THE ORPHAN BOY
I, Isaac Alldredge, was born July 25, 1843, in Jackson County, Illinois, U.S.A. When I was about two years old my father died leaving my mother with four small children--my brothers, William and Parson and my sister Martha and myself. My father had been married before and had two children, Ezekiel and Elizabeth. Mother had three children by a former husband by the name of Wilkes. Their names were: John Brown, Minor James, and Samuel Sneed Wilkes. Samuel went to California during the gold excitement of 1849 and was never heard from again. John was shot and killed in the war with Mexico in 1846. Minor was a singing master, class leader and preacher in the Missionary Baptist Church. The rest of my relatives so far as I know were farmers. Soon after the death of my father, Mother with her four small children moved north about thirty-five miles into Perry County.
Mother died when I was in my fifth year, Brother William went to Missouri, Martha to Jackson County; Parson and myself with Mr. Richard Wilkes, son of my mother's first husband by a former wife, went to Illinois where we lived for one year. Later on, Parson followed William to Missouri and I went to live with my Aunt Casinda Craine. Her husband was Benjamin Craine and was one of God's noblemen. In the fall of 1852 my Uncle John Brown, Mother's youngest brother, came to Illinois from Salt Lake City. He had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was one of the first company of pioneers to enter the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Early in the spring of 1853, I left with my Uncle John Brown for the west. The first 60 miles I rode a mule--to St. Louis, then took a steamboat up the Mississippi to Iowa; then by ox team through Iowa, Nebraska, and Wyoming. The following winter (1854) I went to school in the 14th Ward. During the summer I herded cows and saw two Indians hanged, also worked some on the great wall that was being built around Salt Lake. Attended school that winter.
During the next year of 1855, I moved thirty miles south with my uncle and located at Lehi. In 1855-56 the grasshoppers were very numerous and destroyed most of our crops and we were put to the extremity of digging sego and other wild roots to live on. The summer of 1857, crops were very good because the grasshoppers had left. The U.S. government started an army to Utah to subdue the Mormons who had been reported to be in rebellion against the government. President Young said they could not enter the valley unless they came peaceably, which they did the following spring. It was a great blessing to the people as we were very much in need of clothing and iron which the army brought in great abundance, besides giving us an excellent market for our produce. I continued to live with my uncle working on the farm, raising stock and riding broncos. I also took my part in standing guard against the Indians.
In 1863 I made a trip west into Nevada with three yoke of oxen and one wagon with a load of oats for the overland mail. In 1864 I made a trip East for emigrants coming from Europe. After returning home I began work with Steven Rose for Briant Stringham, hauling tithing from nearby settlements into Salt Lake. During the year of 1865 I had a very severe sick spell. I attended school in Lehi that winter.
I attended Conference April 6-7-8, 1866. I was called on a mission to Europe and was ordained and received my endowments April 20, 1866, and started on my mission, walked thirty miles to Salt Lake and made preparation for travel. Our company consisted of 125 men, 3 women; 18 of the men were missionaries on their way to Europe. After many hardships we arrived in New York July 5th. We stayed there until July 11th when we boarded the steamship Tripoli sailing for Liverpool, England, where we arrived July 24th. As it was my birthday on July 25th I visited many places of interest that day. July 27th I was appointed conference president. On January 2, 1869, I was released from my mission and started for home, arriving September 17th.
I was met by my brothers, William and Parson; I had not seen William for 17 years. That winter I taught school in Pleasant Grove.
On December 26, 1869, I married Susannah Evans in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. March 10, 1870, we settled in Lehi, farming on shares. July 6, 1871, I filed a preemption claim on 160 acres of land for the church. We lived here until July of the next year then moved to a home of our own, farming in the summer and teaching school in the winter. It was here we had five children born. Sept. 2, 1877, I attended the funeral of President Brigham Young held in Salt Lake.
|Isaac Alldredge family in front of home in Millard County Utah.|
(George Edward Anderson photo)
|1880s Studio Portrait of Susannah/Isaac Alldredge Family|
(George Edward Anderson photo)
In 1883, 1884, 1885, I still worked for the betterment of our precinct and filled several positions of trust. In July 1884 our fifth daughter was born. I also worked as a home missionary during these years. On September 4, 1886, our sixth daughter was born. In the spring of 1887 William V. Black, L.R. Cropper, Wm. Alldredge, J.W. Damron, A.F. Warnick and myself filed articles of incorporation to build a canal to be known as the Gunnison Bend Canal. During this season the high water broke out the dam; the stockholders took over our incorporation and went to work with a will to complete the canal for use the next season, which we succeeded in doing. The old board of directors resigned and the following men were elected: L.R. Cropper, president; I. Alldredge, vice president; W.H. Pratt, A.F. Warnick and J.C. Hawley, directors; J. Bennett, secretary and treasurer; I. Alldredge, general water master and superintendent of construction and repair work.
During the years from 1886 to 1894 I still worked as road supervisor, vice president, water master and general manager of C.I.C.; also filled several appointments as delegate to conventions and served two terms on the grand jury in the first judicial district court in Provo.
On January 22, 1889 was blessed with another son. On August 16, 1893, our baby girl was born. In the fall of 1895, I sold my farm in Hinckley and moved with my family to Ferron, Emery County. My son, Isaac and his family accompanied us. In the spring of 1896, I took charge of the building of another large canal north of Ferron.
In the spring of 1901, my son Isaac and I took a trip into Idaho, returning in the fall. (In his son, Isaac III's autobiography he says they went to the Burley area to see about buying farmland. It was while they were in Idaho that they learned about the settlements in Mexico and decided to go there instead.)
In the fall of 1902, I sold out in Ferron and shipped by rail to Old Mexico, arriving November 19th. The next summer (1903) the high waters destroyed my crops and washed away my land. In the fall I went to Cos Railway Station and engaged in freighting until the winter of 1905 then returned to Morelos and bought another farm, built a nice brick house, raised a crop and also bought a cane mill. While making my cane crop into sorghum, another disastrous flood came down the Bavispe and Batapeto Rivers taking out my mill and ruining my farm. I then went into debt about $4,000 for teams and wagons and engaged in freighting from Macoazria to the mines south; continued freighting until the summer of 1907, when I sold my teams and bought a home in Douglas, Arizona, U.S.A. In the early winter of 1909 I bought another farm in Sonora, Mexico, ten miles north of Morelos. In the spring of 1910 I sold my home in Douglas and moved my family into Mexico again and located on the farm.
|Golden Wedding Anniversry 1919- Isaac and Susannah Alldredge|
May 1, 1914, began work again for the Cheno Copper Company running a pump. June 1914, I left Hurley and went to Utah, did some work in the Salt Lake Temple, then located in Price, Carbon County, remained in Price until May 1918, then moved back to Salt Lake and went to work in the Temple and on the street three days a week until August 1920. Moved to Mesa, Arizona, and bought a corn-popping machine and went into the corn-popping business. Made good money until the financial depression of 1931-32- 33.
My wife died July 23, 1932. We buried her on the 26th in the Mesa Cemetery. After the funeral I took a trip into California, visited my daughters, Susie and Nettie, from there to Utah visiting my son, Isaac, and daughter, Desy, returned to Mesa in September. There I lived alone doing my own work for one year, then gave up housekeeping and went to live with my daughter, Jacosa. June 1933, took another trip visiting all my children in California and Utah. I am there now, just spent my 90th birthday with my daughter, Desy, in Logan, Utah; expect to go visit the October conference then return to Mesa for the rest of my life.
Note: Mr. Alldredge died September 24, 1936, and was buried in Mesa, Arizona.
Isaac Alldredge - The Orphan Boy by Isaac Alldredge Jr.
Family papers/records held by D. Larsen