James Martin ALLRED Sr.
Allred Lineage: James Martin Sr., James Franklin, Martin Carrol, James, William, Thomas, Solomon born 1680 England
Born: 03/30/1865 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., UT
Submitted by: Sharon Allred Jessop 04/19/1999
AUTOBIOGRAPHY AND EXPERIENCES OF JAMES MARTIN ALLRED SR.
I was born of goodly parents in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 30, 1865. The oldest son and third child of James Franklin and Jennie McKenzie Allred. When I was about eighteen months old we moved to Wallsburg, Wasatch County in 1866. My mother carried me over a snow slide in Provo Canyon. We made Wallsburg our home until 1883. What little schooling I got was in a little one room log school-house. There was about seventy-five to one-hundred students taught by one teacher. I never went to school after I was fourteen. I had a little understanding of the fundamentals of arithmetic, addition, multiplication, subtraction and division. I went through McGuffies 4th reader and that was the extent of my education.
I herded cows in the summer time, bare-footed, among the rocks, prickly pears and rattlesnakes. My parents were very poor, with a large family to feed and clothe. They could only buy us one pair of shoes or copper-toed boots in the fall to wear to school. Talk about hard times! Considering the drought and depression, we don’t know anything hard times today in comparison to what our parents went through in the early days of Utah. We hardly ever saw a dollar in cash. Our only resource was hauling lumber, logs, poles, wood and railroad ties to Provo and the other settlements and trade them for store pay, factory pay and sorghum. I have driven ox teams many a day logging, plowing and other occupations.
In the summer of 1879 was one of the worst droughts that Utah has ever experienced. There was nothing raised to speak of and the feed dried up on the range and in the mountains it was parched and dry. Our oxen couldn’t get half they wanted to eat and therefore came out a rack of bones in the fall after a hard summer’s work. So it was necessary for all of us throughout Wasatch and Summit Counties to take our stock to the Uintah Reservation for the winter. My father was hired to take the Wallsburg stock to the winter range and he took me along to help drive the cattle and to be company for him. Some of the owners of the cattle helped us out as far as Red Creek. They killed their winter’s meat as the deer were very numerous. We could see them in herds of hundreds in one site between Red Creek and Duchesne Hill. When the snow began to get deep in those highlands, we drifted down the country towards the mouth of Strawberry River and made our winter camp right where Duchesne City stands today. We found plenty of good feed, shad-scale, white sage and bunch grass, and our cattle came out beef fat in the spring. Notwithstanding, the old work oxen just reeled as they walked, when we started from home, and in fact, some of them, we had to tail up coming through Strawberry Valley. Right here I would like to mention some of the men who brought cattle from different parts of the country to winter. A Mr. Owens and his son Joe had their own cattle and horses and camped with us all winter. Babe Cummons, Tom Hickins, Bill Everret, Jack Carrell, and some others were with the Heber stock. Billy Preece had Mr. Domminacks herd from Park City, Harvey Weeks and sons from Midway, Billy Wright Jr. had the Charleston herd. Bert Wilgus from Kamas was in charge of Mr. Wilsonholmes cattle. So you see there was quite a bunch of us and we would visit from one camp to another to keep us from getting homesick. Bert Wilgus was a good singer and would entertain us quite often which we enjoyed very much. As far as I know I am the only survivor of all those good men who were so kind to me that winter.
If I remember right the Meeker Massacre was in the summer of 1879 and the Indians had been placed on the Uncompahgra and Uintah Reservations. We found them very sullen and ugly. They would come to our camp and tell us that we were eating their grass and drinking their water, burning their wood and that they were hungry. We had to feed them, so we gave them several of our beef cattle to keep friendly with them.
I want to relate one circumstance that took place and I always think of it when I am traveling over the Nigger-Heaven road. This Joe Owens and I, both of us boys about fifteen years old, were hunting cattle in that region, and was coming back towards camp and was at the head on one of those White Sage glades. At the lower end we saw a lot of Indians coming and they saw us about the same time. Here they came as fast as their horses could run, keeping in the edge of the cedars on the side. When they got even with us they surrounded us and said, “Are you white men or Mormons.” We were mighty glad to tell them we were Mormons. They didn’t molest us further and we got off with only a good scare.
Now, back to our winter camp to relate a few little things that happened. Although the winter of 1879 in most places was very severe, it was very mild at our camp at Duchesne, and in February the ground was dry and dusty. We made a race track and the Indians came to run races with us. Billy Preece had two or three race horses that we thought were very fast runners. The Indian horses had also wintered out and their hair was long and they looked shaggy. The men thought they had a cinch. The Indians were eager to bet on their horses and the white men covered every thing they would bet, but when the races were over the Indians walked away with all the spoils, and there was some sad looking cowboys as we went back to our camps that night. Most of us were getting low on food at this time. Harvey Meeks decided to take a pack horse and go to old Ashley and try to get some necessities for his family, but he found everything in the shape of food exhausted. He came back to camp after a hard trip, wallowing snow out of the Ashley Valley up to his horses bellies.
Along in April as Father and I sat in our tent door, three men drove up in a wagon, and we found out that it was J.J. Clark, John Clark and a Mr. Campbell from Ashley and that they were trying to get to Heber to buy flour and other provisions. Mr. Clark said to my father, “Would you exchange some white flour for some graham flour?” So we got a taste of some of what the people had to live on in the winter of ‘79 and the spring of ‘80 in the Ashley Valley. We gathered our cattle about the middle of April and started them towards home, following the snow back as it melted off. We finally got to the Red Creek Hill and pitched our camp for awhile. We were getting right down to cases for food by this time.
Father and Mr. Owens thought it best for Joe and I to go home and send some men with a supply of food out to help them in with the cattle. So father made us each a pair of snow skis out of cedar and took us to the head of Deep Creek on horses. We made a fire on a side hill where the snow had melted off, wrapped up in one quilt and sat there until morning. At daybreak we were on our skis in order to take advantage of the crusted snow. We made it to the point of pines that day and was very tired. We didn’t know what to do about camping for the snow was at least six or seven feet deep, and there was not a thing to burn to keep us from freezing. We happened to look a way up on the hill to the North and thought we could see some dry scrub quakers about one fourth mile up on the hill. We climbed up there and managed to find enough wood to keep us warm by wrapping up in our quilt. The next morning we got on our way and that night found us in an old sawmill cabin in Daniels Canyon. We were ravenously hungry and in searching through every nook and corner, run across a little flour and some lard. No baking powder nor salt, but oh boy, didn’t we stir up some scones and baked them on top of the stove. The lard just ran out of them. They really tasted good to us.
We made it home to Wallsburg the next day. We hadn’t heard from home all winter and when I got about a mile from home I met a neighbor by the name of John Parcell. He began telling me of the children that had died in that little ‘burg’ during the winter of Diphtheria. I thought every second he would tell about some of my brothers and sisters dying, but thank the Lord their lives had been spared. Some of them were seriously ill with that dreaded disease. When I got to our front gate Mother met me and said, “Martin, you must not come in, as the children have Diphtheria and some of them are in the worst stages of it.” She then told me there had been thirty-two children died during the winter. As many as five in one family.
I was only fifteen years old, hadn’t seen Mother all winter long, and was so homesick to see the children. I wanted so much to take her in my arms and kiss her, but she wouldn’t even shake hands with me for fear of leaving a germ and I might be exposed. You can imagine my feelings at that moment and also hers. While she was thinking and wondering what to do, and where I could go, there was a man rode up to see us on a black horse. He just happened to be our old friend, John McKeachnie, who had come over from Park City and was on his way back where he had a Cord-wood contract and was camped at the head of Thanes Canyon and delivered his wood to the Ontario Mine.
Mother told him our troubles, and he said, “If you will let Martin go with me and cook for my men, I will pay him a dollar a day and board. We will ride and tie and get to Park City sometime tonight.” Mother decided that was the best and only thing for me to do so I had to leave home again for another two or three months. So John gave me the first ride, and I loped along for about four miles, tied the horse to a tree at the side of the road and hiked along as fast as I could go. When John got to the horse he rode right along, passed me a mile or two, tied the horse by the roadside and he skipped along as fast as he could, and that is the way we got to our destination.
When the Diphtheria cleared up I was permitted to return home, and oh boy, wasn’t I a tickled kid. I can never forget the joy we all had at our meeting, and to make it more pleasant, father had arrived home with the stock all O.K.
The summer of 1880 was spent in the usual way but when fall came the word was passed around that the government was sending several companies of soldiers into the Uintah County to protect white settlers from the Indians. They had become dissatisfied with their new reservation and wanted to return back to Colorado to their old homes, and they threatened the agent at Whiterocks, and it looked like there may be a repetition of the Meeker troubles. The soldiers and all the supplies were shipped to Park City. The government called for every available team to haul their freight to a new post right where Ouray now stands, but the new post was then called Fort Thornburg.
My father was anxious to get work as it meant cash, a thing we hardly knew anything about in those days. We rigged up two yoke of oxen on a heavy wagon and started me out in company with several other men, to drive two teams or yoke of oxen on a heavy load of freight at my age. But the men were good to me and helped me in every way. I am going to give the names of those men who were in the group from Wallsburg: Lige and Will Davis, John Glenn, Charlie Wall, John McKechnie and Alford Ford. They have all gone to their reward a number of years ago.
We reached our destination, but not without some trouble and reverses, as there no roads except as the wagon wheels made them. We crossed Daniels Creek about thirty times besides traveling up the bed of the Creek part of the way and it was almost as bad coming down the Duchesne River and across the Blue Bench where the road went at that time. We got unloaded and got our checks and supplies for the return trip, we were anxious to get over the Uintah range of mountains, for they were already covered with snow. We all returned home in due time with cash to buy the necessities for winter.
When I was about nineteen years old I met with quite a serious accident. My father, Alfred Ford and I went up into Main Canyon to cut timber. We were on a very steep side hill and would cut the logs and drag them by hand to a little ravine, and then slide them down the mountain and jump them over a ledge about fifty feet high. The timber would fall in all shapes. The slide got very slick, and Alf said to me, “Mart, let’s go to camp. I’m getting tired.” I said, “Alright, let’s cut another tree. You cut this one and I’ll cross the slide and cut that one and we’ll quit.” So I started across the slide and my feet slipped from under me. I thought I would just slide down opposite the tree and then jump up, but I was going too fast to stop. Father called and said, “Drop your axe, Mart, and hold to the underbrush.” I tried to grab the evergreens but I was going too fast, and down I went with my axe coming right behind me. By the time I got to the top of the ledge my breath was gone. I was unconscious and did not feel myself strike the ground. I went down between two timbers and landed on a pile of snow that the timbers had brought down and that is all that saved me. Father and Alf got down to me as soon as they could and bathed my head with cold water and brought me too. They carried me to the camp house. Alf ran home several miles, and came back with my Mother and a team and buggy. About daybreak, they made me a bed in the buggy, and pulled me over the rough places by hand. I was so sore inwardly that it hurt me to breathe. My left shoulder blade was torn out of the socket and I was paralyzed on the left side and had a hemorrhage of the lungs.
A thing or two happened that makes me laugh when I think of it now, but it was no laughing matter at the time. When we got to William Wall’s home, he and his wife came out on the road and stopped us and Martha said, “Oh, Bill, he can’t live, he’ll surely die.” Bill said, “Marthy, he won’t die.” We went on to the place where an old couple lived and the old lady said, “I feel sorry for his parents, but I hope he dies. He killed our dog.” There were no Doctors nearer than Provo, twenty-five miles away. We were unable to hire a Dr. so I just laid at the point of death for weeks. I finally got well, but have suffered all my life from a dislocated shoulder and a lame back.
I just want to remind my family that this is March 30th, just seventy-one years since I made my appearance into the world. There is another thing I want to mention now and I will also refer to it later in my narrative. In the Fall of 1878 there was a little red headed, freckled faced little ten year old girl came to live at the home of Richard C. Camp, her half-brother. Of course I never paid any attention to her until she was about thirteen or fourteen years old. I got to where I didn’t mind her complection at all. I will have more to say about this little girl later on.
Time went on as usual in an everyday grind, whacking bulls to the mountain and hauling timber.
In the fall of 1882, Richard Camp returned home from a Mission to the Southern States. Previous to his return he had been called to move his family to San Louis Stake, Colorado to act as first Counselor to Silas S. Smith. In the Fall of 1885 he sold out his property in Wallsburg and started to Colorado to enter his new field of labor. This was late October. He had converted my parents to move to that country. They didn’t have to coax me very hard because that little red headed girl was going with her brother and family. Mr. Camp started out about a week before we did as he had quite a bunch of cattle to drive. We tried to catch up with him and didn’t I pound those old mules on the tail, but when we got to Cisco where the roads forked, he took the right hand road that went up the Grand River, and we followed the narrow gauge railroad over the desert. Camp decided to stop on the Westwater Flat and winter his cattle there and go on in the Spring, as it was getting very cold.
We went as far as Cannah Creek, about fifteen miles south of Grand Junction, Colo. And we heard such bad reports about San Louis Valley. It was such a high altitude and so cold they couldn’t grow anything but cowpeas. So we decided to go back to Grand Junction and try to get work for the winter. We got a job hauling lumber from a sawmill west of the Junction about twelve or fifteen miles. We worked at that for awhile and then got a contract making an irrigation canal just east of the Junction. We got the contract from a Mr. Ed. Skinner and when we got the job finished and went down to settle up we found he had left for parts unknown and had skinned us out of everything we had made.
About that time my Mother received a letter from the road master, Mr. Tom Burns, asking her if she wanted to go back to Cisco and run the boarding house. She gladly accepted and we stayed there for several years. Father and I got jobs walking track. Dick Camp got the job running the pump which furnished water for the railroad. The pipeline was six miles long. He never moved to San Louis Valley at all, and in later years moved to Vernal and his family lived there a good many years.
In 1884 there was a split with the D & R G Western R. R. and the Eastern Division. The track was torn up on the State Line and the freight for the East had to be transferred by team to Grand Junction. That gave us a job for our teams. John Glenn was in charge of Mr. Camp’s team.
The red headed girl lived at the pump house and six miles was no walk at all, especially going down of Saturday evenings after work. But oh boy, it was a long way coming home on Sunday nights.
In the Spring of 1885 we heard there was a lot of work at Glenwood Springs and also at Aspen, Colo. So my brother, Robert and I took our teams and started out to seek our fortunes. When we got to Grand Junction we got a job moving a Drug Store to Glenwood Springs. The first store of that kind to locate there. There was only tent houses there at that time. We hauled wood to burn the brick to build the first Hotel which was completed that Fall. Aspen was booming at that time. Silver was worth one dollar an ounce, with any amount of the white metal in the mines. The population was between five and six thousand. After silver was demonetized the town was almost abandoned.
We got a job hauling Coke to the smelter at $22.50 per ton, a distance of thirty-five or forty miles. We were making good money until the summer. Preston Nutter came in with eight six mule teams and took the contract to haul it for $15.00 a ton. We found work hauling Silver Bullion to Granite on the railroad, on the east of the Continental Divide. We stayed until Fall and then returned to Cisco.
In the Spring of 1886 two railroads, The D & R G and the Midland, were being built into Aspen. Each were trying to get there first and things were sure booming. We went with our teams and got a contract building grade. My partner was a man by the name of Jack Joyce, from Woods Cross on the Price River, Utah. We worked there until late in the Fall and then returned home again.
On the 6th day of April, 1887 something of importance did happen! I persuaded the redheaded girl to go with me to Grand Junction. Two of my sisters, Alice and Amber went with us. We had a good team and a light covered wagon and made the trip of sixty miles in one and a half days. I told her right then and there if she didn’t marry me she would have to walk back home. She decided it was a long walk, so she decided to take the chance. So we had the knot tied that afternoon by the District Judge.
When we got back to Cisco the road master sent us to Sagers, the first station east of Thompson Springs. My wife ran the boarding house and I worked on the track until late in the season and then we moved to Provo for the winter.
On February 25th, 1888 our first son was born to us and we named him James Martin Jr. In the Spring we moved to Wallsburg and then spent the summer at the head of Provo River making railroad ties, then came back to the burg in the Fall.
On the 25th of October we landed in the Ashley Valley at the home of Joseph Timothy. Joe gave us a lot to build on. Bob Reynolds let me take his team and wagon and I went to Taylor Mountain and got out a set of house logs and one the 25th of February 1889 we moved into our own home and the little log cabin seemed like a mansion to us. That summer we ran Bob Reynold’s farm and that Fall we bought an eighteen acre farm from Don Parry right where Mrs. Marion Manwaring lives now in the Naples Ward. We lived there that winter and in the Spring of 1890 we moved to the home where we now reside. We have lived in the Naples Ward for forty seven years and still expect to live here until we pass in our checks.
We are the parents of thirteen children, ten boys and three girls, of which six boys and two girls are still living.
I have held some responsible positions in the Ward and Stake. I was Justice of the Peace for several years, second counselor in the Stake M.I.A., President of the Second Quorum of Elders, Teacher in Sunday School for twenty years, President of the ward M.I.A. for six years and have twice been a Director in the Central Canal Company.
I have made roads, built canals, made bridges, broke up new land and helped to make this Uintah Basin what it is today. I feel that I have been an asset to this Country, and by putting in my best efforts all of my life, and by dealing honorably and honestly with my fellow men, I feel that my life has not entirely been wasted. I have always felt that I wanted my neighbors, friends and relatives to live and prosper as well as myself. I have loaned them my credit and have lost my security for my old age, and have broke down in health, but our children are kind and good to their parents, and we know they will not let us suffer for the necessities of life.
I have seen Vernal grow from a small settlement to a beautiful metropolitan city, with it’s water piped from a pure, cold crystal spring at the mouth of the Ashley George, a distance of ten or twelve miles, electric street lights, telephone and telegraph wires connecting with all parts of the country, asphalt sidewalks and paved streets from curb to curb, sewer system and many beautiful and modern homes. Natural Gas is piped from a well about twelve miles southeast of Vernal. Last, but not least, a good graveled highway from Salt Lake City to the Colorado line, of which a good portion of it is oiled and laid with rock asphalt from a product of great quantity a few miles west of Vernal. We expect within a short time it will be paved from the State Line to the Utah Capital.
So I have seen this country’s growth from almost a shad-scale flat, into a beautiful garden which blossomed like a rose.
I, J.M. Allred, feeling that I am in my right mind at this time and not knowing how long I will live, there are a few things I would like to have done when I am gone. I never did, in all my life want something for nothing, nor do I want anything that any person begrudges me of, and where I am not wanted I will not stay. Therefore, for good many years I have done nothing in the activities in the Naples Ward, and so I don’t want anything done for me when I am dead. I want no services whatever., I want my boys and a few of my best friends, if I have any, to bury me in a plain home made coffin and haul me to the Graveyard in a wagon or truck and lay me by my children which have gone before. This is my last wish.
P.S. I don’t want any flowers. I haven’t had any in my life time and don’t want any after I’m dead. I appreciate my friends and all who have been kind to me.