THE DANIEL WOOD MEETING HOUSE
Come all who are here and listen to me.
Till I tell you by what you must governed be.
And my rules are good I know you will say,
But if you can't keep them, you must stay away.
Now just see and try if you cannot be still,
And listen to the rules we forward will bring.
All persons are expected to be here on time,
And take off their hats or leave them behind
And not put them on till the house they do leave
And by keeping this rule they no one can grieve.
And now you're required every one by the way,
To bow down your heads when the time comes to pray,
And you must keep good order, no talking, no please,
But you can sing with us if you please.
Now outside of the house you must not be found
Unless in the house there be a great crowd.
Never dirty the floor with spitting or mud,
But pay great attention and then you'll feel good.
You must not eat anything or throw things about,
From the time you come in till the time you go out.
And another thing I think too I think would be well,
Don't stick up you feet to your neighbors coattail
To cut marks on the benches you must not presume-
Nor run in and out as if you were home.
And if to these rules you will not attend,
From the meeting at once you will be expelled.
Daniel Wood and wives, Mary Snyder Wood and Peninah Shropshire Cotton Wood arrived in the Salt Lake Valley July 23, 1848. The children at this time were, Rebecca, John, Harriet, Elizabeth and Daniel Cotton Wood, Daniel and Peninah's son, also John Moss, Rebecca's husband, and their two children, Mary and Daniel.
This group of eleven members crossed the plains as pioneers and spent their first winter in a cabin built by Daniel in Session's Settlement (or North Canyon Ward as it was latter called) and is now Bountiful, Utah. In 1849 Daniel filed on 120 acres west of Bountiful and began building an adobe brick house with the aid of neighbors and his son John. The house was completed in 1850 and the family moved into their new home in what is now Woods Cross, Utah.
As his family grew in number, as most families did, the need arose for education. Following the advice of President Brigham Young, that all families that were financially able should build a school for their families, Daniel added a room onto-the back of the big house, as it was then called, for his children now numbering six of school age. The school was completed in 1854 and Daniel's wife Emma Mariah Ellis Wood acted as the first teacher. She held this position for three years, at which time she was succeeded by Charles Pearson, a young English lawyer and a new convert to the LDS faith who came to Daniel's home to live and was immediately hired as schoolteacher, a position he held for many years.
This, however, was not enough, as Brigham Young had advised family gatherings as frequent as once a week if possible so as to provide spiritual growth and recreation for the young people. To be advised was to obey to Daniel and thus he planned and constructed the Daniel Wood family meeting house. The building was of adobe brick and was completed ready for occupancy in December of 1863.
The building was fifty feet by thirty feet with a tower and bell which was brought across the plains by ox teams for this building. There was a stand in the center at the north end of the hall, with choir benches on one side and a platform on the other. The seats were rustic, but very good for the time, and were not stationary, making it easy for them to clear the floor for dancing and other social purposes. The building faced south and was located east of the big house and back from the street about four rods from Woods Cross Road, and about eighteen rods west of what is now Highway 91, on the southeast section of the Wood farm.
Minutes of the first meeting show that it was held on Wednesday evening the eighteenth of November, 1863. The bell in the tower rang out at six thirty and the meeting was called to order as 7:00 p.m. after the second bell was rung. Daniel Wood took charge and his wife Mary acted as recorder. Seated on the stand with Daniel were Paragreen Sessions, William S. Muir, Charles Pearson, and many other early pioneers. The choir consisted of his daughters, sons and wives, with the platform on the west side for the Wood Brothers Band, with Daniel C. Wood Jr. as the leader. The members and their instruments were Daniel C. Wood, cello, Heber C. Wood' violin, George C. Wood, violin, Peter C. Wood, flute, Edwin T. Wood, banjo, James G. Wood second violin, and Joseph C. Wood, only seven years of age, the tambourine. As Joseph grew older he played the cello and later the bass violin, which instrument is still in possession of the family.
The band played for a very well trained choir, also under the direction of Daniel C. Wood, Jr. assisted by Charles Pearson, to sing the hymns of the day. The first opening song by the choir and congregation, which consisted of the Wood family and their many friends, was Come, Come Ye Saints with the opening prayer being given by Peter C. Wood.
Daniel Wood addressed those present giving advice to his family and bearing a powerful testimony and expressed his gratefulness for those who had attended, and inviting them all to attend next Wednesday. Brother Joseph Holbrook played a violin solo accompanied by Daniel Wood, Jr., on the cello. Other speakers at the event were Paragreen Sessions, and William S. Muir, both who bore powerful testimonies and complimented Brother Wood on his splendid family and meeting house. An invitation was extended to all who wished to arise and speak, and in response his wives Mary Elizabeth, Peninah Cotton, and Emma Mariah Wood all arose in turn and expressed their gratefulness for the main blessings they had received. The choir sang a hymn, closing prayer was offered by brother Daniel Wood, with a benediction for all,
After the meeting the benches were moved aside and a social and dance were held. The Wood Brothers Band played such tunes as The Irish Washer Woman, Turkey In the Straw, Sweet Hour of Prayer, Blue Danube, and Fisherman's Hornpipe, and many others. They memorized all their numbers and several original compositions were written for the group by Peter, George, and Heber C. Wood.
Many dramas were presented and also programs and parties of a seasonal nature. They attempted many productions but were considerably handicapped because of the lack of fine stage scenery. The band and choir were always present at such occasions as was the chorus which consisted of the younger members of his family and their neighbor friends.
Later with his sons help Daniel built a platform east of the meeting house under the shade of a cottonwood tree, that was to be used for celebrating the fourth and twenty-fourth of July. Here many fine parties and dances were held on the orchard grass, with the Wood brothers furnishing the music for these occasions. Many songs and poems that were written for these occasions are recorded in the Daniel Wood History which is on file at the church historians office.
Heber, Peter, and Daniel Jr., later married and moved to Idaho, Mexico, and Wyoming respectively. Each had their own family orchestras to furnish dancing and music for other entertainment in their own localities.
Phebe J. Clark, Ann J. Peel, Martha S. Clark, along with the Wood girls presented many fine dramas, comedies and operettas. Josephine C. Wood sang very well, such songs as Annie Laurie, Marble Halls, Believe Me If All Those Enduring Young Charms, and many others.
Philo Dibble, a well known lecturer of the time, gave many lectures in the rock hall, that was located in east Bountiful, east of where the Bountiful Tabernacle now stands. On these occasions the Wood Brothers Band played appropriate music while Brother Dibble was changing pictures. They also traveled up and down the surrounding areas with him to give these lectures.
As time passed, however, the Daniel Wood family grew to man and womanhood and moved away. The death of Mary also changed things considerably, as it seemed to take some of the vigor that Daniel had shown before this time, though he lived many years after this. The last minutes that are recorded were written by Daniel's private secretary and adopted, Charles Pearson. They are dated December 2, 1874, but many private meetings were held after this time.
Daniel out lived six of his seven wives, the last one of which lived until 1916. This glorious meeting house was, in early 1880, torn down to make way for the construction of newer and better houses. This information was taken from the Daniel Wood History, and Angus Smedly Memories.
Retyped from photocopy by
Norma Jean M. Wood
30 September 1990