Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lorin Farr History

1. Lorin Farr History - Part 8by David J. Farr
2. Back
While the rest of Winslow and Olive Farr's family were enroute to Salt Lake, Winslow, his wife Olive, and Diantha Farr Clayton had been left in Winter Quarters and Kanesville, Iowa. From there Winslow served a two-year mission in the Eastern States from 1847-49. In his book on Lorin Farr, T. Earl Pardoe mentions that Winslow returned from his successful mission in the East. Pardoe says that the heroic struggle made by Winslow's wife and children at Winter Quarters and Kanesville in his absence would make a book in itself. The last time the Winslow Farr's had seen Brigham Young was on March 27, 1848.
In 1850 they met again in Winter Quarters: "At 10:40 o'clock p.m. the meeting was called to order in the Log Tabernacle when Brigham Young was elected chairman and Evan M. Green, secretary. The following prominent citizens were present by invitation, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Phineas H. Young ... Winslow Farr."
At this meeting Brigham Young outlined what must be done to get all the people out to Utah. It was with joy that Winslow and his family looked forward to the journey West and reunion with the rest of the family.
"Captain Garner Snow's company of emigrating Saints ... left the Missouri River for G.S.L. Valley."
From a letter written August 28, 1850 signed by Joseph Young and Gardner Snow and addressed to the First Presidency in the Valley we cull the following: "We are the second fifty of Captain Snow's hundred; Gardner Snow is captain, Joseph Young, president; Winslow Farr, counsellor."
Brigham Young gave good instruction to the Saints upon first entering the valley. They were to be unselfish, live humbly and keep the commandments of God that they might prosper in the valley. He also instructed them not to hunt or fish on the Sabbath or work thereon. Those that wished to do otherwise could go live somewhere else. Brigham also instructed that there was to be no land sold, but everyone would have land measured off to them. They were to receive no more than they could use in cultivation.
Lorin entered the Salt lake Valley in the second company to enter the valley after the original band headed by Brigham Young. (LF, p. 106) Two days after arriving in the valley, Lorin and Nancy along with their toddling baby went to conference, voting with hundreds present to accept the name, "Great Salt Lake City." Some two dozen log cabins were already built and Lorin was given space for his cabin north and west of the Temple Block on First West and North Temple Street. He was next to his brother Aaron and brother-in-law, William Clayton. The survey work was led by Orson Pratt using the most modern equipment then available. When rechecked by government officials it did not require changing.
Not much is recorded of Lorin's activities in Salt Lake on his arrival. We know on February 25, 1849 Lorin Farr and William Clayton were selected in a meeting and appointed to assign representatives of lots in the Seventeenth Ward their quota of fencing and to decide where each fence should be built. A road, two rods wide, was to be around each block. The First Presidency recommended that gardens and fruit orchards be planted. (An Enduring Legacy p. 134, 5 Daughters of the Utah Pioneers)
After staying a while in the "Old Fort," Lorin moved onto a lot northwest of the Temple block. His first domicile in the valley was his wagon box, taken off the running gears and made into a temporary abode. He and his brother, Aaron, soon hauled logs from the canyon and built homes of a more comfortable character. Their houses in the fort had whip sawed lumber floors and were among the best constructed there.
From Winter Quarters, Lorin had brought with him all kinds of seeds, and these he planted in the spring of 1848. Most of his crop was devoured by crickets before they were destroyed by seagulls, but Lorin raised enough to support his family until another harvest time. Then he had considerable to spare. Some of his neighbors were forced to eat thistle roots, raw hides and even wolf meat. Many put their families upon rations. He was not reduced to this necessity, owing to the fact, he says, that he had an economical wife who managed so well that the family had enough to eat and some to give away. (NADB, p. 35)
In March of 1849 Lorin was present at the convention for forming a constitution for the State of Deseret and to submit a resolution to Congress asking for admission as a state.
During the summer many groups of gold seekers came through Salt Lake on their way to California. Lorin did some trading to his advantage, giving horses for furniture and household goods. The Saints had great advantage in trading as the gold seekers were desperate for means of travel and food. The travelers were selling their goods at a great discount to get themselves to California. This fulfilled a prophecy by Heber C. Kimball a year earlier that goods in Salt Lake would sell for much less than in the East. Brother Kimball couldn't believe what he said, thinking he had "missed one" as it seemed so unlikely. Lorin was to play an active part in the fulfilment of President Kimball's prophecy.
Lorin participated on the committee to organize a celebration in July 1848 to commemorate the pioneers' coming into the valley. It was a combination of thanksgiving and celebration. Lorin was present in several meetings where school organization and entertainment were discussed. Lorin was trying to determine whether he would return to his profession of teaching. Out of these meetings and planning came the Deseret Dramatic Association. Lorin said he was no actor and would leave acting to his wife, Nancy. Lorin wondered whether he should go into merchandising, the lumber business, or to build and run a flour mill.
Joy came to the home of Lorin and Nancy that year when their second girl, Sarah, was born on October 30, 1849. She would become the mother of George Albert Smith, the eighth president of the church. (LF, p. 103)
Please bring any history you have on Lorin or his family to our reunion to share in the class on Lorin and his family. Also bring any pictures you might have of Lorin, his wives, children, and spouses that should go in the biography on him. If you can't make it to the reunion, please send pictures to me and I will reimburse you for any duplicating and postage costs.
In the next newsletter I will be writing about Ogden, Utah and the Farr family's influence there. This will result in quite a long running series as I have much information gathered.
David J. Farr

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