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History of John James Esplin

They were just getting a good start in the new home when that section where they were living was definately made a part of Nevada. The Nevada officers seemed determined that the Muddy settlers should pay them back taxes - but they had no money, having already paid their taxes in Utah territory.

President Prigham Young released the settlers from their mission in December of 1870 and advised them to make thier homes in Utah.

He suggested going to Long Valley where two small settlements had previoysly been settled but deserted because of Indian trouble. Grandpa Esplin and family - father being fourteen, left in Febuary of 1871 arriving in Mr. Carmel 4 March 1871. About 200 of the Muddy settlers came to Long Valley. The first crop of wheat in the new location was taken by grasshoppers, so food was very scarce. Father, Uncle Henry, Grandma, Grandma and the younger children, except the oldest daughter Margaret who stayed with Grandpa went to Nephi for the summer. Father and Uncle Henry worked in the harvest fields and other places and procured grain and other products and returned to Long Valley in the fall.

When father was seventeen, the Saints in Mt. Carmel, compilying with the council of President Brigham Young to practice the principle of the United Order organized under that plan 20th March 1874. Father said he had a hundred dollars he had earned and he turned it into the Order.

In 1875 those who wished to live in the United Order moved to a site three miles above Mt. Carmel and built a new settlemeny. They built thier houses together in a square fort with a community kitchen and a dinning hall in the center. They called the new town Orderville.

At nineteen father decided to get married, having talked it over with Israel Hoyt, (Mother’s father) - he courageously took two wives at once - Emily Alvira Hoyt and Harriet Lenore Allen. They were married 10th July 1876 in the Salt Lake Endowment House.

Father took his family first to Lyda’s Canyon where he took care of a farm for the United Order. Father was a good worked and worked in different places for the Order for several years. When the Order broke up, he with his father and brothers ran a large herd of sheep. They worked together for several years but finally divided the sheep and property, each family having their own farm and herd of sheep.

Father was a farmer and sheep man the rest of his life. Spending a lot of his time at the sheep camp. Home in the spring to plant crops, as the family grew up the boys helped him with the business - part of them with the sheep and during the depression of the 30‘ the sheep business was a losing game to many so that before father died he was almost out of the sheep business.

As I try to write the history of my father, I realized how little I know about his activities. He was forty one years old when I was born I do not know what positions he held in the Church as a young man. He used to go ward teaching and I know he went on a mission 1 Jan 1890 but stayed only a little over three months, returning on account of illness. He was ordained an Elder 10 Jan 1874 by Samuel Claridge, a Seventy 11 of June 1885 by Hacop Gates, A High Priest 16 June 1920 by Joseph Fielding Smith.

He always paid his tithing and other donations. He spent several years as a Stake Temple worker in the St. Geroge Temple.

Father had twenty one children - Mother twelve and Aunt Nora had nine. Both his wives died before he did in 1930 - Mother 17 of Feb. and Aunt Nora died about three weeks later.

The things I remember most about my father was how early in the evening he went to bed as soon as it came dark or before, then by one or two in the morning he was ready for work - or talk business. Many a man in Orderville has been much displeased with father for waking them us so early in the morning to talk business.

In the spring of 1917 father went to Salt Lake City to have an operation. He had been suffering for several years with ulcers of the stomach. The morning he left I was in Cedar City in school - Mother said the dog, (I have forgotten his name) sat in the yard with his nose in the air and howled and howled as only a dog can howl. Aunt Lettie Cox, (no relation really) told mother that it was a sure bad sign and gave her to understand she could expect the worst. Father was sixty years old and seemed really old to be having such a serious operation. However it turned out much better than Aunt Lettie predicted, and he lived about twenty years after. He did get pneumonia after the operation and they gave him so much quinnie he was blind for a time, in fact he never could see as well after that. He could not see to go anywhere at night without a light, or he would get lost right in Orderville, where he had lived so many years. At first he always carried a coal oil lantern everywhere he went at night. Later years he always had a flash light. It was probably because of this faulty vision that he did not see the car, that early morning in St. George on the 16 of Dec 1936, and he was fatally injured and died on the 30th Dec 1936, two days before he would have been eighty years old.

Parts taken from the History of John James Esplin

- by Hattie Esplin