Memories of the Children of John Bartholomew about Their Father

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John Bartholomew Family - Reunion 1956

We, the brother and sisters of the family of John Bartholomew, have met here in Gunnison, on our sister Julia's birthday anniversary. We have met this night to record some of the history of our father, John Bartholomew.

Father, one lovely day, in Mackinaw, Illinois, on September 11th 1845 was born to Polly B. Bartholomew, a very small mite of a baby boy. Very small, so small he could not be dressed. With a raison on his navel and a cloth, very small all scorched light brown on his little bottom, and a little scorched flour sprinkled lightly over his wee body. He was rolled in cotton and placed on a pillow. He was watched by his anxious mother. He was named John. As he grew older, in the year of September 1852, he left Illinois with his parents and came to Utah. They were called to se
ttle in Fayette, where his father ran a store. Father and his brothers, logged, hunted and farmed together. Father grew tall and was very nice looking. He had dark eyes and dark hair.

In October the 8th 1868, he married Eliza R. Metcalf. They built a little log house on the corner where the old home still stands. As their family grew, the rock house was built which still stands. It was a very lovely home. We lived on the simplest things of life and were very healthy. We had a good clean home. In July the 7th, of 1877, he was set apart as bishop of Fayette and was faithful to his calling. He was never late for his appointments and never liked others to come late. When we were young, he would read to us from the Bible, which didn't seem at the time, too important. Mary and I used to go with Father to the farm and herd the birds from the grain fields, which at that time was very necessary. We all sang in the choir and helped in any way we could in his calling.

Down through the years he suffered with rheumatics until he became lame in his knees. He loved to dance and attend the ward parties and loved to tease Sarah Foss. I was left often with father while Mother was away with the sick. I would walk to the meadows and let down the bars to bring home the cows. On one occasion it had rained hard and the trail was very soft and slushy. Father was going to drive one cow around the corral. He slipped and fell face first in the soft mud. I laughed and he didn't like that. He had a good even disposition and Mother played a big part in the success of his life and his calling. She was wonderful to everyone and she did a lot for the people of Fayette. It would have been wonderful for us to have seen our Father with his whiskers off. He was so nice looking. His movements were slow, while Mother was just as fast as one could possibly be and made very move count. They were a lovely couple and Mother was so much in love with Father. When they were older, and Father would be going away for the day, they would play and try to get each other's last touch.

In the year of 1909, Fayette gave a party in Father's honor and presented him with a gold watch and a cane. At that time, he had been serving as bishop of the Fayette ward for 36 years. The excitement made him very sick and he had a bad heart attack. He loved to fish and did much fishing in the Sevier River. He made many trips to Fish Lake and enjoyed it. He was fond of the Indians and could speak their language in a small way, just enough to be understood. He always raised a good garden and was handy at fixing things around the home. The last years of his life, he always helped with the washing, which was wonderful for mother and helpful.

Father loved home dramatics and wasn't bad at playing on the stage himself. He put on some plays that were really good. Ted, Jack, and Jill Bede, and Eliza Jane and I don't remember all that were in the plays. Father was Fat Sides or Jack-in-the-box. I still have the pretty little buttons that trimmed his suit. They did their rehearsing at our home and that was quite exciting for us kiddies. We all enjoyed music and in the evening we would listen to Will Mellor play his violin and Frank Gee was one of the very first to have a record player and they shared it with everyone. Father loved the violin and harmonica music the best of all I believe.

This is the 9th day of November 1956. In our young lives, we remember our Father as one who was full of fun and loved to take trips. He always took two each year. The first one was to Fish Lake. As soon as the first crop of hay was up, it was time then to take our trip. He was a great lover of nature. He knew all the trees; he knew all the birds, their habits, and the time they left for the south, the time they came back in the spring. On our trips to Fish Lake, he walked almost the entire way. He loved to observe the rocks, the trees, and everything that was about. When we went up there, we knew that we would have to camp. It always rained. So we didn't have much shelter, but there was one old saw mill at the time, that had been partly torn down, but anyway it was a little shelter from the rain. And when it did sometimes we could camp in there. Otherwise we had to make beds in one wagon box and some had to sleep under the wagon to be protected. I remember one time it rained, it just poured. It came just about the time when we had our dinner half-cooked. But anyway we had to get by with some things that were not as well done, as they should, but we managed and we sure enjoyed these trips. The fish at that time of the year that we went up there were the time of spawning. They'd run up Twin Creeks through the night and then in the morning they would come down. There were no laws to prohibit anyone from getting just all they wanted. The large fish would run down there, and the men would be in the fish wade, in they'd come and they'd hit them with clubs and throw them out on the banks so we always ad all we could use - none to waste, but all we could use. The next trip was to go up Twelve Mile. We surely looked forward to these trips. It was a vacation for everyone.

I think of my Father's and Mother's lives. Mother came across the ocean when she was six years old in 1851 with her parents. When I was six years old, I went to Juab with my Father in a wagon drawn by horses. Juab was a long way from Fayette where we lived, but was the nearest Railroad station. We went to Juab to get some new furniture, which my Father had sent for. He gave me a celluloid jewelry box, red inside, and black outside with a lid, which fit tight. I shall never forget that because I prized it so. I took good care of it until I got married and left home, which I took with me. He also took his family in the wagon, to gather to pick serviceberries and other kinds of berries, such as Buffalo berries down at the Sevier River. I well remember how he would read the Bible to us, although I did not understand it much, and how one time, my sister Mary and I got the giggles. He sent me outdoors until I could stop laughing, but just as soon as I stepped in the room and saw Mary, I burst out tittering again.

Ephraim City was the headquarters of the stake, and he took us with him to conference in a wagon while he had to stay overnight. We always put up at the tithing yard, and President Knute Peterson and his good wife took us in. And there we stayed to conference. I can never remember when my father was not a bishop. He was bishop all my life. His farm where he raised hay, grain and fruit, was seven miles north of Fayette, and when I was large enough I drove the team and wagon from his farm to Fayette. His father, Joseph Bartholomew, kept a small store in Fayette. He was a road supervisor, but he never drove an automobile, but he did get to ride in one, and did see some just before he passed away. He [father] was very obedient to his callings. His meeting he never neglected. He fasted from sun to sundown on the fast day, and I never heard him profane in all my life, even to say "damn."

When my husband asked him finally, he really took his time to answer, for he was very slow in speech. He always measured his words and spoke nothing to hurt any person. In September of 1899, my Father took a few household furnishings, bedding, cooking utensils in the wagon, and took me and my brother Joseph, just older than I, to Provo to put us in the Brigham Young Academy. He found an upstairs in a small adobe house, just across the street from the old college building, which still stands. The house we stayed in, we rented from Ernest Partridge, who was a music teacher at the Academy. I and my brother kept house and went to school for two years.

I married into this family Bartholomew, and I am giving a statement from my husband concerning a happening in his life with his father. This is as follows.
"I and my younger brother went with our father to the canyon to get logs to be sawed into lumber. It was a long day, and almost dark, when we reached our destination. Father had previously been there and he knew just where to go. We soon got a campfire going. Wood was plentiful, so my brother and I had a large pile gathered. We had something to eat, horses hobbled out, Father had gathered some pine bows for the beds and asked a prayer. We were soon in bed and fast asleep. About 12 o'clock the wind started to blow very hard. Father said, 'and in the midst of his slumbers someone raised him by the arm and told him to move quickly as there was a large tree about to fall on us. Father hurried, grabbed us boys, and ran some distance, and then rolled the bedding up and brought that, and rushed back and got the grub box and other camping things. And as soon as everything was out of danger, down came a huge dry log, right across the pine bows where we were in peaceful slumber a short time before. It would have been sure death to all of us if we had not moved. Father often related this circumstance to show the power of prayer. Father never neglected his prayer, no matter where he happened to be.

Will Peterson:
On this date of November 9th, 1956, I have met here with the Bartholomew family, as being one of them, in this kind of a reunion. And I am grateful for the opportunity of being here. Forty-eight ears ago last September, I came over here into San Pete County, just as a young man from another county, and assumed the responsibility of the principalship of one of their district schools. I worked in this county for a period of two or three years, and I had not been in this community of a little town, by the name of Fayette, but a very short time, until I met the girl that I considered was the grandest girl in all the world. I kept company with that young lady that winter, but in the spring of the year, before school closed, I rigged up courage enough to ask her if she would marry me. I didn't get an answer the day I asked her, but I got my answer about a week later, and this was the answer that I received. She said, "Yes, I'll marry you under one condition, and that is that we be married in the temple." This young lady was the youngest daughter of John Bartholomew, who has been the subject of this meeting here tonight. I am grateful for the privilege of being in that family, because they - I consider them one of the finest families that I ever knew. I am grateful for the companionship of his youngest daughter. She has been an instrument of great help to me in my past life. And I remember various- as I look back over my past life, many a day and many a night have I come home from my farm tired, with my mind fully made up that I was going to take a shower or a bath and get a little supper and drop into bed, and when I'd come into my home, that companion of mine has said to me, "Aren't you going to priesthood meeting tonight? I know you're tired, but I'll help you get ready." And I can say it in all sincerity, that I have had credit of being in my priesthood meeting of a good many times in my life, when I wouldn't have had, had it not been for the encouragement and the support and the backing that I have had from my home by that wonderful girl, who is the youngest daughter of the great man which we have been celebrating here tonight, Brother John Bartholomew.

I am the last to come into the Bartholomew family, that is Grandpa John's family. I was preceded in marriage to Henry by Ireta Rallison. She has two sons, Homer and John, who are very fine men at this time and we are grateful for them and for the accomplishments that they have achieved in their lives. John is living in the old home that was built by John Bartholomew over 80 years ago. We didn't like to leave that home until John said that he would live in it. When we left, it has never been vacated for all those years. Then John remodeled this home. In the South room upstairs President Wilford Woodruff was sleeping when the runner came from the station at Juab to stop Brother Woodruff because President John Taylor had passed away. And Brother Woodruff was said to come back to Salt Lake. That home has been very dear to the John Bartholomew family. It stands today, a monument to to all this family, for Grandpa wanted to hurry up and get it finished before Sarah was born. Roxie and John were born in the little log house.

I'd like to say a word about aunt Roxie tonight, because I know how she would enjoy the affair. She was living with Henry when Henry and I were married, and she lived with us for seven years, and she told me so many of the wonderful histories and incidents in the family, and the love and the joys that this good family have had. She had one of the most wonderful spirits about her, always to do good and to keep the commandments of the Lord, as she understood them, and to do good to everyone. She had a kind word for everyone. She was certainly a dear to me and to my children. When we brought Ross to her that night in September of 1948, she held out her arms and took him and she said, "Oh, he brings all the love of heaven with him." That was such a wonderful greeting to him. When she was with me, all the time before Lee was born, and she took care of me and tended me like my own mother, because I was in bed most of the time before Lee was born. Then when we went to the hospital in Provo, Aunt Roxie went with me. I shall always be grateful for that dear friendship that she showed to me. Henry was the youngest in the family of the eleven children, and someone has said this night that Grandpa was slow in his movements. Henry was just slow in asking the girls to marry him. He was 29 when he asked Ireta, and then after her death, it took him 13 years to ask me. When Henry married Ireta, he showed her a picture of his father. When Henry said, "That's a picture of my father." And she said, "I had seen him in my dreams." I think that was quite a satisfaction to her to know that she truly belonged to his family. And it has always been a source of satisfaction to me.

I'm the youngest one of this family and the only brother living. I am grateful for the association of my good sisters here today, and I hope that this occasion can happen again before too long. As I was the youngest of the family, my father took me with him to the canyons, to the fishing trips, and to the hunting trips, and wherever he went, he took me. And I think I got a lot of good valuable training from him by his giving me his experiences all through my early life. I was quite happy to have him for my father. I believe that he gave to me some of my most valuable and inspirational experiences that I've learned from anybody. I think too, that when I was first ordained to the priesthood, he was of course the bishop and he took me when I was still a deacon out teaching with him. And from then on, all during my life, my promotion in the priesthood he took me with him to do many of the things in the church. He was one, as has been stated before, was always prompt in doing the things that were required of him. He used to go to Manti, when we belonged to the Manti Stake, the South Sanpete Stake. He would go to his priesthood meetings, go early in the morning, take a lantern and go in the sleigh in the wintertime, when it was so cold that his whiskers would be just covered with icicles when he'd get back. But this didn't stop him from going. I think that that was a wonderful experience in my young life. In my early remembrance, when he used to go to the tithing office to take in the grain and the hay and what was paid in for tithing, and then he would go again to sell it out. It made double work for him, and I used to say to him, "Why don't you get rid of this Bishop job." He said tome, "I never called myself to be the Bishop and it isn't my privilege to call myself not to be." And that was another experience that I had that was very good.

Another thing that I remember him saying when one of the members of the ward was having difficulty and wanted to quit, He said, "Never quite the fight when the battles on." That was another statement that he made that was always impressive to me because there's been times in my life when I've felt that I should quit when the going got a little hard. I've felt like that experience that he gave to me was worth everything. I am very grateful that I had John Bartholomew for my father and Eliza Metcalf Bartholomew for my mother. And I am grateful for the sisters that I have that are living, and my dear sister Roxie who lived with me for 20 years. I am most grateful for her experience with me. I think that I've said plenty tonight, and I ask the Lord to bless us all. This is Henry Bartholomew on the 9th of November 1956.


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