LIFE SKETCH OF DANIEL COTTON WOOD JR.
Daniel Cotton Wood Jr., the eldest child of seven, is the son of Daniel and Peninah Cotton Wood. He was born in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, at "Winter Quarters," on the twenty-seventh of January, 1847, where the Saints were camped prior to crossing the plains with Brigham Young.
As a child Daniel was not strong, and was only fifteen months old when his parents along with the second company left for the Salt Lake Valley he caused his mother great anxiety all along the trail. The company left in early April of 1847, and landed in Salt Lake Valley, August 14, 1848.
That same fall, Daniel's father along with Perrigreen Sessions and James Simons moved the families to Bountiful. After awhile the family moved down in the western part of Bountiful, now known as West Bountiful, where Daniel was raised to manhood.
It was his task as a small boy, to herd the cattle and oxen on the bottom lands south and west of the farm. Then the old herd lands ran south as far as Becks Hot Springs, and East in the mountains. On the old Jordan River bottoms barefooted, he occasionally went swimming for a change with other boys of the neighborhood.
How interesting it was to hear him tell about his first remembered pants and shirt, spun and woven by his dear mother. It was Daniel's task to help make molasses, for his father was the first man to make molasses in this valley. The fun the youngsters would have making molasses candy.
The first home Daniel remembered was an old adobe house. Later his father built a four roomed house, two rooms upstairs and two down. In one of these upstairs rooms Daniel's father held family meetings. Later the public was invited to attend. The family boasted of a choir and Daniel was a member of it. Soon after there was a string orchestra organized, and all players were brothers. Daniel played the base viol. This attraction seemed to bring the crowds from all parts, for the main amusement among the young folks was dancing, and could they dance? Sometimes they would dance all night. The tickets were vegetables or other produce used in place of money. It was great fun to see young men bringing a large squash, or half-bushel of potatoes under his arm, with his young lady on the other arm coming to the dance at Dan Wood's home. As Daniel got older he took the violin, and my the wonderful times they had, those "Wood Brothers," going out to play for dances.
Daniel's father held meetings in this room, and at Christmas time the family was in conference, making things right, and all indifference understood, all fasting in prayer, after which the whole family united in feasting, and the usual musical entertaining together. As the family enlarged, Daniel's father later added two rooms on each end of their home, using the large center room for the meeting house, here he put a large bell, which was used to call the family together. Family plays were given and Daniel always took a prominent part. The only school he ever went, was in this room, where a private teacher was hired. Charles Pearson, a young man from England was the teacher. Emma Ellis, a young lady who immigrated here for the gospel, taught for awhile, then Daniel's father married her. He also adopted Charles Pearson, and Charles was the family scribe.
Daniel was a lover of animals, especially horses. His father prided himself on keeping good horses. When a celebration or parade was held where they used horses, Daniel was chosen to drive the team. Daniel's father had the finest family buggy in all the country round. This could almost be called a big wagon, and was used for many occasions, especially when the saints met for celebration and parade. The fourth and twenty fourth of July meant a real jubilee each year for all of the Mormon people. How proud Daniel would feel when he would be the one chosen to drive the team. The harness was decorated with colored rings, and the horses with plumes and bunting.
When Daniel was twenty-two, in the year 1868 Daniel was chosen by the church to drive three mules and a horse across the plains to Omaha to bring emigrants back. Edward Thomas Sr., furnished two mules, Anson Call provided a wagon and one mule, and Joseph Noble sent the horse, and Daniel put the team of mules on the leads.
On the way back the wagons were filled with provisions, and saints walked. Members of the William Waddoups family were among that group of emigrants. They were Thomas, Elizabeth, and Mary Ann, children of William Thomas and Elizabeth Porter Waddoups, who were on their way from Warwickshire, England.
The trip became very hard and wearisome, and Daniel would let the womenfolk ride whenever possible, and it was in this way that he became intimate with Miss Elizabeth Waddoups, who was then a sweet promising young lady, of eighteen, who afterward became his wife.
Daniel was in the tabernacle when Heber C. Klmball prophesied, "that the saints would buy provisions cheaper in Salt Lake than in New York City, within a given time, and that they were then more than 3,000 miles from the nearest city." Truly he saw that fulfilled.
What an experience it was, when Johnson's army came in to molest the peace and homes of the saints. Daniel was then a young man, and remembered with interest all that went on. When the Saints were called to go to the Provo Bottoms for protection against this army, it was the duty of all to leave everything and go, and if needs be, for those left to guard the homes, to set fire to the homes, rather than let them be taken by the army. Brother Filo Dibble, lived in Springville, and being a dear friend of the Wood family, he sent word for Daniel and all of his family to come and stay with them, which he did. Before going, Daniel Jr., helped his father to plant grain and corn. He remembered so vividly how President Young promised the saints, that if they would be obedient, and plant their crops, they would not be harmed, and they were not. Several trips were made by him and his father and brother John, back to Bountiful, to look after the crops, and care for things. They would drive a team and wagon a piece and take food and provision back to the families, for his father then had several wives with children.
On the fourth and last trip for provisions, as they were driving into Salt Lake City, the army could be seen marching down from Emigration Canyon, "the old Mormon trail." President Young ordered them to march down to the Jordan Bottoms, and there camp, and they did as he told them. There they camped for over a year, President Young ordered the army to move up to "Old Fort Hall," on the hills, where they could have more room. Daniel Jr. saw the prophecy fulfilled, for not long after that orders came from Washington, for the Johnson's army to be discharged, and go where they pleased, and then the provision, implements, and clothing was sold dirt cheap. He remembered his father buying a house worth $200 for $5.00, and a four hitch wagon in good condition for $.50. The rest of the saints around bought other things as cheap as the articles his father did.
Daniel remembered Captain John Smith well, for he lived at the Wood home for over a year after the army was discharged. He was taught the gospel, and before he left, John joined the Church of Jesus Christ.
Daniel was a member of the Mormon Battalion, with Lot Smith as Captain. The headquarters were at Farmington, Utah, and the field for practice was down on the Jordan River where Johnson's Army had camped. These men were later discharged, as the government was uneasy because they were not under their control.
When the Corner Stone of the temple in Salt Lake was laid Daniel Jr. was present, and it was his privilege to haul rock and timber for it's construction. His father furnished a team of oxen and wagon each year for others to use in the hauling, besides putting in a great deal of time himself. When the Cap Stone was laid, and the temple was dedicated, Daniel Jr. was present on that occasion, and to mention the experiences pertaining to the building and construction of that Holy edifice, it always a joy to hear him tell of his own experiences connected with it.
In 1869, Brigham Young and other laid plans to build the Utah Central Rail Way for Ogden to Salt Lake City. It was the plans to have the track as near on a straight line running north and south. This meant that it would run across the west end of Daniel's father's farm. It was late in the fall when Brigham Young on his son Joseph drove up in a large buggy to arrange for the buying of land from Daniel's father, the track to run through the three cornered lower half the farm. Daniel got the contract from Joseph Young to furnish ties from Harvey Purkins on the north to Ephraim Hatch on the south. He hewed timbers himself and hauled them all from Mill Creek Canyon, and not one tie was defective. This took over 700 tons of timber. The road was commenced in 1870 in early spring. He got $.50 a tie.
Late in the fall of 69, Daniel's father decided to go to Canada to visit his parents, and get genealogy. He took Daniel's brother Peter along to act as scribe, for the father could not write well, nor could he read, not having the chance to go to school. Daniel took them up to the mouth of Weber Canyon where their was a station to take the train from there. This meant that Daniel was to take his father's place in providing food stuff and wood to burn while the father was gone, for which he did for all of the families, for his father had five wives then and each one had a family.
In the fall of 1870, the railroad was finished, and William Muir influenced the manager to put the station up in the field east of his home, which meant that it was in the center of Daniel Wood's field. That fall he came home from Canada, and of course rode home on the new railroad. When the conductor announced, that they were at Woods Cross, his father stood up and announced, "Cross, yes, and dam cross too," and it has been called that ever since, only that the station was removed from the center of field to the street on the south, where it now stands.
Daniel remembered with interest when the railroad was all finished, for everyone in the vicinity had a free ride from Salt Lake to Ogden and return including a fine dinner in Ogden.
It was the joy of every one living in Bountiful and Woods Cross to assist in the building of the Bountiful Tabernacle. Daniel along with his father and older brothers assisted in the building of this wonderful edifice. He was present when it was dedicated.
Daniel remembered Brigham Young coming up in his beautiful carriage, body guards, and 150 Calvary men who camped on the block while the services went on. There was a large brass band in attendance, and the day was long to be remembered by all present. President Young returned after with his soldiers.
In the old Endowment House June 8, 1869 Daniel married Elizabeth Waddoups, the daughter of Thomas Waddoups and Elizabeth Porter. They had a wonderful wedding supper and danced in the Wood Hall. The "Dell Burnham Band" played, and a large crowd was in attendance, a time long to be remembered. They lived for three years with his father occupying the north rooms of the large house. His brother John and wife had used these rooms prior to his marriage; but John's wife died just prior to the marriage. During this time Daniel was solely dependent upon the counsel of his father, both having the same purse, and all shared alike with not a discord, nor jar.
In 1873 Daniel was given five acres of land just east of the Woods Cross Station, where he built a four roomed rock house, assisted by Mr. Thomas Harrison, and this house still stands, as a monument to their fine workmanship. After a short time Daniel sold this home and land to Syrull Call, and bought the old Burnham farm, located in the northwest bottom lands of the town. He paid $3,000 for this large 155 acre farm, and sold the five acres for $15.00.
After living for five years on this farm, Daniel found that his ambition was to go to Idaho, where his brother Heber had settled. They now had six children, Daniel T. Jr., Joseph, William, Franklin D., Parley P. and Elizabeth and to sell out and move away meant a real job, but Elizabeth was willing to take the chance, even if it did mean that she would be separated from all her relatives. It might be fitting here to say that there never was a more humble, sweet, willing always to think of herself last and faithful mother and wife than Elizabeth. To know her was to love and adore her forever. God bless her memory.
It was in the year 1878 that Daniel sold his large 155 acre farm to a Mr. Basken, for $58,000. He moved to Rockland, Idaho, and took up land on the Bench, and lived in the settlement near his brother Heber. This was their home for only three of four years, when Daniel sold out to Henry Houtz for $1500 and moved to Star Valley. This was his home for several years, and it was there that his wife died and was buried. This was lin 1895, on the twenty eighth of February. By this time Daniel and Elizabeth had ten children. Besides the six mentioned before, they had Sylvia, Irine, Charles Ray, Victoria, Elvira and Florence Elvia. and all of these children lived to manhood and womanhood except Charles Ray, who died when only one year old. Since then William died of cancer leaving a wife and four children. Parley was killed while quite young.
In the year 1893 on February 14, Daniel left for a mission to Great Britain, leaving his noble wife with that large family, in a place where the snow was on the ground for over half of the year, yet, with it all she along with her husband filled this mission nobly. It was one year after he returned from this mission, when his wife died, leaving him with nine children.
While on a mission Daniel made the acquaintance of Margaret Ann Edwards, and after a year after the death of his first wife, he married her in the Logan Temple, on October 30, 1895. Soon after this Daniel sold his possessions to his eldest son Daniel T. who was married, and took his new wife to Blackfoot, Idaho where they rented Isaac Erickson's 500 acre farm. This was a man who "lived-and let live." He run this farm for two years, then bought 80 acres, where he now lives. In Star Valley Daniel made many friends. To mention his name now for many miles around comes the sentiment of love and good fellowship. His son Daniel who still lives on the old farm is followed his father's footsteps for every one loves him as a father for truly a father he is and has been to the whole valley around.
The sons and one daughter were born to Daniel through this union, and they all settled on the farm near their parents. The daughter died leaving seven children for her mother and husband to care for.
This sketch was written in 1934, and up to date you can find Daniel at home, a bit crippled up wit rheumatism but is able to do his own milking and cares for his farm animals at the age of eighty-seven years.
It was a joy to interview him on old times, and the pioneer life he remembers so well. It was on one of these evenings when he told of going to Arizona on April 14, 1873, with Horton Haite as Captain, with about 150 other men, and was gone over seven months. Bishop Roundy was sent down to see how things were going and found that the country was not quite as it was thought to be and ordered the pioneers to come back. Their important mission was to teach the Navaho and Apache Indians how to farm.
When Daniel was out herding and wanted to rest, he would lay down on the ground with his ear next to the ground, and he could tell when his herd was wandering around, and almost how far away they were. This would be of no use to us today, as we have so many automobiles and airplanes to make a noise.
Daniel served a short mission to Arizona in 1873, in company with Captain Horton Haite, and the object of their mission was to teach the Indians how to farm and till the soil. Bishop Roundy was sent to report the condition of the soil, and as it was not as thought to be, the elders were only there eight or nine months and were released to come home.
Death came to Daniel on Sunday evening June 10, 1934, of cancer after several months illness. Funeral services were held in the Thomas Ward meeting house. This building he helped to build, doing most of the rough carpenter work. He came into this ward soon after it was organized in 1906. The services were conducted under the supervision of Bishop P. B. Dance, with Brother Erwin Evans assisting. Solos were rendered by Mr. and Mrs. David Watt, accompanied by Mrs. Reta Wethers. The soles were Come Weary Soul, My Task, and Resignation. Julias Nork opened and the benediction was given by Brother Parkenson, all of Blackfoot. Inez W. Evans, a niece of the deceased, read a sketch of Daniells life, and Brother Royal M. Jepson preached the funeral sermon. He commented on the life of Daniel and said that he was the first man to bring a potato digger in the valley. He said how every one lived Daniel, and he seemed to love to colonize and build towns and cultivate new soil and watch it develop. Daniel was the eldest member of the High Priest Quorum in the stake. Brother Jepson depicted his life as that of granite, like the holy temple was built, for the saints knew nothing of cement then and how perfectly they could hew each rack into a perfect stone to fit in place forever. He said that he seem to love to help in building up the country rather than hold positions in the church, not the polished type, but the sturdy honorable builders of the soil, and we should stand with uncovered heads at his bier of such a character, and be thankful for such a granite character of the church, who saw it grow from a wilderness and blossom like the Rose of Eden.
Brother Erwin Evans made a few remarks, quoting Wadsworth, "Our spirit has else where to go," and felt like the power of God was like the radio. When we touch the electric buttons the mechanisms of the human brain will be touched by God and we will hear and see, when he speaks.
Brother Evans said that Brother Wood had the habit of putting his hand.on his shoulder whenever they met and would say "How are you? Are you trying to be good?", and said what that meant to him as a growing man, for--he could never forget the impression it made upon him for good.
Interment was in the Thomas Ward Cemetery, and Joseph C. Wood, the only living brother dedicated the grave. The funeral was at two o'clock p.m. Wednesday June 13, 1934.
All of his children were present except Florence Elvia Sorenson and family. He leaves fourteen children, eighty-two grandchildren and forty-four great grandchildren.
Retyped from copy by
Norma Jean M. Wood
22 February 1990