During the Orderville, Utah years of the Church (1860’s-1870’s) a small patch of wheat was planted that would not be grown for making bread or other baking. What was the purpose of this wheat?
a. Making beer
b. Making dolls
c. Making hats
d. Stuffing for mattresses
a. It sounded too sad
The following from the journal of Lafayette Guymon dated December 31, 1884: Well, tomorrow starts a New Year. All I can write every day is that Heber just grows a little worse. It is hard to bear. He tells us not to worry, he is not afraid to die. Just think of a little boy eleven years old saying a thing like that with his life just before him. Today he said, “Pa, I did want to grow up to be a man so I could help you when you get old, but I guess Enoch will have to be your right hand now that Jimmie has to go away to the school for deaf,” and after a long pause, “I sure did want to see Lucy grow up, too, but I guess God wants me.”
January 15th—Today after all the rest had gone to bed, I was sitting with Heber all quiet and each thinking his own thoughts when suddenly he asked me, “Pa, are you sure Ma will be there to meet me when I go?” With me feeling so blue and sad and wondering if God has anything to do with a little boy’s suffering like this, it was hard for me to tell him I was sure his mother would meet him, but after I sat and thought a minute, I know she will. It’s just got to be that way. Then I told him the story my mother told me long ago about how Jesus said he was going to prepare a home for us over there, and I just know he would have a nice place for a good little boy.
January 20th—Today it looks like maybe the end of his suffering was near. He was in sort of a stupor most of the time. I just had to get some work done outside. We had to get up a shed to protect the cow and horses from the cold north wind. Phebe sent Annie running for me but by the time I got there he had revived, but he begged me not to leave him anymore, so I sent the boys back alone to finish the shed. There have been only two other days in my life as hard as this one. That was when his mother died and my little Mary girl went with heart disease. Oh, please God, take him and end this awful suffering. I can’t go through another time like this evening. He told us all good-bye and went clean off but rallied again and looked up at me and said, “Well, Pa, I didn’t make it did I?” He then kissed baby Lucy good-bye three times and went to sleep.
January 21st—Heber died today at 12:30. It is over, thank God.
January 22nd—We sure have a lot of friends. A bunch of women folk came and made a nice suit out of some black cloth that George Bauer sent. His little white shirt that Phebe made for Christmas looks nice with his black suit. John White made a coffin—planed it all nice and smooth, and his wife covered it with black calico and lined it with muslin. He looks nice in his coffin, and I can honestly say I am thankful to see him at rest. Jimmie and Enoch and the Wilden boys have dug a grave upon the hill at the top of the farm beside baby Francis. It took them all day because the ground is frozen so hard.
January 23rd—We held a simple service here at the house. So many friends came. Some folks I never even met before. Brother Halls said some very comforting words, and the womenfolk’s tried to sing, but most of them broke down and left it for Aunt Hannah to go it alone. Then we took the coffin in the wagon and laid my boy to rest. I have two little boys up there on the hill now. It seems I am the one to make the Mormon graveyard here at Mancos. On, Margaret, I sent out little Mary girl on to you and now our boy, and I do know that you will be there to welcome him. I can say tonight—“God’s will be done.” It about killed Phebe, putting Heber by our little baby Francis. It was the first time she had been there since the baby died with whooping cough. I must roundup shoulders and get to work because there is a living to make for the ones left here.
I guess I’ll stop trying to write a journal. In reading over what I have written, it sound too sad. I’ll let God keep the records.
Chronicles of Courage, Daughters of Utah Pioneers (Salt Lake City: Lesson Committee, 1993), V4:345-346.