At the time Wilford Woodruff was President of the L.D.S. Church, the United States Government was not at all satisfied with the fact that the Mormons were living in polygamy, and attempted to put a stop to the practice. They issued the statement that such a practice was no more than living in adultery, and that it should be stopped. To see that it was stopped the Government sent officers out among the people of Utah, and whenever they found a man having more than one wife, they were arrested and put in jail and were also fined a heavy fine. After alot of suffering among the people, the Lord inspired President Woodruff to sign a manifesto telling the world there would be no more polygamy marriages in the Church.
The Government also confiscated all the finances held by the Church, and after some time had passed and conditions had settled down to a more peaceful atmosphere, the Church wanted the Government to return the funds they had taken, but the Government refused to do so, instead they turned over to the Church several big cattle ranches; Lund, Preston, and Georgetown were three of them. The Church authorities selected Thomas Judd of St. George to do what he could to interest some of the young married men to go with him to colonize this new part of the country, which he did. Thomas was very interested and enthused about the project, and some of the young men were also. So, in April of 1898, a group of young men went to Nevada to look over the project, among the group were Ed Hendrix, Joe Oxborrow, John Whipple, Otis Terry, Will Terry, and Eph Oxborrow. They were all very well pleased with what they found, and most of the group returned to St. George to make arrangements to move out there as soon as possible. Three of the men stayed, John Whipple to look after the cattle, as there was quite a herd of them on the ranch. Otis Terry and Eph Oxborrow stayed to take care of the farming land.
The following November of 1898, my husband, Otis Terry came back to St. George to get his family and move out to what later became Lund, Nevada. He brought a double bedded wagon to move us in. We loaded what we could of our household furniture in the bottom of the wagon and then put my bed springs on top. We tied our milk cow behind the wagon, and were ready to start on our new adventure.
It took six days each way to make the trip. When we reached Eagle Valley, my baby became very ill. I had just left two babies buried in St. George, so I was very worried about the condition of this baby. He was so bad that my husband borrowed a horse and sent to Pioche for a doctor. We stayed there for a week and then, since the baby was better, we continued on our journey.
As we were leaving Eagle Valley, we met Eph Oxborrow, who had become worried about us and had come to look for us. We traveled together from Eagle Valley to the foot of Silver King Summit, and then since Eph had a team and buckboard, and the weather was so nice, my husband and I and family took the buckboard, and went on ahead and left Eph to bring the other outfit, as I was anxious to get to our destination just as quickly as we could, on account of the baby. When we reached the top of the summit, the weather had changed and was extremely cold with a heavy wind and snowing very hard. We met Jake Gubler who had been to the new place and was on his way back home to get his family and move out. Seeing our condition and seeing that we were having a time to keep our two children warm, Jake gave us a couple of his quilts. If it hadn't have been for those two quilts, I believe we would have frozen. As it was, we were almost frozen when we reached the Lewis Ranch, which was the first ranch we came to in the valley. It was a long narrow valley running north and south about ninety miles, and was about twenty-five miles wide, and how the wind could blow down through the valley with nothing to stop it and it was so very cold. The Lewis family took us in and were very nice to us. Eph didn't get there until about eleven o'clock at night and was just about as cold as we had been, but he had had a cover on the wagon and we didn't have one on the buckboard.
The next morning we continued on our way again, and when we reached the top of a ridge, just before going down to the ranch, my husband stopped the team and said, "Well, Hulda, there is our future home." I just sat and looked. He hadn't told me anything about what to expect and I thought I would faint and all I could say was, "Oh, my Lord." Away off in the Valley, I could see a little lumber shack, a pile of hay a little way from the house, a corral, and a dugout cellar. Nothing else was in sight. This was to be our home! Farther on was a spring of lovely water, a good sized ranch house and some bunkhouses that the cowboys had used, also four or five families who had moved in during the summer, among them Joe Oxborrow, John Whipple and Will Ivins. Aunt Sabe Oxborrow took us in until my baby was in a condition to be moved. Then we moved to our own little shack; I think it would measure about twelve feet long by ten feet wide. We laid the bed springs on blocks of wood, set up my kitchen cupboard, and the stove anda small table and two or three chairs. There was not much extra room. My husband had a supply of lovely potatoes that he had raised in the summer and had stored in the cellar; he would bring a bucket full of them in at night and set them as close to the stove as he could, but by morning they would be frozen as hard as rocks. Our breath would be frozen on the blankets on our bed. We were off there by ourselves, and I became so very homesick and lonesome that first year in our new home.
There was no trail from our place to the next ranch, except along the canal bank, and one night Aunt Sabra came to see me and to inquire about my baby. She slipped and fell in the canal, and by the time she had gotten herself out of the water and had reached our house, her clothes were frozen stiff. We dried out her clothing and warmed her up good and she returned to her home without suffering any ill effects from her cold bath.
The first settlers in Lund were all from St. George and we were all very close to each other in our feelings for one another, and we all depended greatly on each other to help us through the winter and trying times we had ahead of us, each one sharing with his neighbor the things he had to share.
We were eating breakfast one morning when Eph came in and said, "What's the matter with your cow, Terry?" The men went out to see what had happened and they found the cow lying where she had fallen. After she had been milked, she had been turned out to feed, and in going around the corner of the corral she had slipped on the ice, and had broken her neck. It was quite a blow to me because we depended on her milk so much for our family's food, and she was theonly cow we had.
There was no doctor in the little group of settlers, and when sickness came to any of us, we each did what we could to help care for the afflicted ones. During our first winter, Will Terry came out to build a house, so he could move his family to the little community. He brought his son, George, who was about twelve or thirteen years of age, with him. When Will had to go to the hills to get logs to build his house with, the boy stayed behind; and one day when his dad had gone after logs, the boy saw some ducks fly over and wanted to shoot them. He knew we had a gun and wanted to borrow it. I tried to talk him out of using it but he was so determined to use it that I finally gave in to him and let him take the gun. After a while I heard a shot. Soon after he came back all covered with blood. I didn't know what to do, so I sent for Mrs. Della Ivins, as she was the nearest to a doctor we had. She came and dressed the wound. It was about two inches long. He said some ducks flew over and he shot at them, and that is all he knew. The men said he must have shot both barrels of the gun at the same time and the gun must have kicked back at him and hit him in the mouth, cutting a gash in the lower lip, through his upper lip, into his nose and cut his upper !ip wide open. It was certainly a nasty cut. There were no men around but Dan Hendrix, and the sight of it made him sick, and he had to go outside. When the boy's dad came, Mrs. Ivins told him the cut had to be sewed up. Of course we had no anesthetic to give the boy, and Mrs. Ivins fixed a thread and the boy's dad sewed the wound up, and Mrs. Ivins took care of it and dressed it every day, and when she couldn't I took over. It was a great relief when it was healed and they left for home. By that time I think all the families had a log cabin built, and I was so glad when we could move out of that little shack into a room big enough to turn around in.
The next summer we heard of a deserted mining town, Taylor. The ore had run out of the mines so the miners just picked up and left their houses and everything in them, just as they had used them. These houses were free to anyone who would go pull them down and haul them away. Everything in the house that a man chose went with the house. There was furniture, dishes and most everything a housewife needed in those days. We were indeed glad to get them. The men would club together, take Heber Smith, who was a carpenter, with them, and go over to the abandoned houses, pick out a house they wanted, pull it down and load it on the wagons with everything that went with the house, and haul it back to Lund and then build it up again. Most of the families who were in Lund at that time got one of those houses, and we began to live more like we had become accustomed to before we moved to Lund. But, Oh!, the bed bugs. It seems like there had to be something to take the joy out of living in some way or ancther. We were all so glad to get a decent house to live in, then this had to happen. As soon as warm weather came,the bugs began to come out of their hiding places. They just swarmed out. We could kill the bugs, but every little crack or nail hole was full of nits, and there was never any end to them. Oh well, we were glad to get the houses anyway.
We moved to Lund in 1898, and in March 1900, I was expecting to give birth to another baby, so I told Sister Oxborrow she would have to be my doctor. She said, "Why Sue, you know I can't do that." I replied, "You were with me with Dr. Cliff, when two of my babies were born,and now you try to remember what he did, and what he told you to do, and I will do the same,and I know with the help of the Lord, everything will be alright. You will just have to because there is no one else." I had known Sister Oxborrow all my life and I love her dearly. It was a hard deal for me, as I always had a very hard time bringing a child into the world. Well, my baby and I came through the ordeal nicely.
Everything was going along very nicely. We had our ups and downs, but we were all good friends and did everything we could for each other. We made our own yeast, our own baking powder and our own soap to wash our clothes with. We made rugs, sewed carpet rags which Sister Oxborrow made into carpets for us. We didn't raise any fruit for several years.
As summer was passing, a friend in Eagle Valley had come out to Lund and had decidcd to move his family out to Lund. There were five in the family; the father, mother, and three children and since there was no house on the land the man had bought, my husband brought them to our house to live with us until they could get a house built. The next day after they had arrived I noticed the boy had quite a cough and I said to the mother, "Your boy sounds like he has the whooping cough." She said, "No, he has been nowhere to get the whooping cough." Anyway, in nine days my Vern started to cough, then Grace, then my five month old baby started to cough. No matter what we did for her, she continued to grow worse. Finally everyone thought we should take her to Ely. I told my husband it would do no good, but he said, "All we can do is try, then we will know we did all we could." We took the baby to Ely and Bertha Smith went with us. The doctor could do nothing for her and in a few days she died. The Ely people were very good to us and did all they could to help us. One lady brought a large bunch of cream colored sweetpeas. I loved her for her kindness. We sent word to Lund that the baby had passed on, so when we got back they had everything ready to bury her, little casket and all. As there had been no cemetery laid out, they buried the little one out away from town on the ditch bank, and laid big rocks on the grave to keep the wolves from digging into the grave. My baby was the first death in Lund. Later when a cemetery was laid out, they moved her to the cemetery and buried her in a grave with a marker for it. I was very badly broken up over the loss of my baby. She was the third one I had lost in ten years.
I went back to St. George to visit my mother and friends and was gone about three months. That was in August of 1900. Families kept moving to Lund for quite some time.
Written by:Susie M. Terry
Submitted by:Vera Reid