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Biographies
     A B C D E F G H J K L M N P R S T W Y
Baird, Eliza 1860-1941
Bates, Ethel Dora 1910-2008
Bates, Thomas Richard 1884-1969
Bird, Eliza Jane 1877-
Bodily, Letha 1916-2001
Brown, William Moroni 1918-2000
Burkett, Eleanor 1815-1905
Burton, Hubert Criddle 1924-2000
Buss, Walter Richard 1905-2000
Master Biography (1899-1995)
Heber C Taylor (1860-1906) & Eliza Baird (1860-1941)

Heber “C” was the third child born to the union of Joseph Taylor and Hannah Mariah Harris. His birth on 15 April 1860 in Harrisville (now Farr West) occurred during the earliest years of the settlement of western Harrisville, so his was a real pioneer family. Hardships were plentiful and luxuries rare.

One incident told of Heber’s growing up years helps one understand his sensitive, shy nature as a man: Providing the clothing for her children was difficult for Hannah Mariah, who had become seriously ill from a series of strokes, when Heber was only six years old. She’d made a suit for Heber from unbleached muslin (the only material she could afford), and the boy wore it very reluctantly to church. Finally, one Sunday Heber could not endure the thought of entering the meeting house one more time in that suit, so he jumped from the buckboard and ran home. (He was not missed until the family arrived at church.

Heber was raised on a typical pioneer diet of potatoes, corn meal mush, corn bread, pork and dried pumpkin, along with the milk, butter and cheese that the family cow provided. Greens in the spring and sego roots added some variety, and the family garden yielded vegetables which were eaten in season and pitted, dried or put down in salt brine for winter use.

As the third son of Hannah Mariah’s nine children, Heber had a very busy life, filled with responsibility, even as a child. He was baptized 14 June 1868 at age seven years and two months (the same day that his brother James was baptized at age 10 years and 10 months).

On 8 March 1869 the first Union Pacific engine came steaming into Ogden on its way to Promontory! A brass band welcomed the “Iron Monster,” a parade was hastily organized and speakers promised great things for the future of Weber County. The entire populace for miles around gathered to witness the occasion. The engineer blew the whistle and yanked a steam valve, yelling, “I’m going to turn her around now!” What a scramble for safety followed! Many ran through the nearby slough to escape, thus ruining their Sunday finery. Some children, it was told, were not found until evening!

In 1847 it had taken 80 to 100 days to travel from Iowa to Utah; handcarts had made it in about 90 days, then stage coaches ran the distance in only 14 days and the pony express had cut the time to six days. Now, MIRACLE OF MIRACLES the train made the entire trip in only 36 hours!

In his home town Heber had seen important things being done, too. His brother-in-law Daniel B. Rawson had manufactured the first chair and the first spinning wheel to be made in Weber County. A carpenter by trade, Daniel had built a shop on the Chauncey West farm and equipped it with a turning lathe and blacksmith tools. He also built coffins for Weber County citizens and his wife carefully lined them.

When Heber was 15 years old, the family suffered a great sorrow in the death of Heber’s next younger brother, Hyrum. Heber’s loss was very severe, for Hyrum was just 17 months younger than he. The two had been close companions. Heber had lost an 11-month old brother Joseph and a baby sister Esther, but Hyrum was closer to him than anyone else on earth.

On 28 May 1881 at 6 P.M. Heber’s dear mother passed away from a paralytic stroke. She had bravely endured 15 long years as a semi-invalid and was only 45 years of age at her death. She had given birth to four of her nine children after being stricken at age 30 with her serious illness.

Heber, having been one of the older children in the family, had learned a lot about responsibility, hard work and compassion. He developed into a hard working, kind hearted and mellow man. He refused to quarrel with anyone. His wife later said of him, “If ever anyone sought an argument with Heber, he would just walk away whistling.” She also recalled that he always wore a pleasant smile.

On 3 Jan 1883 Heber C. married Eliza Baird in Harrisville, Utah. (They were endowed and sealed in the Logan Temple 24 June 1885. This temple was very dear to Eliza, because during its construction when funds had run out and workmen were about to be discharged, the sisters from Weber County Relief Societies raised over $550 so the work could be continued. Eliza and other ladies in her family were proud that they had been able to help financially.)

Eliza Baird was born 7 May 1860 at Bingham’s Fort, Weber County, Utah. When she was only three years old, the name of her birthplace was changed to Lynne after a town in Scotland. Later the area was absorbed into the corporate bounds of Ogden City in the area called Five Points.

Eliza once recalled that as a little girl, while her father was the presiding elder of the Lynne Branch, Brigham Young stayed at the Baird home while attending conference at Lynne. She remembered sitting on Brigham Young’s knee while he and her father were engaged in conversation.

Eliza was the second child of Robert and Jane Hadley Baird, his second wife. She was also the third eldest daughter in a large family of 22 children. Needless to say, Eliza learned about responsibility, service, and sharing in their humble, pioneer home.

When Heber and Eliza were 14 years old, the United Order, one of the basic ideals of Mormonism (which provides equality in all things temporal and spiritual, and in which everyone works and receives goods to meet his needs) was established in Weber County. The order was established in the Lynne Branch in May 1874.) At the time the entire nation was suffering economic depression. While the program did not last long in Utah, it was certainly a memorable experience for Heber and Eliza.

Eliza recalled from her childhood, “We were always so excited to awake Christmas morning to find a few pieces of molasses candy as our only gift. How I fondled them and ate them as slowly as I could to make my joy last!” Eliza then explained that syrups, sugar and spices were very scarce and very expensive, so they were carefully saved for expectant mothers to satisfy their cravings.

Eliza also reminisced, “We each got a pair of shoemaker shoes to wear in the winter, but we were only allowed to wear them to church in spring and summer. I remember walking to church barefoot, carrying my shoes to save them wear, and sitting beside the road to put on my stockings and shoes as I came in close distance of the meetinghouse.”

Eliza was only 15 years old when her dear father passed away. His health had been poor for several years. In fact she’d said that her father had never enjoyed his former robust health after his 2 migrations across the plains. (He had almost starved to death on the second trip, surviving on thistle roots alone for some time.)

After her father’s death, she was required to go out to work for her “board and keep.” She went to live with Brother and Sister Erastus Bingham, where she was paid, in addition to her board and room, $1.00 per month! For this meager wage, Eliza cooked, sewed, washed dishes, did the laundry and ironed the clothes, milked the family cow and did other outside chores. When she finally sat down in the evening, weary to the point of exhaustion, Sister Bingham would ask, “Eliza, would you mind embroidering on that pair of pillow slips while you’re resting?”

Eliza also remembered that among the pioneer women of Weber County who rendered the greatest service was Martha Ann Lewis Bingham, midwife. She charged only $3 for attending a birth, but she often was not paid at all or was just paid in farm products. Her patients were so very poor. (Often midwives were called to that position by local church authorities.)

President Willard Richards, a “Thompsonian” doctor, urged those caring for the sick in Utah to use herbs, cold and hot packs, and steam baths to treat both illnesses and injuries. In line with this, Eliza remembered helping Sister Bingham gather and dry herbs in the summer for year-round use. Also, she recalled how Sister Bingham would brew the herbs into fragrant teas and poultices to relieve suffering saints.

Sister Bingham was kept very busy in the fast-growing community. She often took Eliza with her to make sick calls, for she did not like to travel in the buggy alone during stormy weather or after dark. The dusty streets in Ogden (no paving was started until 1889) became a sea of mud during wet weather. Sometimes buggies would mire hub-deep, when they were impossible to move. Eliza recalled some particularly trying times when a smallpox epidemic hit Ogden in 1876 and a terrible diphtheria epidemic took many lives in 1880.

The first hospital between 1875 and 1882 in Ogden was located in a hotel on 25th and Grant. Some of the hotel rooms were used for emergencies with Dr. H. J. Powers being the only physician. In 1882 a six-room hospital was built as a quarantine house for smallpox patients. The population of Weber County had grown to 6,000 by that time, so citizens were fortunate to have such dedicated midwives as Sister Bingham to not only deliver babies, but to provide medical help as well.

After Eliza announced her plans to be married, Sister Bingham had enthusiastically joined in an effort to embroider linens, make quilts and sew a trousseau for her young co-worker.

Following their marriage in Harrisville on 6 Jan 1883, Heber and Eliza decided to homestead in southeastern Idaho on Cub River ( so named because of many bears there). At the time Elder John Poole had been assigned by the Church authorities to oversee LDS colonization in southern Idaho. Most of the colonists at that time had come from Weber County, so the newlyweds were among friends and some relatives. (Oneida County at that time included southeastern Idaho from Utah to the Montana border, and according to the 1880 census included only about 7,000 people.)

The Taylors had been influenced to settle in this new country by the coming of the railroad into southern Idaho in 1879, which led to the federal government’s passing the Homestead Act, offering 160 acres of land free to any citizen of legal age who would live on the land for five years and improve it.

This was also a period of great commotion in Idaho and in Utah, where the polygamy issue caused such a great stir. In Utah nearly 1,000 men and women had been imprisoned under the Edmunds law of 1882 and under the Edmunds Tucker law of 1887. Church property had been seized by the federal government, so the very existence of the Church was seriously threatened. In Idaho, also, opposition to Mormons as more and more of them came to take advantage of the Homestead Act. Since Mormons were known to vote as a solid block for their own people, others sought ways to eliminate all Mormons from the political scene in Idaho.

Can you imagine how heartsick Heber and Eliza must have been, remembering how their parents had been driven from their homes in Illinois, suffering such great trials in migrating to the Rocky Mountains where they could enjoy freedom of religion, and now the persecution had merely followed them! Just 37 years after leaving Nauvoo, the pioneers’ children were being harassed and all the polygamous families already established before the Edmunds Law was passed were ruthlessly persecuted through over-zealous enforcement of the law.

In Idaho Heber and Eliza saw dreadful things happening. The Anti-Mormon Test Oath of 1885 was designed to destroy Mormon political strength in the communities by disfranchising all Mormons. Under this Test Oath, passed by the Idaho Legislature, all Mormons holding public office in Idaho when the test Oath became law, were expelled from office.

Even though this political upheaval had been a matter of grave concern, Heber and Eliza determined to establish their first home in the Dub River wilderness northeast of Preston, Idaho.

Heber built their home of the simple materials that God had provided for them. The one-room home was made of logs, laid up and chinked with mud and sod. It had a dirt floor and a roof made of slabs and branches covered with sod. That the roof was not waterproof is attested by an extract from Heber and Eliza’s son James’ life story, as follows: “I was born 2 Feb 1898 at Mapleton, Oneida, Idaho....I have been told by my eldest sister Zina that a storm was in progress the day that I was born, and that the cabin roof was leaking through the dirt and slabs, so they had to place pans on my mother’s bed to catch the water.”

The cabin had only one door and two small windows in order to keep out dirt and cold. The fireplace was the center of activity, for here food was cooked and cozy warmth and light were available. The cupboards were boxes stacked and covered by cloth curtains; log benches furnished seating room at the rough table. The room had only one bed, which was built by setting upright posts in the dirt floor and joining them to the cabin wall with horizontal poles that were fastened to the posts. On this framework rope was laced back and forth from poles to wall to form the bed spring. Then the tick (mattress) was filled with bunch grass, cut with a scythe and dried in the warm sun, to make a fine, soft bed. At night the cabin was lighted by the cheerful fire on the hearth and by a tallow dip.

Industrious from the beginning, honest in their relationships with others, and domestic in their humble habits, Heber C. And Eliza found comfort and peace, along with great hopes for the future, in their wilderness home.

The winter of 1886-87 was extremely cold, with lots of snow, making it hard for man and for livestock. The homesteaders suffered from the extreme cold and loss of considerable livestock.

These wilderness pioneers did little shopping in their isolated situation, but they certainly looked forward to the visit of the “Irish Peddler” from Ogden, Utah, who traveled through their area periodically. His visits were essential, for he brought such items as needles, pins, thread, dye, cloth, lace, sugar, soda, spices, ails, bolts, barbed wire and farm tools. He often exchanged goods for food and lodging for himself and horses for the night.

By 1889 eleven railroads had come to Idaho, so purchasing life’s necessities was becoming easier. New towns sprang up along the railroads, so homesteaders could “go to town” to make their purchases.

In 1888 a ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was organized in the area where Heber and Eliza had settled (now called Mapleton). Heber C. Was sustained as a counselor to Bishop Edward Perkins, and Eliza became a counselor in the Relief Society presidency.

Disease epidemics presented especially difficult problems for these wilderness pioneers. When one came in contact with an infected visitor, the disease spread through the community like wildfire. Living so far from medical help presented another major hurdle, making it necessary to do their own doctoring. In 1892 meningitis struck Heber and Eliza’s eldest son Hyrum at age 9 years. Eliza later remembered that she lived through this trying period with a constant prayer on her lips, secure in her faith that their little son would recover and not be afflicted for life as was so often the case with children afflicted with the terrible disease. Hyrum did recover after a very lengthy, trying illness.

During the early years of the Taylors’ marriage, Heber’s brothers Lamoni and Franklin lived nearby, for they, too, had homesteaded at Cub River. When Lamoni was called to serve a mission for the Church, Heber accepted the added responsibility of supporting this older brother’s family during his absence.

Heber loved fine animals, and he became a fine judge of quality in both horses and cattle, so he began to buy, sell and trace livestock. His success in this enterprise motivated him to move his family to a more promising area. He sold the Mapleton homestead to a Mr. Neff and moved his family to Oxford, Idaho. However, the anti-Mormon attitude which developed there after 1874 contributed to Heber and Eliza’s decision to take their family into the wilderness and homestead once more at Swan Lake north of Oxford.

On his new homestead, Heber built another log cabin similar to the Mapleton cabin, but considerably larger. This home had a slab floor, which Eliza proudly scrubbed each day with strong lye soap. The family cooked and ate in one end of the room and slept in the other. The parents had a bed, but the children slept in bed rolls on the floor.

Life in their new home was not always a “bed of roses.” Eliza had a great fear at night when the children would move or roll over in their sleep and she would hear the rattlesnakes buzzing under the floor. One night the sound was unusually near, making Eliza aware that a rattler had found its way into the cabin with the sleeping family. She awakened Heber, who reasoned that since the only light available was the tallow dip (a braided rag placed in a bowl of melted fat), which gave at best only a very dim light, they would do best to await daylight to hunt for the intruder. Therefore, the frightened father hurriedly gathered their children into the bed, where the family sat huddled together until it was light enough for Heber to catch and kill the unwelcome guest.

At Swan Lake the farm was planted to crops on alternate years, summer fallowing the land the other years. One year their farm produced an exceptionally heavy yield of grain. With the header crew moving right along (the big header box being drawn by 12 fine horses) and the thresher crew working at full steam, Heber was suddenly informed, “Pa! All three granaries are filled with as much grain as they’ll hold, and we’ve still got a third of the crop to cut! What’ll we do?”

Heber dashed to the house and announced to Eliza and the girls, who were busily preparing food for the harvesting crew, that everything must be moved from the house so the surplus grain could be stored there until it could be hauled to market.

Hurriedly, Heber and Eliza and the girls set up tents and moved everything from the house to make room for their precious crop. Later the grain would be hauled one wagon load at a time to the distant market. This is certainly one example of ideal understanding and cooperation in a pioneer family.

In 1900 Mr. Neff, who had not finished paying for the Mapleton homestead, died. Heber had to reclaim the land, so he took Elmer, age 12, and Louella, age 10, to help him on that farm. Elmer did a man’s work and Luella kept house and prepared meals for the men.

James wrote in his life story, “My parents were very hard-working people. Father always kept about 40 head of milk cows and every member of the family helped to milk them. In fact I believe that I was taught to milk a cow before I even learned to talk.”

James also recalled that he and his sister Florence were given the task of herding hogs to feed along the creek bed. These tots sometimes forgot their responsibility while searching for wild berries to eat.

When they suddenly realized that the hogs were nowhere to be seen, they’d run crying to the hired man, who would be working in the field, and they would plead with him to help them find the hogs.

One day Heber was on the scene during such an occasion. He immediately chastised his wayward hog tenders, reminding them that the hired man had his work to do, and Flossie and Jim had theirs, and in the future they had best pay better attention to the hogs and less to looking for berries.

Later in her life Florence recalled that her father had never, ever punished her. “He didn’t have to punish us,” she said. “Father’s look told us that he meant business and we’d better do as we were told.”

James wrote in his life story, “Father punished me only once. I was about 6 years old and was milking a cow in the barn. She kept switching her tail in my face. It finally made me so mad that I blurted out, “Stop that! You d...old cow!” Father walked over to me and calmly slapped my mouth, saying, “Young man, don’t ever speak like that again. Don’t you know that your sisters are present?” James said that he had remembered the experience, not because the slap itself had hurt, but because his dear, gentle father had administered it. That fact had almost broken his little boy’s heart.

Heber’s health began to fail in the latter part of 1900. Finally he was forced to leave his Idaho property. Selling out to a Mr. Woolley, Heber returned with his family to Farr West where he had been born. Joseph, Heber’s father, had died 11 August 1900 and his surviving wife, Jane Lake Taylor, had moved to Wyoming to live with a daughter. Now Heber moved his family into the old Joseph Taylor homestead. In the old home were three small rooms, parlor, kitchen and bedroom. (Caroline Mattson Taylor, fourth wife of Joseph Taylor, had been comfortable there, for she had no children.) Now Heber’s boys, all except the baby, Ezra, slept in the adobe house to the south where Jane Lake Taylor had lived.

One day a hobo wandered down the old dirt road, stopping at Heber’s gate to inquire if there might be some odd jobs the man could do to earn some food. Heber asked the man what kind of work he did and was told, “I’m a right good brick layer, but I’ll do any kind of work.” Heber arranged for the man to build a brick room onto the family dwelling, also to eat with the family and sleep in the hay loft. The new room became Heber and Eliza’s bedroom (and the room where she would pass away 40 years later.)

In 1902 Dr. Ezra Rich discovered that Heber’s illness was cancer of the stomach. Twice he operated on Heber in his own parlor on an operating table made of heavy planks covered with clean, white bed sheets (not an uncommon practice in that era). Eliza recalled that Dr. Rich had brought his own alcohol-burning lamps, because kerosene lamps not only gave inferior light, but they were also more dangerous in the presence of chloroform.

After his surgery Heber lay for days with tubes draining the awful infection from his body, enduring untold agony. He did regain enough strength to be up and about again. After the second operation, only one-third of Heber’s stomach remained. His extreme agony in this situation could not be shielded from his family, so they suffered great sorrow along with him.

On 28 August 1904 Heber’s youngest sister, Mariah Eveline Taylor Rose, passed away at age 29, leaving her young husband with four little children, ages 9, 6, 4 and six months. The ailing Heber and Eliza, in spite of their own serious plight, took six-month old Heber Rose to live with them. The boy remained with the family for four years until his father remarried.

On the morning of 12 November 1906 Heber told his wife that he was going to go to Ogden to see Dr. Rich and ask him to operate again to see if they could relieve the pain. Heber was very ill on that bleak November morning as he went to the barn, hitched up his team to the white top buggy and set out for Ogden alone.

At home again Heber unhitched the team, watered and fed them, then made his way to the house to report to Eliza. Dr. Rich had informed Heber that nothing more could be done for him.

After supper that evening Heber retired to his bed from which he never again arose. He died exactly one week later, 19 Nov. 1906 at 9 P.M.

In those days it was not uncommon for the body of the deceased to be prepared for burial at home. Eliza spent all night following her husband’s death and the next three days at her old treadle sewing making, making the burial robes for her beloved husband. Ironically, she made them from the only material she could afford, unbleached muslin, the material that Heber had worn so reluctantly to church as a boy.

Heber left $1,000 life insurance, which seemed a significant figure in those days, but it had all been eaten up by medical expenses from his long illness and by costs of burial in the Ogden City Cemetery.

Eliza was widowed at age 46. Two of her children were married, the other five were still at home, the oldest age 18 and the youngest 5. Then, too, young Heber Rose, who was age 2, seemed like her own little boy.

Eliza recalled in her later years that when Heber had known he would never get well, he had attempted to counsel her concerning their properties and money owed him (he had loaned money to several friends, but had not pressed for repayment because of their poverty). As he tried to explain what she must do to settle these matters after his death, Eliza’s eyes would fill with tears. Heber, who could not bear to see his dear wife weep, would discontinue the conversation. In the years that followed when her family was beset by financial difficulties, Eliza wished so often that she had been able to control her feelings and profit from her husband’s wise counsel.

Just a few days after Heber’s burial, Eliza took the train for Mapleton, where she hoped to collect some money long overdue from the sale of the old homestead. Mr. Woolley informed her that he could not pay anything and that he must let the farm go back to the bank. On her return trip the weary young widow had to leave the train at Utah Hot Springs and walk all the way home, about five miles.

Like many other pioneers, Eliza churned her own butter gathered and cleaned eggs from her flock of hens, and each week made a trip to Ogden, hoping to sell her precious cargo (butter sold for 10 cents a pound). To supplement the family food supply she raised a lovely garden, picked the wild plums and currants that grew on the ditch banks and used the asparagus and rhubarb that grew along the roadsides and elsewhere.

Because of Eliza’s financial struggles, her children had to go to work as soon as they were able. Even doing heavy work for meager pay was a welcomed opportunity for them, such as doing a huge laundry and ironing for a family of 11 for just $1.00.

Eliza and her children also had a few unusual experiences, like the day when two horse thieves were caught on her farm by a posse. The posse of three or four men, who were citizens of the area, all carried guns. In those days anyone caught stealing horses was killed on the spot. All members of the posse would fire simultaneously at the thieves so no man needed to feel that he had fired the fatal shot. The dead thieves were also buried on the spot, so Eliza had two unmarked graves on the southwest corner of her farm.

Eliza lived 35 years after her husband’s demise, finally passing away in Farr West 22 Aug. 1941 at age 81.She too, was buried in the Ogden City Cemetery.

(This biography was written in 1975 by Margaret L. M. Robinson, granddaughter, for the Joseph Taylor Family Association newsletter, “Taylor Talk.” A number of editorial changes were made to achieve brevity or to make the information more complete (Brian L. Taylor).

THE CHILDREN OF HEBER “C” TAYLOR AND ELIZA BAIRD:
1. Hyrum Heber Taylor was born 17 Sep 1883 at Franklin, Oneida, Idaho. He married 26 Oct 1904 in the Salt Lake Temple, Pheba Martin. She was born 27 Mar 1887 in Harrisville, Weber, Utah.
2. Eliza Alzina Taylor was born 16 Feb 1886 at Lynne (now Ogden), Weber, Utah. She married 23 Aug 1903 in Plain City, Weber, Utah, William Thomas Knight. He was born 18 Nov 1881 in Plain City, Weber, Utah.
3. Elmer Baird Taylor was born 12 Oct 1888 at Mapleton, Oneida, Idaho.
4. Louella Jane Taylor was born 30 Mar 1891 in Mapleton, Oneida, Idaho. She married 19 Jun 1912 in the Salt Lake Temple, James William Bodily. He was born 15 Aug 1888 in Fairview, Oneida, Idaho.
5. Florence Mariah Taylor was born 23 Nov 1894 in Mapleton, Oneida, Idaho. She married 4 Feb 1914 in the Logan Temple, Merlin Hyrum England. He was born 17 Dec 1895 in Plain City, Weber, Utah.
6. Son Taylor was born about 1895 in Mapleton, Oneida, Idaho.
7. James Lamoni Taylor was born 2 Feb 1898 in Mapleton, Oneida, Idaho. He married 2 Apr 1919 in the Salt Lake Temple, Sarah Gladys Worthington. She was born 6 Feb 1899 in Eureka, Juab, Utah.
8. Ezra Dewey Taylor was born 3 Jul 1901 in Farr West, Weber, Utah. He married 15 Aug 1923 in Ogden, Weber, Utah, Elida Beerta Dickemore. She was born 1 May 1897 in Ogden, Weber, Utah.

SOURCE: Computer records of the Joseph Taylor Family Association in the possession of Brian L. Taylor, 1924 North 2000 West, Farr West, Utah 84404

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