A CENTURY IN THE VALLEY
FOOTPRINTS OF TABIONA & HANNA, UTAH
The first time that I was in Tabiona was May, 1906. The Reservation was opened up for homesteading to white settlers September 5, 1905. Many people went there to homestead land for a future home. My sister and her husband Nephi Chatwin were among the new comers. So in May, the following spring, my father and mother helped move the Chatwins to their homestead, which was in the little valley straight north of the river crossing at the mouth of Golden Stair Hollow in Tabiona, then known as Upper Duchesne. I went with my parents, also drove the family cows, about six in number, from Heber City to Tabiona. At the time I was seven years old. There were only a very few white people here at the time. I think only the Maxwells, Robert Giles and family and some Indian families. No farm land had been put under cultivation except some at the mount of Stair Hollow by Ephriam Panowitz, an Indian who had his place, or part of it, under cultivation.
The Chatwins had erected a log house the fall of 1905, so they moved into the house in May 1906. Water was necessary to grow a garden. A small stream from the Toigut Spring was flowing down the wash, so father and Mr. Chatwin proceeded to build a ditch to bring the water from the wash in the hope that a garden could be grown for the family. Two or three days work had been done and the water diverted from its natural course. The Indian Tonigut had a small herd of sheep in the valley and when the water was brought to the home he camped his camp to near where the water was flowing so water for the camp would be available. .
The families in order of their coming:
Arthur Maxwell wife and family, Robert Mitchie wife and family, Nephi Chatwin [with] Sarah and family, David Chatwin no wife, Chancey Chatwin [with] Elizabeth and family, A. W. Wagstaff, Ethan Brown, Thomas Broodhead [with] Barbara and family, Leonard Brown, Lee Meacham, Owen Wright, John Wright, James S. Jones and family. Al and Maroni Mc Affe, John Irving, Robert and Giles and Eliza F. Ernest Saddler family, Thomas Hicken family, Jean Larsen, Morris Lakeson, Thomas A White, Bert White and Pearl. Abram Gines, Jacob Gines, John Barbiere, Lewie Barozie Kirshew, Jess LeFevre and Nora, Owen Ellis and Father. William Dugdale, William Gines, Herbert Clegg, Calista Ptyscilla and Ervan Clegg, George Gines, William Pussella. Bradford Hardy and family, Crandalls, Jos, Ross and Mead, William’ Wall. Wilson and wife. Henry Grogg, Eliza Wooley, Fred, Florence Wooley. Victor Barbiere, Lorenzo Clark, Ben Clark, Kenneth Jensen, Robert Jensen, William Wadley, West Bowers, Lloyd Coe, Ben Turnbow, Jack Jones, Hershel and Marvel Jones- Willie, Heber, Adrian Jones, Charles Webb. Sam Powell, Dan Powell, LeRoy Gillman, Robert Allan, Jessup Thomas, Charles Bertola married Dolly Roberts, John, Clifford, and Lloyd, Thomas, June. Dolly and Ruby Roberts. Charles Fraughton, Hyrum Jones and family, Smith - Dana Rose, Frank Defa, DoIP.inic Defa. Chancy, Charles, and Jack Lee, John Reed and family. William G. Mitchie, Arthur W. Maxwell, Roy Miles, William Hanna, William, and Parley Turnbow. William and Martha Tillack. Edward and Marie Tillack, Nephi, and Heber Moon and families, George - Wilcken, Joe Wilcken, Thomas Rhoades and family, Joseph, Foster, Carl, William, May, and Hazel Rhoades, Thomas Giles, Monroe Giles. Earl Atwood, Bert Atwood, William Milmer, Guy Miles, Hyrum Jones and family. Joseph, Rudolph Wilcken and families also Carl Wilcken the father, Frank Chiarelli and Felix Phelps who ran a small store on the old Stockmore town site.
I remember there used to be a store and beer hall, I think that was operated by Defa, on the Bench north of Chiarelli’s Farm, and just a few rods north of the business was a sign advertising a business place farther on. It read: "Phelp’s store down the hill above town", sounds odd but it was true. Fred Woolley and I road our horse from Tabiona to Phelp’s Store a distance of 9 miles and back just to buy a little candy and not more than 10 cents each. We could also buy store goods at Robert Giles’s Ranch, four miles below Tabiona. . .read more in the book.
At the age of fifteen, Esther was "called" to go to Salt Lake City, to study obstetrics under Dr. Ellis Skipp. She was able to learn quickly and well. In her patriarchal blessing, given to Esther by her father as she left home for Salt Lake City, were these words: "You have a very important work to do, and if you go willingly, and do your best, relying on the Lord, He will help you, and you will always have success."
Before 1905, registering births was not required, and so there is no record of the number of births attended by Esther. From 1905 until 1936-37, at least twenty-five hundred babies were brought into this world by the loving hands of "Grandma Wagstaff."
When the Wagstaff family moved to Tabiona in 1910, Esther was immediately called to serve, not only as a midwife, but for illness, broken bones, etc., in the valley. The blessing she received under the hands of her father was fulfilled, because Esther never became ill, despite all the communicable disease she came in contact with. When she entered a home of illness or childbirth, she not only cared for the sick, but for the family and home as well. When a death occurred, she and other sisters of the valley would "layout the body," trim the casket and make the burial (temple) clothing.
These words are taken from a history of Esther Hunsaker Wagstaff, written by a daughter, Orpha Ellis Wagstaff Michie, "I have never wanted publicity or praise. I leave no heirlooms to be remembered by. I just want to be appreciated".
Esther Hunsaker Wagstaff was appreciated.
Crossing the River.....
Bill & Louise Turnbow
From “babyhood” until moving from the valley in 1943, all my summers were spent with my family at our Johnson Family Sawmill, located northwest of Tabiona, up in the Uintah Mountains. Our sawmill was a complete lumber-producing operation—a full running mill. Double click photos for larger image.
There the logs were “harvested” from the dense timber in the forest a short distance from the mill site. They were brought down to the mill yard where they were sawed into the appropriate size, planed and finished into high quality lumber, ready to use for building. Most of the lumber was trucked into Salt Lake and Utah Counties where it was sold. In addition to our own Johnson families, the mill provided a good living for many others in the area. Many families moved to the mill site for summer as we did so we usually had a fair-sized community there during the milling season. The sawmill was a place for hard work, obviously and required the help of a lot of people to accomplish the great amount of work required. This small summer community furnished great associations with a lot of good people. But being there for hard work was NOT for those of us who were too young to work or even think about it!! Mother remembered the long hours of cooking and “doing” for crew and family; my sister, brother and I remember the sawmill as being the greatest playground on earth!
We Johnson kids looked forward to the sawmill experience every year and could hardly wait until the mountain highway leading to the mill site was finally clear enough of snow to travel on. Upon arriving at the mill site for the first time each spring, if we were fortunate we would be able to enjoy one of our great delights. If our arrival time was just right, we would find hundreds of tiny yellow snow crocus peeking out from the edges of the partially melted snow drifts. We called these small flowers “Dogtooth Violets” (courtesy of our Aunt Millie who named them that) and they had the most wonderful fresh smell of anything I have ever had the pleasure of smelling, even after all these years. I do believe these small flowers had a “Celestial” smell, for they certainly smelled like heaven to me! As it was still too early to move up permanently for the summer, my sister and I would run around gathering as many of these little flowers as we could stuff into tin cans and bring them back down to Tabiona to enjoy.
Beautiful flowers were such a part of our mountain “home”. As the summer progressed, the area would literally be filled with beautiful white Columbines which we could gather by the arm full. Not only did we use them to grace our Mountain Homes, but would take huge amounts of them back down to Tabiona on the weekend to enjoy there. There were many other varieties of flowers as well, and I especially remember the Bluebells. They, too, were in abundance among the aspens and the pines. We did so love our beautiful “playground”. We loved to explore the area surrounding the mill. There were so many pretty little meadows hidden among the tall pine trees. These areas would always be full of grass and quaking aspen trees. A favorite past time was “riding” the small quakers. We would bend them down, straddle them like horses, then “ride” them by springing up and down. This did not injure the tree as it would spring right back up straight and tall when we removed ourselves from off its back. And we never wanted for something to do! Wilda and I should have been architects...we could build a playhouse anywhere out of anything and the sawmill and surrounding area provided so many unique places as fruit for our creative imaginations!
A favorite kind of house building took place among the many groves of small pine trees on the edge of the mill area. We would find groups of different stumps that looked as if they could become chairs, tables and even sinks if they happened to have an appropriate size hole. . .read more in the book.