Julia Pack (1817-1903)

Julia Ives Pack, 1817-1903
Autobiography (1817-1896)
Autobiography of Julia Ives Pack in Kate B. Carter, comp., Our Pioneer Heritage 9 (1966):
My father, Erastus Ives, was born at Farrington, Connecticut, November 2, 1780. He died at Watertown, New York, September 3, 1828. My mother, Lucy Paine, was born December 25, 1782, at Amena, New York. They were married in December 1805. Their children were Joel, Jerome, Julia, and Henry. My mother died October 20, 1839, at Nauvoo, Illinois. I was born March 8, 1817, at Watertown, New York and was married to John Pack, October 10, 1832. Our first child, Ward Eton Pack, was born April 17, 1834. My husband and I were baptized March 8, 1836, into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We migrated to Kirtland, Ohio, in the spring of 1837. There our first daughter, Lucy Amelia, was born on June 24, 1837. We left Kirtland in the spring of 1838 and went to Daviess County Missouri, twenty miles from Far West. We were in Far West at the celebration on July 4, 1838, when the cornerstone for a temple was laid. The Saints had a good time. It was a general time of rejoicing.

About the first of September the mob began to gather against the Mormons, made attacks on them, burning houses in some places. We moved into Far West and stayed there until Brigadier General Parks and Mr. Donovan came on the scene and dispersed the mob and sent them home. We went back to our home. Shortly after, a company of immigrants came, bringing word that Levi Wood, husband of Phoebe Pack, my husband’s sister, had died at Huntsville, Missouri, and that she was very sick, unto death. My husband and I started next day to go and look after them. Our first day’s journey took us within five miles of Grand River Ferry. We stopped all night at a neighbor’s house. There was but one room in the house, and the landlady made us a bed on the floor. About the middle of the night, the man of the house came home, complained of being very tired and that he had not had his boots off for several nights. He had been in the mob camp that was gathered against the Saints at Dewitt on the Missouri River. We started on our journey the next morning and were nearly to the ferry when a company of armed men, about thirty in number, met us. About half of them had passed when the head man wheeled about, rode up to our wagon, and asked if we were Mormons. My husband told him we were, and he told us we would have to go with them to their camp. He ordered us to wheel about. They took us about five miles across a new rough road to their camp. The leader of the gang came up to our wagon and ordered my husband to take his valise and follow them, saying, “We take you for a spy.” He said to me, “You can bid your husband goodbye. You will never see him again. You can go to that house,” pointing to a log house across the hollow.

I told him I would not go one inch, I said, “If my husband dies, I will die with him.” I put my foot on the wheel of the wagon to jump to the ground when my husband took hold of my hand and whispered to me: “You stay with the wagon and take care of the horses, I am not afraid of them and will be back soon.” They took him through a patch of hazel brush to an open space covered with grass. Sachel Woods, a Methodist minister said: “Here will be your grave, we are going to kill you unless you will deny Joe Smith.” My husband said: “Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God. You profess to be a preacher of righteousness and so do I. I’ll meet you at the day of judgment.”

There were five or six of them. They talked around inquiring who would shoot him, but none seemed really willing to do the deed. Finally a man standing by our wagon called out–“Let that damned Mormon go.” Soon they came back with him, ordered him back into his wagon, saying if we were ever seen in that country again, it would be at the peril of our lives. They sent the same company back with us to the ferry and saw us across the river. We went on to our sister at Huntsville and found her very sick. She was completely salivated with calomel and was near her death. We stayed two weeks and did all we could for her, then put a bed in our wagon and placed her on it with her little child six months old. We left the three older children with a Mormon family, Amos Herrick.

We started on our journey home and got as far as Carlton, a small town forty miles from our home. At a grog shop in this town were several of the mob that took us prisoners. They knew us and said: “There are the ones we took prisoners. Let us go for Sachel Woods.” A man jumped on his horse and went full speed for somewhere. We went a short distance through a piece of timber, then left the road and started for home across the prairie. Two or three times during the night we came to deep narrow gullies cut by the storms in the rich soil. My husband would unhitch the horses, get them over, then we would draw the wagon over by hand, it being a light wagon something like the delivery wagons we have now. We reached our home shortly after daybreak and found my husband’s brother, Rufus Pack, there sick with chills and fever. The mob had returned and were annoying the Saints, driving them out of their homes and burning their dwellings.

My husband’s father was taken sick a few days after. He died. Next day we took him to Far West, held the funeral and returned home the same day, and stayed up all night, loaded our wagons with what we could, and started to Far West. The next day when we reached there, my husband bought some logs for a house, laid them up and chinked the cracks with wood without plastering it, and we moved into it. It was the last house of the city towards Goose Creek. There were twenty of us in this one cold room. The mob came against Far West. Our leading men, the Prophet and others, were delivered up to them and our city was surrounded by the mob guard. Two of them stood in front of our door for weeks.

William Bosley and Eleanor Pack, his wife, were with us. She is my husband’s sister. He was in the Crooked River Battle when David Patten was killed. The mob was after all who were in that battle to take them prisoners. William came to my husband saying: “I can never get away unless you help me.” They started out, got past the guard and went to Huntsville. My husband was gone two weeks. During his absence we got out of flour. We had a log set on end with a mortar in the top to hold the grain, a spring pole with a wedge in the end to grind the corn. Of this we made bread. During these two weeks, Rufus’ wife was taken sick. I went to Parley Pratt’s home, a small room he had put up for his stable in which his family was living, and asked permission of his wife who was in her bed sick with one of her children by her side, to bring our sister there for her confinement. There was a small place at the foot of her bed where I made a bed for our sister. She was lying in this bed when Parley Pratt came to bid his wife and family goodbye before going to prison, he being guarded by two men while doing so.

There came a severe snowstorm, after our men had given up their firearms and signed a paper at the point of a bayonet to give up all of their property to pay the expenses of driving us out of the state which we had to leave before the last of April 1838 or be exterminated. After the mob went home, we moved out on Log Creek, six miles from Far West. My mother, Lucy Ives, was with us. We stayed there until the 8th of February 1839. My mother joined teams with William Huntington and moved out of Missouri with his family, crossed the river at Quincy, Illinois, where she remained until fall. The same year she moved to Nauvoo, lived with the family of Brother Huntington until his wife died. She then went to Stephen Markham’s and lived there until she died, October 20, 1839. She was completely worn out by the mobbing and hardships.

We crossed the Mississippi River at Atlas and settled four miles from Perry, Pike County, Illinois. We moved to Nauvoo, in April 1840. November 6, 1840, our second son, George Caleb, was born. We were acquainted with Joseph and Hyrum Smith and have often listened to their teachings. In August 1843 I was sealed to John Pack for time and eternity by Hyrum Smith. Our third son, John Pack, was born October 5, 1843. June 27, 1844, Joseph and Hyrum Smith were slain in Carthage jail by a mob, and John Taylor was wounded four times, one bullet striking his watch which saved his life. The dead bodies were brought to Nauvoo, a sorrowful sight to behold. I saw them after they were placed in the Nauvoo Mansion where thousands gazed upon them in silent grief.

October 5, 1845, our second daughter, Julia, was born. December 1845 we received our ordinances in the Nauvoo temple and our second annointings, Parley Pratt officiating. My husband and I worked in the temple some time after. On the 8th of February 1846 we left Nauvoo, crossed the Mississippi River and camped on Sugar Creek with many of our brothers and sisters who had left Nauvoo about that time. We had no shelter but our wagons in the dead of winter. We stayed there until the first day of March.

The company being organized in hundreds, fifties and tens, we started on that day for the Rocky Mountains. I drove a horse team most of the way. We arrived at Cutler’s Park the first day of August 1846. There our little Julia died, August 30th. We buried her on a mound nearby. On September 1st we moved down with the camp to Winter Quarters. In the spring of 1847 my husband was called to be one of the pioneers to the Rocky Mountains. They were led by the Twelve, Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball. They were organized in a military organization, the officers of which were as follows: B. [Brigham] Young, Lieutenant-General; Jesse C. Little, Adjutant; Stephen Markham, Colonel; John Pack and Shadrach Roundy, Majors; Thomas Tanner, Captain of Artillery. They started on the journey the forepart of April 1847. During the absence of his father, our fourth son, Don Carlos was born August 22, 1847, in Winter Quarters. The pioneers returned the fall of 1847. On April 1, 1848, we left Winter Quarters and started for Salt Lake Valley in Brother Kimball’s company. We reached the Valley in September of 1848.

On August 22, 1849, our third daughter, Eleanor Philotte, was born. My husband was called on a mission to France with John Taylor and Curtis E. Bolton at the conference held October 6, 1849. He was gone three years. There were 12 of us in the family, and we worked hard and supported ourselves while he was gone. The family consisted of: my husband’s mother, myself and six children; Nancy Booth and child, and Ruth Mosher and child. These women are my husband’s wives. My son, Ward Eaton, was our main help, he being only fifteen years and six months old. We raised our bread, fought crickets and went through all hardships in common with our brothers and sisters. The Lord blessed us and gave us comfort under all of our hardships. We made most of our clothing and took wool on shares, bought a loom, learned to weave and make our own cloth, and were comfortably dressed.

Our fifth son, Erastus Frederick, was born June 17, 1853. In the spring of 1856 my husband was called on a mission to Carson Valley to help settle that valley. That was the year of the famine. People went short on food and had to dig roots to help out their provisions. We lived on rations and divided our flour with those who had none. When our wheat was harvested after the scarcity, we had twenty-two bushels. Myself and the children gleaned from the harvest field, gathered heads of wheat, put them on a wagon cover, beat them with sticks and held it up to the wind to blow out the chaff. It made fine flour. Merrit Newton, our sixth son, was born May 1, 1856. I placed him in his cradle under the willows while I gleaned wheat.

In the spring of 1858 Johnston’s Army was expected in Salt Lake Valley and it was feared that they would be hostile and make war on the people so we were counseled to move south. My son Ward’s wife, Elizabeth Still, was so very sick that I could not go when the rest of the family went. I stayed and took care of her until the morning of May 19 when she died. The next day, May 20, our fourth daughter, Sedenia Tamson, was born. When my baby was two weeks and two days old, we started south. The same day the army came into the town but they were peaceable. We came back to our homes in a few weeks, which we were very glad to do. September 9, 1860, Joel Ives, our 7th son, was born. He lived to be almost 11 years old. He died from the kick of a horse. He was a fine little fellow.

Philotte Pack, my husband’s mother, died January 6, 1866, firm in the faith in her ninety-sixth year. She and I were both members of the Relief Society at Nauvoo, being admitted at the sixth meeting, which was held in the Lodge Room April 28, 1842. A Relief Society was organized in the 17th Ward with Miranda Hyde as president, July 19, 1868. The officers and visiting committees of Relief Societies met at Josephine Haywood’s. At that meeting I was appointed president of the visiting committee of the 17th Ward Relief Society. I held that position until Sister Hyde died. After her death, the Relief Society was re-organized with Bathsheba Smith as president. She chose me as her 1st counselor, which position I hold at the present time, August 15, 1894. On August 16, 1894, the society was re-organized with Bathsheba Smith president; Julia Ives Pack, first vice-president and Sophia Nuttal second vice-president. I held this place until May 10, 1896, when I moved to Ramas and joined the Society there. (End of journal.)