Friday, December 6, 2013

The Army’s Largest Base

Where was the largest U.S. Army Base located in 1858?

a.      Washington D. C.

b.      Philadelphia, Pa.

c.       New York City

d.      Salt Lake City

Yesterday’s answer:

a.      $500

The following from the journal of William C. Rydalch: For some time previous to the spring of 1860, my wife and I had been endeavoring to save means whereby we might obtain a team, harness and wagon. By the greatest thrift, economy and careful management, we finally found ourselves in possession of five hundred dollars, of which we were both justly proud, as money was much harder to obtain then than now. I immediately went to Salt Lake City, with this sum in my pocket, to purchase the much coveted outfit, but said nothing to anyone of my purpose, so that no one but my wife was aware that I had the money with me.

Soon after I arrived in the city I met President Heber C. Kimball on the sidewalk just below the Deseret News Office He shook hands with me and then said ‘Brother Rydalch, will you loan me the five hundred dollars you have in your pocket?”

 I looked at him with astonishment and dismay, as the thoughts ran swiftly through my mind of the sacrifices made by my wife and myself to save this amount; of the months of toil and industry it represented; but knowing him to be a man of God, I hesitated only for an instant, and then told him he could have it. At the same time I took from my pocket the twenty-five twenty-dollar gold pieces and handed them to him.

 He blessed me and then said: “Brother Rydalch, I promise you that in less than three months this amount will double in your hands.”

He turned and walked away leaving me marveling at the strangeness of circumstance, and thinking of the possibilities of the promise being fulfilled, which he had made me. I returned home feeling confident that all would come out right, but I felt rather doubtful of convincing my wife of this fact, as I knew it would be a great disappointment to her.

About two weeks after this occurred I again went to Salt Lake, and upon meeting Brother Kimball he informed me that he had a span of mules in his stable that he had taken on a debt; and asked me if I would look at them and take them on the five hundred dollars if they suited me.

 I went and looked at them and found them to be just what I wanted. I returned to the house and told him I would take them. He then asked me what I would allow him for them. I told him I did not wish to put a price on another man’s property. He wanted to know if two hundred dollars was too much. I answered that it was not, and took them. He also said he had a set of lead harness which could go with them at forty dollars. This was a pretty good price, but I took it. He then spoke of the running gears of a new wagon, the box of which had been demolished by an accident while crossing the Bog Mountain. He said I could have it for eighty dollars..  This I agreed to take without any hesitation whatever, as it was a good bargain. He thought his son Heber P. had an extra box that would fit it. This he obtained for me and it fitted exactly. I went home as proud a man as could be found anywhere, as I had now the very articles which I had been saving my money to buy, all first-class, and Brother Kimball was still owing me one hundred and eighty dollars. 

In about three weeks from this time I received a letter from James Lemmons who lived at Bountiful, Davis County, desiring me to look out for a good pair of mules for him that would do for leaders in crossing the plains, as he was going East to purchase goods for Hooper and Eldredge. I informed him by return mail that I had just the animals he wanted, and that he must come to Grantsville immediately, or they might be sold. He came, was well suited with them and offered me four cows, five heifers and a fine Durham Bull. These cattle I had then in my possession, as I was talking care of them for him. They were all good condition, and some of the cows had calves.

We soon closed the bargain, he talking the mules and turning over the stock to me the same day. These cattle I considered will worth five hundred dollars in cash and I would not have sold them for that amount.

Soon after I went back to the city and met Brother Kimball at his home, but said nothing about what had taken place. He said Brother Henry Houtz was owing him one hundred and fifty dollars and he had a good horse which he wanted him to take for that amount. He asked me if I wanted him, I did not want a horse, but as he rather insisted on my going to see it I went, I found it to be an excellent animal, and decided to take him. I turned him into a good pasture and let him remain about two weeks, when an officer named Calapsey, from Camp Floyd, belonging to the commissary department, and who happened to be at Grantsville buying hay and grain, rode up to my horse and inquired of me if I knew where he could purchase as a good cavalry horse. I informed him that I was in possession of just what he was looking for. In a short time I sold him the animal for three hundred dollars, it being just what he wanted.

Several days after this I met President Kimball again at his home, and while there he mentioned the thirty dollars we was still owing me. He said he would like to pay me out of his store. This met with my approval and he gave me goods which were well worth seventy-five dollars, including s shawl worth at least fifty dollars, which was in constant use for twenty years. It had been two months since President Kimball mad the prediction which had been literally fulfilled, and I had fully realized one thousand dollars through the transaction.

Preston Nibley, Faith Promoting Stories (Salt Lake City, Bookcraft, 1977), 159-162.

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