John Jones ALLRED

Allred Lineage:   John Jones, William, William, Thomas, Solomon born 1680 England

Born: 09/01/1821 Bedford Co., TN
Died: 03/16/1898 Hatch, Garfield Co., UT

Submitted by: Sharon Allred Jessop 05/25/2001

Many communities in Utah and the surrounding intermountain area were founded by individuals and families called by President Brigham Young. New settlers would live and farm some relatively hostile areas for the sake of the expansion of the Church. By the year 1900 almost 500 small communities were established by the families of the pioneers.

These colonists sacrificed material comforts, the associations of friends and family and sometimes their lives to follow the prophet of the Lord. John Jones Allred was one of those who answered the call in the 1860's and settled his family in the community of Shonesburg along the Rio Virgin River in Southern Utah. The families assigned to the area purchased the land from an old Indian named Shones. Although Oliver DeMille had previously purchased the land, Old Shunes (sic) hung around, trying to collect additional installments on the land.

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John Jones Allred's mother, Sarah Warren Allred gave him birth on the first of September in the year 1821. This was her fourth child. She was 27 years old and her husband, William Allred was 31. At this time, the family was living the Farmington, Bedford County, Tennessee (Farmington formerly belonged to Rutherford County until the year 1807.) Five more children would be born in Bedford County.

The extended Allred family was part of the migrant movement that swept the United States during this period. Later in John=s life, this westward movement would take him to Utah. William (John's father) remained in Tennessee though other members of his family moved to Salt River, Missouri. Two years later, in 1832, they joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In 1835 (or 1836), William and his family were baptized into the church by William Ivie. At this time, John would be about 15. Within the next few years, William moved near James and Isaac in Missouri. Two years later, when John was 17, his father William, seized the guns and ammunition intended for the mob near Far West.(HISTORY OF THE CHURCH, Vol III, pp. 74-76) Two months later William was incarcerated with the Prophet Joseph. (HISTORY OF THE CHURCH, Vol III, pp. 178-211)

Little is known about John during this time in his life. He was familiar with the persecutions to which the saints had to pass in the early days (of the Church). He was well acquainted with the prophet Joseph Smith, and often had heard him speak@ (DESERET NEWS, Obituary of John J. Allred, 29 March 1897)

When John's father died in July of 1841, he left behind eleven children ranging in ages from one year to twenty-six years. (John would be twenty at this time.) His mother was also expecting another child who died at birth in 1842. (JAMES & ELIZABETH ALLRED, Linda Allred Steele p. 66)

Four years later, John married Jane Hoopes on September 4, 1845. Their first child, William Lewis, was born June 10, 1846 and lived only a few weeks and was buried at Woodsville, Iowa. A year and a half later, Sarah Eliza was bun in Iowa. The following year, Rebecca Jane was burn at Winter Quarters. Another daughter, Mary Elizabeth was burn in October of 1851. Ten days later the mother, Jane died.

Almost a year later on September 23, 1852 at Smithville, Clay County, (HISTORY OF HATCH UTAH. E.U.P. Publication 1978) Mary Young Bridgeman at 15 years of age took her vows with John who was 31 years old. Like many other pioneer children, she was required to become an adult overnight. She opened the passage to woman hood becoming a wife and mother to three children.

John had remained behind for 14 years while the body of the Saints trekked west. Saints too poor or too weakened by the hardships of persecution waited before undertaking the arduous journey. Other saints were asked to remain behind. Why John stayed, we can only surmise. During this time five more children were born to Mary and John. Three children died including one form his earlier marriage.

In 1861, John gathered up his belongings, his wife and five children and hitched his team, one oxen, and one milk cow to his covered wagon. The milk cow furnished them with milk while en route. They traveled the long pioneer trail over Mormon Crossing, along the Platte River into Wyoming and Utah like so many faithful Latter-day Saints before them. Mary was not a member of the church, but her love for John was expressed in her willingness to cross the plains with the David H. Cannon Company.

As they were nearing the Weber River in Utah, John=s team stampeded. Their five year old son, John, was thrown from the wagon and became lost. The men on horseback in the wagon train were able to gain control of the team at the river band. Their young son was later found and returned to them. (BRIEF HISTORY OF EDWARD WARREN ALLRED, Floyd L. Allred)

Mary was a prayerful young woman. She was told to beware of Indians. Through her faith and prayers, no Indians were encountered. There was only evidence of where they had been along the trail. They were never molested. Because of the answer to her prayers and through her faith, she was converted to the church. Mary was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church by Elder Cannon in June of 1861. (Obituay of Mary Young Bridgeman, DESERET NEWS) They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on August 16, 1861. (PIONEERS & PROMINENT MEN OF UTAH, Genealogies & Biographies 1847-1868)

Upon their arrival in Utah, John stopped in Coalville in the northeastern mountains. In 1863, John=s family was on the move again. They were heading toward Utah's Dixie, a semitropical land, a land of promise. A land that would yield cotton, sugar cane, grapes, tobacco, (the Word of Wisdom was poorly understood by the saints at this time) figs, almonds, olive oil, etc. (THE GREAT BASIN KINGDOM, p. 216) His destination was a small speck on the map, a tiny settlement running along the east fork of the Virgin River, in Utah Territory. Shonesburg of Shunsburg as it was pronounced by its settlers, was nestled beneath the cliffs of the Parunuweap Canyon at the base of the old Wiggle Trail. (UTAH PLACE NAMES, p. 135)

Shonesburg and Northup were sister towns, names of settlements in Utah Territory, now forgotten, ghost towns at the boundary of Zions National Park. Northup was barely a patch of ground. It was settled in 1861 by Isaac Behunin. Only a very few families lived there. Even by 1864 only thirty acres were under cultivation growing mainly sorghum cane and corn. A sorghum mill was built in town which handled all the cane for most of the adjacent villages. (UTAH GHOST TOWNS, Stephen L. Carr, p. 135) Here it was that James A. Lemmon settled. (This is Rebecca Alvrean Lemmon=s father. John J. Allred=s son, Edward married Rebecca Alvrean.)

Shonesburg was put to rest by Indian raids, the drought and torrential rains that swelled the Virgin River and washed away the fertile farm soil.

The story is told that Brigham Young urged the first settler, Oliver DeMille (who came in 1861) to stay in Shonesburg when everyone else was leaving. Oliver was one of the last to leave in 1902. Brigham Young purportedly said that one day there would be a family for every acre of land. After the floods came and the farms washed away, eventually, that was about all there was, a family for every acre of land, the DeMille family.

When John arrived with his family, the townsite was laid out on the northwest side of the river. The land was divided into small lots to accommodate all. The soil was very fertile and they could grow almost anything they planted. The people lived together as one family. (A BRIEF HISTORY OF SHONESBURG, UTAH, Joseph Millet Jr. and Ida S. Demille)

The settlers of Shonesburg had large families.  Shonesburg: The town nobody knows@ as quoted in DOLA DEMILLE, Vol 3) The Allreds were no exception. Mary Y.B. Allred bore seventeen children. Eleven grew to maturity and there were two more that she raised from John=s previous marriage to Jane. Midwives were used in the delivery of the babies. Several women died in childbirth. (Ibid.)

Homes in this area of Southern Utah were dugouts, log cabins, or willow houses. The first homes of Shonesburg were dugways (sic)along the river, as the way into this little valley was narrow and steep.@(A BRIEF HISTORY OF SHONESBURG, UTAH, Joseph Millet Jr. and Ida S. Demille) Many of the houses had corn fodder covered with dirt for their roof. There were some very great disadvantages in homes of this kind. For instance, there was the times Alice Virginia Allred (daughter of John) was entertaining her best beau in the family dugout and a large snake dropped through the dirt roof onto his lap. Nevertheless, these dugouts meant home and shelter to them.

(UNDER DIXIE SUN, Ed. Hazel Bradshaw, Washington Co. Chapter D.U.P.)

Their standards of living were exceedingly low. How precious were the few good dishes, the good books, the few pretty relics of better days that they had been able to bring across the plains with them. How many times has a mother sent to a neighbor for coals to rekindle the fire they had not banked carefully enough. Often their lighting system was only a rag in a container of grease. After they began raising sheep, they would use the tallow for candles. It was a long time before they could afford the luxury of lamps.

They had no soap but they did not go dirty. They dug oose root. It made pretty good soap, too. When they were able to get grease in sufficient quantities, they took wood ashes, made lye with them, and with the lye and grease together, made soap. Many of the things they used were common to all the Dixie Pioneers.@ (Ibid.)

Shonesburg's main street was not very long. It went up on the hill south of the cemetery. The fences were made with big cottonwood logs, so big they had to be put into place with oxen. The only public building in Shonesburg was the old log schoolhouse built about 1870. Measuring fourteen-by-twenty-two feet and constructed of cottonwood logs with a board floor and roof. It was used for all public purposes, including church services...School terms were short. Students had to work early in the spring and late in the fall.  Before school started in the morning, the benches would be set back and the children would dance. The school master whipped the boys with a willow if they broke the rules... (Shonesburg: The town nobody knows@ , Vol 3) They all loved to dance. Joseph Millet telling of these events said, AWe danced bare footed and would leave blood streaks on the floor, and the next morning we could gather up a pan full of toe nails.

The entire settlement moved four miles downstream to Rockville in the spring of 1866 until winter. Bands of marauding Indian warriors moved throughout the area. Armed, the men of Shonesburg would return in groups to work the farms. They were unmolested, while settlements all around them were being raided and settlers killed. Two men in the area were killed trying to recover their stolen cattle and horses. One woman was on the road, three miles from her town when she was killed. It was reported that here were various killings in other places round about. Some of the settlers of Shonesburg did not return again.

Brigham Young visited Shonesburg several times on his trips to Utah's Dixie. On one of the visits the little girls of the town all dressed in white and carried flowers. All the boys dressed in their best and took their drums and fifes and all went to meet Brother Brigham and his company. The boys had been taking lessons form Hamner Duzett, a drummer in the Nauvoo Legion.


Janice F. DeMille gives insight into a little incident that occurred to John=s young son Ed. The necessities of life were scarce. White bread was a luxury. When the John Allred family had company for dinner one Sunday, there was not enough room for everyone at the table. The children had to wait and eat after the adults. As young Ed Allred stood and watched intently while the adults ate, he began to cry loudly. His mother jumped up to see what was wrong, but Ed continued screaming and could not answer. Finally he blurted out, Brother So and So took the last biscuit.

In 1877, the U.S. surveyors came measuring the land by chain. They saw the township as cultivated bottoms of both banks of the Rio Virgin mostly planted with fruit trees, vines and alfalfa all growing luxuriantly. The surveyors recorded that pine, aspen and cedar were in the hills and mountains. (March 29, 1877, T.C. Bailey, U.S. Dep Surveyor)

John Jones Allred's major efforts seem to be centered in farming. However, he was the only doctor in the community. Dr. Allred of Shunsburg (sic) looked after the people of Springdale, Rockville, and Grafton. He had a prescription for rheumatism: it consisted of one ounce each of cayenne pepper and assafetida (An acrid, lumpy gum resin that many doctors used a treatment for excess gas and muscle spasms) mixed with a quart of brandy. The dosage was one tablespoonful every morning with a glass of milk (I WAS CALLED TO DIXIE, Andrew Karl Larson, 1961)

Dr. Allred's...presence could reassure those whose loved ones were desperately ill and whose skill could often bring those loved ones back to health and strength. Over rough roads they came - in wagons, in buggies, or on horseback, even on foot in daytime or in the dead of night, through heat, cold floods or famine. (UNDER DIXIE SUN)

While in Shonesburg, about 1868, John J. Allred was Presiding Elder. He succeeded Henry Stevens. (HISTORY OF HATCH) A....soon after (1893) the branch organization at Shonesburg was discontinued and the few saints left were transferred to the Rockville Ward. (ENCYCLOPEDIC HISTORY OF THE CHURCH) Mary Y.B. Allred was president of the Primary association for a number of years in Shonesburg. (Deseret News Obituary)

Several miles from home, the family had a patch of corn which needed to be cultivated and cared for. As Edward, (their young son) prepared to attend to this task his mother climbed onto the wagon and accompanied him. They chopped down the corn stalks and loaded them onto the wagon for their return trip home. In their travels they came to a steep hill where the mother asked to get off until the wagon reached the bottom of the grade. Edward said, Stay on. You will be all right.  But she slid to the ground and Edward was forced to quickly stop the horses or the rear wheel would have run over her, probably causing her serious injury. When their young son had skillfully driven the team and loaded wagon to the bottom of the hill, his mother again climbed on and they traveled homeward, arriving there safely. (Allred, Floyd L. Note: Other incidents and history are given in the history of Edward Warren Allred)

John J. Allred moved away from Shonesburg in the 1890's after residing there for about 30 years. According to John Jones Allred=s daughter Clara Rosella Allred, On March 23, 1892, we left Dixie, fruit trees were all in bloom and the alfalfa was knee high. When we arrived in Hatch, there was not a green leaf in sight.  He was a regular attendant at Sunday schools and all Church meetings; was a straight-forward, upright, exemplary leader in the community; he was presiding Priest of the quorum when he was well enough to attend its meetings, which were held on Sunday evenings. His last attendance was on February 7th. (Deseret News dated March 29, 1897)

John Jones died in Hatch, Utah in 1897 at the age of 76. In his later years, his son Edward returned from Lowell, Wyoming to find his father's grave site. The first time he was there, he couldn't locate it. The next time he came, the site was marked. While clarifying the ownership of the (Hatch ) cemetery in 1967, it was learned from Garfield County Records that it lay in a section of land homesteaded by John J. Allred. The patent was granted to his wife, Mary Allred, on July 10, 1899 (following John Jones Allred's death). Likely, it was he who arranged for the location of the cemetery. He died here on March 16, 1897 and is buried in Lot 42, Space 3. Some of his relatives lay nearby him. (HISTORY OF HATCH)

From the book:

THE LEGACY OF EDWARD WARREN ALLRED B A descendant of William Allred
First Printing B Hard Cover Edition B 1977
Editor-In-Chief: Wallace P. Allred
Associate Editors & Compilers: Lora Allred Gibby & Edward P. Allred
Typesetting and Layout: Reed R. Simonson