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MY FAMILY HISTORY AS I REMEMBER HEARING AND KNOWING IT

A family history of the George Brown Bailey family, the author is unknown

MY FAMILY HISTORY AS I REMEMBER HEARING AND KNOWING IT

 

            Isaac Young left Bristol, England, and sailed on the ship Ellen Maria in 1852.  He was a tanner and curer of hides before leaving his native land.  His family consisted of wife Anne, daughter of Elizabeth, who was married to George B. Bailey and twins Aaron and Caroline.  They spent nine weeks on the water, crossing the Atlantic and up the Mississippi River to Keokuck, Iowa.  Here they prepared to cross the plains.  They walked all the way arriving in Salt Lake in September 1853.

 

            In the year 1854 Isaac Young died of blood poisoning through cutting his thumb while skinning a poisoned cow.  He had procured a city lot for his family to live on, but through mismanagement the lot was taken by another after his death, leaving his family homeless.  Feeling these losses very deeply, George B. Bailey went to President Brigham Young with his troubles.  President Young told him that nothing could be done about the loss of the home, but through the loss he would be blessed tenfold.  When Brother Bailey went out on the street, a man by the name of John Ebee met him and asked him if he would like to buy a farm out on the Mill Creek.  He replied, “I haven’t a thing left to buy anything with, as we have just lost our home.”  Brother Ebee told him he could pay for the place by hauling two loads of logs, one in the autumn and the other the next spring.  George Bailey did this, thus obtaining a home on Mill Creek and also proving President Young to be a true Prophet.  William Luck and family, the Murphy family, the Gardner families and George Gates family were already located in the same vicinity.

 

            In the spring of 1856 the Baileys rented ten acres of land on what is now 11th East on the banks of Mill Creek.  They hired it plowed and planted to wheat, which grew until it was about four inches high.  The family was now living in Salt Lake City at that time.  They came out one Sunday to see their crop, it was so nice and green.  The next Sunday when they came out there wasn’t a blade of wheat left, the grasshoppers had eaten it close to the ground.  A crop of corn was planted.  This would furnish enough food for their little family of three for the winter, but in the autumn four more of the Bailey family arrived from England.  After walking most of the way across the plains, they were blessed with the most prodigious appetites.  By Christmas time all the corn was eaten, the rest of the winter was extremely hard for them all.

 

            George Bailey and family had a two room adobe house on the north bank of Mill Creek.  In 1860 he planted five acres to peach trees which started to grow fine.  His only brother, Reuben, lived at Spanish Fork.  Reuben accidentally shot himself while cleaning a gun and died of blood poisoning, so George took his little family and journeyed south to help harvest Reuben’s crops.  While he was away a cloud burst in Mill Creek Canyon caused a flood which changed the course of the Creek to the north side of the house.  The flood washed away one room and covered the orchard with gravel but did not destroy the trees.  The orchard grew and produced hundreds of bushels of peaches.  These peaches were cut in half and spread upon wooden platforms.  Each half of peach being laid carefully skin side down, then left in the sun to dry.

 

            People come from all over the Salt Lake valley to cut peaches, getting one bushel for every six they cut.  The peaches when dried were sold to the merchants in Salt Lake, who in turn shipped them to the mines.

 

            Bees were another source of income in this part of the valley until the fumes from the smelters at Murray killed most of them.

 

            All the land in the vicinity that George Bailey lived was entered under the name of Nancy Murphy.  She was the mother and grandmother of most of the Murphys in Salt Lake.  Among them was her son, Jesse E. Murphy, who saved the lives of many of the early settlers with his doctoring.  He studied all the medical books he could get and with his wide experience, in pulling all the teeth and setting all the broken bones, he became the only Doctor outside of Salt Lake City, although he never entered a medical school.  When a new baby was coming Uncle Jesse was generally sent for to give his advice and help, never expecting any pay.  He and Sister Elizabeth Bailey, she the mother of 12 children, spent many a sleepless night caring for those just entering life and comforting those who were leaving this sphere action.

 

            When the Diphtheria scourge came in 1878, seven of the Bailey children died in one month.  Some families lost every child.

 

            Uncle Jesse had three families of his own, two of them being motherless.  Aunt Grace raised four of these motherless children besides six or seven of her own.  While working and caring for his own, Uncle Jesse was never too tired or busy to answer a sick call.  Surely he has received his reward in Heaven by now.

 

            The old molasses mill down in Murphy’s pasture is a bright spot in the memory of the children who lived in the 80’s and 90’s.  It was owned by the Murphy brothers.  In the autumn the cane was hauled in from the fields, then fed between two iron rollers run by water power.  Thus extracting the juice, which ran into vats over wood fires and was kept boiling night and day.  The juice was transferred from one vat into another until it reached the fourth or fifth vat.  This was the joy for the youngsters, who came in as each and all could get some “skimmin’s” off the finished molasses in their lunch buckets.  They would take this home and boil and boil it until it would spin a fine thread.  After it was cool enough they would all grease their hands and a candy pull was in progress.

 

            After the cane was all crushed and the water wheel was silent, the children would still call at the mill.  They would get inside of the big wheel and control the speed of it by running up the north side, the same as a squirrel turns his cage.  There are still Murphys on Mill Creek.


Linked toGeorge Brown Bailey; Isaac Young

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