Histories of Amos George Arnold and Ruth Powell

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Amos George Arnold

Amos George Arnold, the son of Daniel Arnold and Liddie Wille, born March 12, 1833, in Red Field, Jefferson County, New York, He was the fourth child of thirteen children, nine boys and four girls. His father being a farmer, most of his boyhood days were spent helping his father on the farm. His schooling was very limited on account of his father having such a large family, although he was always found of studying and spent most of his leisure time reading.

At the age of eighteen he left home and went to New Orleans. While there he accepted an offer from a circus manager to travel with the circus. He remained with them for three years.

In 1855 he joined a merchants train and drove six yoke of oxen across the plains to Salt Lake Valley. Soon after arriving there he decide to go to California. He walked the whole distance, eighteen hundred miles, with nothing to direct him except a map. While on his way he spent a winter in Oregon, making whingles. In the spring he continued on his journey. While walking through a canyon one day, a mountain lion attacked him. He had nothing to defend himself but a jack-knife. He was near a canyon stream, he reached a branch on the opposite side and swung himself across. The animal was approaching nearer to him all the while and he broke a limb from a tree and pointed it in the direction of the lion. This seemed to frighten the animal away, so he escaped in safety. He traveled the rest of the distance without meeting with any serious opposition.

While in California he worked as a miner until 1858. In this year he went on to British Columbia. He remained there but a few months and returned to California and there he stayed until freighting to Salt Lake City. In 1865 he took a load of passengers to Oregon. After returning to Salt Lake City in 1866he joined the Latter Day Saints Church. Shortly after joining he was asked by one of the church authorities to marry Nancy Maria Winchester, the sealed wife of the prophet Joseph Smith, so that she might become a mother. By doing so he was promised a young sweet wife he could call his own. In 1868 was born one son, George Stephen Arnold, leaving Mrs. Arnold's health very poorly. She lived until March 17, 1876. June 7, 1876 he married Ruth Powell in the Endowment House. To them were born thirteen children, five boys and eight girls: Ada Arnold, Ruth A. Brizzee, Joseph Arnold, Henry Arnold, Phoebe Hales, Cora Bowen, Earnest Dewey Arnold, Thomas Stanley Arnold and Stella May Arnold.

June 14, 1883, they came to Idaho in company with his son George Stephan and his wife's sister Mary Ann Powell also George and Charlie Briggs. They landed in Rexburg two blocks east of the court house. Shortly after they settled in what is now known as Arhcer.

Later on he again went to Salt Lake in company with Charles Briggs and John Lee. There being no bridges on the rivers at that time they had to ford across. On their return home, as they were crossing the river, one of their fine teams was drowned.

Later on he homesteaded a hundred and sixty acre farm five miles south or Rexburg, now known as Lyman Ward, where he lived the rest of his time here upon the earth, and which now is owned by members of his family.

In 1893 he went in partnership with his son George Stephen in the ship business. He was also a stockholder in Flamm and Company Store.

He served as bishop of the Archer Ward a number of years; also worked in the Y. M. M. I. A. and as a teacher in Sunday School. He was interested in education and assisted in building the first school house, suggesting the name, Cedar Point, by which it is still known.

He was a natural composer. He composed a number of poems, one of which was a thirty verse poem called, "The Mormon Boy." He was always active at social events. In old folks gatherings he was always assigned to take part in entertaining and usually gave one of his own readings.

He was the only one of his father's family to join the church. After forty years he went back to his old home in New York to visit with his people and gather records of Genealogy. He has at the present time ninety descendants. He lived to the age of ninety-four and remained true and faithful to the end.

The History of Ruth Arnold

Ruth Powell Arnold, born February 8, 1857, at Lancaster, England, daughter of Elizabeth Johnson and Joseph Powell. She was the eighth child of ten children. When she was 9 years of age the family joined the church and after that time her father presided over a small branch there. He was a ship builder and first class carpenter, doing the finer work for the church houses. He was also a foreman over a large brick yard.

Many times the elders stayed with them in their home. Ruth, thinking it an honor, would black their shoes. Her Mother had very strong faith in the church and she was gifted with the gift of tongues when bearing her testimony in a Relief Society Meeting.

The family was preparing to come to Utah when her father died. They had to remain there 4 years longer. Leaving Ruth to help support the family of four at the age of 15.

With her mother and two younger sisters they emigrated to Utah, locating at Salt Lake City. When they arrived they were very hard in circumstances. Ruth and her younger sister had to face strangers and find work. In June of 1876 she married Amos George Arnold. Four children were born to them in Utah, death came to the oldest at 18 months. She with her husband came to Idaho. While they were traveling on their way they met up with Indians. Ruth cried because she thought the Indians were going to take her baby, but the other ladies in camp helped to protect her.

The company first camped in Rexburg and later settled in Archer. The family lived in tents while the home was being built. The mosquitoes were very bad and this made it very miserable for them. After the ward was organized they often held meetings in their home before they built the church house.

She was chosen second councilor to the first president of the Relief Society. She held this office three years after which the society was reorganized.

Ruth having poor health in the latter part of her life had to remain at home a lot of the time. She was a lover of home life and her family. She had a large family, eight girls and five boys, also raising a step son. She buried two grown daughters within ten months apart. This made her grieve very much. She always welcomed the teachers of the ward and also gave a big donation. She always did what she could.. Ruth was kind-hearted and had a good disposition, loved the younger people, and would join in their good times. She remained faithful until the last.

Death came to her December 21, 1907.

Transcribed by: Eileen Andersen
Summer 2002

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