John Bartholomew History by One of His Sons
Probably by Henry
John Bartholomew was born September 13, 1845, at Mackinaw McLean Co. Illinois to Joseph Bartholomew and Polly Benson.
His mother joined the church in 1832 and his father Joseph Bartholomew in August of 1841. Living so near Nauvoo they passed through all the early church persecutions.
In the year 1852 when he was 7 years old, the family, under the Captain Outhouse Company, came to Utah crossing the plains by ox team and settled in Springville, Utah. There they lived until 1861 when they went to Sanpete Co. settling in what was then called Warm Creek---after some time named Fayette.
This was a farming community and John was successful in securing and farming a large tract of land about seven miles from the town.
The Mellor family went with them when they left Springville and settled in this community too.
John being a good carpenter helped build houses in the town. He also made the coffins in which the deceased people of the village were buried.
He was very public spirited, wanted the community to grow to be outstanding in every respect, and did much to make it so.
John and his father took part in the Black Hawk war, being in several engagements. His father built the first house in Fayette in the spring of 1861.
While in Springville, he being the oldest member of his family, his help was needed to help earn a livelihood, and owing to the fact that school facilities were very meager at this time in all the small towns of Utah, John did not receive much schooling, only a few weeks in mid-winter. But his education went on through the years. He had books that he studied every opportunity he had from his daily labors.
Because of the trouble the Mormons were having with the Indians at this time the people of Fayette had to leave their homes and make temporary homes in the Gunnison Fort, which was five miles to the south.
In the spring of 1862, Fayette was permanently settled and in 1864 the first meetinghouse, a small log building was erected. Then two years later the settlement was again temporarily vacated because of the Black Hawk War. The settlers however soon returned to their homes after spending a few months in the Gunnison Fort.
In those days of slow transportation and limited communication, country people in America lived a more or less lonely and detached life on isolated farms. This however, was not the case in this part of Utah. Here the farmers lived together in closely-knit units surrounded by the acres, which they cultivated. They went out to work on their farms and returned in the evening.
In the beginning it was quite necessary for them to settle close together on the streams, which furnished their water, and because of Indian trouble. Some years the grasshoppers would take most of their crops and the late frosts damaged the fruit.
John had a lot of courage and these unfortunate years he would find ways to supplement the family income. At one time he worked on one of the first railroads built in Utah. Another year he did some freighting to Peniouch, Nevada.
John was appointed presiding elder in 1864 under the direction of the Gunnison Ward.
John married Eliza Roxie Metcalf in the Endowment house in Salt Lake City, October 11, 1868. John built a two-room log house, which was their first home. Soon after he was married he made plans to build a large house. He began to get rocks out from a quarry in the hills east of the village. Three children were born to John and Eliza while they lived in the log house. John had the new home, a two-story rock house; ready to move into before their fourth child was born.
John spent many, many days working on the Manti Temple and had all during the years until it was completed, and through the remainder of his life. Many close friends were his associates in this work. He donated very liberally of flour, potatoes, and other commodities to the workers of both the Manti and the St. George Temples. He took a very active part in the erection of a new rock church house which was dedicated August 3, 1875. When the Sanpete Stake of Zion was organized in July of 1877, he was ordained a High Priest and appointed Bishop of the Fayette Ward.
John and his wife were very hospitable persons. All of the early church authorities, both men and women, who traveled to and from the southern part of the state or who had official duties in that vicinity, were entertained at their home. On one occasion when Orson Hyde was at their home, he blessed and named my oldest brother [John Edward], this was on November 10, 1969. Wilford Woodruff was in this home when he received word of the death of President John Taylor.
The water, used to irrigate this farm John homesteaded, came from a spring in a nearby canyon. The spring was fed by the melting snows. If there was not much snowfall in the winter the water supply was very short in the summer. He planted his grain in the fall for usually the seasonal fall and spring rains were sufficient to ensure a good crop of matured grain.
He was a great student and observer of nature. He knew the birds and their songs without seeing them. He knew the haunts and habits of the wild animals in that locality.
He was a man of no bad habits. His personal standard of living was high and expected his children to live good lives.
He love good music and good books and gave his children all the educational advantages possible. He was a deeply religious man to the end of his days. He was devoted to the church and its leaders.
He was the father of eleven children. Two died in infancy.
He lived to see some changes in travel and communication. The telephone
and telegraph were both in use.
He continued to serve as Bishop of the Fayette Ward until his very sudden
death September 23, 1914, in Fayette, Utah.