John Smith Page Adams

John Smith Page Adams

Hancock County, Illinois, USA
Death 19 Apr 1935 (aged 90)
Sigurd, Sevier County, Utah, USA
Burial Annabella, Sevier County, Utah, USA
Plot 3_27_N.d
Memorial ID 24201480 · View Source
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Son of James B. Finley Page and Mary Lucinda Thorpe.

Adoptive Parents: Orson Bennett Adams and Susan Smith.

Married - Sarah Jane Averett, 3 May 1866, Washington, Washington, Utah.

Children - Lucinda Jane Adams, Sarah Jerusha Page Adams, Lucy Levina Adams.

Married - Mary Elizabeth Adair, 17 May 1876, St. George, Washington, Utah.

Children - Ann Adams, Mary Angeline Adams, Arminta Frances Adams, Lillie Dale Page Adams, Ada Adams, Ida Adams, John Bennett Adams, Rebecca June Adams, Susie Emma Adams, Viola Page Adams, William Alfred Adams, James Augustus Adams, Hyrum Loy Adams

History - John and Lucinda Smith lived at Macedonia, Hancock County, Illinois (now known as Webster). When the child was three weeks old his mother died. Four weeks later the father and grandmother, Rachel Page, took the child and his sister, Viola, to the home of Thoret and Mary Page Parsons at Quincy. At this home they met Orson Bennett Adams and his wife, Susann Smith Adams. This couple was childless, they were given the infant. Later, at Nauvoo, the child was blessed and given his name under the hands of Patriarch John Smith. They were good parents to him.

When the Mormons were compelled to leave Nauvoo, the Adams family, with Mrs. Adams' parents, Dr. Priddie Meeks and Sarah Mahonri (Smith) Meeks were among the first to go. Father and Mother Adams were enlisted in Battalion service. Mr. Adams as sergeant (hunter and guard) and his wife as a nurse (and laundrywoman.) The child was left with the grandparents at the age of three years and came on to the valley with mule team in Jedediah M. Grant's company. They reached Salt Lake City in the autumn of 1847. His parents arriving a few days before him.

Father and Mother Adams, who came from Pueblo with detachment of sick of the battalion that came to the valley in the summer of 1847, built them a home out on Mill Creek near the great old cedar, the one tree of which the valley could boast. His father, O. B. Adams, put up the first sawmill on City Creek.

In the second summer of the settlement the crickets came and food was scarce. The soldiers wages were almost exhausted. He spent fifty dollars for a hundred pounds of flour and the same amount of shorts. One morning Orson Adams came in and announced to his wife his determination to go to the States for supplies. He asked for food enough for his first lunch. For the rest he had his gun and trusted to it and a kind providence for sustenance.

In the early winter of 1851, the Adams family took their cattle and goods in response to call and went with George A. Smith and company to settle on Little Salt Lake, a colony known as Parowan. "Times were hard in those first years at Parowan" says John Adams. "The beaver built dams in the creek and shut off the water supply. The men would go in the day and clear them out and in the night the beaver would put them in again. The wheat was beginning to head but it was burning. The people held a meeting and prayed for relief. That night it snowed about twelve inches. The people were disheartened. They had water but the wheat all lay flat. During the day the sun came out and melted the snow. The wheat straightened up and they had a good crop."

Late in the fall the Indians would come into town to glean in the grain fields. Indian children were the only playmates John Adams had while they lived on Red Creek. He learned their language and their temperaments and earned their friendship, an experience that served him well throughout his life.

In his fourteenth year he was left with his mother, while his father obeyed a call to a mission to the Spring Valley in the White Mountains of Nevada. This time Orson Adams undertook to prepare a home for his family before he moved them out. These Spring Valley settlers were attacked by Indians and lost all their horses and cattle. They were left empty handed with no animals for farm work. After two years, Adams returned to Parowan worn out and discouraged. His report induced the authorities to give up the mission. Express riders were to be sent to notify the settlers that they were released from the call. John Osborne and Orson Adams were asked to take the message but because of the illness of the elder Adams, John offered to go in his stead. The offer was accepted. This began a long period of service as express rider.

At Parowan John S. became a minuteman at 16 years of age to scout and locate the Indians. He rode many a night to warn settlers of Indians in their locality. He also rode Pony Express in many a dangerous places.

In 1863 Orson B. Adams was called to Harrisburg to preside. It was while he was living at Harrisburg that John met Jane Averett of Long Valley, and married her. In the following August he was called to go with Captain James Andrus and a company of sixty men to Green River to receive cattle stolen by Blackhawk and his band.

Reckless daring characterized the life of John S. Adams. The Indians knew him as "The Wildcat." He was a man of action with a keen sense of justice. He was not afraid to jeopardize his own security if he could help another, or if he could gain his aim against a foe. Above all he despised snobbery and prudishness. He had enemies and was criticized much. Certain persons had made threats against his life.

Three little girls came to the home of John Smith Adams and Jane Averett Adams, but they disagreed and separated in 1872. After a few months he secured custody of the two oldest, Lucinda Jane and Sarah Jerusha. When he was bringing them home they stopped at Pipe Spring. He turned his mules loose with the rope dragging. The sky was overcast and night came rapidly. When he went to bring in his team he couldn't find them. It was so dark that he could not tell mules from cactus. He continued the search through the night and late into the forenoon before he found them. Apparently they had been hidden by the Indians in the ravine. When he came back to camp he found his little girls excited. Cinda, aged five, told him of a big black dog that had tried to get in the wagon. He was up on the double-trees and she had thrown cobs of corn (brought along for mule feed) at him until she had driven him away. When the father looked he saw tracks of a monstrous bear that had visited camp. He took the little girls home to Mother Adams at Harrisburg, where they lived until they were grown. The little girl, Lucy, stayed with her mother.

Soon after this incident, John Adams was called to help build a fort and trading post at Lee's Ferry. One Sunday afternoon Wilmer Burgess and he went for a swim. They blistered their backs so they couldn't lift a rock. In consequence they were sent out to Short Creek on eight days extra guard duty. There they were for a week, with only such shelter from the burning sun as their saddles could give.

While he was working at Lee's Ferry he went to Pahreah (Paria) Creek to a fourth of July dance and there met Mary E. Adair whom he married the next spring, May 17, 1876. For four years they lived on the Pahreah where two children were born. Then they moved back to Washington County and he began freighting for a living. On one of these trips, while he was driving an eight horse team, he met Erastus Snow, who told him his place was in Arizona. He then called John to go to the Apache country for eight years, after that he might go where he wished.

In 1883 with his family (wife and four little girls) he joined a company of ten other families and went to Pinetop, Arizona, a journey of four weeks. Water had to be hauled in barrels on the side of wagons and was often very poor water. The sand was deep and feed was poor. At Showlow they rested. Then came the startling news that a family at the Shumway Ranch, about ten miles away, had been killed by Apaches. A log fort had been built at the Edson Whipple ranch fifteen miles from the Apache Reservation. In one corner of the fort was a pump for water. Cord wood was piled high as the ceiling along one end to feed eight large "government stoves" so huge that they held a log four feet long. To this shelter all the people of the vicinity fled. When the beds were made on the floor they almost touched each other. Here they stayed for a week. The ranchers stayed in the town for a few days longer and the travelers went on their way. For nine years they stayed in Arizona doing various things and always making friends of the Indians.

While on this Navajo mission, John Adams had several startling adventures, the outcome of them he attributes to fulfillment of the promise given him by Pres. Young that he would always be protected.

John Adams built two houses for the Chief of the Apaches hauled freight to the soldier camp on the reservation. On one occasion when he was working on a cattle ranch at roundup time he had occasion to save the life of Jesse N. Smith. Smith was a polygamist but besides that the sheriff had a personal grudge against him.

As so often happened, an Indian boy drove off one of Adams' horses. He went to the Indian camp and asked the lad's older brother for the horse. The man was defiant and threatened Adams.

In 1892 Mr. Adams was in poor health. The doctor advised him to go to a warmer climate. Then they left Pinetop, having out-stayed their mission call one year, and came back to their former home in Utah. Two years later, they went to Washington where the girls worked in the cotton factory managed by Thomas Judd. There all the family had measles and a little son, William Alford, died. Mrs. Adams was in the hospital seven months. There James Augustus was born. Mr. Adams left his family in Washington and went out to the White Hills of Nevada where he worked at cutting Joshua cactus for wood for the mines. His foreman drew his pay, then carried it off with him, supposedly to California, leaving John empty-handed and with his family coming out to him. They stayed in the White Hills two years and came back to Utah, living at Panguitch and later at Annabella.

John S. and family moved to Panguitch and worked at the Indian school for the government. While there John S. was paid by the government for 60 head of horses and cattle stolen in early days by Indians. When the government paid him for sixty head of cattle driven off by the Indians and gave him an Indian War Veteran's pension he purchased a home at Annabella. In 1920 they came to Richfield to live, where his wife died in 1926.

John Smith (Page) Adams died at his son, Hyrum's home in Sigurd, Sevier, Utah, at age 91.

John Smith Page Adams Biography

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  • Created by: SMSmith
  • Added: 26 Jan 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial 24201480
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Smith Page Adams (11 May 1844–19 Apr 1935), Find a Grave Memorial no. 24201480, citing Annabella Cemetery, Annabella, Sevier County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by SMSmith (contributor 46491005) .