Business College in Salt Lake City and Sawyer's School of Business in Los Angeles, California. Vivian attended the University of Nevada at Reno after graduating from East Side High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. Clair went to East Side High in Salt Lake City and White Pine High in Ely.
He bought a home in Salt Lake City about the time when the children were going to school in there, then later traded it for a home in Ely.
All of his children married. Murry married Ouida Jones of Genoa, Nevada. LaVerne married Luella Fawcett; Dent married Lorain Hendrix; Beulah married Loren O'Donnell; Leone married Frances Riordan; LaRue married Grant Robison; Vivian married Allen Oxborrow, Clair married Lila Robison; Caroline married Eddie Thomas; Phyllis married Douglas Draper.
John L. leased the ranch to Clair in 1935 then later sold it to him.
Dent died in April 1929. On April 12, 1939 his wife, Rose Ellen, passed away and August 15, 1945, Murry died.
He married Famie Nelson, a widow from St. George, April 20, 1940.
After selling his ranch, he bought a home in Ely where he and his wife Famie lived for sometime.
Not only was John L. a successful businessman and family man, he was a man who was always interested in his community, state and nation.
In 1934, he received an appointment as appraiser for the Government Drouth Relief.
He was on the Advisory Board of Grazer from 1936 to 1940.
He was appointed to go to the Reclamation Convention in Denver in October 1942.
He served on the Racing Committee for four or five years and belonged to the Lions and Elks Clubs.
In 1948 he was elected as Republican Assembly man from White Pine County.
When the State Legislature convened that year he was influential in securing through the Haylift Government help for stricken cattlemen and sheepmen.
The past few years he and his wife Famie have lived in St. George where he has renewed old friendships and made many new friends. He passed away Dec. 22, 1966 in St. George.
He is survived by all his children except the two children, Dent and Murry, who preceded him in death.