History of Joseph Bartholomew and His Ancestors
This family of Bartholomew, according to tradition, which so far as possible to test, has proven correct, and which was given by Mrs. Hannah (Bartholomew) O'Daniel, daughter of John the first, and faithfully preserved, is as follows: During the terrible persecution of the Huguenots in France by the Catholics, this family, who were residents of the then French province of Alsace and of the Huguenotic faith, were nearly annihilated. This branch saved themselves by flight to the mountains of Switzerland.
After these troubles had passed, during the latter portion of the Seventeenth Century, part of the family settled in Holland, and in the early part of the eighteenth Century came to America.
Traditions which apply to events over a century past are usually wrong. The above may be wrong as to the residence in France: but as to their being Protestants from Holland, has been confirmed by each branch.
In the first place, George W. Bartholomew, Jr., the author of the Bartholomew record was born in Bristol Ct. and lived in San Antonio, Texas. The desire to know "Whence he came, what blood courses through his veins from what sources his parents and grandparents derived their physical and mental characteristics" caused him to have interest to incur the immense task and expense of completing a genealogy of the family.
Since he completely covered the genealogy of his line and used 419 pages for this, he collected the data of several other Bartholomew families, which he was unable to connect up with, but he was kind enough to include them in his book. Our line occupies 55 pages in this book. One would naturally think that he would not be interested to try to uncover the traditions and genealogy of these unconnected branches of Bartholomew people since they came from another country and he assumed, no doubt, that they were not his kin. Thus, it would be natural that he did not spend much time after he concluded they were not from his kin.
There were three brothers: John, Jacob, and Daniel. Of the above named, information is known concerning Daniel and Jacob, and quite certain concerning John, as they were of about the same age; and although he lived some distance from Daniel, he was appointed by the court to administer Daniel's estate, although Jacob was then living. The names of their parents are not known. George W. Bartholomew, Jr. says: "It would not be a surprise to the author if it should some time be learned that Benjamin, Henry, and Joseph Bartholomew were also brothers to the above."
Daniel is our common ancestor who lived and died in Trenton, New Jersey, but must have lived in or near there and also in Pennsylvania, married Elizabeth, whose maiden name we do not have. They had four children; the first two were daughters; their names are not given. The third child was John, and the last child was Joseph, who later became our second great-grandfather and also General Joseph Bartholomew. He had a large family from two marriages. Among those of the first marriage was John, the third child. This John was born in Pennsylvania about 1792, married in Indiana in 1814 to Nancy McKnaught, and died in Spencer, Indiana, in 1827.
Our Grandfather Joseph Bartholomew of Fayette, Utah, was born of this couple as the third child, on January 16, 1820. When he was seven years of age, his father died, and since he was young, his grandfather, General Joseph Bartholomew, took him to raise. In his grandfather's family were some older sons, and they were in charge of the farm; and according to grandfather's story of the occasion, he felt he was imposed upon by his older uncles. He was made to work and do things which he felt were too much. His mother could not care for him, since she was married again and had moved some distance away.
At the age of 12, this condition had become very disagreeable to him, and he wanted to get away from it. One day there was a group of travelers going by headed to Missouri, and he thought his chance had come to get away from this disagreeable condition; so he joined one of these emigrant families by the name of Benson and moved with them to Missouri. In fact, he became a member of this family and identified himself with them after this. When he was nearly 24 years old, he married one of the Benson girls, who became our grandmother.
I will leave the Joseph Bartholomew story for the time being and give a sketch of the Benson family.
From the list of the passengers of the ship Confidence of London, which sailed to New England on April 11, 18638, we find the names of John Benson and his family. There were John Benson and his wife, Mary Benson, and two children under four years of age: John and Mary. His wife died; and he married Mary Payton: and they had a son, Joseph. They lived at the colony of New Plymouth.
This John was born in England about 1635, and he lived in Hull Mass. He had a family of seven children, the last being William, who became our ancestor, born about 1680. He married Elizabeth Stetson. There is a record of one child from them, whose name is William, born April 18, 1710, in Rochester, Massachusetts. He married Elizabeth Ellis.
Their first child was Ellis Benson, born March 31, 1740, at Rochester, Massachusetts. The second child was Stutson Benson, and he became our ancestor. He was born March 2, 1741, at Rochester, Massachusetts. He married Bathsheba Lewis.
To this family of Stutson Benson and Bathsheba Lewis was born our common ancestor Benjamin Benson, who was the father of Polly Benson. It seems that when Benjamin Benson joined the Mormon faith, his family disowned him. He was not mentioned in the wills and history. It just said he died young.
The fact remains that he married Kasiah Messinger, and they had a large family, of which Polly was a younger daughter. They lived in the state of Now York. When the first missionaries were sent out in New York to preach the restored Gospel in 1830 or 1831, they contacted Benjamin Benson and his family. They became converted; the Lord manifested to one of the girls a testimony, which the family held sacred. The Elders were at their place and had left to travel to some distant place with all intent and purpose to be away from them for some time. They had departed about two or three hours when this girl came running into the house saying the Elders would be back there before night. The family discounted her statement because there was no reason for their returning. But they did come back before night.
After this manifestation and others which they enjoyed, they became convinced
and were baptized in February, 1832. On account of persecution in New
York, they moved to Kirtland, Ohio. When the Prophet Joseph Smith received
revelation concerning the Center Stake of Zion and the New Jerusalem,
the people were among the emigrants who made their way to Jackson County,
Missouri. They traveled from Kirtland to Missouri, a distance of 1,000
miles, with ox teams; and it was during this journey through Indiana when
Joseph Bartholomew, the lad, joined the Benson family. As I said before,
he was about 12 years old; and this opportunity to get away from his uncles
and grandfather's family was just what he was waiting for.
They traveled a thousand miles through Indiana, Illinois, and to the borders of Missouri. They were among the first to settle in this country. Since the Bensons were mill wrights and built flour mills and farmed, they selected a homestead on the Big Blue about five miles from Kansas City, and about five miles from Independence, Missouri, in Jackson County. This Big Blue is a stream which would furnish some power; and it is in very fertile place for a farm. The Bensons were a large family, and there were a number of young men grown; so they set to work building houses, stables, pens, and sheds. They cleared considerable land from trees and brush and were establishing themselves in a home, which they were hoping would be permanent. They accumulated very rapidly and were becoming independent and well-to-do.
This home was not to be permanent. Their harvesting was over, and they had accumulated fat hogs, cows, and other animals. On the evening of Oct. 31, 1833, having been in Missouri a little over one year, a friendly neighbor came rushing into their home just at dusk, and said: "Run for you lives: the Mob is coming to kill you!" Each one took a rap of quilt and ran. Their meal was cooking on the fire, oxen and cows were in the stable, and the hogs in the pen. The mob came and pilfered and destroyed what they chose. The family ran to the thickets on the Big Blue and hid for the night. The next day there were ushered out of Jackson County, across the Missouri River, with just what they had with them. They never went back to their home and did not receive a thing for it.
On November 1st, it was cold and disagreeable, and they were in a strange wilderness with nothing but their lives and what they had with them. But the Bensons were ambitious. They did not stay here long, but went north into another county and obtained a job to build some mills. Here they settled and worked for the man who employed them until the Saints were exterminated from Missouri. They were then prepared to migrate to Illinois. They did so and settled at Warsaw about six miles south of Nauvoo. Here they cleared land and began to build homes.
Our grandparents were then entering into man and womanhood. There was
a fond attachment growing between Joseph Bartholomew and Polly Benson.
This ripened into love, and they were married on December 10, 1843. A
new home was established; and in the course of time, there were twins
born. They were named Joseph and Hyrum. They died shortly after birth
and were buried in Warsaw cemetery.
These mobocrats liked grandfather because he was fearless and was a good
worker. Grandfather understood the building of mills, so the mobbers offered
him work if he would quit the Mormons. When her refused, they threatened
to kill him. When he was preparing to move from Illinois with the Saints,
they threatened to kill him. He told them there would be more than one
die if they attempted any trouble.
The journey was made to the western borders of Iowa in time to do some planting. When the government officers were in the camp to recruit the Mormon Battalion, grandfather was away in another county working for seed to plant his crops. He was disappointed that he was not there so he could have enlisted. He always said that he would have enlisted.
But he did a useful lot of work by growing food, building equipment and helping the Saints who went west during the years 1847 and 1852. During this time in Iowa, Mary K. was born on April 29, 1847. Joseph was born on January 5, 1850: and George M. was born November 5, 1851. In the spring of 1852, grandfather had his wagons and teams ready with plenty of provision to make the journey to Utah with his wife and four children.
Some of the Bensons had preceeded them, so they had a place to go to when they arrived. Their People were living on the Provo River; and the Bartholomew family spent the late summer and fall with the Bensons.
One outstanding occurrence was the honey dew on the Cottonwood trees.
They would pluck the leaves and soak them and boil the water down and
they had sugar. This was the source of supply.
Grandfather was a pioneer of Springville and helped make roads, trails, etc. One of the canyons was named after him, and is known as Bartholomews. Grandfather was the first man to enter this canyon and haul wood out. Another place is named after him. There was a place where he slid logs down the mountain; and they called it Bartholomew slide. It is still in evidence.
It was here that he encountered the worst treatment of all his life. Grandfather and grandmother suffered more abuse and trouble here in Springville than they did in Missouri or Illinois.
He was asked to carryout some dirty work, and he refused. He was a policeman, and when he refused to do some of the dirty work, they tried to kill him. He was appointed to go with a crowd up Hobble Creek to hunt Indians. When they camped, he was selected to stand guard and instructed to keep a big fire and stay close to it. He was suspicious and impressed that there was a plot against him. He made a fire, left his hat and coat, and hid so he could watch the crowd. He saw plenty to convince him that he had been staged to be killed, and they would have said, Bartholomew was killed by Indians. Then morning came and the crowd packed up and made back to town and notified the family and people that Bartholomew had been killed by the Indians, thinking that the one who had been assigned to job, had done it.
But grandfather out-generaled them and came walking home after the news was out that the Indians had killed him.
There had been several people mysteriously killed in Springville; and the U.S. Government was hot on the trail of the criminals; so they pointed the accusing finger at grandfather and Hamilton Kearns. They were arrested and taken and confined at Camp Floyd by U.S. soldiers. Here grandfather was mistreated. He was put in front of a cannon and told he would be blown to atoms if he did not tell all he knew. He was starved and fed on bread and water. But this did not break his spirit. Grandmother suffered intensely. When grandfather was freed, he, with several other people, felt that Springville was controlled by unscrupulous people, and if they expected to live in freedom and enjoy liberty, they must move away. When grandfather was arrested, Bishop Johnson disfellowshipped him from the Church.
Springville had a reputation of having a gang who would secretly kill those who they wanted to get rid of. Several murders were committed. Just last year, the remains of a woman was dug up in front of my home in the road. It was the remains of someone of modern times. The shoes were in tact, the combs from the hair and other things were evidence that a shallow grave had been dug to hide a body. It was said that men and women disappeared and no trace of them was ever found.
There are traditions that when strangers came to Springville in early days, the Bishop would look them over; and if they did not suit him, they were sent on. If they did not go, it was made very miserable for them. Under these conditions of fear and anxiety; a group packed up and left Springville and landed in Fayette and Gunnison. Our grandparents were among them. When they landed in Fayette, it was noon in the early summer of 1860. The stream which runs from the spring had no bridge; and it was rather muddy to cross and several got stuck.
When grandmother saw the grass meadow west of Fayette, she made up her mind that that was where to settle. There they did settle. Because of Indians, it was necessary for them to move back and forth to Gunnison. Grandfather made a treaty with San Pitch, the chief of the Indians, who owned the valley of Fayette; and he paid him an ox for the valley.
When the Black Hawk Indian trouble began, grandfather and his three sons were enlisted in the guard and served as soldiers during the war. They saw action in Salina Canyon and Grass Valley. At Grass Valley, Uncle John and grandfather were in a battle with the Indians. They saw the Indians camped west of the valley on a cedar ill. These Indians had stolen cattle and killed some people, so the soldiers attacked. Uncle John was in the attacking squad. He tells of helping to take a squaw prisoner; but she would scratch and bite, so it was necessary to kill her, which some of the soldiers did.
In this battle, grandfather was one of the lookouts and was posted in the open with a riding horse. He saw an Indian who had escaped from the battle and was running south. He chased and tried to capture him. But the Indian outran the horse and hid in the willows. While crossing the creek, grandfather's horse mired, and the chase was abandoned.
After thirty years of being driven, mobbed, abused by the people of Springville,
and having Indian trouble, our grandparents were able to build a home
and settle down in peace and enjoy life.
In faith and obedience, they made the division and others were invited
to settle here. One day while they were eating dinner, the stream increased
until it flowed over the banks, and there was plenty of water.
Joseph Bartholomew and his wife, Polly Benson, associated with Joseph Smith and were firm in their testimony that he was a Prophet. After this family moved to Sanpete County, they found their old friend Orson Hyde. He was with our grandparents through all their troubles, and were especially closely associated at Winter Quarters, Iowa. They came to Utah about the same time as Orson Hyde with his family.
Orson Hyde had our grandfather reinstated in the Church. Some time after grandfather had built his rock house in Fayette, it was considered the best home in town. Bishop Johnson who had mistreated grandfather had a wife in Gunnison and was returning from there to Springville when night overtook him in Fayette. He inquired for a place to stop and was directed to Bartholomews. It was dark, the boys put up his team, and when he came to the house and found himself in the presence of Joseph Bartholomew, he was very much embarrassed. Grandfather treated him nicely, gave him a meal and a good bed. But he hung his head and could not look grandfather in the face.
Grandfather said he had done nothing, and that his conscience was free and clear. He was true and faithful to the Church and Gospel to the end. So also was grandmother; and they have gone on to their reward.
We, as the descendants of this wonderful couple, have our mission. We must cherish their memory and carry on the work they began. We can do no better that to live to the ideals they embraced and stay firm to the cause. They suffered, went through more than tongue or pen can tell so that we might have a home from which we would not be driven
Grandfather spent months in assisting to build the St. George Temple and Manti Temple. He did much temple work in both these temples for his dead. It is our job to carry on with this work. I heard grandfather give his views of this and the great work of eternity. He said we must be linked up with Adam in this work and our work was to go forward in an eternity without end. He said that mortal man could not comprehend the great things which lay in the future.