Monday, February 12, 2018

Frederick G. Williams and Income Tax 1836

See the source image
http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/files/2012/10/income-tax-forms.jpg

Back in the day when men worked for 50 cents to $1 per day, what was income tax set at?
a.                  50 cents per $50
b.                  50 cents per $100
c.                   50 cents per $300
d.                  There was no tax
Yesterday’s answer:
A.                  The Muddy Mission (Nevada)
Of the many stories told by those who settled this region [St. George], one account captures what is for me a key insight. My friend Lowell Wood told me this story from the life of his great grandparents William and Elizabeth Wood. In 1867, Brigham Young called the Woods to help settle an extension of the Dixie Cotton Mission ninety miles southwest from St. George along the Muddy River in Moapa Valley, Nevada. Historian L. A. Fleming wrote that no colonization in any area of North America presented greater difficulties than those faced by the settlers on the Muddy. To accept this mission call, the Woods sold their profitable butcher shop and their comfortable home in Salt Lake City.
Conditions in the Muddy settlement were much like those in nearby Dixie. As one descendant of that group put it. “Those people were so poor, they couldn’t even pay . . . attention.” After five years of frustrating effort, William’s family lost everything trying to settle the Muddy. The settlement closed in 1872, partly due to the quirky demands of Nevada tax laws on people who thought they lived in Utah—but that’s another story. Many of them moved just up the road to Orderville, east of St. George. The Woods returned penniless and exhausted to Salt Lake City, where they began living in a dugout with a dirt floor and a sod roof.
One day William and Elizabeth stood looking at the beautiful home they had sold to accept their mission call. William asked, “’How would you like such a house now as our old home?’” Elizabeth replied, “I would rather [live in a] dug-out with [our] mission filled than [live] in that fine house with [our] mission unfulfilled.’” Why would Elizabeth feel that way? Her answer says not simply that she was glad she survived the hardships, but also that she honestly believed she was a different and better person because of the way they had learned and grown by facing their hardships together. Like the survivors of the Martin and Willie handcart experiences, they came to know God in their extremities. And the price they paid to know him was a privilege to pay.”

Bruce C. Hafen, Pools of Living Water, BYU Studies, Vol. 51, Number 1, 2012, 53.

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