Cornelius Peter Lott – The Prophet’s Farmer

CorneliusPLottCornelius breathed deep and wiped his dusty brow, the rich soil bringing forth its Illinois potatoes and grain on this hot summer day in 1844. All was well; or at least it should have been. Cornelius felt a foreboding as he heard horses and looked up from his work. It was Joseph Smith, his brother Hyrum, and other familiar men approaching slowly. Cornelius ran the Smith farm and recalled many glorious conversations while working side by side with his friend, employer, and spiritual leader.

The horsemen stopped, but for a moment. Their solemn leader, as though knowing he would never see his farm again, looked out and said, “Who would want to leave a place like this?”(a) With love and encouragement, he looked down and said, “good-bye my friend.”

A month earlier in a similar scene, Cornelius mounted and accompanied Joseph to Carthage, but that trial was postponed.(b) This time, as the party continued along the dusty road, Cornelius may have remembered that dusty occasion in Nauvoo, picking up his supplies, then wrestling with the prophet in the clearing outside the Red Brick store. Many had gathered around and all challengers had been thrown by the prophet. In his mind Cornelius could still hear Joseph’s cheerful voice that day, “Here! I have thrown down pretty nearly everybody about the place except Brother Lott, and I believe I can throw him down, too!” More townsfolk had gathered from the store to watch the event. In the circle, Joseph and Cornelius, “ran together several times, but the best [Joseph] could do was to get [Cornelius] down to his knees.” Cornelius had exclaimed, “I told you, my boy, that you couldn’t throw old man Lott.”(c)

Back at the farm he looked again down Parley street, the dust nearly settled as the party had disappeared around the bend toward Carthage. Two days later the tragic news came; Joseph and Hyrum were dead.

In honor of what he knew to be true, Cornelius Peter Lott became a ‘captain of tens’ crossing the plains in charge of widow Mary Fielding Smith’s wagon. He was a high councilman at Winter Quarters, three times a church farm caretaker, a missionary, and faithful priesthood holder.(d)(e)

(by Kenneth R. Hardman – To my father-in-law, Ferril Andrew Losee, great-great-grandson of Cornelius Peter Lott. Thank you Joan Losee Hardman for your help preparing this story) #AncestorClips, Also at: FamilySearch

(a) Joseph Smith – History, Vol. 6. Chapter 29, p. 558.
(b) IBID, Vol. 6, Chapter 19, p. 412,
(c) Launius, Roger D., and McKiernan, F. Mark, Joseph Smith, Jr.’s Red Brick Store, 1993, p. 19-20. link
(d) Losee, Ferril A., Hardman, Jana K., Losee, Lyman A., The Losee Family History – Ancestors and Descendants of Lyman Peter Losee and Mary Ann Peterson, 2000, p. 20. link
(e) Ford, Gary S., Cornelius P. Lott and his Contribution to the Temporal Salvation of the Latter-day Saint Pioneers Through the Care of Livestock, a thesis, BYU, Dec. 2005. link

Inherited traits and patterns of goodness – (from Joan Losee Hardman) From Cornelius, we learn to faithfully go on in the face of pain or loss. I’m impressed with his hard work and admire his faith and support of his family. He never lost faith in the prophet of the restored Gospel.

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George Clark and Elizabeth Phoebe Rye Morris

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 2.18.36 PMPhoebe wiped tears from her face as her creek-soaked children happily burst into their small summer home. “Why are you crying,” they asked. Phoebe quickly got them pulling molasses candy as she pushed back on her memories. She was happy with her husband, her children, and her faith, but change was hard. They had joined the Latter-day Saints in England. Back home, Elders had come regularly for cottage meetings, singing songs of Zion. George and Phoebe had a roast feast on the Sabbath, then they would walk up the rolling green pasture amongst the large oaks. As shoe makers he fixed soles and did tacking while she sewed them. He would then walk 10 miles, deliver their work, receive pay, and bring back work for next week. They ate bread and butter, simple black English tea and sometimes bread pudding with sugar and a raisin. Some family members had already immigrated and George had been anxious to take his wife and children. In 1883, they sent little Clara and Lillie to Salt Lake to live with family. A year later, George made the trip. He worked on a farm to earn travel for the rest. A year later, Phoebe set sail with the other 4 and eventually they enjoyed a happy reunion living in Bingham Junction. Phoebe wiped another tear as she looked at her stove. “I miss my cooking fireplace,” she thought. Until beds could be filled with straw or corn shucks, they were simple quilts on the floor. Money was tight for school, so the children often worked away from home, but at least they were together on Sunday afternoons. George worked on the railroad from Midvale to Bingham coming home each day with a sunburned nose in the summer, or an icy mustache in the winter. Having sacrificed some of their English connections for the gospel, George and Phoebe knew that their separations were only temporary. Again with sacrifice, they made a week-long journey to the Logan Temple where their family was united for always.

By Kenneth Richard Hardman, based on material in, Hardman Biographies – Ancestors of Sidney Glenn Hardman and Dorothy Mae Griffin. #AncestorClips

Inherited Traits – Like great-great-grandma and grandpa Clark, I have always been anxious to be with family, and to be united with people of my faith. At the same time, changes have never been easy and I miss my family members when we are separated.

Patterns of Goodness – I can learn from their pattern of hard work as cobblers, farmers, railroad workers, and in raising a large family. They demonstrated patience to get their whole family to Utah, a few at a time. I can apply their patience to the hopes I have for the long term spiritual destinations of my family. Thanks grandma and grandpa Clark for my life, and for your example.

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William Parley Elton – Poet of Honor

William Parley EltonCroppedMy great-grandfather William was 11 when his father died, and the English officers came to take him and his four brothers to the poorhouse. “How we clung to mother’s dress,” he said. Isabella was, a little woman. But in faith and work, [she was] a wonder. “Not one of these boys goes,” she said. “Each and everyone will go to Zion.” William had to quit school to sell papers, sweep crossings, and sell milk door-to-door. He worked in a small store, never touching money left laying around by the manager. “I wouldn’t take anything I did not honestly earn,” he said. No one doubted Williams honesty. Encouraged by his mother’s faith and letters. One by one all 7, plus mother made it to the valleys of the Salt Lake. In Utah and Colorado, at age 16 he maintained railroad ties for the Rio Grande, was promoted to surveyor, track foreman, bridge inspector, and conductor, sending every penny he could to his mother while contributing to the college education of his younger brother. On a work assignment he met Rachel Ault at the Cedar Valley station. They later married and ran a boarding house. Self educated, William spoke as though a scholar, brilliant in mathematics. Knowledgeable men often came to him to solve problems. He was happy, shook hands with everyone, did not find fault, and expected his children to respect others, especially their mother, and would not settle for any kind of sloppy job. He honored people, hung photos of servicemen on his wall, and wrote a poem for each funeral in the community. “And my dear loved ones, Lord I pray, protect, direct and guide each day. Dear Lord in truth may I increase, that when my mortal life shall cease, I may be worthy, Lord, with thee, to serve through all eternity.”

(by Kenneth R. Hardman, based on writings of grand-daughter Beverly Elton Hunt, compiled in Hardman Biographies – Ancestors of Sidney Glenn Hardman and Dorothy Mae Griffin) #AncestorClips

Inherited Traits – Like great-grandpa Elton, I feel like I’ve inherited the tendency to be honest. I’ve written a few poems in my life. As I read this story, I relate to his desire to learn, to be happy, to greet people with cheerfulness, and to respect others. I could further follow his example of working diligently, even when times are tough, to never find fault, and to make sure my work is well done, not ‘sloppy.’

Patterns of Goodness – Grandpa Elton was committed to honesty and cheerful work. His faith moved him forward and his vision of eternity, instilled by his parents was a pattern I admire and desire to emulate in my life.

Please follow this blog, add your comments about this ancestor, his traits, and the example he sets for us, his descendants.

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William Wallace and Annie Lillie Walker – True Greatness

WillLillieWalkerFamilyCropped“Lillie and the children were still in bed when Will came rushing into the log home, ‘Fire.’ She grabbed the baby and he carried the little girls out just as the ceiling fell on their bed. There was no water system, so it was soon all gone but a few logs. They made a small room out of these logs, shingled it and moved in before winter.” In time the family grew to 9 children, but it would have been more. Two babies died very young, and one daughter, Birdie, died as a young adult. Each loss was painful. Will worked hard. He was kind and loving, singing with Lillie, playing mouth organs with the boys, whistling while he drove horses, thrashed and sacked wheat. Will was generous when he sold his vegetables, and always had time to wrestle with the boys, and play with the children. “Prayers were always said at the table, everyone on their knees by the chairs that had been turned with their backs toward the table… Lillie… taught the parents class in Sunday School.” She worked hard, loved her family, but had her trials. When baby Blanch died, Lillie wrote, “For a long time, I went around trying to do my work and care for the family, but my heart was broken. With the help of the Lord, I overcame it all, and one morning, as I went to the creek to get a pail of water, the gloom seemed lifted and everything seemed to put on a new life. Those beautiful mountains on the west seemed to be so near and the blue sky overhead. I said to myself, ‘You foolish woman, Look up and thank God for all this beauty that you have been so blind to all these days…’ From then on, things seemed to be more to live for.” Lillie outlived her husband by 40 years. Her son said that her beauty was the kind “that emanates from heart to heart and affects the fiber of each and everyone…”

(Adapted by Ken Hardman from, William Wallace & Annie Lillie Clark Walker Book of Remembrance: Their Life, Their Family and Their Story, compiled in 1985 by Dorothy Hardman, granddaughter. Some excerpts from Lillie’s autobiography) #AncestorClips

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William Wallace Walker – A Sheep Share for a Wedding Stake

WilliamWalkerThe two-year-old twins, Ellen and William, were excited when the baby came. Olive, was her name. But, 10 days’ later joy was robbed by tears as their mother passed away. William Walker was one of those twins. He was born in the spring of 1870 in Millcreek, Utah to James Craig and Elizabeth Griffiths Walker. Sorely missing their mother, this was a difficult time for the Walkers. The twins were taken in by their mother’s family. Eventually, Will went to live with his older sister, Mary Ann, and he worked in sheep camps as a tender or herder. Raising sheep was a year-round job, shearing in the spring, moving flocks to the mountains in the summer, then to market in the fall. He worked hard and earned a share in a sheep herd. While herding sheep, he no doubt heard of marvels near and far like the typewriter, the telephone, and the transcontinental railroad. It was in fact that railroad that brought the lovely Lillie Clark from far away England. They danced, they courted and they married. William sold his sheep herding share for a ‘wedding stake’ of $200. His first real home was a two-room log hut in the cottonwoods in Salt Lake, with bare floors, a wooden bed with a straw tick, two wool quilts made from his sheep and a companion he loved very much. (To be continued) #AncestorClips

(by Kenneth R. Hardman. Reference: William Wallace & Annie Lillie Clark Walker Book of Remembrance: Their Life, Their Family and Their Story, compiled in 1985 by Dorothy Hardman)

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Cheryl Diane Hardman Atwood – Touching Mankind for Good

CherylCheryl Diane Hardman was born in January, 1951. As a brand new baby, she received a blessing by the hand of her father while he was on military training leave, then she didn’t see him again for 16 months while he served overseas for his country. She grew up a bright child. At the age of 3, Knowing that her baby brother loved bananas, Cheryl turned again to the hand of her carpenter dad and said in all seriousness, “Daddy, would you bring home some wood to make a banana tree?” As she grew, Cheryl did what most children did; she rode bikes, got cuts, had stitches, took music lessons, entered science projects and won awards. When older with 5 younger siblings, Cheryl politely told her parents that 6A students, especially the girls, “do not ride their bikes to school anymore. They are too old for that.” As a teen, Cheryl didn’t need to be reminded of homework. She enjoyed classes like  typing, seminary, history, English, Spanish, science, and algebra. She even made some of her own clothes. Her favorite TV shows were, The Mouse-ka-teers, and Bonanza. With high hopes, her parents looked forward to great things in life for her. In 1969, fulfilling her college dream, Cheryl slowly developed debilitating symptoms from a disease whose diagnosis evaded doctors until Cheryl could not walk or talk; death was at the door. That year, as mankind overcame great odds and put a man on the moon, Cheryl desperately struggled and with the help of prayers, family, and many doctors, overcame the disease. She finished college, became a teacher, served others with handicaps, married, and raised a great family, thereby touching mankind for good. Thanks Cheryl, you are a great sister.

(by Ken Hardman, with details from the writings of Dorothy Griffin Hardman) #AncestorClips

Inherited Traits – Cheryl is my oldest sister. We grew up in a happy family inheriting a cheerful outlook from our parents. I have a special inherited connection with Cheryl and the courage with which our parents helped her fight disease, and the determination with which she battled and overcame that disease has been a life long strength to me.

Patterns of Goodness – As I reflect on Cheryl’s life, I realize that she had many patterns of goodness. She taught in several schools including schools for handicapped children. She was a loving and good mother. During the first months of my LDS mission away from home, Cheryl and her good husband Steve suggested they go with mom and dad regularly to the temple, another act of service. I needed their prayers and those blessings as a young missionary. I need to be more like Cheryl and write letters regularly to people to lift and strengthen them. I will always look up to my sister. What are your memories of Cheryl?

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Myrtle and Edna Elton – About Pigs, Giggles, and a #3 Bath Tub

Myrtle and Edna EltonNine-year-old Edna ran through the orchard with her straight brown hair flapping in the summer air. “Hey Myrtle!” She called back to her ten-year-old sister. “Watch this.” Edna jumped on to a pig, patted his side, and held on. “We’re supposed to be feeding them,” Myrtle pretended to object. “not riding them.” Myrtle looked back toward the house, then dropped her apple bag and with bouncing curls chased down another pig. Both girls laughed, squealed, and finally fell on the orchard grass, giggling, trying to keep their hair out of the rotting summer apples. ‘Emily Myrtle’ and ‘Edna’ Elton were the youngest of eight. The children were taught to be honest, to mind, and to respect and care for others. For chores they packed wood and coal, gathered grain, hauled hay, white-washed walls, pressed apples, thinned beets, and herded sheep. They found fun in many chores as they wove plant stems into chains, made up songs, played school, and ate lunch in the fields with dad. In the winter they rode sleigh, fashioned snowmen, and laid on their backs making snow fairies. Christmas gifts were few, but given with love, then cherished. On Sunday they had a bath in a number three metal tub and wore their treasured Summer dress to church. Forever young and beautiful on the outside, they were playful, loving, and devoted on the inside. Myrtle and Edna loved life, not wishing for things they didn’t have. Their simple dreams fed their imaginations and added spice to their lives and all who knew them.

(by Kenneth R. Hardman. Ref. Sidney Lehi Hardman & Myrtle Emily Elton: Their Life, Their Love and Their Family, 1900-1991 compiled by Dorothy Hardman) #AncestorClips

Inherited traits – Myrtle Elton Hardman is my grandmother. In this story, I can see the influence grandma had on her son, my father who has many of her qualities. Dad often said, “When we work, we work hard; and when we play, we play hard.” I also inherited this tendency. When I work, I put my heart into it; and when I play, I strive to make it fun, as do my siblings. I notice that Myrtle and Edna often combined work and play, finding fun in the labor. Like them, when I am working, I look for joy or satisfaction in the task.

Patterns for my life – There are a few more things I can learn from grandma, and her sister, Edna. In the story, I feel devotion, a sense of companionship beyond friendship. In my life, I can be more devoted in my relationships, especially with family members. Also, even though life was hard back then (from my 2016 perspective), grandma seemed satisfied with what she had, found joy in the moment, and didn’t expect more of what the world might offer. I too can exercise more focus on my present blessings with less envy for what I could have. With more devotion and contentment, I will be happier, like grandma. Thanks Myrtle and Edna for helping me build a happy and useful life.

I welcome your comments about this story. What can we learn as a pattern for life.

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