DANIEL AND PENINAH WOOD'S THREE LITTLE INDIANS
I was told by a Church Historian that a year or so after the saints landed in the Salt Lake Valley that President Young sent his three main scouts all around the outskirts of the valley--Parley P. Pratt, Orrin Porter Rockwell, and John Bean. As they were in the southwest part of the valley, just across the Jordan river--Porter Rockwell's eagle eye noticed a small cluster of very carefully placed limbs. He said, "That looks like a small Indian Hut, 'What we would call a lean-to."' They rode over to it. Inside were two small Indian Girls..(they had seen all their tribe massacred by the Black Hawk Indians--including their parents and relatives--the Royalty of the tribe.) They had lived in a hut like that since the war. The scouts were each very good in speaking Indian languages. They talked to the girls, in their own language, and asked them to come out of the hut.
The Scouts always took President Young's advice--and carried bright unusual but useful trinkets to give the Indians. Porter showed a shiny thimble to the first little Indian girl "Mary." She offered to take it in her hand, after looking at it then offered to give it back and he said in her language "You keep."
In a moment Brother Bean showed a small pair of shinny scissors. Little "Lucy" the second Indian girl took them and both Brother Porter and Brother Bean said, "You keep." The girls both began to giggle and laugh, (they were seven and eight years old).
The laughter brought "Thomas," also eight years old, from the bottom of the Jordan River where he was hiding. Brother Pratt went to put in Thomas's hand a small shinny knife and all three men said, "You keep."
Then the Scouts asked if they wanted to take a horse back ride. They did so. The men then one at a time dismounted from their horse and let each Indian child take a short ride. (The horses were well trained so that they would return to their masters whistle.)
The men asked if they would like to see their Chief. They wanted to, so each took a child and rode to President Young. Porter said,, "Brother Brigham, Hey, look what we found." President Young answered, "Take them out to Brother Daniel Wood, his second wife is an Indian and they would love being with her."
They rode out to Daniel Wood's farm. But, it wasn't that easy--Indian spies were watching the scouts in the distance. When at Daniel Wood's place, the Indian Chief soon came and demanded pay for the children. Daniel Wood paid the Chief a horse for each one of the children.
Told by Nephi Jensen, CHURCH HISTORIAN.
Naomia Mae Salter - 1935
As Cleo and I were doing our Los Angeles monthly temple assignments (each trip-was 200 miles each way) just after our missions--it seemed that Peninah's three little Indians seemed to almost haunt me. In our Temple assignments we put their names on the Prayer Roll and prayed very earnestly about getting their work done. I wrote and got their baptismal date, their Patriarchal blessing dates, their tributes to Daniel Wood. I already had their death dates from the Wood Family Cemetery record and I verified it in the Los Angeles Genealogy Library but had no birth date or place or parents. In writing Brother Christiansen and Brother Greenwood of the Special Service Department to my surprise Brother Greenwood sent me the adoption date of all three, when Daniel Wood adopted them.
I still had many letters come back that--I couldn't get permission to do their work. So, one time Cleo and I went to our temple assignment, we were fasting and many special prayers to know what to do.
After completing our days assignment we went to do an endowment session and to our surprise (though we were the last ones to go in the room), we were asked to be special witnesses. As we finished the session and went into the prayer circle I was blessed with a vision. When the prayer was said in the circle, I never heard one word, "I saw a circle of Indian chiefs and sweet Lucy dressed in white was standing in the circle telling her chiefs, perhaps her own people, of the teachings of the gospel. I distinctly noticed and remember how attentive the men were." When doing the last part of the session I saw the same vision. I told Cleo going to the apartment, he said, "Write that to the Special Service Department and mark the letter personal to Brother Greenwood. This I did.
Less than ten days I received notice from the Department of the clearance of my Indians. What a testimony this was! What joy! I was overjoyed I cried freely. This was Cleo's last session. I never got the sealing done until after his funeral. The ward members were my proxies and witnesses. I know beyond any shadow of a doubt they were waiting for it to be done and how thrilled they were to be missionaries.
(SIGNED) Naomia Harden
Norma Jean M. Wood
20 September 1989