|Birth: ||Dec. 20, 1855|
|Death: ||Aug. 16, 1940|
San Juan County
History of the Life of Julia Hills Eagar Johnson
(Written by herself)
I was born December 20, 1855, at Manti City, Sanpete County. At that time, Utah was a Territory but later became a state. My father's name was John Eagar and my mother's was Sariah Anna Johnson Eagar. My birthplace was an old fort in Manti which had been put up as a piece of protection from the Indians. I recall playing about the fort. Later, Father built a seven-room house just across the road from it [the fort].
There was plenty of trouble with Indians in those days. When they were on friendly terms with the settlers they used to beg for food, but when they weren't very friendly, we were very afraid of them.
My father was a school teacher, and also a postmaster and tithing clerk. [Also, a printer, justice of the peace and probate judge.]
His health would not permit him to do hard labor so he made his living by writing. Later he decided to move to Southern Utah to better his health. He sold out and prepared to go, but before we left, he died.
Mother sent for her brother, Nephi Johnson, to take her to Southern Utah. There were nine in the family, so it took two wagons besides the light spring wagon my mother rode in.
After we arrived we lived about from place to place and sometimes in dugouts.
After we lived there for awhile we moved to North Creek, where my Grandfather [Joel Hills Johnson] had a mill. Mother brought a piece of land which enabled her to teach her two sons, John Thomas, and William Walter, how to farm.
My sister Anna was the oldest and I never remember of her working in the fields.
For many years, we lived there neighbors to Grandfather, who had three women and I lived among his wives.
My mother's mother [Anna Pixley Johnson] died before mother was anything but a child.
After she died, Grandfather married a woman by the name of Susan, another named Janet, and other named Margaret. Aunt Margaret was the mother of the man known as Ezekiel Johnson. I remember some of the other children, but I can't recall their names, so I won't mention them.
I was very fond of my grandfather [Joel Hills Johnson] and I was always listening to every word he said. I remember hearing him say that when his father [Ezekiel Johnson] died, he called him to his bed and told him that he wished him to do this temple work for him. Also, that he had known always that there was a true Gospel, ever since he heard it, but that he was too stubborn to acknowledge it. He said he had waited too long and was unable to do it for himself, so he was asking my grandfather, Joel Hills Johnson, to do his temple work for him.
Grandfather did this work for him as soon as there was an opportunity. (That is why I could never understand why it was said that he never had his work done.).
I learned most of the Gospel from my grandfather, and even though it was said he was of a cranky disposition, he never spoke a cross word to me.
I remember distinctly at one time when he bid me goodbye with a blessing and said that he wanted me to be one of the best women on earth and I have always remembered it and keep it in my mind.
I have always been prayerful ever since I can remember, and having no education, I have to depend on God for my help. I feel to acknowledge the hand of the Lord for every help and many different things in my childhood days, and also since I've grown to womanhood.
Between the age of fourteen and fifteen, I started on a trip to Salt Lake City with my two uncles and an aunt. The object of the trip was to become better acquainted with the folks in Salt Lake, and I made the trip at the request of the folks at home and my uncle.
On our way we were going to stop at my Uncle Benjamin F. Johnson's, on his farm in Spring Lake Villa for a couple of weeks and my uncle's wife was to meet him there and all visit together. Before we got there, we stopped at the home of another uncle, George Washington Johnson, for a few hours, while there one of our cousins, Horace Johnson, was sick in bed with the measles.
I had never had the measles and therefore wasn't allowed to go in his room.
After we got to Spring Lake we stayed for two weeks. Two loads of the folks went fishing at the Lake, but I had to stay at the house. My grandfather had five women only part of them went. I stayed with Sarah Melissa.
During the time they were gone my aunt and I were talking, another aunt, Harriett, came in the room and told us about Horace Johnson coming. A few minutes after she had left, Horace came in and met Aunt Melissa, after they had met, she gave me an introduction to him.
When I reached my hand to shake hands with him; someone said to me "There is the father of your children." I was very much plagued and the same voice said again, "Never mind no one knows but you." Since it never came to my mind again for years I knew it was a presentment.
Years after I was married to this man, the same voice returned and repeated the message. I was at that time the mother of several children. Some years later the voice came again and I never forgot it after that.
I never said anything to anyone about it for a number of years. It may have been until after all my children were born. This taught me that people have guardian angels. I believe it was because I was prayerful and relied on my Father in Heaven that I received that message concerning me. I also acknowledge his hand in many other manifestations which have helped to guide me right.
The time I left Uncle Benjamin's, before I was married, I went to Salt Lake and stayed until the last of July. From there I went back to Mona with my grandmother and Aunt Susan. Uncle Jimmie was the teamster.
I was to stay at Uncle George's until I could get a ride to Manti and from there home. While in Mona, I met Horace again. Horace's folks were well acquainted with mine, although I wasn't old enough to remember very well. They used to spend the winters at our house, and work at Uncle George's trade as a tinner.
When I got back to Mona, the folks received me very kindly and told me I was welcome to stay so long as I desired.
At the time they were planning a trip to Salt Lake and they left me home to do some spinning and help with the other work.
Horace and Miles were left to put up the fall hay, which was to be gathered in from the meadow.
My cousins, "Millie" or Mary and Laura were left to do the housework so there was quite a group of young folks together. It was the gathering place for all the young folks, since it was nearly in the center of the town.
"Millie" was engaged to a young man. I was soon engaged to Horace.
Our courtship lasted about three weeks before we were married. Uncle G.W. Johnson married us on the twenty-fifth of August. I wasn't quite fifteen years old and Horace was twenty. Horace was my second cousin.
We lived in Mona until six children were born. We buried our oldest boys, Horace and Almon, there; and from there we moved to Moab.
We now have eight living children and we buried Josephine, Leo and Lyman, three children since we came to Moab; also Joseph Hills buried January 2, 1928.
We have had a hard time in raising a large family and my husband and I have seen hard times.
When we lost our two oldest boys, our daughter, Julia Charlotte, was in bed at the same time with diphtheria with the other boys.
When Lottie saw the boys pass away and taken from the same room, she called for her father. She put her arms around his neck and pleaded for her life. Her father asked her if she wished the elders to come and administer, and as she chose the ones she wanted, Uncle Almon asked them to come. This was about three in the morning and a man by the name of John Evans was sitting up with her that night.
Before Mr. Evans came that night, he was talking to his family and told them that we should have help or something as we had been having so much trouble lately. So his family gathered around and they had prayer. After prayers, he said he was wondering why people in this day and age couldn't heal the sick and the afflicted, as they did back in the days of our Savior. Mr. Evans had a presentment telling him that they could if they just had faith. He told his father-in-law of his presentment and asked him what he thought of it. His father-in-law told him that he should tell us and have the Elders again.
When it occurred to him that perhaps we'd be hurt if he mentioned it, since we had the Elders at our house so much. As soon as he heard "Lottie" make a plea for her life, he then asked our forgiveness, told us of his presentment and offered his assistance in any way.
We asked him to administer to her and he promised us that she would be healed according to our faith.
As soon as the other Elders came they all administered to her again, and from the first she showed signs of feeling better.
This was on a Sunday morning and the people inquired as to her health as they passed on their way to services. When they found we were fasting and praying, they asked to join us so they stayed out in their wagons, buggies and on the woodpile, and they too prayed for her.
Horace was about to go out with the Elders when he turned and said he was going to look in her throat. After he looked in her throat he exclaimed "Oh my God."
She could hardly breathe and it scared Horace. I told him to never mind that she would be healed as the Elders had promised. He said yet, he knew and left the room. In a few minutes, I called him, as she had coughed up some of the material from her throat. He again looked down her throat and stated that he couldn't see where it had come from. I told him that this form of material would pass off until she was well.
Her Aunt Laura came to see her and said every time that child draws a breath it strikes my heart. She said she could stand it no longer and that she would leave. I told her to call tomorrow and the child would be sleeping as peaceful as a baby. Laura didn't seem to think it could be possible. When Laura returned on the following afternoon it was exactly as I told her and she said that she couldn't understand it.
After that, she got better every day. Her flesh looked almost transparent and she never showed any more signs of diphtheria.
When people called I told them not to fear that she was cured of her disease and that she had been healed through the power of the Lord.
Sarah Anna was born on the sixth of April and when Anna was born, "Lottie" was afraid I was going to die.
When Anna was six months old, we were ready to move to the Animas River. This was in the fall of the year and there were a number of storms.
Nine wagons made up the little company. We were so heavy laden that we had to double up on our teams on the hills, thus it made traveling very slow. Generally we used two drivers and what horses the men could handle and the rest of the men rolled on the wagon wheels. Each night they doubled up on the two front wagons and went ahead to find a camping spot.
After we got on the top of the Wasatch Mountains and started down, progress was much faster.
Huntington was our first stop. Since we had folks there, we stopped over a few days and rested our teams and looked around. Our folks wanted us to stay. I was afraid to ask the company to stop. The company had formed an agreement that they would stay together until they had reached their destination along the Animas [river in Colorado].
From there the little company journeyed to Moab, where again we rested our teams and cattle for a few days.
After leaving Moab, the roads were very bad and we walked most of the way.
From there we journeyed to what is now called LaSal. At that time, Maxwells and John Shafer were there. John Shafer was later my son-in-law. We went over the three steep hills and we had to tie ropes to the wagons to hold them upright.
That evening the men killed several deer. We camped on the first steep. We went up the dugway on the first hill and from there down the last hill to Dove Creek, Colorado, into Mancos.
After that, we stopped only for provisions and here to the Animas River and crossed the Agtic Bridge, from there to Watson Bell's ranch.
When we reached there, we found nothing as this man had written to us in Mona and there were no places to take up farms at all and this man who had written us had only a cattle ranch divided by the river.
When we found things so undesirable, we only stayed for a few days and a couple of men came up from Burnam (now Fruitland, New Mexico) on the San Juan River, to see if we would come down there and join them in their community to help them get a school.
Three of the men from our company went down there to see if we could get a school. We had to take any kind of a place we could get when we got there for shelter. We lived in a stockade room until Horace got some logs to build a house. He got cottonwood logs from a man who owned a ranch along the river. He built one large room out of those logs. We stayed there until August.
That winter was known as the "Hard Winter." We had to depend on Durango, Colorado, for our food and it was snowed under for three months.
All of the meat we had we got from the Navajo Indians. It was good meat. We ground what wheat and corn we had on a hand mill.
As soon as the river went down in the spring, they crossed and went to a small trading post, where Horace got flour, lard and sugar. When he came he gave the kids a treat of sugar they wanted.
As we had only dry beans and salt pickles with corn bread for the past two months, we were all glad to get the provisions.
When we came over, I thought I'd never care to go back over that road again, but when the time came to go back, I was glad to go again. I drove a single team and Horace drove a four horse team all of the way back. It was a very hard trip. We camped below Durango on the La Platta Creek as when we came over.
There we traded horses for provisions. Orris Newell went back on the Animas to get his wife and family and we went from there to Moab.
We took a ranch on what is now known as "The Flat." First we went to work on the ditch. Then most of the little company moved up Pack Creek and went to work so we could get water down to the farms. When we got the water on the land, we all moved down and set out our stakes by the North Star.
We all settled in the corners of our land. It was the only lines we had as the land hadn't been surveyed. The men went to work hauling timber out of the mountains to build the houses. They built three houses in succession. Andrew Somerville, Sr., was the first to get his house. George McConkie, Sr., was second and ours was third.
The Newell family went to Huntington for a load of provisions and he never got his house built until in the spring.
About the first month after the first house was built, Jennie Somerville was born and shortly afterward, Ettie McConkie was born. The next March George Washington Johnson was born to Horace and me. The next fall after Newell's house was built, Stella Newell was born to Orris and Mellie.
We built the best we could. The first year we planted alfalfa in a five acre piece and also raised a good corn crop. We had bought the alfalfa seed before we left Mona, but the rest of the company had sold their seed along the way as they got a good price for it.
At that time there were no stores, and the men had to go to Huntington for supplies.
When the Indians made so much disturbance and stole horses, the people of Indian Creek out through Durango sent in a complaint. The Government sent a company of soldiers and they made their camp in what is now Monticello. Our men contracted with them to furnish the grain for their horses and mules. This enabled us to send to Montgomery Ward & Co. for clothing. We also sold butter, eggs, and chickens to the Army. After that, they sent a carload of flour to Moab each fall.
We had fourteen children in all. Two of these, Horace and Almon, died before we left Mona. Four others, Josephine, Leo, Lyman, and Joseph Hills Johnson have died since we moved to Moab. We now have eight children living in Moab and vicinity.
My husband, Joseph Horace Johnson died January 19, 1935.
Our son, Joseph Hills Johnson, died in Moab. He was buried January 2, 1928.
In the language and words of Julia Hills Eagar Johnson.
Her granddaughter, Lois McConkie, typed the history after taking it in shorthand from Grandmother Allred. It was taken sometime in 1935 after the death of her husband, Joseph Horace Johnson.
John Eagar (1823 - 1864)
Sariah Anna Johnson Workman (1832 - 1925)
Joseph Horace Johnson (1850 - 1935)
Sarah Eveline Johnson Shafer (1872 - 1952)*
Julia Charlotte Johnson Larsen (1875 - 1951)*
Horace Edward Johnson (1877 - 1883)*
John Almon Johnson (1879 - 1883)*
Mary Laura Johnson Allred (1881 - 1957)*
Sarah Anna Johnson Allred (1883 - 1948)*
George Washington Johnson (1885 - 1941)*
Nora Annetta Johnson McConkie (1887 - 1970)*
Minnie Maude Johnson Day (1889 - 1951)*
Josephine Hannah Johnson (1891 - 1902)*
Bethenia Leona Johnson Dallmus (1894 - 1974)*
Joseph Hills Johnson (1895 - 1927)*
Leo Le Grand Johnson (1898 - 1902)*
Orris Lyman Johnson (1901 - 1902)*
Anna Sariah Eagar Tenney (1850 - 1934)*
John Thomas Eagar (1851 - 1942)*
William Walter Eagar (1853 - 1941)*
Julia Hills Eagar Johnson (1855 - 1940)
Joel Sixtus Eagar (1858 - 1947)*
Susan Elizabeth Eager Campbell (1860 - 1900)*
Benjamin Franklin Eagar (1862 - 1884)*
Mary Elvira Eagar Dobson (1863 - 1883)*
Amos Jackson Workman (1866 - 1952)**
Nephi Johnson Workman (1868 - 1931)**
Charles Adelbert Workman (1870 - 1923)**
Edwin Monroe Workman (1872 - 1940)**
Jacob Lewis Workman (1874 - 1911)**
Life is Real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou art, to dust returnest, Was not spoken of the soul.
Grand Valley Cemetery
Maintained by: AliceAnn
Originally Created by: Joe & Rosa Roysdon
Record added: Mar 24, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 35094051