Saturday, May 25, 2013


Jane… By Michael R. King

Jane McKechnie Walton
A Woman’s Determination and the Wild West Frontier--1846-1891

Michael brought Jane back from the shadows where was lost and fading away.   Michael never forgot the tales told by a Grandfather.  He was the caretaker of many family possessions.  This took him back to Monticello to look at her grave and see what he could find.  He asked a librarian about Jane and she said, “You’re him and we have been waiting for you”.  He must have found the Charles Walton journal then.  After gathering up many other journals and papers and with a lot of help “Jane was created for the world to see”.

Michael King’s daughter, Whitney married Tyler Cahoon, my grandson

Jane McKechnie, the story begins early on 24 July 1891,   the 24th commemorates the arrival of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley.  Today will be a party.  Not only for the little ones, there will be parades, games, foods and treats set out by friends and neighbors and a dance tonight, at midnight she would be killed. 
Her day begins as she looks though the haze at the Blue Mountains near her home.  The long journeys are finally over, her three children are raised and Monticello is her “final home”.  Life has been hard full of many ordeals and trials but she is happy and contented.
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They were living in grandma’s house in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Until grandma and the Minister told her she had leave the house or give up this new Church.  Earlier Jane's widowed mother had met two missionaries and believed their message.  It was impossible to give it up.
So Jean Tinto Bee McKechnie and her three children, Georgina 4, Jane 3, and baby John walked out the door with all they could carry and never came back.   The night was cold, dark and scary but somewhere in the drizzling rain she did find her missionaries and in time crossed the ocean in a steam-ship, went up the Mississippi and walked the thousand miles to Utah. 
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Now for the rest of the story.
Grandma Janette Bee ashamed of what she had done joined this new Church.  So the entire Bee family grandma, Joann, Richard and Jane left Scotland to join a group of Church sponsored emigrants called the “Forty Ninth Company”.  They sailed for America on a side-wheeled paddle ship with sails called the “North Atlantic” on the 3rd September 1850.  They landed in New Orleans 1st November.  They had some miserable times when the ocean rose up to claim them.   Somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico the steam engine quit and then the wind quit and the sails were useless. As they were sitting disabled a hurricane then came along and blew them farther out to sea.
A day or two later they boarded another paddle-wheeler but it was Fall and the river was low.  After running aground several times the boat left them in ST Lewis 500 miles from their destination.  After the ice-breakup they continued on to Council Bluffs.
In the spring of 1851Grandma Janette with money caught the first train to Salt Lake City, Joanne and Richard soon followed.  Jean and her children had to wait another year when she was able to buy a quality team and wagon.  Captain Thomas Howell frontiersman led the company of one hundred wagons they left 9th June 1852 on their journey.  Georgina 7 and Jane 6 would walk bare-foot the 1100 miles to Salt Lake City.  Little John 2 would ride on the wagon seat. 

Indians seemed to bother the train the farther West they traveled.  During the 1850’s there was little to fear from the Indians in fact they treated the pioneers with kindness. 
The days melted together in a routine of walking, cooking and cleaning.  Georgina’s job was to take care of John; and bare-foot Jane herded the cows. 

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There were injuries, deaths, births and burials but all in all it was a good crossing.  They found great herds of buffalo, heard many stories around the fire and even the great Jim Bridger told his stories.  They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley 2nd September 1852 and were well welcomed to the valley.  It was a trip of almost four months. 

Three days before they arrived in the valley Grandma Janette had married Joseph Dobson.  Later Jean married Ira Stearns Hatch who had many wives. 

In 1856 President Buchanan issued a “Proclamation on the Rebellion in Utah” and sent the United States Army to settle the matter forcibly.  It was a very costly war.  Three wagon trains were burnt to the ground leaving the army without food, the army’s herds of cattle were also taken by the Mormons, in the end it was a comedy of errors. The United States Army afraid of ambush in the canyon was forced to survive the winter in Wyoming living in tents.  The war had many names Mormon War and Buchanan’s Blunder” are the most common.   
 Three months after Jean’s little family entered the Valley Jean Bee McKechnie married Ira Stearns Hatch.  He had many wives who had many wives.  Her new home was in Sessions Settlement later called Bountiful.  The family was well provided for and the children fit in quite well with all the new brothers and sisters.  Jane 11 is remembered as the bare-foot “cow-herder and soon became a very skilled rider of horses.  Jane loved tending cattle out on the range and listening to the coyotes at night. 
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As the United States Army marched into the valley Jane was instructed by her father, Ira to take the cattle 50 miles away until the conflict was settled.  All of Salt Lake City was abandoned as the women and children carried all their belonging and went south out of the Valley.  The men were sent to occupy shooting positions in the narrow confines of Echo Canyon.  The US Army had no idea what to do when fires and so many men showing through to flames, it looked look like tens of thousands of Mormon soldiers were waiting for them.  Further conflict was avoided by an “Amnesty Offer” and a promise to have the Army march through the Valley out to Cedar Valley.
With the dangers over the people returned to their homes to salvage their neglected crops from another plague of grasshoppers. 

Civil War
In 1863 the southern states succeeded from the Union and the Civil War was fought back East.  Now the California Militia, a Northern Army came to replace the Southern Army who back east to fight the north.   
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“The Walton Thresher” before Jane and Charles were married, Charles got a calling from the Church to take a team of mules and wagon back 1100 miles back to Iowa to pick up and bring another group of immigrants to Salt Lake City.  It was harvest time when he got back so he fired up a customized portable thresher that the Walton family brought to Utah in 1851.  It was capable of stripping and cleaning nearly one hundred bushels a day.  It was in great demand, earning them a good deal of money. 19 year old Jane missed him and soon married Charles Eugene Walton 22nd February 1867.  They found a log cabin in Bountiful where all three of their children were born; Charles Eugene Walton born 28 January 1868, Magnolia Francis Walton 1 March 1869 and Leona Jane Walton 19 August 1871. 

In 1863 the southern states succeeded from the Union and the Civil War was fought back East.  Now the California Militia, a Northern Army came to replace the Southern Army who back east to fight the north.  

A second calling in 1872 sent the family north to establish a new town at Ten Mile Creek (later called Woodruff).   so Jane and Charles sold what they could then loaded the rest in a wagon and moved.  It had a lot going for it but the elevation made it a short growing season and it was so cold in the winter.  They built another cabin, cleared the ground and lived there for the next seven years. 

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A 3rd calling came in 1879 to settle the San Juan Valley.  This was Navajo Country where the Paiutes were at war with the Navajo and the “Whites” were not welcome.  This was also a haven for Outlaws.   This was also a dangerous and hazardous trip into the heart of the “Red Rocks” in central Utah.  It would be recorded in pioneer history as the most remarkable of all feats.

Jane and Charles had many questions and problems but the Church would pay for their expenses, crops and property.  They were promised that they would have all the provisions needed to travel to the San Juan and establish a community. 

They left Woodruff the 2nd of October and Salt Lake City on the 17th to meet with the rest of the expedition at Escalante at a place called “Dance Hall Rock”. 

They were headed to place called the “Hole-in the-Rock”.  The local people tried to turn them back as it was a dead end road to nowhere.   But they decided to go anyway.  It was a caravan of wagons, people and livestock that stretched over two miles long traveled the sixty miles turning terrible rock trail into a road.  Wagons broke down, horses went lame and animals starved as there was no feed in the rocks.  Finally they found the hole in a never ending solid rock wall.  When they discovered it was only a three foot gap a mile long overlooking the river.  The first 300 feet was a steep drop off.  It was now late November and it was snowing.  They had plenty of food but no water.  It was cold with little wood.  They couldn’t go back and couldn’t go ahead and they were angry and discouraged.  Near the end of the meeting, Jens Nielsen spoke in his Swedish accent, “We will go on whether we can or not.  If the Saints had plenty of ‘stickie-ta-Gudy’ cannot fail.” Spending Christmas of 1879 overlooking Glen Canyon and the river below, somehow now they had a unified purpose and could go on.

Silas Smith went back to Escalante for blasting powder and found Hyrum and Ben Perkins who were experts from the mines of Wales.  Little ten year old Charley Walton against Jane’s wishes was lowered many times on rope to stuff the crevices with blasting powder when the “Blasters from Wales”  thought they were too heavy to be brought up and down over the cliffs.    

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On the 26th of January they hooked team after team of horses to the first wagon but all refused to start down the chute.  Joe Barton offered his team and off they went with more than 20 men holding the wagon back.  This team brought every wagon down the chute.  He later told them his horses were blind and didn’t know where they were going. 

At the bottom they still had many miles to go and roads to build.  On the 6th of April 1880 they finally trudged to a small valley that would become their home.  They named their new city “Bluff”.  Life was hard they were too far away from any forest to gather the logs for their houses, Church or even corals so they sawed cottonwood trees length- wise in quarters.   Cottonwood trees were very crooked and it was almost impossible to mud up the cracks.  Irrigation ditches had to be dug and dams built.  Then after all that work floods washed the ditches and crops away, they suffered sandstorms, the Indians and outlaws ran off with their livestock.  Their land gave them corn, sugar cane, wheat, oats and barley and they were grateful but they began looking for another place to live. 

Their forth calling came on the 4th March 1888 with twenty other families to the Blue Mountain Mission.  Charley and his son, Charley once again was on the trail to Montezuma where their last summer’s grain was stored someone had taken it. 

The Walton’s sold their house and lot and the family loaded up their belongings and moved to the Mission along with six other families where they established the town of “Monticello”.   

The Walton’s sold their house and lot in Bluff and the family loaded up their belongings and moved to the Mission along with six other families where they established a new town and the Elders called it “Antioch” but name did not sit well with the people.  Charles Jr. in a meeting suggested “Monticello” and was so it  named it. They carved the city into 10 acre lots and twenty acre farming lots outside the city. By the end of April the Walton's were living in their log cabin with a garden growing and a farm with budding fields.   Meeting House was built by August for the Conference.  100 visitors came and attend this four day event. 
Monticello was doing quite well with 320 acres fenced, a 100 acres planted with wheat, oats, barley, corn and Lucerne, with two dairies producing 120 pounds of cheese a day.  A few houses are completed, more being built.  There are some still living in tents and wagon boxes. 

 The Indian tribes became unhappy with the US Government for allowing the White-man to settle tribal land. The Southern Ute Chief, Red Jacket with about 250 braves were occupying Bluff and dancing in the streets.  The Bluff settlement land was devalued to a few cents on the dollar.  Then there was Chief Posey who was at war with other tribes, ranchers and soldiers.  He did not like the Whites living tribal lands.    

Well one day as Jane was out hoeing the garden she met Posey and a few braves.   Posey, said, “Me hungry give me biscuits”.   Waiting desperately for Charles to come home she began stalling.  Posey angrily pulled his Winchester and pointed it at her.  Her Scottish upbringing now unleashed, without thinking swung her hoe with all her might hit him between his eyes and he lay crumpled as if dead at her feet.  Eventually he got up and his warriors road away.   Some of the town’s people praised her courage, others were angry and afraid. 

That fall when Charles was away Posey came back, he put his hat on a stick and poked it through the door and said, “Squaw, me no mad, me want biscuit.”   She pulled the fresh cornbread out of the oven and fed him.  Before riding away he chopped some wood and gave it to her. 
Monticello survived the winter in good shape, the summer had more rain than they wanted, Thanksgiving had passed and Christmas was here.  They were still poor as for giving presents but song and dance made up for them, William Adams danced with his Irish Shillelagh, Emma Hyde did a “Highland Fling”,

Life was lonely, children went to school, Church services were preformed, a few drunken cowboys came to town, Indians came to be fed and it was noticed they were starving and angry as more settlers arrived.  The Church and the settlers pleaded for help but nothing changed. 
In 1890 Charles and Jane attended Conference in Salt Lake City and visited her family in Bountiful.  Monticello was growing by leaps and bounds with stores but with more trouble with drunken cowboys and more Indian problems. 

Tom Roach was a notorious gunman and cowboy.  He had a good side and a mean side so the farmers left him alone.  Tom worked where and when he wished.   He was so good at what he did he was paid more than the other cowboys. 
He told the other cowboys, “Its Brigham’s big party tonight “it was the 24th of July 1891 and I am going to teach those pretty Mormon girls how to dance”.   So he took his $13 dollars and went to town.

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Preparations for the day were well underway at the Walton's.  Jane and daughter Magnolia were baking bread.  Magnolia was dreaming about dancing with John Bailey tonight.  Leona emerged from the cellar with potatoes to prepare, she never found a boy worth while yet and would dance with all that asked.  Charley Jr. just wanted to play his violin and have fun.  Charley was preparing a beef for the town barbeque.

Chief poesy and his braves watched and smelled the food being prepared.  They had already stopped Charley and his wagon with a slaughtered beef and he had given them some.  They began roasting it over small fire.  They watched the many families come into town each bring cakes, rolls, fruits and vegetables.  Children played games even chased a greased piglet. The rodeo was really a crown favorite. 
By eight o’clock the tables were cleared and the fiddlers began playing for the younger dancers. 

It was Nine o’clock now and time for the adults to dance.  At eleven o’clock Tom Roach broke in out of turn and clapped himself into a quadrille.  By midnight Tom was drunk and mean and Frank Hyde tried to stop him.  Tom pulled out a knife and cut him from ear to chin.  Bill McCord a local cowboy came rushing toward him and began to plead with Tom, “Shut up or I’ll kill you and he did.”  Meanwhile Frank Adams went out and got Charles's 45/70 rifle sitting above the fireplace and a handful of ammunition.  He was drunk and was trying to put a cartridge in the chamber as he ran. 
Jane and Tom were old friends and she had no idea that it would be dangerous to walk up and stand in front of Tom and demand, “Tom you put that gun away”.  Tom had seen Frank raising the rifle to shoot him, so Tom ducked was ready for him. But there was only one shot that rang out.  When the smoke cleared Jane said, Oh Roach you’ve hurt me”.  Then Jane McKechnie Walton collapsed into the arms of her son.  They carried her home and laid her down in front of her fireplace she had died at the age of forty-five

Dreams, Jane had a dramatic spiritual experience after the birth of Magnolia as she lay in a comatose state for several days, her father who had died came for her and he came to escort her home to Heaven.  Jane pleaded to let her stay to raise her children.  He told her he would come for her when she was at the age of forty-five.

Chief Posey with a large number of braves grieving with shaved heads and showing sorrow came to town and said they could track Tom down; Sheriff Willard Butt swore them in as a lawful posse.  Tom Roach was never seen again.  I believe Posey did find and kill him but no one knows.  Frank Adams had many who thought the local boy was innocent while many wondered what to think.

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But when the sheriff finally came to talk to Charles Walton, Charlie pointed to his journal of Friday 24th 1891, the sheriff and read, Cloudy.  We celebrated the 24th and had a good time.  At night I played for the dance and got 4 dollars.  Between 12 and one o’clock Tom Roach started a row, killed a cowboy and Jane was accidentally shot by Frank Adams, a drunken Mormon boy with my own gun, 45/70 caliber.  The ball passed clean through her body just under her arms killing her instantly.”

Sheriff , Charles said, “Frank Adams needs to tell the truth.  He also needs to know that we Walton’s don’t hold grudges foe accidents.  Frankly I don’t believe either of those men wound have hurt Jane in any way.  The sheriff quietly left and murder charges were never filed against the boy.

Tom Roach was never seen again.  Some say that Posey killed him but rumors did crop up that he got away.  There is still a warrant for his arrest for the murder of Bill McCord. 

Chief Posey loved to steal the White-man’s horses and shoot their cattle.  He fought many battles with the soldiers and the cowboys and killed many of them.  He never did bend to the White man’s law.  He was alone and off the reservation in 1923 when someone shot and killed him.

Jean Tinto Bee McKechnie Hatch was 88 years old when she died 9th August 1915in her Bountiful home.  Ira died in 1869.

Richard John Moxey Bee married his niece, Georgina McKechnie Bee and had a large family.  She died in 21st February 1912 and Richard died 18th July 1912.

Joanna Murray Bee married George Thomson, later married Arthur Welshman.  She died the 14th January 1913. 

Charles Walton Jr. married Emma Hyde and had five children he died 9th May 1947 in Monticello. 

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Francis Magnolia (Maggie) Walton married John Ezra Bailey and had seven children one was Clifford Walton Bailey (the authors Grandfather) Maggie died 2nd June 1918.

Leona Jane Walton married Frank Nielson and had nine children.  She died 9th September 1942.

Charles Eugene Walton Sr. was later a Logan Temple worker and died in Logan 14th December 1923, 76 years old.

On a cliff and no way down
Adventures of Maria Beck and Anton Nielson
By J. C. Nielson
This is James Clarence Nielson.  I am a son of Anthon Peter Rasmus Nielson and Maria Beck Nielson, I being the seventh child in this family of ten.  Some people believe the seventh child has special powers of foresight.  My father was born in Aarhus, Denmark, 21 Feb. 1854. .  My mother was born in Ephraim, Utah 7 Jan. 1857.  
            They moved over to Huntington, Utah.  Their first home was a hole in the side of a deep wash.  Their granary was a wagon box in this hole.  A flood ran them out.  They built a log cabin with two rooms.  Their bedroom was in the attic.  The entrance was a pole ladder that went to a small door in the end of the gables.  When Father and I went down there to put a stone on Katherine's grave, that being the year of 1923, he took me to their old home.  His remark was, “There has not been a pole on the fence or anything changed since we lived there forty years ago."  There is a garage on the premises now where the old house stood.  The first year that they lived in Huntington, Mother said they lived on boiled wheat and venison.  There were a great number of deer in the mountains.  When they would get short of meat, they would take the wagon, go into the hills and kill several deer and bring them to town and butcher them.  Mother said she had to feed the men five times a day.  Uncle Pete wasn't married then, but was farming with Father and helping and trying to get a start for himself.   I'll have to go back a ways because I forgot to tell you that Father was one of the first county commissioners down in Emery County.  

            Uncle Ras Beck, that's Mother's brother, he lived in Colorado, the San Luis Valley.  He wrote and told the folks how much grain he had harvested that fall, and it was more than the whole town of Huntington had produced.  So father and a man named Sanford pulled stakes and started for Colorado.  Mother had to drive the team, and Father drove the stock.  When they got out to just this side of the Colorado River, just as your entering that little wide spot where they turn-off to go to the Arches Monument, their road came to an abrupt end.  They were on a cliff, and it was very steep down.  So, they took the horses down, but they had to take all of their provisions and wagons and let them down over the side of the cliff,   The wagons were taken apart so they could let over the cliff by a rope, there being a post set in the rocky flat where there being a post set in the rocky flat where the wagon was.  The trail from there down was or is to this day visible, only wide enough for one horse.  In 1936 I was working on A job out in that area,  so I did a little research work, so I found some of those old timers out there where this was.  So I stopped one day and examined it, and that post was still standing there with rope burns on it embedded down into the post three quarters of an inch showing how many things had been let over this cliff