HINTON, John Nock: Memories Of

John Nock Hinton (1839-1928)

John Nock Hinton was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, on October 18, 1829. Atkins Hinton and Agnes Maurice had seven children, three boys, John, Atkins, Thomas, and four girls, Agnes, Hanna, Elizabeth, and Mary Ann (half-sister). Agnes was the only sister that married. All of the other sisters were school teachers. The whole family was religiously inclined and were members of the Independent Church, which they attended at Carslane Chapple, a building that seated six or eight hundred people.

John went to school until he was fourteen years old, then went as an apprentice to a cabinet maker by the name of Jeremiah Wright, who gave him three or four dollars a week for spending money. While there he first met the Mormon Elders, who were being entertained by the Owen Isom family (all having joined the Mormon Church).

William Isom, the eldest son of Owen Isom, also a traveling Elder in Birmingham, was a very dear friend of John Hinton. Through John Hinton’s going to the Isom home to visit William, he met the first Mormon Elders. He was baptized by Thomas Argiles, on the 10th of February, 1856, confirmed by Henry Bridges. Even though he was snubbed and scoffed at by his employer and fellow-workmen, he stayed with his apprenticeship until he was 21. During this time he had saved all of his spending money so he could go to Zion with the Saints. He boarded the Underwriter Vessel, on April 23, 1861.

Emma Spendlove

Emma Spendlove was born on January 29, 1842, in Crosby, Lestshire, England. She was the daughter of John Spendlove and Elizabeth Harrison. They had seven children, Alfred, John, Emma, Mary, Rebecca, and William, all born in the same little home, and were christened in the same church. One child was born when the mother died, and not long after, the child died too.

Emma Spendlove was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on February 1, 1852, by William Spendlove, her uncle, who left the next day for Utah. This Uncle, William Spendlove, was a brother of Emma’s father and was the first of the Spendlove family to join the church. He had been married and when his first child was born, both his wife and baby died. He grieved so over his wife and child and having had such a desire to go to Utah, his brother, Emma’s father, persuaded him to go thinking it might help him to forget his troubles. Their plans were for him to get work in Utah, and send money back to help John and his family emigrate. He worked all winter of 1853 in Salt Lake City, but could not get the money for his work. He became discouraged, so decided to go to California but was never heard of again.

Emma’s father soon married again. His wife’s name was Maria Tole, an old maid, who never bore him any children. Having all joined the Church, the step-mother, being very anxious to join the saints in Zion soon found employment for all the children and made them save their money for emigration.

One day when Emma was about 3 years old, she was playing near her home and was kidnaped by some Gypsies who were passing. As they passed some farms she saw men working and screamed for help. They came to her rescue and she was taken to Crosby, soon finding her home. At the age of ten, Emma went to care for children in a Mormon family. As she grew older she did housework, staying in one place for about fifteen months. She received very small wages but saved as much as possible so she could emigrate to Zion. A very dear friend of her father by the name of Foster, was going to Utah and her father decided to let her go, as all the family could not go at once on account of money, so was placed under Brother Foster’s care.

Joseph Foster, the oldest son of these Fosters (who was a traveling Elder in England), married her girlfriend, Joyce Hillman, they all boarded the Underwriter Vessel on the 23rd of April 1861. John Hinton was a friend of young Joseph Foster and it was only natural that he would meet Emma Spendlove, and as their acquaintance advanced, they decided to get married and commence their lives together in the new world. They were married by Charles W. Penrose, on May 19, 1861, on board the ship just three days before landing.

The company of six hundred and twenty-four Saints was presided over by , , and Charles W. Penrose. Brother Penrose had his wife and three little boys with him and all were very much beloved by the company.

They arrived in New York on May 22nd, and stayed there a short time, then went to Florence, Nebraska, arriving there on June 2nd. They stayed there a few weeks, while there two young men in the company went in bathing and were drowned. John Nock Hinton was called upon to make the caskets. His wife, Emma Spendlove Hinton, was left alone that night. She was very frightened because there was a terrible storm. The thunder and lightning were terrible. Soon after this tragedy, the mother of the two young men lost her mind. She had left her husband, friends, and home for the gospel. She was in great care to the company until she died. She was taken back to where her sons were buried and were buried beside them.

After staying for a little while, two hundred teams and wagons, loaded with provisions arrived from Salt Lake City, to bring them across the plains to Utah. The saints were divided into four companies. Brother and Sister Hinton being in Joseph Horn’s company. They arrived in Salt Lake City on the 13th of Sept., 1861. At Salt Lake, they rented a one-room house and started housekeeping. Brother Hinton got to work with Brother Capner. He was the main mechanic in Salt Lake at that time and they made all the furniture and caskets to be had in Salt Lake. While working there, he made himself some furniture for his own house. He made a nice table that everyone admired, but people were so poor and very few could afford such a nice piece of furniture. Colonel Reece had been an officer to disburse provisions to the soldiers. He had flour and bacon left, so he bought the table, paying them enough flour and bacon to do them the entire winter of 1861.

Their first child was a boy, John Maurice, born April 7, 1862. They remained in Salt Lake City a little more than a year, and Brother Hinton worked with Brother Capner all the time, but the wages were small and fuel so hard to get that they thought they might do better if they went south to Dixie.

Brother Hinton, John Nock, had bought a city lot and was preparing to build but he sold his lot and did not get anything for it at the time as the man was too poor to pay him for it, but sent a few things to Dixie later. They sold the furniture that he had made, among others, they sold a nice bureau, sold to Bob Sharkie a tin shop owner on Main St. He had no money to pay them so they had to take things out of his shop. From him, they got a milk strainer and pans, a large camp kettle, that was very useful on their trip to Dixie, and also a coffee mill that also came in handy.

When they got to Dixie, the coffee mill was used to grind grain and cane seed for making bread. It was also used by all their neighbors for the same purpose. They still had the old coffee mill at the time of their death and the children planned to send it to the museum in Salt Lake at the State Capital.

Sister Hinton bought two flat irons of some immigrants going through to California. She paid them for green beans and some corn out of her garden. Late in December of 1862, they settled in Virgin. Their first home was a dugout, a hole dug in the ground or in a bank with a dirt floor and dirt walls with ridge poles over the top then covered with brush first, then dirt.

Brother Hinton soon found employment but wages were still smaller than they were in Salt Lake City. He had to take anything he could use for his pay. It was while they lived there that they had to eat pigweed, and lucern greens, sometimes not even salt to put on them. One morning, Sam Western, an old English friend, called to have breakfast, but they had not for themselves. Brother Dorius Shirts owed Brother Hinton and was to pay him wheat when the threshing was done. The thresher was at Brother Shirts’s place that morning. After Brother Hinton had gone to work, Sister Hinton, with her baby in one arm and a sack in the other, went to Brother Shirts’s place and waited while they threshed, then took her wheat and baby home. Upon reaching home, she ground some wheat in the coffee mill, then made mush, which they sprinkled with molasses for dinner.

Brother Hinton’s people, although they felt he had disgraced them by becoming a Mormon, were very good to him. When Sister Hinton’s father, John Spendlove, and family came from England in 1863, Brother Hinton’s family sent them many good things and useful things that could not be had in this country in those days and so many pretty things for her baby who was surely in need of clothes. They were admired by everyone…People wondered where she got such beautiful clothes for him.

When Johnnie was about one and a half years old, he became very sick. There were no doctors and the young mother knew not what to do for him. While lying on her lay expecting any minute to be his last, he opened his eyes and pointed to some tallow candles hanging from the roof of the dugout. The father got one down and gave it to him and he ate half of one very ravenously then began to recover immediately. But with all their hardships and poverty, they never wished they hadn’t come or wanted to go back. What faith these old pioneers had.

On the 9th of June 1864, they had a baby girl which they named Agnes Elizabeth, for each of their mothers. Brother and Sister were very poor but they did not grieve over it as all the people in Virgin were the same and they had many good times.

Brother and Sister Hinton had a lot of good clothes when they left England, but when they got to Dixie they sold some of them for commoner ones and for something to eat. They would go to dances at the old log schoolhouse, sometimes they would dance all night. Some borrowed clothes from another to go to the dance in and some danced barefoot. One night Brother and Sister Hinton went to the dance, and put Johnnie to bed leaving him alone. He woke up and found himself shut in the dugout which only had one small window containing six panes of glass, eight by ten inches. He knocked out one of these panes and crawled out. Aunt Fanny Workman, living across the street, hearing him cry, went and got him and took him in her home and put him in her bed. When his father and mother came home from the dance she took him to them.

One day while Sister Hinton was baking bread in a bake oven, four or five large Navajo Indians came rushing down into the dugout, frightening her very much so she could not understand a word they said, but they talked to themselves and pointed to the bread. She thought that was what they wanted and so she gave it to them. They left her in peace. In those days the Indians were quite ugly and mean to the white settlers. They would steal cattle and horses and several men were killed, not in Virgin, but near Pipe Springs. The people of Virgin built a fort and all moved close together, when they thought there was any danger, a gun was fired and all the people knew that was a signal for them to run for the schoolhouse. The schoolhouse or church was one large log room made with portholes for them to put their guns through. When the scare was over, they would make their homes in the fort. The men took turns standing guard at night all winter.

Sister Hinton was barefoot for six weeks at one time, then Mrs. Hilton, a friend and neighbor (who was sick) wanted her to wash for her. She did so and was paid for a pair of old shoes without soles, so she was no better off for she could not wear them until they were fixed. As Brother Hinton was going home from work one day, he found a large piece of sole leather in the road. He inquired for the owner and found it belonged to Ralph Campbell. He took it to him and tried to buy a pair of soles, but Bro. Campbell would not sell it, but gave him enough to fix his wife’s shoes. He had never mended a pair of shoes in his life, but he went to work, made a wooden peg, and soled the shoes.

They had another little girl, born on April 27, 1866, and they named her Marion.

Early in the spring of 1868, they sold their dugout for molasses to Joseph Hopkins, who had married Ann Spendlove – an Aunt to Sister Hinton. Soon after, they moved to North Creek, a ranch four miles north of Virgin. Brother Hinton built a one-room log house that they lived in that summer. On the 27th of May 1868, another girl was born. This one was named Emma.

The following winter they moved back to Virgin, buying back their old dugout. Sister Hinton would take her babies and go to the field, lay them on a quilt while she picked cotton, stripped the leaves off and topped the cane, and then took cotton and molasses for her pay. Many times she took a sack and went through the fields gathering pigweed for greens. She did everything she could to help make a living. Brother Hinton made a loom, and she then undertook to weave, knowing how bad they were in need of new clothing but she had so many babies and so much to do, that she gave weaving up as a bad job. She then sold her loom and Brother Hinton took clothes for pay. He did some farming and all the carpenter work in the homes of Virgin, he also made hundreds of caskets in his day.

On July 15, 1870, they had another boy born who was named Atkins for his brother in England. They were still living in the dugout. Brother Hinton did some farming in Zion Canyon. In the spring of 1871, he made himself a large rocking chair, his wife a nursing chair, and three common chairs with canvas seats. He brought the timber from Zion and all the tools he had consisted of a pocket knife and a drawing knife (the chairs are still in use). About this time Brother Hinton bought the 16 x 18 ft house that had been used as the church and everything else. It was moved to the lot and fixed for a dwelling. They were now very happy and thankful. As another means of making a living, Brother Hinton peddled eggs, fruits, butter, and chickens to Pioche. On his return from one of these trips, it was during the middle of the night, that his wife asked him to light the lamp and look for bed bugs. When he turned the covers down there, to his surprise was a baby boy that had arrived in his absence. This child was born October 8, 1872, and was named Thomas Maurice for another brother in England.

Brother Hinton never learned to milk, so his wife did all the milking. One morning when she went to milk the cow, she opened her chicken coop door and found nearly all of her chickens dead and a live wild cat in the corner of the coop. It was so full of blood sucked from the chickens, it could not move. She ran across the street for a neighbor, Oliver Stratton to come and shoot it. He and his son Albert, felt very sorry for her so they gave her some live chickens for the dead ones which they took home to eat.

On March 4th, 1874 Brother Brigham Young organized the United Order in Virgin. Brother and Sister Hinton joined it. They turned in their horses, harnesses, and wagon and had their lumber and shingles on the ground ready to build another room or two, hauled away which were never returned. While living in the order, they had another girl born to them on Sept. 24, 1874, who they named Annie. In November of the same year, while still working in the Order, Brother Hinton with Brother James Jepson Jr. made a trip to Salt Lake City by a team with a load of dry peaches. These peaches were taken through the process of being cut in half, laid on large scaffolds made of pine boards fifteen inches wide, and dried. After loading a wagon with this fruit Brother Hinton started out. While crossing the Oak Creek, just north of Toquerville, Brother Hinton broke a king-bolt in his wagon, letting his wagon down into a foot of water. They got a new king-bolt and with a little help, they were soon ready to continue their journey. They thought perhaps the peaches would be spoiled or moldy when they got to Salt Lake but they were not. The only difference was that his load weighed more than it did when they left Virgin. They turned their teams out every night. They were about six weeks on the trip, returning home just before Christmas with loads of merchandise for the Coop Store.

After the discontinuation of the Order, which lasted about one and a half years, Brother Hinton ( John Nock) went to work on the St. George Temple in 1876. He worked there most of the time for one year. Most of his work was donations. When the Order was over, they had nothing but some land and a team. He had to start all over again. With a new determination, he went to work.

He sold his land and team and built a furniture shop. It was situated in the southern part of the Virgin. The turning lathe and other machinery were turned by a large water wheel. The old grist mill stood close by and was run by the same stream.

On Aug. 19, 1877, they had another boy born. He was named Joel, but he only lived three days.

Everything seemed to be prospering at the shop where their eldest son, John, was learning the trade and helping his father. When one day, Atkins, about 9 years old was playing and climbing around in the shop when he fell into the water wheel. The wheel had a belt on it and caught one leg, taking him around two or three times, breaking his leg in three places. There were very few doctors in those days, however, there was Dr. Allred who lived at Springdale, 18 miles away. He pretended not to be much of a doctor but he set broken bones and attended to the sick in times of need. There were no telephones or cars in those days either, so a man had to ride horseback to get the doctor. The doctor rode back to Virgin before the leg could be set. In a few weeks he was running around again, but the leg always seemed a little shorter than the other.

On Jan. 29, 1879, another boy was born and was named Bernard Bulmer.

Brother Hinton now sold his Coleb-hard stock also his Coop store stock and everything he owned except his house and lot in which he lived and the money was put into the furniture store. The upper story of the shop was full of all kinds of nice furniture and their daughter Agnes was painting and varnishing it, in a few more days it would be ready for sale and the good people of Virgin were anxiously waiting for the time when they could buy the furniture they needed so badly. Brother Hinton and Sister Hinton thought their days of poverty were about over, but they were not. One morning in June 1879, when all was dry and warm, the shop caught fire and in a few minutes, it was burned to the ground, also the grist mill that stood beside it. Not one thing was saved. He had loaned a saw and an auger to a neighbor, who hadn’t returned them and they were the only tools he owned. From then on he never acted spirited, always gloomy and discouraged. He knew he couldn’t be discouraged when he had a family of ten to keep, but he was puzzled to know what to do, but with new determination, he decided to go to Salt Lake City to work and get himself some new tools. He soon found work and remained there for about six months and returned home just before Christmas. He now bought more land, put out more orchards and vineyards, and raised some lovely fruit.

On the 23rd of March, another girl was born, whose name was Edith Alice. This was in 1881. Brother Hinton now built two or three more rooms onto the old house.

Brother and Sister Hinton were good singers, he sang tenor and she sang soprano. They sang in the Virgin choir for many years. He was the leader for some thirty years. They had no instruments but he was a good music reader. He would “Fa-So” the notes and teach each their part then strike his tuning fork and give each his note. They worked hard and the Virgin choir was considered one of the best in Southern Utah. He was also Superintendent of the Sunday School for twelve or fifteen years.

Their oldest children were now grown and thinking of marriage. Agnes married Ianthus Richards. Marion married Ira E. Bradshaw. The Dixie country being a good climate for the production of molasses, Brother John Nock Hinton started to work in the cooper trade. He would go up in the mountains and split staves out of a large pine tree and with the help of his boys would make hundreds of barrels. They sold them to the farmers to put their molasses in as there were thousands of gallons made.

Agnes and Marion lived not far from their father and mother in Virgin and on the 27th of February 1884, their first grandchild was born, Samuel Hinton Richards.

Wagons were hard to get in this country so Brother Hinton decided he would make one himself. He bought an old wagon that had good irons on, but the wood was worn out. He took all the irons off, got locust trees, made new hubs, follys, and spokes for the wheels, and used locust for all the wood parts of the wagon. He afterward sold it. It was a good stout wagon and was in use for many years.

On April 18, 1884, they had another daughter born and named her Catherine. Emma married John M. Wright. John married Nancy Stanworth.

None of Brother Hinton’s people ever joined the Mormon Church. His brother Atkins, took a trip in July 1893 and came to America and came to Southern Utah to see his brother John. Brother Hinton had to go by the team to Milford, then the nearest railroad station to meet his brother. After the greeting, his brother said, “John, I do not care to hear anything about religion,” so brother Hinton did not mention Mormonism to him. They had a very pleasant visit, his brother staying about 10 days.

One of Brother Hinton’s grandsons, Leo Richards, was in England on a Mormon Mission. He went to old Birmingham and called on Brother Hinton’s sister Lizzie. She was pleased to see him and asked him to stay to tea but told him she was not interested in his religion so he never mentioned it.

With all the poverty and hardships they had to go through, none were so great as the one they were called to go through by the death of their son John. He died on the ninth of January 1891 at the age of 28, leaving a young wife with four little boys, the youngest just 3 months old. His wife came and lived with Brother and Sister Hinton the rest of the winter so she could have help with her babies.

Annie married Thomas Isom, son of William and Katherine Rolf Isom, who were close friends of John and Emma Hinton in England. They sailed to America together, crossed the plains together, arrived in Utah at the same time, lived in Salt Lake together, came to Dixie in the same company, and lived close to each other in Dixie. They were lifelong friends.

Atkins married Sarah E. Sanders. Thomas married Wilhemina Walker, and Bernard Bulmer married Isabel Hilton. Edith Alice married Robert Gibson, and Catherine, Samuel W. Leigh.

Their family all left them now and moved to different places and left them in their old home in their old age.

They were lonely indeed with no children to call on them, no grandchildren to do little errands for them. The water they used for the house had to be hauled and it was done by Lorenzo Spendlove and when he moved to Hurricane, they decided they would have to go to Hurricane, also, where the majority of their children lived. They sold their old home in Virgin and with the money they received, they built themselves a four-room house when Brother John Nock Hinton was almost 70 years old. They moved to Hurricane in October 1909, having lived in Virgin for almost 47 years. They appreciated and enjoyed their new comfortable home, being surrounded by their children. Atkins lived on the lot north of them. Bernard across the street east, Maurice, Annie, and Marion not far off, but where they could see them every day if need be and their son, John’s wife also lived near. All of this added to their joy.

In June 1911 Brother and Sister Hinton decided to go to Ogden to visit their daughter, Agnes, who resided there. They were enjoying their visit to the fullest extent though Agnes wasn’t very well. On July 15th she died. They had no idea she was seriously ill. It was a terrible shock to them. They came back home very sad.

At the time John Nock Hinton became of age, and capable of being a help to his family, he left England to go to Utah with the saints, and though his people felt he had disgraced them by becoming a Mormon when his father died, he was remembered in the will and shared equally with the rest of his brothers and sisters and through that means they were made comfortable in their old age for which they were grateful, saying after, they did not know how they would have done without it.

On the 17th of February 1924, they sustained another severe shock in the death of their daughter Marion. They thought she was in perfect health but on the morning of this date, the word was carried to them that she was dead. Now their first three children had gone to the great beyond.

On their 64th wedding anniversary, all the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren that could gather (107 in all) celebrated by giving them dinner and refreshments. On his eighty-eighth birthday, his children took dinner with them again.

Sister Hinton (Emma) did her washing and housework till she was past 85. In the last ten years of John’s life, he became more feeble each year but he seemed in perfect health, having a good appetite until one week before he passed away. On the morning of the 17th of August, while trying to get up, as usual, he fell to the floor and could not help himself. He was put to bed and never complained of much pain but just slept until death came on August 25th, 1928. After Brother Hinton was laid to rest, Sister Emma Spendlove Hinton went with her daughter Emma to Hinckley where she remained for a short time then returned to Cedar City. She stayed with her daughter Catherine Leigh, but pined for her Dixie home and companions and was not satisfied so she came back to Hurricane to her daughter Annie Isom. For about one month she seemed to be quite happy visiting with all her children and grandchildren but soon she got discontented and wanted to go back to Cedar City. As soon as she got to Cedar City she became sick and lost her usual happy and contented disposition which had characterized her life. When she felt better, she wanted to go back to her daughter Annie, but she has not contented anywhere anymore. About the middle of November her son, Atkins took her to his home. There she remained for about four months but was uneasy all the time. About the middle of March, her daughter Edith Gibson came and took her to her home in St. Thomas, Nevada, where she remained until her death. While with Edith she would ask to be taken back to Virgin. She imagined if she could get back there, everything would be the same as it had been when she had her husband and children in the old home. Sister Hinton (Emma Spendlove Hinton) had very good health all her life until after her husband’s death, then she seemed to lose her appetite and became very forgetful. She, like her husband, was confined to bed a few days when she passed away. She didn’t complain of much pain, just seemed to sleep from then to the time of her death, on May 5, 1929. At the time of her death, they had 7 living children, 83 grandchildren, 133 great grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

John Nock Hinton lived to be in his 89th year. Emma Spendlove Hinton lived to be 88 years old. They were laid to rest in the Hurricane Cemetery where a nice monument marks their resting place.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I apologize for any typographical errors. Also did not change the wording of this history except in a few places. The name of the person who wrote the history was found on the front page written in pencil. The name was Wallace Wright, 1753 Woodside Dr. S.L.C. 7 Utah

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