William Holmes Walker

I, William Holmes Walker, son of John and Lydia Holmes Walker, was born at Peacham, Caledonia county, Vermont, August 28, 1820.
My parents were sincere believers in the established Christian religion of the day, being members of the Congregational Church. I was trained in all the tenets of the same and a firm believer in the King James Version of the Old and New Testament as the Word of God.
In the spring of 1832, my father joined the Mormons. They, in that day, were represented as the lowest and most degraded people on the face of the earth from every point of view. At that time I was away from home, boarding with my uncle and going to school. He, being on business in the vicinity where my father resided, learned that my father had been baptized by emersion and had joined that dreadful and most detestable Mormon religion and "Old Joe Smith", who claimed to be a Prophet and leader and had found the "Golden Bible". My uncle returned home and related the sad news. I felt worse, if possible, than if I had heard of my father's death and burial. I felt that he had become suddenly deranged and had entirely lost his reason or had wilfully committed a crime by which he was unworthy of recognition as a father. However, at the close of school, I had a great desire to see my mother and my brothers and sisters, and on my visit I met my father. To my great surprise, I was unable to discover any change in him for the worse, but if anything, the reverse. He appeared to be very happy. I found that my mother did not approve of his course and that she felt that he had disgraced himself and family.
A few months after, my father was solicited to take charge of a manufacturing establishment in Stanstead Plains, Canada, which he accepted. He invested in the business and added some improved machinery.
In the meantime for two years my mother was earnestly and dili-gently engaged in reading the Bible, thinking to find something that would condemn and put down Mormonism. I heard her say repeatedly that during the two years she had read the Bible more than she had in all of her life before, for that purpose, and was greatly disappointed to find that the more she read the more she found to condemn herself and to favor and confirm or establish Mormonism. After this rigid and thorough investigation, and being  fully convinced that God had again spoken from the heavens, had restored the everlasting gospel in its fullness to the earth, and had conferred upon man the Holy Priesthood with authority to administer in all the ordinances thereof, she desired to be baptised for the remission of her sins and have hands laid on her head for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and was not only willing, but glad to unite her destinies with that unpopular people called Mormons.
Notwithstanding all this, I had not yet fully concluded to accept Mormonism, although previous to leaving Vermont, unknown to my parents, I went and heard a Mormon elder preach. After meeting was dismissed, a number of my acquaintances, some of whom were well educated and well versed in the Bible, surrounded this Mormon elder and commenced an attack of severe criticism upon the doctrine that he had advanced; but they could not refute one point of doctrine or one of his arguments. Although my prejudices were strongly in favor of my acquaintances and against the Mormon elder, yet I found they could not produce any proof from the Bible to overthrow the doctrine or principles he advocated.

 

Lorin Walker

Lorin Walker, was the second son of John Walker and Lydia Holmes

Lorin Walker, second son of John Walker and Lydia Holmes, moved with his parents from his birthplace, Peacham, Caledonia county, Vermont, to Ogdensburg, New York, and spent some years there. Like his brother and sisters he was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter—day Saints. The family decided to go West to join the Saints and in 1838 they reached Missouri and went through the persecution which caused his father to be separated from the family for two weeks and where the father nearly lost his life. They arrived in Nauvoo, Illinois.

He was one of the first four of ten brothers and sisters who the Prophet Joseph Smith took as members of his household. Lorin and his brother, William, were employed by the prophet in getting supplies and doing errands. In 1842—3 under the direction of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Lorin and William took an active part in supplying the poor with wood, clothing and provisions. This was the introduction and origin of the Young Gentlemen and Ladies’ Relief Society organization with William Holmes Walker as President and Lorin as the treasurer. Lorin was nicknamed “Edwin” by the Prophet.

Lovina Smith was doing a weekly wash when her father, Hyrum Smith, came home from one of his trips with his brother, the Prophet Joseph Smith. Hyrum asked his daughter when she had planned to be married. Lovina said that they had been waiting for him to perform the ceremony. The Patriarch said if she wanted him to marry them, it would have to be that day. So Lovina removed her apron and went to find her lover, Lorin Walker. They were married with the humble family as witness to the ceremony on June 23, 1844, at Nauvoo, Illinois. Four days later the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Patriarch Hyrum Smith were martyred at Carthage jail.

They lived with the Prophet’s family at Nauvoo, Illinois till the wife of Joseph Smith, Emma, was married again to Mr. Major Bidamon. They moved to Macedonia where they lived with the Prophet’s sisters, Catherine and Sophronia, both widows. It was there Lorin’s brother, William, found them, while on the way to his mission in South Africa. William assisted Lorin in his preparation to emigrate to Utah. Lorin’s family reached Utah in 1860 and moved to Farmington, Utah. Lovina, wife of Lorin, died from childbirth on October 8, 1876.

While at Farmington it was Lorin who did the work of graining and painting the woodwork in the Farmington church house.Lorin, with some of his children and grandchildren, moved and pioneered with some of the first settlers in Rockland, Idaho. Lorin in his late years worked with his brother and sisters, in the temple and they together did over five thousand endowments.

Catherine Walker

Life of Catherine Walker

Catherine Walker was born in Vermont, May 20, 1824. She was the eldest daughter of John Walker and Lydia Holmes. Her father was born June 20, 1794, in the town of Peacham, Vermont. Her mother was born April 18, 1800. Her father was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ in 1832. Her mother two years later. They left Vermont in 1834 for the West, and found a small branch of the Church in Ogdensburg, New York, who were preparing also to go west. Her father was induced to remain with this branch until 1837, during the year of 1835 the children who were eight years and upwards were baptized by Elder Abraham Palmer.  They were full of faith having been taught to pray by their parents.

The family with many others passed through many trying scenes. Her father was wounded in the Haun's Hill Massacre.   Notwithstanding all their trails, which were many, they did not falter in their faith, but started on their journey trusting God. They passed through Kirtland just after the saints had left for the far west. When they arrived in Caldwell County they were surrounded by a mob of about 40 people with blackened faces. They hooted and yelled, and acted more like demons than human beings. It was very early one December morning when this occurred.  They ordered her mother out in deep snow, searched their wagons, took from them their arms and ammunition, pointed their guns at their children and cursed and swore in the most frightful manner. They continued their journey until they came to a settlement on Shoal Creek, five miles distant from Haun's Mill. Her father, with others, went to the mill to hold council with Brother Joseph Young as to what course was best to pursue under the circumstances. They were in a blacksmith shop when a mob appeared in sight, formed a line and commenced firing without a warning.  The first shot fired lodged in her father's arm; he returned the shot but found it impossible to reload. He then ran down the bank of the creek; he crouched under some lumber leaning against the bank of the creek, which afforded very little, if any, protection; but in answer to their eyes were blinded, and they passed him declaring, "Not another D___ Mormon was to be found."
It was two weeks before her father was able to get to his family. He has been helping others who were worse off than himself, doing the best he could with his left hand. He had to hide from place to place, and came near losing his arm, which had been neglected while he had been trying to aid others. Through the aid of a young officer, who had been forced to join the military to save his own life, the family had been led to a friendly neighborhood where they found shelter from cold storms of winter. This was where her father found his family.
They left the state of Missouri in 1838, went with the saints to Quincy, Ill. and to Nauvoo in 1841. Her father performed two missions to the eastern states, and emigrated with the Church in 1847 to Council Bluffs. Her mother took down with chills and fever in the summer of 1841, and lingered until January 1842, then passed away, leaving a family of ten in the depth of despair. My father seemed to give away under this heavy afflication.  The Prophet came to their rescue, he said, "If you remain here, Bro. Walker, you will soon follow your wife, you must have a change of climate, you have just such a family as I could love, my house shall be their house. I will adopt them as my own. For the present I would advise you to sell your effects, place the little ones with some kind friends and the four eldest shall come to my house and be received and treated as my own children. If I find the others are not contented or not treated right, I will bring them home and keep them until you return; my mother, her sister Lucy, and two brothers, William and Lorin, were taken to the Prophet's home where they remained until his death.
Shortly after the father left, the little sister eight years of age was attacked with brain fever, they visited her many times and found that all was being done that was possible, but this did not relieve her suffering.  So the Prophet had the boys put a bed in the carriage, and he went with them, and told the family they must excuse him, but he was under the greatest obligation to look after her welfare and had come to take her home where he could see her himself. All was done for her that could be done by the Prophet and his wife, but she passed away in a few days. One after another were brought home until all the younger members of the family were there except the baby. Her brother, William, married Olive Hovey Farr, in the fall of 1843; they took the children to live with them. Her father came to Utah in 1850, and settled in Farmington and died at the age of 75.
January 18, 1846 Mother married Elijah Knapp Fuller, who was a widower with three small children. Mother's first child was born February 4th, 1847 in Winter Quarters. She came to Utah in the fall of 1847. She had five children, three boys and two girls.  Unfortunately it was not a happy marriage, they separated sometime in 1856. At the time mother had a young baby and very poor health, she got along as best as she could with her family. She and her brother, John, were keeping a boarding house in Salt Lake City when she met William Rogers, and married him on January 18, 1859. I was born January 31, 1860 in Salt Lake City. My father then moved to Nevada. Mother had three children by my father, two girls and one boy (of which I am the eldest). We lived there until I was about eight years of age, then mother with her family came back to Utah. Father never came to stay so my mother was left again with a small family. By this time she had grown sons and bought a small home for her in Farmington, Davis County. But times were very hard, and we had a hard time to get along. Mother used to work very hard. She had a nice little garden and orchard which she took care of herself.  In those days we had no bottles or cans, and the fruit was dried. At that time it was hard to get flour so mother made yeast and traded it for flour. People would send a small bucket about half full of flour for that much yeast. In that way mother was able to help a lot. She would make five gallons of yeast every morning. Her home was well kept. We each had our little duties to perform and there was no quarreling about it. Peace and love were in our home. Mother tried to instill in our minds the Golden Rule. To do unto others as we would like to be done by, and to tell the truth no matter what happened. She always said it was better to suffer wrong than to do wrong.
We lived in Farmington until I was about eleven years old. The boys took up some land in West Weber. My oldest brother married and took a home in Farmington, and mother with the rest of the family moved to West Weber where they made a new home.  I have seen my mother sit and sew all night by candle light to finish some garment for her children to wear the next day. By the way all the candles used were made by mother. She passed through many trials. The children were all grown and married but one when mother died. This had been her life desire, to live and raise her children. The first child she lost met his death by trying to save his fellow workman from drowning. This was a very hard blow to my mother. He was her main support at that time but she was always full of faith and courage and endurance. Her life was one long sacrifice.
Mother took pride in keeping the commandments of her God. She never, never murmured at the chastizemets of his rod. She consoled herself in poverty and trouble when it came when it came, and wealth to her like poverty she worshipped God the same. She died in full faith of a glorious Resurrection, she passed away in Brigham City, August 31, 1885.

By Anna R. Moyes.
Camp "0" - Daughters of the Pioneers.

(transcribed in the original by David Walker)

 

 

 


 

Lucy Walker

Statement of Mrs. L. W. Kimball: A brief but intensely interesting sketch of her experience written by herself. Her marriage with Joseph the Prophet, her subsequent marriage to Heber C. Kimball, rearing a large family, her testimony concerning Mrs. Vilate Kimball., a strong testimony borne by her:


Lucy Walker Kimball was born April 30, 1826, town of Peacham, Caledonia Co., Vermont. Was the daughter of John Walker and Lydia Holmes. Her father was born June 20, 1794, town of Woodbury*, Conn. Her mother was born April 18, 1800. Father was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ in 1832; mother, two years later. They left Vermont in 1834 for the west. Found a small branch of the Church in Ogdensburg, New York; some of Bro. Kimball's first converts, preparing also to go west. My father was induced to remain with this branch until 1837, During the year 1835 the children who were eight years and upwards were baptized by Elder Abraham Palmer. They were full of faith, having been taught to pray by their parents and received the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and the signs followed them. Some spake in tongues, other prophesied; again others had the gift to heal the sick, etc. One of this little band prophesied that before we reached our destination we would be surrounded by armed mobs with blackened faces, and would need much faith in God to endure the many persecutions and trials before us, and that some of our number would lay down their lives; others would see their brethren shot down before their very eyes. This was verified at the wholesale slaughter at Haun's Mill.
Notwithstanding all this, we did not falter in our faith. , but started on our perilous journey trusting in God. We passed through Kirtland just after the Saints had left for the far west. When we arrived in Caldwell County we were surrounded by a mob of about forty persons with blackened faces. They looted and yelled and looked more like demons than human beings. It was early one December morning when this occurred. They ordered my poor. delicate mother out into the deep snow, searching our wagons, took from us our arms and ammunition, pointed their guns at us children to intimidate us, and cursed and swore in a most frightful manner. One of the neighboring women had intruded her hateful presence into our camp, urging them to shoot, "Shoot them down," she cried, "they should not be allowed to live!" The question may be asked, how did we feel under these circumstances? I can speak for one, I did not tremble-- I did not fear them. They looked to me too insignificant and I felt to trust in One, (although but a child) who held our destinies in His own hand.
We continued our journey until we came to a settlement on Shoal creek, five miles distant from Haun's Mill; my father and another of the brethren went to the mill to hold council with Bro. Joseph Young and others, as to what course was best to pursue under the circumstances. They were in a blacksmith shop when a mob appeared in sight, formed in line and commenced firing, without giving any warning whatever, upon men, women and children. The first ball fired by the enemy lodged in my father's right arm. He returned the shot but found it impossible to reload. He then ran down the bank of the creek, and just before him one of the brethren in ascending the opposite bank was shot down. He stepped under some lumber leaning against the bank, which afforded very little if any  protection, but in answer to prayer, their eyes were blinded, and although they looked directly at him. yet apparently did not see him, passed on, declaring with an oath that not another Mormon was to be Seen. He remained there until all was silent, then ventured forth to witness the dreadful scene of the massacre.
In the shop lay the lifeless body of the son of Warren Smith with his brain beaten with the breech of a gun, and another of the same family with his thigh torn entirely away, and apparently mortally wounded. A little further on an aged man, Father McBride, laying weltering in his gore. It was not enough to shoot him down but the murderers had found an old scythe with which they had mangled that venerable head in a most horrible and sickening manner. A young woman was also found behind a huge log, where she had fallen in a fainting condition with a wound in one of her hands, several bullet holes through her clothing and a volley had lodged in the leg. If a man had on a good coat or a pair of good boots they were stripped from their bodies in a most brutual and inhuman manner, while the victims were in the agonies of death. My father aided in dressing the wounds of those worse off than himself and to bury the dead as best he could with his left hand. His own arm was not cared for or scarcely thought of, in the midst of the terrible sufferings of others, until it was in danger of mortifying. Besides, the country was in such a state of excitement he had to hide from place to place, and came near losing his arm. Two weeks later he rejoined his family, pale and emaciated. My brother William had gone in search, having learned that his 1ife had been spared, but was wounded. These two weeks were full of the keenest anxiety.
On the night of this fearful slaughter, a young man came running through the woods and deep snow, bare headed, telling us that an armed mob had surrounded those at the mill, and were murdering men, women and children. and would soon be upon us. This news caused a regular stampede in our little company, as some of our company had gone to the mill. Some of the women took their little ones in their arms, while others clung to their clothes; a loaf of bread and a blanket or two, were carried by older members of the family, and all rushed deeper into the snow and adjacent timber. Mother plead in vain for all to remain in camp, as there would be no possible safety in such a flight. The cries of the famishing children would betray them, besides they could have no fire, as this too would attract the attention of the mob. My mother and sister Davis (whose husband had died en route, and \~hose loss was deeply mourned by all), remained in camp, called their children together, prayed with them, soothed their fears, and assured them that the same God whose care had been over us during our journey thus far, was our friend still and would protect us. We went to bed feeling that we were safe, and God was our friend; but when the morning dawned and I looked into my mother's pale face, I was positive she had not closed her eyes, and felt, child as I was, almost guilty that I had suffered myself to be lulled by her magic words of comfort, while she had kept a vigilant watch during the fearful night of keenest anxiety. Those who left camp returned exhausted and almost famished.
Early next morning a fine looking young officer rode into camp, and said he had come as a friend to save us from the fate of those at the mill. Referred to the dreadful scene with words of sympathy and regret. Said he was forced to join the military to save his own life, but had done and would do all in his power to save the oppressed. If we would follow him he would lead us to a place of safety, to a friendly neighborhood, where we would find shelter from the cold storms of winter. We followed him, and here was where my father found us. James Flanagan, the young missionary who died with smallpox in England in 1848 was one of our company. He was an exemplary young man; in fact an exception among men. His zeal for the cause of truth was unexcelled.
We left the State of Missouri in 1838; went with the Saints to Quincy, Illinois, and to Nauvoo in 1841

My father performed two missions to the Eastern States, emigrated with the Church in 1846 to Council Bluffs; was appointed president of a branch of the Church in that local ity. In 1850, came to Utah and settled in Farmington, Davis Co., where after many years of suffering, caused by the hardship he had endured, he pas sed away, Oct. 18, 1869, aged 75 years, 5 months and 8 days. Thus ended the life of one whose great grandfather came from Scotland** and was one of the first settlers in Connecticut. His grandfather, Jos. Walker, was born in Connecticut, town of Woodbury. His wife's name was Elizabeth. They had five sons and several daughters. The sons' names were as follows: Joseph, Simeon, Caleb, Timothy, and Reuben. The names of the daughters I do not know. He subsequently moved to Peacham, Caledonia County, Vermont. He was over 95 years of age. His wife died at 90. His father Simeon Walker, was born in Connecticut, town of Woodbury, and served faithfully his country in the revolutionary war, in which he was severely wounded by a cannon ball, in the thigh, which produced lameness during life. I fancy I see him now as he comes down the hill from Peacham bowed with the infirmity of age and hardship, leaning on his staff. He takes me on his knee and tells ne the story of the war; how he became lame, how bravely they fought for freedom, for liberty; "Liberty or death!" was the watchword. My grandfather was one of the first settlers in Peacham. There they were compelled to stand guard to prevent being kidnapped by the Tories. After the Tories were subdued he made a farm, married Mary, a daughter of Reuben and Beulah Miner, and had a family of nine children, namely, Solomon, Simeon, Abel, John, Charles, Ruth, Clarinda, Mary and Elizabeth.
William Holmes, my grandfather on my mother's side, was born Jan. 15, 1770,in Kinston, Plymouth County, Massachusetts; Lydia Adams, his wife, was born in the same town, county, state.
Lydia Holmes, my mother, was an only daughter, almost an idol in the home where there were seven sons. There was a great grief in the hearts of her family and friends when she received the gospel and came west. Their sorrow knew no bounds when they received newS of her death, which occurred Jan. 18, 1842 at Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois. I will state here, however, that my father and secoEd b-rother, Lorin, came to Nauvoo in the spring of 1840, to attend conference and secure a home. At this conference Orson Hyde was called to go to Jerusalem. Father concluded to leave Lorin with the Prophet until harvest, with the understanding that he then should return and help him through harvesting; but when the time came, the Prophet told him to write to father to hire some one in his stead, and at his expen , as he could not part with him. In the spring of '41 father took his family to Nauvoo. My brother met us with an invitation to dinner, which we gladly accepted and were introduced to the Prophet and his ,,rife Emma, and the dear children who i after years I learned to love as my own brothers, and Julia, an adopted daughter, as my sister. During the Summer months mother was taken with chills and fever. At length one after another of the children were attacked with the same disease until we all were in a helpless condition. Mother was invited to spend a few days at the Prophet's house, they thinking a change would benefit her. But she could not be content away from her afflicted family. At her earnest solicition they sen her home to her family by placing a bed in a sleigh, as the summer had passed and it ,,ras now good sleighing; covered her closely with blankets and beside, sent many comforts to those at home, as they had often done during her stay.
My mother lingered until Jan. '42, then passed away. Calling her children around her she bore a faithful testimony as to her convictions that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, and that through him the Gospel of the Son of God had been restored in its fullness, whereby we might return into the presence of the Father; exhorted her children to never depart from the truth, but to live so that she might meet them in that world where there would be no more sorrow, no more suffering, no more tears of anguish at pronouncing the sad word goodbye. She then closed her eyes and her sweet spirit passed away, then with renewed health he hoped to return and make us a us that it was possible she was dead, but only in a sweet sleep. When at length we were forced to bel ieve she would never speak to us again we were in the depth of depair. Ten motherless children! And such a mother! The youngest was not yet two years old. What were we to do? My father's health seemed to give way under this heavy affliction. The Prophet came to our rescue. He said: "If you remain here, Brother Walker, you: will soon follow your wife. You must have a change of scene, a change of climate. You have just such a family as I could love. My house shall be their home. I will adopt them as my own. For the present I would advise you to sell your effects, place the little ones with some kind friends, and the four eldest shall come to my house and be received and treated as my own children, and if I find the others are not content or not treated right, I will bring them home and keep them until you return." I wrung my hands in the agony of despair at the thought of being broken up as a family, and being separated from the loved ones. But sa id the Prophet, "My home shall be your home, eternally yours." I understood him not. However, my father sought to comf rt us by saying two years would soon pass away then with renewed health he hoped to return and make us a home where we might be together again. Soon after he left, my sister Lydia aged 8 years and 11 months, was attacked with brain fever. We had visited her several times and found that all that was done did not reI ieve her sufferi gs, and when we told the Prophet how very sick she was he told the boys to put a bed in the carriage and he went with them. Told the family that they must excuse him, but he ,,ras under the greatest obligation to look after her welfare and had come to take her to his own house ,,,here he could see to her himself. He took her in his arm from the carriage and baptized her in the Mis sis sippi River; but in a few days she too pas sed away. Everything that could be done was done. But she was to join her dear mother in the spirit world, and we were left more lonely than before. Here allow me to say that our own father and mother could scarcely have done more or manifested greater solicitude for her recovery than did the Prophet and his wife Emma. They watched with us by her bedside and when all was over accompanied us to her last resting place beside her mother. One after another were brought home until all the younger members of the family were there except the baby. Judge Adams and wife, of Spr ingf ield, Illinois, came to Nauvoo and desired one of the girls to live with them. We reluctantly consented for sis ter Jane to return with them, where she had a pleasant home until after their death, when she returned to Nauvoo. My brother William married His s Olive Hovey Farr in the fall of 1843. They boarded at the Hansion six months, then went to housekeeping and took the children with him. I begged the privilege of going with him! I thought it too great a task for his wife to assume so great a responsibility. The Prophet and his wife introduced us as their sons and daughters. Every privilege was accorded us in the home. Every pleasure within reach was ours. He often referred to Bro. Lorin as his "Edwin." He was indeed his confidential and trusted friend. He was ever by his side; arm in arm they walked and con ersed freely on various subjects. He was with him when he was arrested at Dixon by Wilson and Reynolds, who were determined to take him dm"n the river into 1-1issouri, but were foiled in this attempt. It was in this case "Uncle Billy" Rogers as he was familiarly called, made himself conspicuous in his defense; declared with an oath, that they could not come there and kidnap a man and take him away in that manner. Said he would be d--d if Smith should not have fair play. They were forced to take him through the state by way of Nauvoo. Bro. Lorin hurried on home, brought his favorite horse, Charley, and met him on foot, weary and covered with dust. He warmly embraced him, mounted his horse, and rode into Nauvoo. As they drew near the city the people turned out en masse to greet him. Bro. Lorin went with him to Springfield to attend his trial, and had the exquisite pleasure of seeing him acquitted.
At the time he crossed the river and was actively making arrangements to go beyond the Rocky Mountains, he said, "I have the promise of life for five years, if I listen to the voice of the spirit." But when Emma and some of his brethren besought him to return, he said, "If my life is worth nothing to you it is worth nothing to me." He well knew it was in the programme that he must sacrifice his life for the principles God has revealed through him. Death had no terrors for him, although life was dear. I had often heard him say he expected to seal his testimony with his blood. He anticipated great joy in meeting his parents and friends beyond the grave. He believed that as soon as the spirit left the body we were shaking with and greeting our friends.
He often referred to the feelings that should exist between husbands and W1ves, that they, his wives, should be his bosom companions, the nearest and dearest objects on earth in every sense of the word. He said men must beware how they treat their wives. They were given them for a holy purpose that the myriads of spirits waiting for tabernacles might have pure and healthy bodies. He also said many would awake in the morning of the resurrection sadly disappointed; for they, by transgression, would have neither wive s nor ch ildren, for they surely would be taken from them, and given to those who should prove themselves worthy. Again he said, a woman would have her choice; this was a privilege that could not be denied her.
In the year of 1842 President Joseph Smith sought an interview with me, and said; "I have a message for you. I have been commanded of God to take another wife, and you are the woman." My astonishment knew no bound s. This announcement was indeed a thunderbolt to me. He asked me if I believe him to be a prophet of God. "Most assuredly I do," I replied. He fully explained to me the principle of plural or celestial marriage. Said this principle was again to be restored for the benefit of the human family. That it would prove an everlasting blessing to my father's house, and form a chain that could never be broken, worlds without end. "What have you to say?" he asked. "Nothing. How could I speak, or what could I say?" He said, "If you will pray sincerely for light and understanding in relation thereto, you shall receive a testimony of the correctness of this principle. 1I I thought I prayed sincerely, but was no unwilling to consider the matter favorably that I fear I did not ask in faith for light. Gross darkness instead of light took possession of my mind. I was tempted and tortured beyond endurance until life was not desirable. Oh that the grave would kindly receive me, that I might find rest on the bosom of my dear mother. Why should I be chosen from among Thy daughters, Father, I am only a child in years and experience. No mother to counsel' no father near to tell me what to do in this trying hour. Oh, let this bitter cup pass. And thus I prayed in the agony of my soul.
The Prophet discerned my sorrow". He saw how unhappy I was, and sought an opportunity of again speaking to me on this subject, and said: "Although I cannot, under existing circumstances acknowledge you as my wife, the time is near when \ve will go beyond the Rocky Mountains and then you will be acknowledged and honored as my wife." He also said, "this principle will yet be believed in and practised by the righteous. I have no flattering words to offer. It is a command of God to you. I will give you until tomorrow to decide this matter. If you reject this message the gate will be closed forever against you."
This aroused every drop of Scotch in my veins. For a few moments I stood fearless before him, and looked him in the eye. I felt at this moment that I was called to place myself upon the altar a living sacrifice--perhaps to brook the world in disgrace and incur the displeasure and contempt of my youthful companion; all my dreams of happiness blown to the four winds. This was too much, for as yet no shadow has crossed my path, aside from the death of my dear mother. The future to me has been one bright, cloudless day. I had been speechless, but at last found utterance and said: "Although you are a prophet of God you could not induce me to take a step of so great importance, unless I knew that God approved my course. I would rather die. I have tried to pray but received no comfort, no light," and emphatically forbid him speaking again to me on this subject. Every feel ing of my soul revolted against it. Said I, “The same God who has sent this message is the Being I have worshipped from my early childhood and He must manifest His will to me." He walked across the room, returned and stood before me with the most beautiful expression of countenance, and said:  “God Almight bless you. You shall have a manifestation of the will of God concerning you; a testimony that you can never deny. I will tell what it will be. It shall be that joy and peace that you never knew."
Oh, how earnestly I prayed for these word to be fulfilled. It was near dawn after another sleepless night when my room was lighted up by a heavenly influence. To me it was, in comparison, like the brillant sun shining through the darkest cloud. The words of the Prophet was indeed fulfilled. My soul was filled wi h a calm. sweet peace that III never knew." Supreme happiness took possession of me, and I received a powerful and irresistable testimony of the truth of plural marriage, which has been like an anchor to the soul through all the trials of life. I felt that I must go out into the morning air and give vent to the joy and gratitude that filled my soul. As I descended the stairs, Pres. Smith opened the door below, took me by the hand and said: IIThank God, you have the testimony, I too, have prayed." He led me to a chair, placed his hands upon my head, and blessed me with every blessing my heart could possibly desire.
The firs t day of May, 1843, I consented to become the Prophet I s wife, and was sealed to him for time and all eternity, at his own house by Elder Wm. Clayton.  Today I have but one regret, which is that I have not been a more worthy representative of the principle of plural marriage, and that I have not lived a more perfect life. I can also state that Emma Smith was present and did consent to Eliza and Emily Partridge, also Maria and Sarah Lawrence being sealed to her husband. This I had from the Prophet's own mouth; also the testimony of her neice,•Hyrum Smith's eldest daughter (my brother Lorin's wife), as well as that of the young ladies named themselves, with whom I was in most intimate terms, and was glad that they, too, had accepted that order of marriage. Instead of a feeling of jealousy, it was a source of comfort to me. We were as sisters to each other. In this I acted in accordance with the will of God. Not for any wordly aggrandizement; not for the gratification of the flesh. How can it be said we accepted this principle for any lustful desires? Preposterous! This would be utterly impossible. But, as I said before, we accepted it to obey a command of God, to establish a principle that would benefit the human family and emancipate them from the degradation into which they, through their wicked customs, had fallen.
In all this God had in view a road marked out for me that I knew not; to struggle against the tide of opposition, prejudice and tradition; to aid in establishing a principle that would exalt mankind and bring them back into His presence. A tie has been formed that will guide me to the highest and most glorious destiny, if I continue to walk in the regeneration, which is the grand object of my life.
No one can possibly feel more deeply to regret than I do, the course taken by the sons of President Joseph Smith, knowing that they have been misinformed; that is through prejudice, through yielding to popular opinion that they have been mislead. They might heir their father's priesthood, if they would take proper steps, and honor the principles revealed through him. Thus they might be called to occupy prominent positions in this dispensation, to a id in forwarding the great work of redemption and to seek to br ing every honest soul of every nation to a knowledge of the Gospel of the Son of God. 0, that they had eyes to see and ears tc hear the sound of the Gospel, and walk in the footsteps of their illustrious father, knowing as I do that he was the grandest personage that has stood upon the earth since the days of our Savior. 0, that God would in his boundless mercy, His matchless charity, withdraw the curtain and let but one ray from His magnificient countenance shine upon them that like Saul of Tarsus, they might turn to God and become hos apostles in every deed. That they might also accept the many testimonies given by those whose lives have been pure and spotless, who have sought to aid in establishing eternal principles that will exalt the human race in the presence of God. How gladly we would have been in our midst, did they walk in the spirit of their father.
They seem surprised that there was no issue from asserted plural marriages with their father. Could they but realize the hazardous life he lived, after that revelation was given, they would comprehend the reason. He was harassed and hounded and lived in constant fear of being betrayed by those who ought to have been true to him.
Since 1845, I have been the wife of President Heber C. Kimball, by whom I have had nine children, five sons and four daughters; have lived in the same house with other members of his family; have loved them as dearly as my own sisters, until it became necessary, as our children began to grow up around us, to have separate homes. Every mother has her own mode of government, and as children grow in years, it is more pleasant to have them under the immediate dictation of their own mother. I can truthfully state, however, that there is less room for jealousy where wives live under the same roof. They become interested in each other's welfare; they love each other's children; beside, in my experience, I find the children themselves love each other as dearly as the children of one another. In sickness, it has been a pleasure to minister to those in need of assistance. I will say here, too, that it is a grand school. You learn self control, self denial; it brings out the nobler traits of our fallen natures, and teaches us to study and subdue self, while we become acquainted with the peculiar characteristics of each other. There is a grand opportunity to improve ourselves and the lessons learned in a few years, are worth the experience of a lifetime, for this reason, that you are better prepared to make a home happy. You can easily avoid many unpleasant features of domestic life that through inexperience you otherwise are unprepared to meet.
The study of h man nature is a grand study. I can only speak for myself in this regard. When I separated from others and went to a home with my own children I placed many little safeguards around our home that experience had suggested, and my children grew into their teens without having eard an unkind word between their father and mother. When the father was there everything was done necessary for his comfort. To make our home a pleasant one was the chief object of life. When absent I knew he was in good company and where he had a right to be. I stood in no fear from his associations with others, because I knew their purity of life. It is needless for me to say anything in regard to the life and character of Pres. H. C. Kimball. He lives in the hearts of the people called Latter-day Saints and his acts and works are known abroad.
As time passed on he seemed to appreciate more than ever his wives and growing children. His last words to me were that he had been agreeably disappointed in my course of life; had appreciated my example as a wife and as a mother; that none had excelled me in the home life. Wherever my lot had been cast, there he had found a place of peace and rest. "Let me now thank you kindly," he said, "for every kind word, for every kind act of your life, and when I am gone, which will not be but a short time, you shall be blessed and find friends." He went on to say that if he never spoke to me again, I might rest assured that I had his most sanguine good feelings; his unbounded love and esteem. What can you tell Joseph when you meet him? Cannot you say that I have been kind to you as it was possible to be under the circumstances? I know you can, and am confident you will be as a mediator between me and Joseph, and never enjoy any blessing you would not wish Heber to share."
These words were more precious to me than gold, as they were his last, with the addition of" I leave my peace and blessing with you. May the peace of Heber ever abide in your habitation."
I do not pen these facts thinking that others did not share equally in his esteem; as every woman carves her own niches in her husband's affections. Heber C. Kimball was a noble whole-souled son of God, and was as capable of loving more than one woman as God Himself in capable of loving all his creations.
Sister Vilate Murray, first wife of Heber Chase Kimball, was one of the noblest women of earth. She was dearly beloved by his wives and children, as well as by all who intimately knew her. Too little has been said of her exemplary life. She was as a ministering angel to those in distress, every ready to aid those who had not been so fortunate as herself regard to the comforts of life. She never seemed so happy as while seeking to make others happy. Every year it was her custom to invite all the family to dine at her table, and insisted that it was her privilege to wait upon and make them happy and comfortable. In her last sickness she expressed her regret that she could no longer have the pleasure of seeing the family together as she had been in the habit of doing. On one occasion when one of her old time associates was urging her to come often, as she had done in former years, she answered, “You must excuse me, as our own family has grown so large that by the time I visit them all, I want to begin the rounds again." This shows the good feelings she cherished towards her husband's many wives and children. Too much cannot be said in praise to her example. In her demise, Zion lost one of her noblest daughters.
Very sincerely, your Sister ~n the Gospel,
Lucy W. Kimball.


Note #1 *In this sketch, Woodbury, Conn., was thought to be the birthplace of John Walker by his children. The public and church records stated that John Walker was born at Peacham, Vermont, which was confirmed by John Walker, himself when living.
Note #2 **The name of great-grandfather of John Walker was found to be Captain Timothy Walker, who was baptized June 18, 1693 in Woodbury, Conn. Scotland was by tradition mentioned as his birthplace, but the search of public records and deeds proved that Timothy Walker was a great-grandson of Robert Walker who came from England. Timothy's grandfather was one of the first settlers in Woodbury, Conn.

Henry Walker

Henry Walker, was born 18 May 1830 at Peacham, VT. he was the sixth of ten children born to John Walker and Lydia Holmes. His life was short, living only 36 years. Sadly we have next to no information about his life, his travels, his family, and his eventual early death in Woodbridge, CA on 6 Feb 1866.
Consider these few facts:

When Henry was 2 yrs old, his father joined the "Mormon" church.
When Henry was 4 yrs old, the family moved from Peacham, VT to Ogdensburg, NY.
When Henry was 8 yrs old, his father was wounded at Hauns Mill near Far West, MO.
When Henry was 12 yrs old, his mother died in Nauvoo, IL.
When Henry was 13 yrs old, his sister, younger by 4 yrs, died in Nauvoo, IL
When Henry was 14 yrs old, the Prophet Joseph Smith was murdered.
When Henry was 16 yrs old, his family was driven from Nauvoo and migrated West.
When Henry was 18 yrs old, he was living with his brother Edwin, in Farmington, Utah.
When Henry was 36 yrs old, on 6 Feb 1866, he died at Woodbridge, CA.

The only other concrete evidence of Henry is in the U.S. Census of Utah 1851, Davis County p.106.
Here it lists Henry living with his brother and Sister-in-law Edwin & Sarah and was "married within the year"
He is also listed there ins the 1850 Census - Davis County, Davis, Utah Territory, United States
The family organization is very interested in any information about Henry, his family, his life, and especially his descendants. Any contributions would be so very appreciated.

Jane Walker

Reminiscences of Jane Walker 

I well remembered when I was a little girl my father was moving from Vermont to Nauvoo with his family of ten children and my mother a brave delicate woman. When we arrived near Haun's mill they heard of the trouble at the mill. The company stopped to go and assist the brethren and sisters. It was at the time Brother Joseph Young, President Young's brother, came to father telling him that he had tried everywhere to get a wagon and team to go three hundred miles back after his family. His family was in danger of having their home burned. Father unloaded one of the wagons, let my older brother William go drive the team. Brother Joseph blessed him and told him that he would be saved in the kingdom of God and wear a crown of glory.

While they were gone, the brethren went to help the saints at Haun's mill. My father was shot through his right arm. He could not do anything to help for the bullets were flying like hail stones. Father started up the bed of a dry creek with another brother and a voice spoke, "You are the safest here." He looked around in the direction from which the voice came and saw a small hole in the bank with a plank standing in front of it. He stepped in behind the plank, and had hardly gotten in when the other brother was shot. The mob was all around hunting and swearing what they would do if they found D__ mormons.  Father could see them plain and he prayed earnestly that the Lord would blind their eyes so that they might not see him. It grew dark and father came out and went to help bury the dead. He was so weak from the loss of blood. He was three days and nights with only the wild berries from the wood for food.

After the massacre, a young man came to camp to tell the women to flee to the woods, and that all had been killed at the mill. He said that they would share the same fate if they did not go. Some ran with their children, but mother told us that the Lord could protect us just as well in our wagons as He could in  the woods. After praying to the Lord to keep us from harm she put us in bed. We slept all night, but I think that my mother did not sleep for she looked so pale and care worn in the morning. We started on our journey again and camped that night.

The next morning there was a mob surrounding our camp. They searched our wagons, took the guns and ammunition and threatened to kill every one little or big. A woman came with the mob. I can see her now. She was standing with one knee on a chair. She looked at us and said, "I would like to see every one killed big and small." I thought, "What a wicked woman you are." They finally ordered us to move on. We were just ready to eat breakfast so we had to go without. The mob followed until noon. We had to face rain and sleet so they did not enjoy the ride. They ordered us off the main road and said if we were seen again they would kill everyone. We camped in the woods that night and could not make a fire for fear of being seen. We had to make the beds on the ground with nothing but the canopy of heaven to shelter us. We went to bed cold and hungry. In the morning when we raised out of bed, the snow fell on our faces.

We at last arrived in Nauvoo. We all took ague fever and quite a number died. The Prophet Joseph Smith went to all blessing them and giving words of comfort. The four oldest of our family went with the Prophet Joseph Smith. They were William, Lorin, Catherine,  and Lucy. Lucy afterwards married the Prophet in May 1843. We all were sick with the fever for nearly six months. My dear mother never did recover. She died in January. Father was very sick too.

The Prophet told him to get as good a home as he could for his children and to go on a mission and that his health would be improved. He said that if any of us children were sick or mistreated, that he would look after us and be a father to us. I well remember when father had been gone for a year, I was very sick and wasted to a mere skeleton. I could not speak nor move. The Prophet Joseph sent William and Lucy in a carriage after me. He said Emma was a good nurse and that I would get better. I was too sick for them to take me with them so the Prophet sent two Elders to baptize me for my health.  I knew what was said and thought if I could live to get to the river, I would get well.

My dear readers, they carried me on a sheet to the river. When they raised me out of the water I felt perfectly healed. I could talk and walk. That has been a great testimony to me of the truthfulness of this work. No trials I have had to encounter has weakened my faith in this great and grand work of the Lord. I was taken to the Mansion to live with the Prophet's family until I regained my health. When I was well again he sent me to Springfield to live with Judge Adams and his wife. They were great friends of the Prophet. They wanted a little girl to stay with them for company. They had buried four children and had one girl and one boy left. The daughter was married and lived near them.

The daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Adams all died within three months. The son was nearly crazed. He shut the house and left. He had not thought of me for I was in my room upstairs. I did not know where to go so at daylight I tied up a small bundle of clothes and asked my Heavenly Father to help me find friends. I climbed out of the upstairs window and then down onto the shed. I did not know which way to go so I walked slowly. Soon I saw people coming in different directions. I looked at all that I met until I thought that I saw one who wore a good look on his face. I asked him if he knew of anyone who wanted a little girl. He seemed to be in a hurry, but he looked at me for a minute and said, "Yes, you are the one I am looking for." He took me to his home and I found that he was a good Mormon. I felt as if the Lord had answered my prayers and I thanked him from the bottom of my heart. This was in May. I stayed with them until they moved to Nauvoo in the fall. His wife was an invalid.

When we arrived in Nauvoo, I went to the Prophet's home. I remembered where it was for I had lived there before. I went to Springfield in 1844 and while I was there our Prophet was killed. My first acquaintance with the Prophet was shortly after we arrived in Nauvoo. He came to our house and said to my father, "Father Walker, you have just such a family as I always thought I would like to have." There were five boys and five girls. 

The Prophet said that he would like the four oldest and would be a father to them.  Father let William, Lorin, Catherine and Lucy go with the Prophet. Oh, how good he was to us before and after mother's death and the children had a good home as long as the Prophet lived.

William married Olive Hovey Farr. Lorin married Lovina Smith, the oldest daughter of Hyrum Smith.  I loved to watch the Nauvoo Legion when they were drilling. The Prophet was riding a chestnut brown horse. The horse was so proud of his rider that he would hardly touch the ground with his feet. I thought that I had never seen anything so grand. The Prophet had Brother Sayers take me to Springfield in a buggy. When he kissed me goodbye he told me to be a good girl. I little thought it would be the last time I would see the Prophet.                                      

Jane Walker Smith, wife of Lot Smith 

(As published in the Ancestry and Descendants of John Walker, 1985)     

John Walker

Dear Family,

What follows is a very insightful email received a few years ago from one of our cousins who descends from John Walker (junior) b. 1838. He is referred to as "junior" only in the context of keeping his identity clear, the "junior" is not part of his real name.

This outlines a very significant and widely overlooked part of our family history. The history of those branches who left Utah, separated themselves from the LDS church, and yet lived very infuential and good lives.

John WalkerSarepta Pate

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Mary Electa Walker

John Theobald writes:

Ruby Davis, my maternal grandmother, said that Mary Electa Walker was very tight lipped about her life and her husbands.  We have been trying to find information on her first husband, Edwin Albert Davis for some time.  Don't know who his parents were, when or where he died, etc.  How do I view the tiny  house in Chesterfield, ID?

Here it is John, thanks for your inquiry:

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