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Selections from Windows: A Mormon Family

Skyline Printing, 1985

Selections from the autobiographies of Mary Isabella Hales, Charles Henry Hales, Stephen Hales and from the biography of Harriet Hales in Kenneth Glyn Hales, comp. and ed., Windows: A Mormon Family


[The oldest child of Stephen and Mary Ann Hales, Charles Henry Hales wrote his biography which is recorded on page 208 of the record of the Second Quorum of Seventies as follows:]

I, Charles H. Hales, was born in the parish of Rainham, county of Kent, England on the seventeenth of June 1817. I was educated and raised under the doctrines of the Church of England. I was baptized in infancy and had godfathers and godmothers to stand responsible for my conduct until I arrived at the age of fourteen. At this age they were no longer held responsible since those being confirmed took the responsibility upon themselves. I did not receive this ordinance myself, since I was not quite old enough to when the bishop visited our parish for confirmation it was established by law that the bishop should visit each parish twice in seven years. At this time all those who had arrived at the age of fourteen were confirmed while the remainder waited for the next term. I was one that had to wait on account of my age, but before the next term my father with his family emigrated to upper Canada in North America. This was in the year 1832.

My father was a boot and shoe maker by trade and he taught me the same business until I was fifteen years of age. I was somewhat adverse to this trade, and when we came to Canada I was permitted to follow any occupation I chose. Accordingly I chose to follow farming which I did until after the time I embraced the everlasting gospel. My father was a professor of religion. He was called a Wesleyan Methodist when we came to Canada, and continued the same faith until Elder Parley P. Pratt came into the providence of Upper Canada and proclaimed the everlasting gospel. I had never embraced any of the systems of the present age, but had been greatly addicted to the reading of the old and new testament. I was subject to many serious reflections and wonderings as to why we had not apostles and prophets on the earth at the present age as was true in former ages. Since I was destitute of the priesthood I could not understand the scriptures. I always endeavored to be honest in my dealings with my fellow men. I had been trained to observe the sabbath very strictly and to be upright and honest in all things; principles which I always endeavored to inculcate and practice according to the knowledge we had of right and wrong.

I embraced the everlasting gospel in the month of June 1836. I was baptized by Parley P. Pratt and confirmed by Elders Orson Hyde and Parley P. Pratt in the fall of the same year. After embracing the truth I went on a visit to Kirtland, Ohio where the church as a body was located. Here I first became acquainted with Joseph Smith the Prophet and Seer of this last dispensation. I also became acquainted with his father, Joseph Smith, Sr., the Patriarch of the Church for I received my patriarchal blessing. I stayed in Kirtland till spring, and then returned to Canada. I was well pleased with my visit, and had heard many good instructions in the house of the Lord. The same year I left Kirtland, I was ordained a priest in the Aaronic priesthood at conference held in Scarborough Township in December 1837. I was then sent out to preach with Brother Eli Maginn who had been ordained a priest at the same conference. We continued to preach until spring at which time the word of the Lord through his servant Joseph was for the saints to sell their farms and move to the state of Missouri. Accordingly, we gathered a small company together, and after selling our farms, started our journey on the twentieth of March in 1838.

We had a very tiresome journey since we started just as the roads were breaking up in the spring. We arrived in the state of Missouri in the early part of June, coming to a place called Huntsville. We stayed a short time, since we found quite a big branch of the church there. Some of our company concluded to buy and settle there which they did. I stayed with my father, and went to work for a few months here. I first became acquainted with Julia Ann Lockwood at this place. She was the daughter of Joseph and Annis Lockwood, and was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Sometime in the month of September, I started for Far West, but on coming to DeWitt I was requested to stay by George M. Hinkle, who was president of the Branch. I was asked to assist them in defending the place as they were threatened with the mob. I did so, although the first time the mob came to make an attack on us we were but 23 in number while they numbered from 150 to 175. I stayed in DeWitt until the brethren were counseled to leave. Joseph Smith, Hyrum-his brother, and many other brethren came to assist us from Far West. I did not leave DeWitt quite as soon as the rest of the brethren as I stayed behind to assist one of my Canadian brethren, who was not quite ready when the rest were. We, however, calculated to overtake them soon, but one of his horses gave out, and he was compelled to stay. I was then under the necessity of going to Far West on foot, and alone, since he, himself, gave up the idea of going.

The first day I lost my way as I crossed the prairie of the Big Mound. I continued traveling till night, not knowing but that I was on the right road. On coming to a cultivated field I found a man putting up corn. I inquired if I could stay with him for the night. He made no reply, but asked me if I was a Mormon. I replied in the affirmative. He then told me that I could not stay with him, and further told me that I was greatly out of my way for Far West. I then told him that I was a perfect stranger in the county, that I had lost my way, that my feet were much torn by my boots, and that it was now sunset, and I could not go any further. He then said, as a reason for not keeping me, that during our difficulties in DeWitt, he had himself entertained seventeen of the mob, and that he had sworn never to keep a Mormon. He did, however, tell me where I could stay for the night.

In the morning I started again for Far West, and arrived there in October. I arrived just a few hours before the Crooked River Battle. I was one of the company engaged in that affair, although I was lame and tired. I borrowed a horse and a gun, (for I had neither) and went to defend my brethren. I saw Brother [Patrick] O'Banion when he fell. Soon after the battle the governor's troops came to Far West, and demanded every man that was engaged in the Crooked River Battle. At this time, we were under the necessity of having our houses and grain burnt and our cattle driven off, or else if we stood up for our rights and defended ourselves like men and saints of the Most High we must be hunted by an authorized mob and be driven from our homes and families, or be killed, just as they pleased.

As soon as we learned their intentions were to take every man that was in the Crooked River Battle we all started for Illinois, going by the way of Diahman, [Adam-ondi-Ahman] since we were surrounded on every other side. Before we arrived at Diahman my horse gave out, so the brethren counseled me to stay in Diahman as I was not known by any of the mob in that county. Accordingly I stayed till the arms were given up and the brethren returned again to Far West.

I then went to Fort Leavenworth and worked until spring. Then I left the fort and came to Quincy, Illinois. Here I married Julia Ann Lockwood on the last day of October 1839. On the following year on the twenty-seventh of November, my eldest daughter was born which we called Eliza Ann.

The next April I left Quincy and went on a mission in company with Elder Andrew Hamilton to the southern part of the state of Illinois. We baptized some and left quite a number believing. After I came back I continued to live in Quincy till next spring when I moved with my family to the city of Nauvoo.

As soon as I arrived in Nauvoo I joined the brass band and continued to play with them at every public festival. We played for the Nauvoo Legion, for the dedication of the Seventies Hall, and for the laying of the capstone of the Lord's House. The first summer after I arrived at Nauvoo, in the month of June, my second daughter was born which we named Julia Ardena. This was June 1842 and in the month of March 1844 my wife delivered of a son which we called George.

In the fall following, at the October conference, I was ordained one of the Seventies and was organized in the Second Quorum. On the twenty-third of December 1845 we were called to go into the temple to receive our endowments. We were fully satisfied that the present organization of the church is as it should be, and that the priesthood is again restored to man on the earth with all its attendant gifts and blessings as in ancient days, that all men must sooner or later bow to that priesthood, held by the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We knew that Joseph Smith was the instrument in the hands of God in bringing forth the fullness of the gospel and that he lived and died a prophet of the Most High God, sealing his testimony with his blood as did the ancient prophets and apostles.

(After crossing the plains with the saints, Charles Henry Hales made his home in Spanish Fork, Utah where he became a prominent builder and farmer. He married a second wife, Frances E. Brunyer, on October 31, 1856 at Salt Lake City. He was the father of twenty-five children by his two wives and is the ancestor of the Spanish Fork branch of the Utah Hales family. Charles Henry Hales and his two wives are buried in the Spanish Fork, Utah cemetery.] BIOGRAPHY OF HARRIET HALES

[Sylvia Barlow, granddaughter of Harriet Hales, tells this story about her grandmother:]

Harriet Hales was born in Kent, England, on June 10, 1824, the daughter of Stephen and Mary Ann Hales. In June of 1832 the family, then consisting of the parents; five boys, Charles, George, Stephen, Henry William and Elias, and two girls, Isabella and Harriet; emigrated to Canada. They sailed on a ship and the voyage took them eleven weeks. The subject of this sketch spent her eighth birthday anniversary on the ocean had the sad experience of seeing one of her brothers, Elias, buried at sea.

They settled in Toronto Canada. Here the family joined the Mormon Church. When they were first invited to attend a Mormon meeting the father agreed to go to the service but he said he would soon knock that into a cocked hat. However, before the service was over he knew that he had found the truth. Soon after this the whole family was baptized.

In the spring of 1838 they started by team to join the body of the saints at Far West, Missouri, arriving in the fall of the same year. While at Far West they endured the persecutions by the mobs with the rest of the Saints. It was here they met the prophet Joseph Smith. After their expulsion from Missouri they moved to Quincy, Illinois. There on October 31, 1839, Harriet married John Ellis, a native of Canada, who had joined the church and emigrated to Quincy.

Four child were born to Harriet and John Ellis while they lived in Quincy; namely, Mary Ann, Hanna Isabella, Stephen Hales and John Henry. In 1842 they moved to Nauvoo where they lived until the expulsion of the Saints by the mob.

Harriet's father and mother joined them commence the journey across the plains. One day the oxen strayed away, and Harriet's father went in search of them. He became fatigued and reaching a spring of water, drank from it. It was later learned that the water was poisoned, and it caused his death. His wife, Mary Ann, started the journey, but she also died while crossing the plains. They started for the Rocky Mountains in the spring of 1851, and it is believed that they were in John Taylor's company. Harriet's younger brother, Henry, and his family were also in the same company. They arrived in Salt Lake Valley in September of 1851. Harriet's sister Isabella's two sons, Joseph and Henry Horne, met them in Parley's Canyon and took them to the Horne Home. Isabella and her family had come west with the second company of pioneers in 1847.

After resting a few days they went on to Bountiful where they proceeded to make a home. Four months after their arrival a babe girl was born to the family, and she was named Harriet Louisa. They built a one room log house in which they lived for a number of years. Later, in about 1867, they built a four room adobe house. It was located a quarter of a mile south of the Wood's Cross depot. It was quite a roomy house with a large attic, and was built on their homestead. Six more children were born to the family; Joseph Ezra, Sarah Ann, Elizabeth Jane, Laura Victoria, Charles William, George Franklin (who only lived one year), and James (who died at ten months).

The family engaged in stock raising. They kept a little flock of sheep to supply wool for clothing. The wool was prepared for use by the industrious mother. She sewed for her family by hand, even making trousers for her husband and sons. She also made them straw hats by braiding the straw and sewing the braids together. They made their own soap and candles. When the grain was ready for harvest it was cut and cradled by hand. During the harvest when the men worked hard Harriet prepared lunches and a cool drink and sent them to the fields during the morning and afternoon. They raised sugar cane and had a molasses mill on the bench land farm. This mill was one of the first in Bountiful. Youngsters came from miles around with their pails to get the skimmings to make candy.

The Ellis home was a hospitable one. The mother, and subject of this sketch, was a capable, refined woman, and her husband was a happy, jovial man who loved young people. Naturally their fireside was often the scene of social gatherings. These two often sang together for the entertainment of their family and friends. Singing school was often held in their home.

Tragedy struck the family when the father died, after a severe illness of several months duration. He left his widow and ten surviving children. Some of the cattle and property were sold to pay the doctor bills. The mother kept her family together, and in spite of her strenuous household duties, she always found time to take an active part in church affairs. She was a Sunday School teacher for twenty-five years, and when the Relief Society was organized she served as treasurer of the ward organization. She pieced several quilt tops for the Relief Society; she was a very fine needle woman.

She was matron at the Deseret Hospital for about two years. In 1897 she went to live with her youngest daughter, Laura, and she made her home there until her death on May 24, 1910, after having been a widow for thirty-nine years. AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARY ISABELLA HALES

(From Mary Isabella Hales' Journal):

I was born on the 20th of November, 1818, in the town of Rainham, county of Kent, England. I am the daughter of Stephen and Mary Ann Hales, and am the eldest daughter of a large family. My parents were honest, industrious people; and when very young I was taught to pray, to be honest and truthful, to be kind to my associates, and to do good to all around me. My father was of the Methodist faith, but my mother attended the Church of England. As I was religiously inclined, I attended the Methodist Church with my father, who was faithful in the performance of his religious duties, although he never became a very enthusiastic Methodist.

In the year 1832, when I was in my thirteenth year, there was great excitement in the town where I lived, over the favorable reports that were sent from Van Diahaan's land, and the great inducements held out to those who would go to that country. My father and mother caught the spirit of going, and began to make preparations for leaving England. Before arrangements had been completed for us to go, however, letters were received from Upper Canada, picturing, in glowing terms, the advantages of that country. My father changed his mind immediately and made arrangements to emigrate to the town of York, afterwards called Toronto. Accordingly, on the sixteenth day of April, 1832, our family, consisting of my parents, five sons, myself and a younger sister, bade adieu to England. We had a tedious voyage of six weeks across the ocean, and my mother was sick during the entire voyage. During the passage across there were three deaths on board--one of the three being my brother Elias, whom we sorrowfully consigned to a watery grave.

Our ship anchored at Quebec in May, and after a tedious passage up the St. Lawrence bysteamer, we landed in safety at the town of York, June 16, thankful that we were at our journey's end. Here we were in a strange land. And to our dismay, we found that the cholera was raging fearfully in that region; but through all of those trying scenes the Lord preserved us in health.

In the spring of 1833 we removed into the country about eight miles, to a place located in the township of York, and in the spring of 1834 I attended a Methodist camp-meeting in that neighborhood, where I formed the acquaintance of Mr. Joseph Horne, who is now my husband.

The most of the time for the next two years I lived in service in the city of Toronto, going once in three months to visit my parents. On the ninth day of May, 1836, I was married to Mr. Horne. He owned a farm about one mile from my father's house, and I removed to his residence soon after our marriage. I now felt that I was settled in life, and, although I had not been used to farm work, I milked cows, fed pigs and chickens, and made myself at home in my new situation, seeking to make my home pleasant for my husband, and working to advance his interests. About the first of June, of that year, report came to us that a man professing to be sent of God to preach to the people would hold a meeting about a mile from our house. My husband decided that we should go and hear him. We accordingly went, and there first heard Elder Orson Pratt. We were very much pleased with his sermon. Another meeting was appointed for the following week, and Elder Pratt told us that business called him away, but his brother, Parley P. Pratt, would be with us and preach in his stead. I invited my father to go with us to hear him, and the appointed evening found all of his family at the "Mormon" meeting.

Elder Pratt told us that God was an unchangeable being--the same yesterday- today, and forever--and taught us the gospel in its purity; they showed from the Bible that the gospel was the same in all ages of the world; but many had wandered from God and the true gospel, and that the Lord had sent an angel to Joseph Smith, restoring to him the pure gospel with its gifts and blessings. My father was so delighted with the sermon that he left the Methodist Church and attended the "Mormon" meetings altogether; and in a short time every member of his family had received and obeyed the gospel.

This made quite a stir among the Methodists. One of the class leaders came to converse with us, and used every argument he could to convince us that Mormonism was false, but without avail. "Well," said he, finally, "there are none but children and fools who join them," and left us to our fate. In July (1836) I was baptized by Orson Hyde, and ever after that our house was open for meetings, and became a home for many of the elders. In the latter part of the summer of 1837 I had the great pleasure of being introduced to, and entertaining, the beloved prophet, Joseph Smith, with Sidney Rigdon and T. B. Marsh. I said to myself, "O Lord, I thank thee for granting the desire of my girlish heart, in permitting me to associate with prophets and apostles." On shaking hands with Joseph Smith, I received the Holy Spirit in such great abundance that I felt it thrill my whole system, from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet. I thought I had never beheld so lovely a countenance. Nobility and goodness were in every feature.

The saints in Kirtland removed in the following spring to Missouri. We started from Canada in March, 1838 with a small company of saints. The roads were very bad, as the frost was coming out of the ground, consequently I had to drive the team during a great portion of the journey, while my husband walked. On arriving at Huntsville, one hundred miles from Far West, we found several families of saints, and tarried a short time with them. There I was introduced to the parents of the prophet, and also to his cousin, George A. Smith. At a meeting held in that place I received a patriarchal blessing from Joseph Smith, Sr. He told me that I had to pass through a great deal of sickness, sorrow and tribulation but "The Lord will bring you through six troubles, and in the seventh He will not leave you;" all of which has verily been fulfilled.

[Mary Isabella Hales Horne, with her husband and family, reached Far West in August of that year, and received their full share of the privations incident to the settlement of that city, and also a full share of exposure, sickness and peril incident to the expulsion of the saints from Missouri. Finally thereafter they gathered to Nauvoo.] AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF STEPHEN HALES

[Stephen Hales, third child and second son of Stephen and Mary Ann Hales, records the following biography in the Second Quorum of Seventies records:]

I, Stephen, son of Stephen and Mary Ann Hales was born in England, Rainham parish, county of Kent, in the year of our Lord 1820. My father was a professor of religion. When I was eleven years old, my father removed to America, with all his family. We located in Canada.

We all tarried there five or six years when Parley P. Pratt came and preached to the people where my father resided. In a short time my father and mother united themselves with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and removed to the place of gathering in Far West, Caldwell County, Missouri. At the age of eighteen I was baptized by Elder Hunter in Daviess County, Missouri. [Stephen Hales was caught up in the activities of the saints to protect themselves from the spirit of mob-fever that was rampant in Missouri during these trying times. No doubt Governor Bogg's "extermination of the Mormons" order caused some of this activity. The Haun's Mill massacre where wives and children of many of the saints were killed also led to protective feelings among the saints. Stephen's story continues:]

A number of the brethren started off on an expedition and I with the rest, to search out the designs of the mob. We came to the place where they had camped the night before where they had buried a cannon. I found the cannon and some powder and balls. And, from there we returned home to our city.

In a short time, I heard the mob was letting the brethren's fences down and turning the cattle into the corn fields. A small number of the brethren including myself went in search of them. We left our homes about the twelfth hour of the night. About the break of day we found the mob, encamped on a small stream called the Crooked River. We marched down in battle array. Their guard shot one of our men and a number of our men shot their guns at him. The mob fired on us and we returned the compliments. We returned home with three killed and six wounded and a short time later left our homes as exiles and came to Quincy, Adams County, Illinois. We resided there four years and came to Nauvoo in the twenty-fourth year of my age.

I was ordained into the Quorum of Seventies under the hands of President Joseph young and Isaiah Butterfield. I was united to the Second Quorum of Seventies and by the assisting grace of God, I shall try to stand in my lot and station as long as I live on the earth. And, when I leave this world of trouble, I hope to meet my brethren in the next better world and praise God through all eternity.

(Stephen Hales married first Eveline Lydia Carter, daughter of Simeon Doget Carter and Lydia Henyon Carter at Nauvoo, Illinois on October 16,1842. He married second Henrietta Heyes, daughter of Samuel Heyes and Nancy Ann Delgarn Heyes, on December 23, 1851. Stephen was the father of fourteen children by his two wives. He and his wives are buried in the Bountiful, Utah cemetery.)