LUCINDA CATHERINE HAGGERTY AYERS PETTY Compiled by Lila B. Badger, a great granddaughter
Great grandma, Lucinda Catherine Haggerty, and her twin sister Malinda were born 29 Jan 1816 in Branchville, Sussex, New Jersey. They were the 6th and 7th children born to John S. Haggerty and his wife, Catherine Welch. One little sister, Mary Ann, who was born two years earlier, had lived less than a year. It must have brought great joy, both to the parents, and the four older brothers to have two little girls at one time.
The oldest brother, Ira, was 10, Thomas was 8, David 6, and Stephen 4. The Little girls were happy children and brimming over with love for each other and the rest of the family. Then deep sadness came to the family when on November 20, 1819 just two months before her 4th birthday, Malinda passed away.
Lucinda was a very lonely and confused little girl and her almost constant cry was, “Why can’t Malinda come back home.” She could not understand. The parents and brother’s loved and petted Lucinda, and probably spoiled her. Since there was plenty of money she was given about anything she asked for. And so it was that that little Great Grandma, Lucinda grew up in a home of love, and mostly happiness. We know nothing more of her childhood or growing up years.
It was January 11, 1832 that Lucinda was married to Caleb Ayers, a fine young man ten years older than she was. Some records show the date of marriage 11 February instead of January. They were happy together and as time went on they became the parents of seven children. They made their home first in Branchville, Sussex, New Jersey where two of their children were born. The oldest child, Almira, later became my grandmother. The second child, Morean died two days after birth.
From Branchville the family moved to Stanhope, New Jersey where their third child, Victoria, was born. In 1842 Elders from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called at their home and they were very impressed. Soon they had gained a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel and were baptized July 14, 1842.
In the 1800’s it seems to have been a rather common practice to be re-baptized. Sometimes there was a mix up in the church records, or something happened to them, and sometimes a person might be re-baptized for their health, and these baptisms were recorded. We find that great grandma Lucinda, was re-baptized September 15, 1855. On the card in the genealogical Library in Salt Lake City I found that in the Patriarchal blessing given to great grandfather, Caleb Ayers, he was told that he was in the lineage of Judah and grand grandma Lucinda was of the lineage of Joseph. I have never heard that great grandfather was Jewish, but from this information it seems that the blood of Judah was the predominant strain.
Great Grandma Lucinda’s parents were very bitter against the Mormon Church. They told her if she ever joined that church she need never come to their home again. Shortly after her baptism she and great grandfather and their two children moved to Nauvoo and she never saw her parents or brothers again.
It was in Nauvoo, Illinois that their 4th child, Catherine Malinda, was born May 29, 1844. Their baby tarried with them only a month when she died and was buried in Nauvoo. In 1845 a little son, Ira George was born.
It was such a blessing to be near the Prophet Joseph Smith, to know and love him dearly, and also to know that he truly was a Prophet of God. They were deeply saddened by the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum. Little Lucinda testified that they attended the meeting when the mantle of the Prophet Joseph fell upon Brigham Young. She said that when Brigham Young arose to speak he looked, and his voice sounded exactly like the Prophet. They knew that was the Lord’s way of showing his people that Brother Brigham, who was the president of the Twelve Apostles, was the man to lead the church.
They loved Nauvoo and the little home they had there, but with the rest of the saints they were forced to leave everything and flee across the river. They were ready to follow where ever Brother Brigham should lead them, because they knew that he too was a Prophet of God.
After leaving Nauvoo the family moved to St. Louis, Missouri and it was there that Heber Caleb, their 6th child was born. Sometime later they moved to Kanesville, Pottawatomie, Iowa. There was no place where the Mormons were welcome. Lucinda Ann their 7th child was born there in Kanesville.
What courage it must have taken to rear a family under such trying circumstances. In Council Bluffs, Iowa, March 14, 1852 Great Grandfather, Caleb Ayers, was accidently killed. He was 46 years old. I have been told two different causes of his accidental death. From a member of the Petty family I was told that he was gored by a bull. From information I received from Daisy Palmer Owen of Salt Lake City, who lived with Lucinda, for some time I found the following. “As I have always understood Great Grandfather Caleb Ayers was a wheelwright, he made and repaired wagon wheels.
While he was working on a wheel, or wagon, something slipped and he was crushed to death.
This left Lucinda alone with five children, the baby less than a year old. She was just 36 years old. She knew the road ahead of her would be long and hard but her desire was to continue on with the saints to the Salt Lake Valley. Sometime later that same year she and her children traveled the long weary miles across the plains, walking most of the way. Lucinda must have given a lot of thought as to how she could support her family and herself after arriving in Salt Lake City. I am sure she did a lot of praying for guidance. She no longer had her dear husband to depend on and she knew it all depended on her and the Lord.
She was an excellent cook and housekeeper so she thought perhaps if she ran a rooming, boarding house she could support her family and have them with her at the same time. One of Lucinda’s boarders was Albert Petty who was a Representative in the Territorial Legislature. The Deseret News of December 12, 1852 listed him as a member of the Utah Territorial Assembly or House of Representatives for Sanpete County. There were but six counties in Utah at that time.
The legislature adjourned about February 1, 1853 and Albert returned to Manti. While he was in Salt Lake City, it seems he had been urged to accept the practice of plural marriage by his friend, Brigham Young and others. About four months previous, plural marriage as a doctrine of the church had been announced. In response to the teachings of the church on June 5th, 1853, Albert married his second wife, Lucinda Catherine Haggerty Ayers, a widow.
Sometime in June 1853 Albert, Lucinda and her five children, Almira, Heber, Victoria, George and Ann returned to Manti. Upon their arrival in Manti it was believed they moved into a new log house which Albert had built during the spring months in anticipation of the event. (Most of the information given thus far I received from Daisy Palmer Owen, a granddaughter of Lucinda who lived with her for some time.)
(Most of the following information I copied from the book: The Albert Petty Family. I was given permission to do this by the author of the book, Charles B. Petty of Salt Lake City, Utah.)
Indian Slave Trade was a serious problem at that time. Indians of one family would steal women and children from another family and not only abuse them shamefully, but sell them as slaves. Many Indians would gamble and lose their own wife and children, and it is hard to imagine the torture the innocent victims endured. The leaders of the church advised their members who were able to buy the Indian women and children and take them into their own homes and rear them as their own. In line with this advice, Albert Petty traded a horse for a fine papoose girl child about seven years old. They took her into their home as one of their own children and named her Martha. She was a good child and made friends with everyone.
On March 3rd, 1854, twins, a boy Albert Haggerty, and a girl, Amanda, were born to Albert and Lucinda at Manti, Utah, but Amanda lived only six months. April 26, 1856 at Manti, Utah Territory, a third child came to bring still more happiness into their home. He was given the name of Frank Haggerty Petty. Albert Petty Sr. was Mayor of Manti and County Recorder of Sanpete County. Lucinda was proud of her husband and helped him in every way she could.
In the summer of 1856 provisions were very scarce, but to the amazement of all, pigweed sprang up in abundance on the south side of the quarry hill. It was cut each morning, cleaned, boiled and served with a little meat or potatoes or both. This weed had never grown there before nor has it ever grown there since, and no man has ever been able to solve the problem of how the seeds came to be there.
John Henry Petty, the fourth child of Albert and Lucinda, was born June 19, 1859 at Manti. The settling of Dixie was a child of the great Civil War between the North and South. On April 15, 1861, when the Confederates fired upon Fork Sumpter in the Charleston harbor, the war was on.
Brigham Young, upon hearing of this tragedy ten days later, acted quickly, for during May he and other Mormon leaders made a hurried trip to the “Warm Valley” south of the basin with two objects in mind. First to find a place suitable for the growing of cotton to replace what would be cut off by the war from the Southern States, and second to locate a city on the Mormon trail between Las Vegas and Cedar City. This would help to stimulate travel to and from the coast so that converts from Europe might come to Utah via the Isthmus of Panama, California, and by steamboat up the Colorado River to a point near Boulder Dam.
Upon their return to Salt Lake City, the official call came to sturdy pioneers to go to the Dixie Cotton Mission. President Brigham Young made the announcement at a general conference held in the bowery in Salt Lake City October 7, 1861. He explained the object and necessity of the mission and then probably remarked, “It is the Lord’s will that the following brethren, with their families, be called to settle the Dixie country.” The Mormon Church has always used the surprise element, and it is probable that to most of the persons selected, the hearing of their names read by the speaker was the first knowledge of being called to go.
Following is a copy of the letter sent to Apostle Hyde in Sanpete County.
“Great Salt Lake City, Utah October 13, 1861 Elder Orson Hyde, You are requested to raise and organize in the County of Sanpete 30 to 50 families for this mission. Send good and judicious men, having reference in your selection to the necessities of a new colony, and including a sufficient number of mechanics such as coopers, blacksmiths, carpenters, masons, plasterers, etc. It is desired that they be on the road at the earliest practical date. It is expected that the brethren will become permanent settlers in the Southern region, and that they will contribute their efforts to supply the Territory with cotton, sugar, grapes, figs, almonds, olive oil, and such other useful articles as the Lord has given us the places for garden spots in the South to produce. Elder Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow are expected to accompany the Mission. The first party expects to start from here on the 28th of this month. We want men who can live on a rock. Your Brother in the Gospel, Brigham Young.”
On the list of names of the men chosen from Sanpete are found Albert Petty, William Black Sr., George Black, William Valentine Black, and Joseph Black. In the spring of 1862 Albert Petty and his wife Lucinda along with others began their journey to Utah’s Dixie. In their group besides themselves and their three children were Albert’s first wife Catherine, and their three children, also Lucinda’s children by her first husband; Almira, who was married to William Valentine Black, Victoria who was also the wife of William Valentine Black, George, Heber and Ann, and of course, Martha, the Indian girl now 16 years old went with them.
Leaving Manti brought sadness to the hearts of all. However looking to the future, they smiled as the fresh animals led out and the wagons chuckled along. As the road leading south from Manti was along the gravel foothills the caravan of people on foot, the yokes of oxen hitched to the wagons, and the loose livestock, all moved cautiously and slowly along the narrow dugway leading downhill. Where the road was narrow the top heavy wagons nearly toppled over as the wheels rolled over the rocks, causing the tongue of the wagon to slap the sides and legs of the faithful oxen which were trying to steady and steer the wagon over the turbulent sea of rocks. “I’ll bet this is the roughest road in all outdoors,” says one “for there’s more rock than dirt.”
Describing the roughness of the road between Harmony and Washington, George A. Smith wrote: “I thought it was the most desperate piece of road that I had ever traveled in my life, the whole ground being covered for miles with stone volcanic rock, cobbleheads and so forth, and in places deep sand.” Stopping for all to rest, some showed signs of discouragement while others with an effort assumed the role of optimism. After hours of traveling over difficult roads where many wagon wheels had broken down and oxen crippled, the party reached Bellvue (later called Pintura), where the black rocks terminated and millions of round gray granite ones took over. From here to Sandy (later Anderson’s Ranch) a distance of five miles required a days’ time, for the road led over washes where people must walk and doubling was necessary, and men must push the wagons. At Sandy it was sand and rocks, or all sand, as the road led through cactus, prickly pears, ooze, and sand burs, much to the discomfort of those barefooted. Everyone, who was able, walked and the small children were carried. Here again a delay was caused by having to “double” where the road led up a sandy slope.
With the extra oxen all hitched, and men at each wheel, the head driver walking by the side of oxen would crack their whip and shout, “Heave, heave.” As all responded with one accord the wagon wheels started to turn and, the ship of the desert, moved slowly forward a few rods. At the sound of “Whoa,” from the driver, all would stop, puff, and pant, and get ready for another pull. From atop the ridge a view of beautiful Toquerville Valley in the springtime greeted them as they started down the slope to the little village nestled on a fertile flat at the foot of the black hill. Toquerville was named after Chief Toquer, meaning “black.”
An hours’ drive from Toquerville brought the caravan to the grassy bottom of LaVerkin Creek, where the animals were given food and rest, for before them lay the crookedest, and steepest road between Sanpete and Shunesburg, their destination. Leaving the creek the road followed a narrow wash so crooked they almost met themselves coming back. In about a mile it left the wash and passed through foothills until it came to the bare limestone Hurricane Fault, standing high and facing west. This meant unhitching the oxen from the different wagons and hitching them all on one wagon, then with the men pushing the wagon it was possible to move the wagons one at a time from the obstacles that slowed them down. The cracking of the whip and the shouting of the men came echoing back from the hills. Following each wagon was a man carrying a block or stone the size of four bricks to chuck under the hind wheel the instant the wagon stopped, thus preventing its rolling back down the hill a mile from the other wagons.
From the top of Hurricane Fault the view was breathtaking. Albert turned to Lucinda and said, “The Lord is kind in leading us to this beautiful place. Yonder is where we will build our home.” At first Albert and Lucinda settled in Shunesburg but were not satisfied there, so they moved on to the edge of a fertile piece of ground where several large, gushing springs of pure cool water were surrounded by a virgin grove of cottonwood, ash, and box elder trees. In this quiet secluded spot one could hear the song of the river, a stone’s throw away and everything seemed so lovely and peaceful that Albert exclaimed: “What more could we ask? Here we shall build our home, and we thank God for directing us here.”
However, these pioneers had many difficult problems, first of which was how to find food, clothing, and shelter that their bodies might survive the pangs of hunger and the elements of nature. There were so many things to be done all at once; their only heritage being nature in the raw. No one had planted a tree, built a house, a fence, a road, or dug a ditch for them. Their bent backs and toiling hands must do it all. Yea, all this with pangs of hunger within, and eternal vigilance without. It is said that Albert took his wife Lucinda to a beautiful spot he had selected beside the large springs and asked her to name it. She called it “Springdale.” It has the same name today.
Springdale so appropriately and beautifully named, would someday, after much hard work, be a fertile garden spot. But it was some 400 miles from Salt Lake City, which was “a thousand miles from nowhere.” It was at the end of the road indeed. The supplies of food, clothing and other necessities which they had brought with them were being exhausted and there was no possibility of importing more from so far away. Furthermore, they had no money with which to buy, nor a market to which they could sell. Neither could they move on without retracing, for their view to the west, north, and east was bounded by cliff walls and peaks whose heads towered 3,000 feet into the sky. They were cornered with their backs to the wall and empty bellies; their greatest resource being sheer will power and determination, confidence in each other, and an abiding faith in a merciful God who watches over all. With this setting, these plucky pioneers buckled down, facing the tough task of living a simple life, a little above that of the native savages, wrestling a sustenance from the primitive nature in which they lived.
Another main job was to provide winter shelter for the families as soon as possible. Soon the swinging of the axes and the felling of the graceful cottonwood trees could be seen and heard along the Virgin River. Well up on one side of a ravine a house was erected. Beautiful colored sandstone rock well-seamed, easy to split and break into suitable building stones was brought from the hills nearby and used for the foundation and path walks. The slender logs were sawed off even, hewn, matched, and notched so they went easily into place, the cracks battened and sealed with clay mortar to keep out the cold and moisture. The openings were left for homemade doors, and windows which they had brought from Manti.
Soon the logs were up to the square. The thatched roof was made of pole beams and rafters covered with willows and boughs upon which was placed a six inch layer of heavy well packed clay strictly water proof for all ordinary storms. The long main room with a big fireplace and large hearth stone in front would hold the entire family when assembled for family prayer or worship. Each wife was provided with a cellar dug into the bank over the spring where food might be kept cool.
Next of course, came the digging of the ditch with crude implements and tools. Their plows were of wood with an iron strip on the nose, but were frail in the rocks. Across the flats where the ground wasn’t too rocky, oxen were hitched to the small ends of legs with large knots or stubs of branches sticking out which scratched into the ground as they were dragged along. Where the ground was rocky, the pick, crowbar and shovel were used. Shovels at that time were short-handled like those of a hoe or spade. When the long handled ones came on the market, they were called “The lazy man’s shovel.”
Wood was plentiful for fuel, to close to haul, to far to carry. The water supply was many times their meager needs, and flowed on downstream for the benefit of settlers below. Grass and browse for milk cows, oxen, and horses and any other livestock covered the bottom of the valley and side hills in reasonable quantities which was most helpful in pioneer life. Springdale nestled in the most picturesque setting of any town in the state, where it is dusk in the valley before sundown on the peaks, and where twilight tarries for hours. One may leave this scenic village after sundown, and drive fifty miles to the west by auto and find the sun still shining.
It is reported by reliable pioneers that chickens, when first taken into Zion’s Canyon nearby, went to roost as usual after sundown, and after waiting for darkness to come, would hop down from the roosts and go out scratching for food. The men wore buckskin shirts, trousers, and moccasins, while the women and girls wore waists, skirts and moccasins of the same material. This clothing was soft and very pleasant to wear besides being strong, durable and nice to look at. The chief weakness being that it would not withstand water. When it was wet it stretched, then as it dried it shrunk greatly, thus embarrassing both sexes the bottom of the men’s trousers and the women’s skirts shortened from ankles to knees.
During the Black Hawk Indian War of 1865, nearly all the town’s eligible males were enrolled in a company of volunteer militia and kept alerted for possible attack. No such protective organization seems to have been functioning, however, at the time of the Washington “Giant” scare. In addition to his regular duties, a mischievous youth somehow found time to whittle a length of cottonwood log into a pair of large wooden shoes. Donning the over-sized brogans, under cover of darkness, the prankster would stride through soft areas of sand where the tracks would be certain of discovery on the following morning. It wasn’t long before the mystifying footprints had thrown the frontier colony into an uproar. Doors and windows were kept tightly bolted against a possible invasion by the giant; children were forbidden to play out of doors after dusk, and farmers went armed to their fields. There were those who said it must be one of the three Nephites, though why the Nephites had grown so large bothered them not at all. After reducing the timid to jitters, the young man Sprague revealed the hoax.
Standing out of doors at Springdale, the settlers beheld a colorful view of the canyon from which emerged the Virgin River, and instinctively wanted to follow the stream to its source. In doing so the explorers encountered rough terrain until they came to the “valley” part of the canyon, when they saw one of the most beautiful sights of its kind ever beheld by man. This section had once been a lake which was gradually filled by sediment from streams, and covered with a variety of trees, grass, rose bushes, flowers and vines. With towering cliffs of many hues extending thousands of feet into the air, bounding the view on all sides, thus was created a veritable paradise for the pleasure of people from many distant lands as well as those close by in later years.
With enthusiasm the settlers made a trail over the high “Sand Bench,” so the disassembled wagons and plows could be carried piece by piece on pack horses into Zion Valley, and used by the farmers in growing useful crops.
To divert the water into irrigation ditches leading to the farms, brush dams were made in the river. These were held in place by the use of “two legged lizards,” made by putting two “legs” under one end of a leg, and having the tail end pointing downstream. These dams were also weighted down by rocks. After many years of over grazing on the water shed, larger and larger floods came pushing down the turbulent Virgin River through the “narrows” of the canyon, sweeping away dams and ditches and leaving the farms “high and dry.” Eventually beautiful fruit orchards and farms were abandoned and the canyon was used chiefly for cattle grazing.
January 9, 1865 while working with others in constructing a wagon road into Zion Canyon, George Ayers, age 19, son of Lucinda Haggerty Ayers Petty, was instantly killed. George, with his brother Heber, Orson Taylor, and Sam Wittwer, had been digging a dug way when the accident happened. According to our family tradition, the men had eaten their lunch, and were resting in the roadway. George was sitting in a reclining position and he was singing, perhaps to himself, “Farewell all Earthly Honors, I bid you All Adieu,” when a huge projecting boulder suddenly began to move. A shout of warning came from those who first saw it start rolling. Three of the men escaped, but unfortunately, George was instantly crushed to death. This is recorded as the first white fatality in Zion Canyon. George and Martha the beloved Indian Girl (foster sister) were sweethearts, and years later his mother, Lucinda, in line with the teachings of the church, had these two young people sealed to each other in the Manti Temple. Martha had died two years after George was killed.
One of Lucinda’s loveliest granddaughters persisted in going out with an aged, wealthy, mining man. When her parents made her stay upstairs, she would climb down the front porch post to meet him, much to the annoyance of her parents. One day they were chiding the girl for keeping company with a man so much older than she was. Great Grandma Lucinda, now in her 80’s was present, and wittingly remarked, “Now you leave Toria alone. Her suitor is a very respectable man—at least he was when he came to see me before I was married.” The lovely girl blushed, but undaunted by the pressure of others she followed her heart, instead of her head and married the man.
Lucinda’s husband, Albert Petty, died July 19, 1869 at his home in Springdale, Utah within the very shadows of the towering peaks of Zion where the Virgin River flows. He was Presiding Elder of both Springdale and Shunesville branches of the Rockville Ward at the time of his death. He was a good family man, and his scope of friendship extended from the highest of the church and state down to the starving red men who came to his grist mill hungry and went away filled. In the words of William Valentine Black, who knew him well, and whose two wives were his step-daughters: “A better man never lived than Albert Petty.”
At the time of his death his family consisted of his wife Catherine and their four children, his wife Lucinda and their three children as well as Lucinda’s four children by Caleb Ayers. Lucinda was 53 when she became a widow for the second time. I have been told by members of the family that the two wives, Catherine and Lucinda loved each other and got along very well. Lucinda’s daughter Ann said that Lucinda’s children by her first husband, called Albert Petty, “Father Petty,” and they called his first wife Catherine, “Auntie Petty.” She remarked that the children of his first marriage to Catherine, Great Grandma’s first marriage to Caleb Ayers, and their own children were all treated just the same by both women. She testified that by the treatment and love shown by both women the children would never have known which was their own mother.
For 12 years after the death of her husband Albert Petty, Great Grandma continued to live in Springdale. It was her home and she loved it. It was a long way though to Deseret, where her two daughters Victoria Black and Ann Palmer were living. In 1881 at the age of 65 this plucky, black-eyed little lady was persuaded to move to Deseret. There she was loved and visited often by her children and grandchildren. My Father, William Henry Bradfield told me that little Grand Grandma Petty was one of the sweetest, loveliest women he had ever met. She lived in Deseret 25 years. Her walk was not so brisk now, and her black eyes had perhaps lost some of their brightness, but her courage and faith were just as strong as when she gave up her beloved parents and brothers to join the Mormon Church so many years before. She died January 26, 1906 and was buried on her 90th birthday January 29, 1906 in Deseret, Utah.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in