Polly Marie Perry was born on June 16, 1832, the last child
with nine older
siblings. The family lived in Middlebury, Genese (now Wyoming County), New York.
When she was just a baby the Mormon missionaries came to town. Their names were
Aaron C. Lyon and John P. Green. Brigham Young, his father and his brother Joseph
Young came to their place shortly thereafter and began holding meeting in the Perry home
even before they were baptized. Her father and brothers Stephen Chadwick Perry and
Philander Jackson Perry were baptized in August 1932. In December her mother was also
baptized. Polly would be baptized later, but at this time she was just a baby. The six older
children did not accept the Gospel.
In May 1836, the Perry family moved to Kirkland to help with the building of the
Kirkland Temple and to be with the Saints. Then in the summer of 1838 the Perry family
moved to Missouri, but the church was shortly thereafter driven from the state. Then as
most of the saints did, the Perry family settled in Nauvoo. They went through the trials of
Nauvoo and finally in 1846 crossed the Mississippi River. But they were compelled to
stay in the river bottoms during the summer of 1846 because her father was very ill. Late
in the fall they traveled as far west as the DeMoines River, about twenty miles from
Nauvoo. They stayed there during the winter. While there, they were attacked by the
mobs several times. In the fall of 1847, with the help of Polly's brothers Stephen and
Philander, they moved to Mt. Pisgah.
William Smith was the son of Richard Smith and Dianna Braswell. He was born
September 3,1831 at Gibson County, Tennessee. He, together with his father's family
heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Most of the family members were impressed. Some
were baptized but we don't know exactly when. But we do know that William's mother
was baptized in August 1841. By 1842 or 1843 the family had removed to Camp Creek
near Nauvoo, Illinois. They went through all the trials and tribulations of the early church
history. When Hyrum and Joseph were taken to Carthage, their hearts were all sad. The
night they were killed, William's mother and her mother spent the night with the boys'
mother trying to console her. William Smith was one of the men who helped to bury
them. He never would tell any of us where the unknown place was located. They all
moved to Nauvoo in the fall of 1845.
They were with the general exodus of the Mormons from Nauvoo in 1846 and
located for a time a Farmington, Iowa, on the Des Moines River and in 1848 they moved
to Mt. Pisgah, Iowa. Mt. Pisgah is a narrow ridge running from the Southwest to
Northeast between the Middle Fork of the Grand River and Pisgah Creek. This is located
in the Jones Township in Union County, Iowa. This was one of the temporary settlements
founded by the Latter Day Saints in 1846 and they gave it the game of Mt. Pisgah. The
Mormon cemetery is situated at Mt. Pisgah where about one hundred and fifty Saints are
resting. A monument was erected to their memory in 1888. Farming was commenced
here in May 1846 and surveying and fencing was carried forward. The population soon
numbered over 2000 souls but in the first six months of its settlement 150 people died. In
the month of August 1846 it was reported that the people of Mt. Pisgah were enjoying
peas, cucumbers and beans, that corn had silted out and buckwheat was in flower. There
was a good prospect for crops of potatoes, melons, pumpkins and squash.
Now in 1848, both the Smith and the Perry family lived in Mt. Pisgah. Sometime
during this period, these two families became friends. And by 1850, this William Smith
and Polly Marie Perry were getting serious. They decided to get married. This occurred
on May 19, 1950. During their stay in Mt. Pisgah there only communication with the
outside world was through Fort Des Moines. Their neighbors were the Pottawattamie and
Musquaka Indian Tribes, whose hunting grounds were along the Grand River. The Saints
wee industrious people and built tow log churches at Mt. Pisgah where the held regular
church services. By 1850 most of these people were able to resume their journey to the
Salt Lake Valley. In 1850 the Perrys and the Smiths decided to move on and they were
sent to Kanesville, near where Council Bluffs stands now. Here they made preparations to
cross the plains. They left Kanesville, Iowa on June 12, 1850 Under the direction of the
Aaron Johnson Company. They were assigned to Capt. Bennett's Fifty and Stephen C.
Perry's (Polly's brother) company of 10. Brigham Young left at the same time, but owing
to his having a carriage, he went ahead and got to Salt Lake before the others. These
families arrived in Salt Lake City on September 12, 1850.
President Young had sent scouting parties out looking over the land in Utah trying
to find suitable places for the new pioneers to settle. William Miller and Jones
Mendenhall, two of these scout, had made a trip south as far as Payson. On their return
they reported a place which had appealed to them to place the Aaron Johnson Company
when they arrived. They told President Young that this place had delighted them. There
were acres of waving grass and a large stream of water ran from a canyon down into the
valley. Later on, this place was called Hobble Creek because a member of an exploring
party had lost a pair of hobbles from his horse near by and these had never been found.
So, when this group of pioneers arrived in Salt Lake Valley on September 1850,
Aaron Johnson was informed that his home was already selected for his group. However,
they rested and visited in Salt Lake City a few days. Aaron Johnson wanted to be sure no
mistake had been made, so he and a Mr. Miller mounted their horses and rode down to
Hobble Creek and made a settlement with the understanding that Aaron Johnson was to be
District Judge of Utah Count and Williams Miller, Associate Justice.
Brigham Young went to the Emigration Square in Salt Lake, where this group of
pioneers had been corralled and cut out the first eight wagons of the company. Aaron
Johnson, still acting as Captain, took Myron N. Crandall, John W. Deal, Amos S. Warren
and two of his brothers and Richard Bird. He had chosen these men to go ahead and
establish a camp. This group arrived in Hobble Creek on September 18, 1850 and here
they made preparations for the rest of their company to join them. These men selected a
locality and place to build a small fort. After things were in place, Captain Johnson gave
word to President Young that things were ready. (One note: Thirteen people in this
company died of Cholera on their way to the Salt Lake Valley.)
The Smiths and Perrys started on their journey to Hobble Creek. At that time
there were no main roads to travel and they were compelled to drive their teams, wagons
and cattle over the mountains at Jordan Narrows. In fact, some road making had to be
done on the way. It took more than four days to make the trip. They arrived in what is
now Springville, Utah the first week of October 1850. The lead team was driven by
Martin P. Crandall. They all arrived by 3 p.m. probably on October 3rd (a Thursday
The first thing that had to be done was to build a fort. Then, William Smith,
Stephen C. Perry and Charles Hulett took the first teams into Hobble Creek Canyon and
brought out loads of logs. This he used to build his home in the southeast corner of the
forty. He was a very helpful man at the time his services were needed. People would
come from all over town for him to administer to them or help in any way he was capable.
One night as he was going to town, he met a friend carrying a child. He asked him what
he was doing. He replied that his child had died of diphtheria and that he was taking her
to the cemetery. He said he would take her. So he took the child and buried her.
He with a few other men owned the Spring Branch in Springville. They were
never able to find the bottom. One day while they were down working, one of the men
fell in. As Grandfather saw him going, he reached out his hand and got him by the hair of
his head. The rest of the men formed a chain with their hands and thus pulled him out by
his hair. Had they missed, he surely would have drowned.
William Smith, Milon Pachard, and a few other men, took up land on the
northwestern field of Springville. They in turn donated it to the city so as the towns
people would have a place to put their cows. It was then named the city pasture. Today
the Columbia Steel Corporation is located on part of it.
Later years, he built a home of adobe. This was more convenient for them. Marie
Peters, a granddaughter says, "I can remember now when we were children, we used to go
down there and play in it. It was a two story four room house." He also worked as a
mason. He helped build town meeting houses in Springville. The old white meeting house
and Springville First Ward. He did most every job there was to do on them.
William Smith was the only dentist that Springville had for a long time. He didn't
do as dentist do today. They just pulled teeth without giving the patients anything or
freezing them. Marie Peters says, "I remember my mother(his daughter), telling me about
a tooth she had pulled. He pulled as hard as he could five times -- the sixth time it came
out. She said it was about the worst tooth she had every had pulled".
On March 5, 1851, the first court opened at Provo with Aaron Johnson as Judge.
A grand and Petite Jury was summoned to indict and try any criminal cases that might
come before them. There were in the first jury Peter Buyce, Arrin Graw and Spicer W.
Crandall. The First indictment charged one Henry Myers with stealing three horses from
Fort Utah. Before court adjourned the following names were selected to sit as Grand
Jurors for the next term of Court: Ira Allen, Smith Humphery, Myron N. Crandall,
Edward Starr, Stephen C. Perry, Richard Bird, James Guyman and William Smith.
In 1877 Milare Pachard project commenced to build the Utah and Pleasant Valley
Railroad. William Smith and Doremus were the surveyors. They located the line, which
was commenced at the Utah Central yards down Center Street. The Utah Central
Railroad, so named at first, started at Ogden and completed through Utah County in the
autumn of 1873.
Marie Peters also relates the following. William Smith played the fiddle. He used
to play for all the dances. A large room at Edward Hall's home, a front room at Widow
Humphrey's and the little adobe school house in the "Fort Row" were among the popular
resorts. Half a dozen boys would furnish a candle each, others a peck of wheat each and
others produce such as anyone of the three fiddlers, Benjamin Blanchard, William Smith or
Levi Curtis could be induced to take in payment for their services and all was ready there
for the dance. Early candlelight was the usual hour for commencing and midnight for
It did not take the boys and girls as long to prepare for a ball then as now, they had
not as many nice clothes to put on. The boys often had to borrow their mothers' shoes,
which when well blackened with soot from the underside of the stove lid, made a dancing
shoe not to be despised. Then with their shirts tucked into their homemade jeans and with
well buttered locks, they were ready for the ballroom. The first couple to arrive lighted
their candle and put it in a wooden bracket and so on until all had arrived. The fiddlers
came and then the dance began in real earnest and continued till midnight, when good-
byes were said and all made for home.
On Christmas Eve, an amusing incident occurred. About 10 PM when the dance
was at its height, the front door opened and in marched fifteen youths with policemen on
each side and were lined up for inspection in the middle of the room. They had been out
"celebrating" the event in the usual manner of boys in a frontier settlement, by running
loads of wood into the mill dam, turning stock out, carrying off gates and otherwise
making the night hideous. The police had caught them at their mischief and interrupted
the florious time. Wilbur Earl, chief of Police explained their presence jocularly saying it
was too cold for the boys to be out, that hauling loads of wood was too ardor's labor, and
that their mammas didn't know they were out, therefore, he and his aids had brought them
to their mothers out of the cold. A. F. McDonald, who was a man of few jokes, gave the
shame-faced boy a serious lecture, which made them very uncomfortable. After "Mack"
had finished with them, they felt as though they could have crawled through a knot hole.
Bishop Johnson was then called to pronounce their penalty then and there. They were to
go on under the supervision of the police and put everything in place just as they had
found it and if anything had been dest destroyed they were to restore it four fold. The
penalty was fulfilled by the boys before they slept. Some of them enjoyed the separation
as well as the scattering, though one was heard to say, getting a load of wood out of the
cold water of the mill pond was not a method of recreation to be chosen more than once a
In the autumn of 1854, William D. Huntington and Bishop Harris and Sylvester
were called by Brigham Young to go to the Elk Mountains in Arizona to look for a place
or places for colonization. There were others from the north, making a large company
under the guidance of "High Forehead", a local Indian chief. While upon this trip, they
discovered some of the wonderful dwellings and fortifications of Cliff Dwellers and stone
houses which they explored, were situated under a shelving cliff, well built and containing
twenty five rooms. The party returned about Christmas without finding a desirable
location. While upon their journey they were many times compelled to take their wagons
apart and lift them piece by piece upon the perpendicular sides of the cliffs leading their
animals by tortuous and dangerous paths to the heights above until the wagons could be
taken no further when they were abandoned and never recovered.
He was appointed U.S. Indian interpreter by Indian agent Cyrus Sanford. During
the Walker War, he went into the Walker Camp at midnight to negotiate peace and some
time later he brought the Indians to Springville where peace was declared. He was also
interpreter during the Black Hawk War of 1866-68.
Polly Marie Smith, while at Nauvoo, learned the art of making palm leaf hats and
made them on shares for Parley P. Pratt, who furnished the palm leaf for the same and also
the making of slit rye straw hats which she sold at $ 1.25 each. The family made their
cotton and flannel goods for their family use.
William Smith died 4 September 1911 at Springville, Utah. He was eighty years
old. Polly Marie Perry died 12 September 1913 at Springville, Utah. She was eighty two
Recreated by John Shaw - September 1998. Much of the word must
be credited to Elnora
Perry, who submitted a history of Asahel Perry to the Daughters of Utah Pioneers and to
Marie Peters who created a history of William Smith. Also thanks to my parents, Ivan and
Edna Shaw who worked so hard to compile histories and to do their genealogy