Mormon Pioneer Trail, The: MTA 1997 Official Guide

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They were formed, in part, to protect church leaders, especially Joseph Smith. Much of their service was rendered at night and they were paid a dollar a day. Arza had this job for only a few months before renting a farm a mile-or-so north of Carthage and moving his family there. The few months that he spent on the rented farm were not a happy time for the family. In addition to dealing with the nearby deaths of the two Smith brothers, Arza was sick off-and-on much of the time with malaria and his harvests that fall were skimpy.

Bouts with malaria continued to dog Arza in Nauvoo, and this led to him asking for a blessing from church Patriarch John Smith on May 16, Elder Smith rebuked the fever that preyed on Arza and promised him he would recover if he worked on the temple. Soon after, Arza left his sickbed, took up his carpenter tools, and commenced working on the temple.


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He recorded in his journal that it was hard at first, but that over time he gained strength and continued to labor on the public works until fall. Not being a reflective person, he never, later, recorded how he felt about leaving a sick bed to complete an edifice that was abandoned just a few months later. Increasing conflict led church leaders to abandon Nauvoo and move their flock west.


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A flurry of temple ordnances and frantic efforts to sell assets followed. Arza and Sabina received their endowments on December 31, , but Arza realized little for his attempts to sell land. There, Arza and Barney worked in a shop making wagons and wagon wheels for the exodus. Arza recorded that his family left for the west during the summer with two wagons, one driven by Arza and the other by his oldest son Nathan. The second oldest son, Joshua, was in charge of the lose cattle. Arza and Sabina must have reflected on their 5 year sojourn in and around Nauvoo.

Sabina had nurse Arza back to good health, and added two more children to the family, Elizabeth and Theothen.

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Arza had completed a successful mission, reached a mid-level position in the church, and they had both participated in spiritual experiences in temple ceremonies. At the same time, they lost most of their property and experienced being driven from their home at gun point for the third time. The two brothers helped each other build cabins and provided their families with shelter from winter storms. The birth of another son, named Joseph Smith Adams, on December 14, meant that Sabina dealt with eight people crowded into a small cabin. During the winter of Arza and Henry W. Miller were hired to tend a large herd comprised mostly of church-owned cattle some miles north of Council Bluffs.

That spring Barnabas joined Brigham Young and others in the scouting party that made its way to Utah in Initially, Arza planned to move his family to Utah in the spring of , but at the last minute concluded he was too short of resources to make the journey. To accumulate money, he worked for the U. Army, first helping to build what would later be called Ft. Kearny, and in the fall and winter working in and out of Ft. Arza and his family joined the flood of people who flocked west in , most of them seeking California gold. By mid-June nearly 7, wagon-loads of gold seekers past what would later become Ft.

Kearny in central Nebraska. The Adamses were in the first of five wagon trains that left Winter Quarter in They entered Salt Lake Valley in late September. In a few days they located on the lower reaches of Mill Creek where they stayed for almost a year. Giles in a mill on Mill Creek. During the hard winter of some of his livestock died. He later obtained use of a small farm along the creek, but harvested a skimpy crop, perhaps because he had little experience with irrigation.

Because much of the good land in Salt Lake Valley was already claimed, Arza looked elsewhere for a place to settle. In the early summer of Arza and a cousin, Stephen Chipman, along with two of their sons, were freighting goods to Ft. Provo in Utah Valley. They camped on American Fork Creek and liked what they saw there. This included doing a baseline from Salt Lake City to the southern end of Utah Valley, and later doing a more detailed survey of the area around American Fork Creek. The custom at the time was for Brigham Young to authorize the settlement of new communities.

Arza and Stephen Chipman sought and received permission to settle the area along American Fork Creek. In the fall of Arza built a cabin on the creek and soon moved his family there, thus becoming the first settler in the community. Initially, the settlement was organized as a joint stock company, including about two thousand acres. By the spring of enough people had settled in Lake City to justify organizing a church branch there.

Leonard Harrington was named bishop with Arza and James Guyman as his counselors. Indian threats in led to the settlers concentrating most of their homes within the fort, forcing Arza to move his mill to the north edge of the fort wall. He demonstrated his independence by building his home and mill outside the fort walls.

A few years later he built a third mill about a mile further north on the creek. In late Arza entered the practice of polygamy when he married Editha Morgan Anderson. She was a year-old school teacher and had not been married previously. She lived separately and was always known by her maiden name thereafter. The system of joint ownership of land in the community was mostly disbanded only a year or so after it was established.

The breakup put the Bishop, Leonard Harrington, in the middle of parceling out farm land, city lots, timber lots, and water rights. In Mormon settlements the bishop was the judge and jury in both civil and ecclesiastical affairs.

This arrangement was problematic because disagreements about civil judgments spilled over into tests of religious faithfulness. Early settlers, such as Arza, probably felt they deserved priority in the allocation of resources, while the bishop must have tried to treat everyone equally, first-comers and later-comers alike. Hard feelings were compounded when Brigham Young intervened and approved diverting part of the water from American Fork Creek to the residents in nearby Lehi. Since Bishop Harrington was a party in the dispute, a travelling Bishop, Alfred Cordon, conducted the court.

In the church meeting the following Sunday Arza confessed speaking against those placed over him and wished to be forgiven, which he was. Arza and his two oldest sons, Nathan and Joshua, were re-baptized shortly thereafter. In the next few months the stress between Arza and the bishop lessened and they cooperated in building a meeting house. Harrington was the superintendent while Arza was the woodwork foreman.

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Nonetheless, the disputes about allocation of communal land in Lake City were not completely resolved until two years later. In early Arza and several dozen other men were called on a mission to reinforce settlement of Fort Supply in Southeast Wyoming. His experience with grist and lumber mills were likely reasons for him being included in the call. Over the next year Arza made several trips to Ft. Supply, including taking some of his livestock there and building a cabin. On his last trip he was accompanied by his oldest son Nathan and his wife.

The plans were for Nathan to set up a grist mill and settle his family there in Ft. Arza even gave some thought to moving his whole family to Ft. In short order the settlers in Ft. Supply burned their buildings and returned to Utah. Arza had children with Marilla and Catherine, but the marriage to Elizabeth was only a spiritual arrangement. In addition to operating his grist mill, he also farmed, had some livestock, and even experimented with Angora goats. After his first wife, Sabina, died in Arza built separate homes for Marilla and Catherine.

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Over a period of 44 years Arza had a total of 27 children, the last being born when he was Seventeen of his children grew to adulthood and he had grandchildren, most of them growing to adulthood. Several of his sons and sons-in-law would become prominent sheep men in central Utah. Although still hale and hearty, Arza semi-retired about when he sold parts of his farm land along with his grist mill. Earlier, Arza had served as city alderman and he continued to serve as a director of the cooperative store.

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He spent an increasing amount of time visiting with his old friends, some of whom were his Canadian converts. He youngest son Daniel remembered accompanying his father on some of these visits and hearing them talk about battles in Missouri and the adventures of moving west. Perhaps because of his advanced age, Arza was not hounded during the early s because of his plural marriages.

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Surrounded by family he passed away in American Fork on April 15, He was remembered for being independent, not always going along with the crowd, and reacting negatively to being pushed or crowded. His family remembered him as a good provider. Even though he had a large family, and encountered a number of challenges during his life, he always landed on his feet and provided ample food and shelter for his family. His religious fervor waned substantially after his run-in with Bishop Harrington over the distribution of property rights in Lake City. Several of Arza supporters in the fracas left the church because of their disagreements with the bishop over temporal matters.

Harrington and Arza later tolerated each other, but were never close after this affair.

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The problem was extended while Harrington served as bishop for 27 years. Perhaps this is an additional reason for having bishops serve for only a few years. Smith said that he had been directed to the plates by an angel named Moroni, who also had given him divine tools for translating the ancient inscriptions into English.