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Israel Hoyt

by Harriett B. Sorensen

Taken from Glimpses of the Israel Hoyt Family, by Elisie C. Carroll.
Memories of Her Parents, by Lillian Hoyt Fackrell,
History of Israel Hoyt by Harriett B. Sorensen.

James and Beulah Sabin Hoyt were New England people and had lived in New Hampshire during their early lives. James was born in Concord, New Hampshire. They had moved to New York state and were living in Booneville, Oneida County, when their youngest son, Israel, was born on the 26th of April 1828.

James Hoyt and his family were converted to the Latter-Day Saint gospel while Israel was yet a young boy and they migrated west with other saints. They helped to build the beautiful city of Nauvoo. And as a young man Israel worked on the Nauvoo Temple. They shared the shocking experiences of the saints at the time of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum. Israel was present at the historic meeting mantle of the Prophet fell upon Brigham Young. The people bewildered by the tragedy that had befallen their leader were assembled to try to decide what they should do. While Brigham Young was speaking, to the amazement and the everlasting testimony of those who witnessed it, the countenance of the speaker suddenly resembled that of the beloved Prophet. There was no question in their minds as to who was to be their guide.

As the people were driven from Nauvoo they crossed the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers and with the main camp of exiles, spent the winter of 1846 at Winter Quarters. It was bitter cold, food and clothing were scarce, a great number died from the hardship.

When Captain Allen came to the Mormon camp as they were going through Iowa asked for 500 men to assist with the war in Mexico, Israel was away driving team for someone. But two of his brothers, Henry and Timothy, joined the Battalion. Henry was married and left his wife and baby to come to Zion with his parents where he hoped to join them when he returned. The trip was long and hard and Henry died just a short time before they reach Salt Lake.

Although the trials were many, the Hoyts were ready to start west as soon as spring came. They left Elkhorn on June 19, 1847 in a company of about two thousand persons and 560 wagons. They were in the third hundred in the first fifty in the fifth ten, under the leadership of Jedediah M. Grant. In their company were James Hoyt, his wife Beulah, their daughter Lucy (who later married Redick Allred) and Israel, their youngest son, also Henry’s wife and child. In this same company were their good friends, the Miller family–Josiah, his wife Amanda and their three daughters, Harriett, Emily and Clarissa.

It was late fall when the company reached the Salt Lake Valley. They built a cabin in the fort and here they spent the first winter in Utah.

In the spring they planted their crops, only to see the tender shoots eaten by the crickets. That summer they witness the goodness of the Lord in the Miracle of the Seagulls. In the fall with spirits undaunted by hardship and with faith in the future, Israel, 19, and Clarissa Amanda Miller, 18, were married on the 25th day of November 1848.

The young couple were still living in Salt Lake two years later when their first baby was born. They names her Harriett Amanda. During the summer Israel, along with other men had gone south of Salt Lake about 88 miles, there at a place called Salt Creek, were some beautiful meadows. They cut the grass and stored it for winter feed for their cattle. The next summer several families moved there, built a fort and called it Nephi. James Hoyt and his wife, Beulah, moved with their son, Israel, and his family to Nephi. But pioneer life was hard on the elderly man and he lived only until the next spring. He died in May 1852. His wife lived until 1857; she died 12th of December. They were both laid to rest in the Nephi Cemetery.

When it was safe to leave the fort, Israel took a farm, built a nice home and planted an orchard. Their next three babies, a girl named Clarrissa, and two boys, Israel and James Hyrum, each lived only a short time and were in turn, buried beside their grandfather.

In January 1854, Israel was elected Caption of a company in the Juab District of the Nauvoo Legion. He received his commission in June 1855 and when General Wells of the Nauvoo Legion established head-quarters in Echo Canyon to prevent Johnston’s army from entering Salt Lake City, Israel and his company were there.

When the Endowment House was completed, Israel and Clarissa went to Salt Lake to have their sealing work done, 25 of November 1855. At this time he took a second wife. She was Hannah Elizabeth Cook, daughter of Daniel and Maria Cook. She was a lovely talented English girl. She had been raised in Canada where her parents heard and accepted the Gospel. They joined the saints in Nauvoo and crossed the plains in 1850. She was 17 years old when she came to Nephi and had completely recovered from an accident she had suffered while crossing the plains. A wagon had run over her and crushed her hip. Because of the injury, she rode most of the way on a white mule hitched to her father’s wagon, though most of the saints in this company walked and many of them pushed handcarts. She always felt that she had been healed by faith.

Hannah had taught school and had worked in the Hoyt home at one time when Clarissa was ill. Clarissa loved her as a sister and asked her to be Israel’s plural wife. Israel wanted to live the law of plural marriage as he felt it should be lived. So his two wives lived in the same house and reared their families together in peace and love.

On the 16th of October 1856 which was Harriett’s 6th birthday another daughter was born to Clarissa. She was named Elinor Angeline. While the Hoyts still lived in Nephi the following children were born to this peaceful happy home. To Clarissa: Emily Alvira, Lucy Amilla, Josiah Miller, Daniel Henry, who died the year after his birth. To Hannah: Mary Maria, Clarissa Amy, Hannah Elizabeth.

In the summer of 1866, Israel with other men from Nephi went to Sanpete County to help the settlers there protect their property from the Indians during the Black Hawk War. In one encounter Israel suffered and injury to his wrist.

One time when Israel went to Salt Lake for supplies, he brought back a little 5-year-old boy from Payson, his name was Edward Lamb. He had been left an orphan. He went immediately to Hannah and she claimed his as her own and raised him to manhood. He was never legally adopted and when he married he took his family name.

In the fall of 1868 Israel and his wives were called by President Brigham Young to help establish the Muddy Mission in, as it was discovered later, Nevada. Even though the move required great sacrifices, they with the other who were called went unquestionably wherever the voice of their leader called them. They disposed of their home and other property and traveled for seventeen days to their new place of residence. The company drove their animals in a herd, milking their cows night and morning as they had done while crossing the plains. When their supply of water would run short, they would milk one or two of the cows to quench the thirst of the children. They were frequently molested by Indians, though some of them were friendly.

For instance, one day Israel saw an Indian approaching his wagon and wondered what would happen. He warned the children and the wives to huddle out of sight. When the Indian came nearer he handed Israel a note. It was from a friend, Brother Claridge, whose party was some distance ahead of the Hoyts on this trek. The note said that Indians had molested the party and had taken their horses and mules and left them stranded.

Israel hurried ahead as fast as he could and in a short time came to the distressed families. Sister Claridge was sitting on the tongue of the wagon weeping. (Sister Claridge was the mother of Elizabeth McCune whose home, years later in Salt Lake City, became the present McCune School of Music, and is now a part of the Brigham Young University.) Word of their distress went ahead to the people who were already at the Muddy and to St. George and a rescue party soon came to their assistance.

The Hoyt family arrived at the Muddy on the 6th of December. Israel procured a two roomed unfinished house and put a roof on it. but also before they were settled in it, he found a better unfinished home a few miles down the valley and traded for it. They roofed and finished it in time for a Christmas party to which the families of their Nephi neighbors were invited–the Claridges, the Harmons and the Esplins.

On February 16, two months after their arrival, both wives had baby girls. They were given twin names, Lillian and Luella. Three weeks later a boy was born to israel’s eldest daughter, Harriett, who with her husband, Isaiah Bowers, had moved to the Muddy with them.

The first summer was hard. There was a drought which interfered with the growth of cotton, for which the mission was established, and with other crops. The food supply was supplemented with roots and berries. Flour was especially scarce, but when the wives complained about the neighbor who came repeatedly to borrow a little flour, Israel would say, “As long as we have any we will share with our friends.”

The Mission was of short duration. When it was determined that the land was in Nevada, and not in Utah as Brigham Young had thought, the officials of Nevada demanded heavy taxes, including back taxes for the time the saints had been there. They had paid taxes in Utah and were unable to meet the demand. It was evident that the locality was not suitable for the cotton industry, consequently, the mission was abandoned.

Lillian Fackrell, one of Israel’s daughters tells the following incident; “At the end of 1870 Father and Israel had sawed trees into lumber and were ready to commence their new homes. One Saturday night, in January or the first of February they came home with a big load of lumber, it being late they left it on the wagon over Sunday. In the Sunday meeting they were released from the Missions, Father came home from the meeting, and as wood was needed, he threw some of the lumber they had worked so hard to get off the wagon and began chopping it up for fire wood. You can imagine how frightened and big-eyed the children were, wondering if Father had gone crazy.

As soon as possible Israel moved his family back to Utah. First taking Hannah to Washington, in Washington County, where his daughter Amanda was born, the 11th of February 1871. A short time later he moved Clarissa to Winsow, later known as Mt. Carmel in Long valley. About 200 people from the Muddy Mission went to help establish a community there. Earlier settlers had been there and had moved out because of Indian trouble. Some of them returned when they learned of the arrival of more people.

Three years after this move to Long Valley, a movement was started in many communities known as the United Order. The idea originated with the Prophet Joseph Smith when he received a revelation concerning the plan in 1831 and formed and organization in Independence. This way of life, all sharing and living as one family was going quite successfully when the saints were expelled from Independence. The ideal persisted however and in 1872, President Young preached on the Order of Enoch in General Conference and pictured the kind of life the saints would lead under such a plan, all eating together, working together and sharing alike.

Two years later, several communities in Utah tried out this plan, most of them were of short duration, but the United Order organized in Mt. Carmel on March 10th, 1874 operated very successfully for twelve years and was not completely broken up for twenty-five years.

A few months after the beginning of the Order in Mt. Carmel, about half of the members, chiefly the old settlers who had returned, withdrew from the organization. The others moved a few miles up the valley and established a new settlement which they called Orderville. At this time, there were 180 members. Israel Hoyt was appointed President of the Board that operated the plan. During the next two years the membership grew to 450. At one time there were more then six hundred members.

Besides being first President and counselor to the second President, Howard O. Spencer, Israel held many other responsible positions in the Order. He ran the dairy and supervised the making of the butter and cheese for the “big table”, milk was delivered every day from the diary to the two several miles down the valley. He was also overseer of the saw mill.

Two children were born to Hannah after they moved to Long Valley, Timothy Cook, born August 1, 1874 at Mt. Carmel and Nellie Avaellia born 16th of February 1878 at Orderville.

On February 14, 1880, Israel married Bertha Sumner Fackrell, daughter of David Bancroft and Susannah Sumner Fackrell, she had been blind since childhood. She was loved by all the family and contributed to their life in many ways. She knitted most of the stockings needed by this large family. One child was born to her, a little girl named Amy, who when she was 13 months old, she contracted measles. Israel was at the gristmill a few miles up the valley when she became critically ill. A messenger went for him and as he was riding home, his horse fell and he was injured. The baby had died before he reached home and he had received his death blow. He died four days after the accident. Two days before he died he visited all his children; at the time all but two were married and had families of their own. The night before his death, he called his family together to tell them good-bye. One of the last things he said to them was, “I have laid the foundation. I hope you will build on it.” He died 3rd of April 1883, and is buried in the Order row at the Orderville cemetery.