A DIFFICULT MISSION:|
Obedient to a Call
Thank you Ann
Hugh was sent to St. George by Brigham Young
The following are notes from his journel.
November 7, 1861 - I left Salt Lake City to go south to raise cotton and tobacco. I took five wagons, twelve yoke of oxen, four cows, one pony and two horses. Two of my wives and ten children accompanied me. We took a hired girl by the name of Ester Barnes and five men as teamsters. (Samuel I. Burgess, John Ludd, Richard Hawkins, John Filling and William McMellon) The first night we camped at Cottonwood, at Thomas Bullock's farm.
November 8 - Camped at Dry Creek. Joseph Booth and William Hobbs met us with a load of hay from American Fork that was a great help to the stock, feed being pretty well gone so late in the fall.
November 9 - Camped at Prove River, Joseph Booth and Hobbs came again with hay.
November 10 - Camped at Spanish Fork Bridge.
November 13 - Drove to Chicken Creek, rather windy, dusty and cool. Roads pretty good.
November 14 - Camped at Sevier River at the bridge. The river is about 80 or 90 feet wide, the water rather muddy but good, the bridge is a poor thing. I suppose the man who put it up made money at it. We pitched the tent, set the stove up. Elizabeth came out of her wagon for the first time since we left Salt Lake.
November 15 - We camped at Round Valley. When we got the tent pitched and all in it, there came a storm. It hailed and the wind blew tremendously. We expected the tent to blow away. The rain beating thru it in every direction. We finally got the women and children into the wagons, and then gave three cheers for Zion and then three for the cotton country.
November 16 - We left Round Valley at 10 o'clock, camped at Cedar Springs. The day was very cold for the little children.
November 18 - Drove up the cattle, as we started, it began snowing and blowing, the cattle could not face it. We turned around to the fort, drove under the lee of their shades till the shower was over then we started again. The day was very cold. Drove to Fillmore.
November 19 - Left Fillmore, it snowed a little but cleared off and was a fine day. We camped at Corn Creek.
November 20 - We left Corn Creek. One wagon mired down, got out, drove to Dog Valley. It blew up cold and covered the ground with snow, very cold.
November 21 - Left Dog Valley, rolled off in fine style, but soon came to a very hard hill, doubled the teams. The chain of the big wagon broke letting the wagon and tongue and cattle go down hill. It soon locked and did no damage. We drove to Pine Creek but there happened to be no creek there, so we took it without water again. It was the coldest day we had . The snow came three or four inches deep. All of the children were crying with cold. We dug up the sagebrush, shoveled away the snow, pitched the tent and made a good fire. Got the children in and the crying ceased.
November 22 - Cold and clear. We got up the cattle and horses and rolled on. The roads were very slippery and rough. We doubled teams three times, traveled through a canyon, on tops of hills; a strange road to Wild Cat Canyon.
November 23 - Left Indian Creek, camped at Beaver. We found it to be a good settlement. The people felt good towards the missionaries traveling to the cotton country.
November 24 - Left Beaver had about 8 miles up hill in the Beaver Hills. Had a fine day. When we got to the top we came down rapidly, traveled about three miles and camped for the night. We saw scrub pines from four to eight feet high, which I suppose are three or four hundred years old.
November 25 - We traveled fourteen miles, came to some springs, watered the stock and drove on. Camped without water tonight. This is a fine valley, long and narrow, has fine soil but no water for farming purposes. The road today was very good. The weather every day getting warmer.
November 26 - Traveled up hill, passed through Paragoney or Red Creek, roads pretty good, drove through Parowan. Camped at west gate.
November 27 - Traveled mostly up hill, found some sandy road going to Cedar, drove through Cedar and camped. I went and looked at the iron works. They have a doleful and forsaken appearance. Thousands of dollars must have been spent here to no avail.
November 28 – We left Cedar. I got a ham, some corn etc, of Bishop Lunt. Traveled over pretty good roads, mountains on the left, hills on the right till we dropped into a narrow valley, traveled awhile. We saw an opening to the south, which looked different to any we had seen before on this road. The mountains began to slope down rapidly. We met a cool wind from this opening. We camped at a spring on the left with the best feed we have seen for twelve days.
The brethren at settlements would always tell us where we could get good feed, but when we got there it was like the Irish man’s fly: It was not there. Our cattle have been running down ever since we left Sal Lake City for the want of something to eat. Wednesday, Janett took a chill and was very bad. She is a little better this morning. Lesley is getting around fine and is a great help to Ester and myself in cooking and taking care of the little children. We have had quite a time of this in the cold storms. It froze so keen at Pine Creek that it froze my heel and Elizabeth’s fingers.
Too sick women and eleven little children is quite a chore to see to when we come in at dark and have to dig up the sage and shovel the snow off before we can pitch the tent and make a fire to warm the children, and the big ones not very warm at the same time. This spring is 12 miles from cedar and is a good camping ground winter or summer We hear an awful account of the rode. Brother Snow says an iron axel tree was broke ahead of us. This is called the rim of the Bayson. The next day’s drive will be down hill.
November 29 - We started at 15 minutes past 10 o'clock, found good roads, passed Fort Harmony. This was once a beautiful little fort, not very large, but a good adobe wall around it some 15 feet high, and the houses built against the wall inside with double stoops, but it now looks as if something was vastly wrong about it. All have forsaken it but three families, the ¾ of the wall is down it looks as if all of it out to be. They have took up their fences and burned them; there is noting enclosed but a corral.
We drove over a small hill, then down hill in earnest about twenty times the amount we rose. Camped on Ash Creek. We found Ash wood here and I was leaves on the oak brush as green as they was in June. Some of the brush has lost their leaves and come out again is froze. The cotton wood trees look about like last of April or beginning of May. The buds are large as if they was coming out some. Grass green in this bottom but mostly killed with frost; good feed.
November 30 – Sitting on the banks of Ash Creek. This is a fine warm morning something like May in S.L. City, that is, when it is warm. I came up the Creek to examine some wild grapevines, which looked to have born much fruit, but they look like a poor kind. Ash Creek is a stream about 6 feet wide, average 10 inches of water, full of fine red sand, but when dipped up it immediately settles as clear as spring water. We found some small ash trees growing here. We started at 25 minutes to ten this morning, crossed Ash Creek and struck the black Ridge which is about 3 mile of very rough road, nothing but rocks. We crossed Ash Creek 5 times, crossed the south fork and Ash Creek and camped. We saw Brother Cannon. He said he had a letter from Brother Snow. Mountains on the East high, on the west too, that there is no snow in this valley nor on the immediate mountains. The grass is greener every day.
December 1 – Drove off a t fifteen minutes to eleven a.m. Here is a road made on a back of a ridge of black rocks, a large mountain of yellow rock on the east. No appearance of any dirt on it at all. At the bottom of the hill the road forks, the left hand goes to Stokerville. We took the right to go to Washington. There is plenty of prickly pairs grows here of a large size than we have seen before, from 2 to 4 feet high after the manner of a little tree. The stem as hard as coarse wood.
The brethren told us we should soon come to Jacob's Twist and Johnson's Twist, but I thought we had come to the Devil's Twist. It was down into a sandy canyon and remarkably crooked, small rocks about the size of a load of hay. We took the big wagon down first, as I returned from helping them through the boys asked me how the twist went, I told them in the following rhyme:
Sands and rock and solid stones Sage and cedar, the devil's groans Crack and whip went Dick and Tom All to make the wagon come
We had some 2 miles after the twist of sand, sometimes 10 inches deep. Run down into another bottom called Grapevine Springs, not much feed. Brother Bail overtook us on the hill. They were in great haste to beat it to get to feed. One man drove past with a horse team, drove down, put one yoke of oxen on, give his lines to a woman and started in a hurry. I told him a woman had no business with those lines, but he drove on, shortly the woman was down. The wagon run over her foot, scared her bad, but nothing very serious. We have passed a great many new weeds lately. There is a species of cactus all over the bottom. I think it is what G.A.Smith called the Baynot; it is just like a baynot (bayonet?) only ten times as sharp. One species grows about 18 inches long; there are another smaller kind. On examining them I find they will make coarse rope. There is a lent (?) in them just like seaweed. Another remarkable difference is in climate, is dews. The dew falls over night till the sand is wet half an inch deep over morning.
December 2 – Got up our cattle, doubled teams, traveled ¾ mile in deep loose sand. Came to a Cedar grove, then crossed a hollow. The earth was surely a strange appearance. Black nasty rocks that looked as if the Lord had made them for nothing but to bluff off our enemies and spoil the land; large mountains of sand stones. We saw some good building rock today. We camped at the first cottonwood.
Saw Brother B. F. Blake. He told us he had been to Washington. He said it looked to be a poor place; he saw three children sick with chills and fever, and he came back to cottonwood. He told us of a bench that Brother Snow would like to have settled. We turned our cattle up the creek and started to look for the bench, but was too late of the day, and returned back to camp. This cottonwood stream runs about
Several of the brethren passed us going to St. George from Grafton. They say there is no land up there of any amount.
December 3 – Went down a small canyon to search for a location so settle; passed through a narrow pass in the solid rock, say 14 feet wide, sides straight up some 15 or 20 feet. The canyon is mostly sand; hundred of grapevines grow here but the fruit is all dropped off. We traveled 2 ½ miles down this stream; about one foot of water runs in it. Then struck the Rio Vergan, a stream rather less than Jordan. Water, rather muddy. We forded it ½ a mile down. We all tasted the water but it is not good. It tastes soft and bash. It would puke me if I drank hearty of it. We traveled over a bend but found no good land or no facilities for watering it. There appears to be a poor chance at present.
B.Bleak has been to Washington, saw 2 0r 3 shaking with the Ague. There is one or two companies from Grafton today and say there is not land there, and went to St. George. This place is called Harris Vale. There is two small houses poorly built, one covered with corn stalks, about one acre fenced. We could not explore all the chances on the Vergan today. We turned for home as we were not prepared for camping. Came down a rocky bend, black rocks as big as cocks of hay; got the horses down safe over the rocks; crossed another bench, forded the river at the mouth of the canyon. Brother Mud and McMillan had gone up the river, then returned, reported another bench, lower and better. Got to camp age supper built a good fire; 2 or 3 of the brethren played on the violin and small drum, had a few songs, etc. Went to bed. Rather hard dancing on deep sand.
December 4 - Started to see Washington and St. George. Accompanied by S.T. Bergess. L. Mud, W. McMelan, R. Hawkins, and L. Hunt. We drove up hill and down but more down than up. Deep sand and black rocks, strange looking hill s and mountains. It is caled (?) 6 miles from here (first cottonwood) to Washington, which is a small town laid out in city lots; farming land lays to the left near the Vergan. The land is read; cotton grows pretty well here, we saw the stalks where they had picked the cotton from 2 to 3 feet high. It grows like a gooseberry tree, but more open in the branches. We talked with several of the brethren. They all had the appearance of Ague but one man. Their child look pale like Ague. The water has the appearance of strong mineral; short deep, green grass grows on every ditch. We did not like the place. I am satisfied the water is the case of their sickness. We drove on some 4 miles farther, went down a long hill and saw the valley where St. George is to be built; it looks first rate well. It is a large valley, the Rio Vergan running at the lower end of the valley. Three or four springs at the upper end. This is intended for family purposes. We traveled over the upper end of the valley. The land looks well; here and there a patch of salaraty (?). Being a rainy day we camped here in the narrow neck of the valley. It rained all night.
December 5 – We made a fire, ate a lunch and started for the camp on cottonwood, all satisfied with the location. I was quite sick as we went but feel a little better this morning. It froze down deep in the wet sand tonight.
December 6 – Went to see the half moon hole in the side of a large red mountain. The hole is a perfect half circle, some 150 feet high, 30 feet in the mountain. S.T. Bergess and R. Hawkins went up to the foot as far as they could climb. Sam gave a short oration, san a few verses of “Why should we morn or think our lot is hard” etc. It sounded novel indeed.
These rocks, sands, hills, dells, mountains and valleys are the wonderful works of God whose wisdom saw through the vista of time and knew the times and season that his saints would be driven out of what is called civilization, that they would nee a hiding place while his indignation would pass over the earth to make an utter destruction of all the ungodly that dwell thereon; and if these mountains had been left in a situation to be cultivated without much labor, they would have been settled long ago. But God knew what his people would need in the latter times. Went from this curiosity to look at a cotton farm up the canyon. There is about 40 aces under cultivation here but not much cotton has been raided.
December 7 (Saturday) – Got up the cattle, started for St. George, but having to double so many times, and the reach of the big wagon breaking, we camped at Washington. The Bishop came to the tent, told us head fig trees growing fine. Had quite a talk; went to bed quite sick.
December 8 (Sunday) – Rather better this morning, it doing to the fatigue of the journey, and change of water that makes me sic. Wend to Bishop Coventous, got a shoot of a fig tree, saw a peach tree on year old 8 feet high and width in proportion. Came into came at 2 p.m. at St. George. The camp had all rendezvoused in one place; two rows of wagon on the outside, all the tents inside. They was just ringing the bell for meeting. We pitched the tent and then went to meeting.
December 9 (Monday) – Went down to the Vergan with S.T. Bergess to get some tent pins, examined the land, found it better than we expected.
December 10 (Tuesday) – Started up the Vergan to see the mountain we had to make our ditch through, with S.T. Bergess. We followed round the point of a large rocky mountain, found many strange shapes and appearances in the rocks, a precipice of 100 feet, the rock setting over some 12 feet, found a great many specimens of brick broken in small pieces from 1 to 4 inches square. Found 14 men at work to cut the ditch through. Brother Junius Pendleton and another brother surveying the ditch; went up the river with them, found some good land near the Cooper farm. Followed up the ditch we picked some stuff out of the bank like glass or sparr (?). I took a piece to camp to ack (?) on it with alcohol. They tell us up at Grafton that the brethren use it for window glass.
January 23 - The city of St. George is now laid off.
January 24 - We moved from the big camp to our city lots.
February 5, 1863 – Rubin Moon was born in a tent at 5 minutes to ten in the morning.
February 17 – Planted the fourth row of peach trees with peas, dark moon.
October 15, 1863 – Asenath Moon was born between 5 and 6 o’clock in the morning.
January 3, 1864 – Jennatta Moon, daughter of Hugh and Jennnatt died in the city of St. George, County of Washington.
September 20, 1864 – Maryett Moon, daughter of Hugh and Jannett Moon was born about one o’clock in the evening.
September 23, 1865 - Ruwaney was born at 20 minutes to seven o’clock in the morning, daughter of Elizabeth.
The above is the final entry in the Journal in Hugh moon’s own handwriting.
The following entries were probably written by Elizabeth Moon:
We lived in St. George five years, and we as a family suffered much, all for the gospel; we almost starved to death. Hugh moon was sick nearly all the time and was not able to attend to the wants of his family.
Bishop Moon came to St. George, June 6, 1866. We left St. George June 11, 1866. We got to Salt Lake City June 23.
We went through the Endowment House with the first fifty that went through in Salt Lake We went through the second anointing shortly after coming form St. George in the Social Hall.
We sold out all our improvements, but left our cattle in care of Sam Burgess. We never got anything for them.
July 2, 1866 – a son, William Henry, was born to Jennatt Moon, at 15 minutes passed nine o’clock in the morning
December 7, 1866 - I (Hugh) left Salt Lake with Elizabeth and her children to go to my farm at Farmington.
November 8, 1867 – William Henry Moon died 20 minutes past 5 o’clock this morning.
December 12, 1867 – Julia Anne, daughter of Hugh and Elizabeth, born 1:40 in the a.m.
March 20, 1868 - Went to Salt Lake City to bring Jennett and her family to the farm to live.
July 9, 1868 – Lydia Moon, daughter of Mathias Moon, and wife of Henry Moon died, at 9:10 a.m.
August 11, 1868 – Heber, son of Hugh and Jannett was born at 11 a.m.
January 14, 1870 – Hortensia, daughter of Hugh and Elizabeth was born at 11 p.m.
June 22, 1870 – John, son of Hugh and Jannett was born.
Hugh Moon died September 23, 1870, at Henderson Creek, Oneida County, Idaho at the age of 55.
He was buried in a private family plot, which is just east of the State Highway and located at the Utah-Idaho state line. The plot is still east of I-15 about 80 feet up the hill; it's at the Welcome to Idaho sign. Descendants of Hugh moon placed a marble monument to mark the gravesite and erected a fence to keep out deer and cattle.
The story of Hugh’s burial has been handed down for several generations:
Hugh’s dying wish was to be buried in “Zion” which he considered Utah. The weather was stormy on his funeral day, making it extremely difficult to carry his body by buckboard to the state of Utah. The family trekked south into the land of Zion, or Utah, and buried him.
Years later when highways were being built, the survey team found that the border marker had been placed incorrectly. Hugh Moon is actually buried in Idaho.
March 12, 1873 – Ann Jannett, daughter of Fred and Jannett Stockfleeb was born. Jannett married Stockfleeb after her first husband died.
April 22, 1890 - Jannett, wife of Hugh Moon died.
The following information later added by Helen V. Morgan, Malad, ID:
*Elizabeth Moon married 16 June 1872 William Bell
*William Charles, son of Elizabeth and William Bell born April 7 1873.
*Jannett married Fred Stockfleeb 16 June 1872 at Oneida, Idaho. Their certificate is in Oneida County courthouse, Malad City, Idaho.
My sister Adele Vaughn hand copied from the original diary of Hugh Moon as written by him (misspelling and all). When she typed the script she corrected the spelling.
Lavern Ward, daughter of Julia Anne Moon had the Diary until she died. She had promised it to me (Helen V. Morgan) when she died Elmer Ward, Jr. refused to give it to me. I would have turned it over to the Historical department at the Genealogical Library in Salt Lake to be filmed for ALL of Hugh Moon’s descendants – as well as the descendant of the Saints who came over on the Britannica, the First LDS Immigrants to cross the water. (1840, June 6).
Family Group sheets have 2 births I can’t find in the diary
Ruben Moon born 5 Feb 1863 St. George Utah- Died 16 Oct 1928
Maryett Moon born 20 Sept 1864 St. George, Utah – died 29 April 1945