Biography and family record of Lorenzo Snow/Chapter LI
George Dunford. When in his teens wants to earn living. Decides on going to sea. Leaves home without a shilling. Applies to the Admiral of the British Navy. Sent to Rio Janeiro. Officiates as steward for the officers. The brig Curlew ordered to England. How he saved his means. Returns home with plenty of money. Meets with an Elder. Convinced of the truth of the Gospel, and is baptized. Ordained Elder, presides over two branches. Emigrates to America. Presides over the St. Louis branch. In mercantile business. Goes to California, St. Louis, and settles in Salt Lake City. Appointed Bishop of Malad Valley, including six settlements. After nearly three years, is released. Expression of fatherly feeling.
WAS born at Holbrook House, near Trowbridge, Wilt- shire, England. I lived there with my parents, and attended school and Sabbath school until the death of my mother. I was then in my fifteenth year; and my father having a large family to support, I determined to make my own living, and decided to try the fortunes of a life at sea. For this purpose, without a shilling in my pocket, and only one change of underclothing, I left my father's home, went to Portsmouth, and at the dock-yard applied to the admiral of the British navy, soliciting a position. He sent me on board the one-hundred and ten-gun man-of-war, the Queen, and from there I was ordered on board the steamship Ardent, and sent to Rio Janerio, South America.
After arriving at Rio Janerio, I was appointed steward for the officers on board the ten-gun brig Curlew. I remained on the Curlew until she was ordered to England, and there, with the balance of the crew, was discharged from the navy in February, 1844, and returned to my father's house.
While in the navy, I was very prudent and saving of my earnings determined to accumulate sufficient means to make
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a respectable start in life after closing my services on the sea. To accomplish this end, I availed myself of every laudable favorable circumstance; as, for instance, each one of the crew was allowed a certain quantity of liquor per day, or the price
of it in cash. I never drank liquor, and at the time of my discharge my liquor rations had amounted to a handsome sum, which, added to what I had saved of my labor wages, to a poor boy was quite a fortune. Although prudent, I was not penurious; I came home well dressed, with my pockets well freighted with the "needful," ready to make my mark among the respectables.
In April, 1844, I married Sarah Jones, and considered myself settled for life; but in the course of the next year I happened to meet with Elder John Halliday, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and soon became deeply impressed with the truth of the fulness of the Gospel, as revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Then, O what a struggle! Then a warfare between feeling and judgment, flesh and spirit, the love of the world and the favor of God, and I must make my choice.
I had been attending meetings for worship in a beautiful little church, the favorite resort of my dear mother in her life time, and could I forsake it? "He that loveth father or mother, wife or children, more than me, is not worthy of me." "If any man will come after me, let him take up his cross daily and follow me." These words of Jesus spoke with power to my understanding; and although the "Pearl of great price" might cost me all I possessed, I determined to make the purchase: and early in 1846 I was baptized and joined the Church under the presidency of Elder Halliday, in my native town.
In those early times I took great interest in Church mat- ters, and devoted much of my time in that direction was soon ordained to the office of Priest, and soon after, underline hands of President J. Halliday, was ordained an Elder and called and set apart to preside over the branch, composed of
one hundred members, in my native town, which position I held for several years, and in course of time was called to pre- side over the Stepe-Ashton branch of the Church.
In 1 850, I emigrated with my family to America, via New Orleans, and not having means sufficient to accomplish the through journey, we stopped in St. Louis. Soon after arrival, I obtained a situation as clerk in a mercantile house was appointed to preside over the St. Louis branch of the Church. In 1854, I brought a stock of goods to the Valley, and having disposed of them in Salt Lake City, I went to California, and opened a business in Sacramento. While my wife attended the store I was employed on a steamer on the Sacramento River, also worked some time in the mines. Fin'ally, I resolved to return to St. Louis, and did so by way of Panama and New Orleans.
Again in St. Louis, I embarked in mercantile business first o] >oned one store on Broadway, then a second, and third, and at length- an exclusive wholesale house on Main Street; all of which I carried on at the same time; and in 186(5 closed up all of my business affairs, and moved with my family to Salt Lake City, where I have continued business in the mercantile line in different locations in the city, having remained eight consecutive years in my present stand.
At a" conference in Brigham City about the twentieth of August, 1877, Elder Dunford was nominated by President Brigham Young, and sustained by unanimous vote of the con- gregation, as presiding Bishop of Malad Valley. He cheer- fully accepted the appointment, although well aware its fulfil- ment would subject him to great pecuniary sacrifice, he being engaged in mercantile business, the management of which he must leave to others.
Early in September he went to his new field of labor in company with my brother Lorenzo, by whom he was set apart
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for the arduous and responsible duties of the position assigned him in Malad City, in which place he established his office for Church business.
The ward over which Brother Dunford was called to pre- side consisted of Malad City, Cherry Creek settlement, two miles distant, St. Johns, two miles in another direction, Samaria, eight miles, Rush Valley, twelve, and Oneida, twenty- four miles distant; which subjected him to a great amount of travel in visiting and counseling with the people.
Previous to this time, a spirit closely bordering on apos- tasy had crept into the hearts of some in Malad City, the headquarters of his mission, and two parties with opposite aims and feelings being connected in their financial interests, added greatly to the labors and difficulties of the newly installed Bishop. All of their co-operative organizations included individuals of these two unharmonizing classes of investors. Bishop Dunford very soon was forced to realize that the situation was a grave one, and required more than human wisdom, and all the saintly patience, forbearance and stability of purpose attainable through humility, faith and prayer. His sympathies were invested in behalf of the God- fearing portion of the people, with a determination to do jus- tice to all, and he devoted himself to the work unto which he was called, at the expense of all personal worldly interest, and with little or no consideration of personal comfort.
While laboring to unite the people, and improve the con- dition of things in Malad City, he did not neglect the Saints in other portions of the ward, either in their temporal or spir- itual interests, and when pointing out local improvements for their advantage, it was a noticeable feature in his practice to say, "Come, boys," and not "Go, boys," which was proven by instances when he set the example which led to material improvements, by voluntarily leading out in manual labors. To this the writer was an eye-witness, having, during the time referred to, visited most of the locations over which he pre-
sided. In fact, his heart was drawn to them with love and affection for the people, and when, in consequence of exposure, fatigue and much travel, after nearly three years' service, he was seized with an affection of the lungs, with which he was so much disabled that it was considered wisdom for him to resign, which he did with great reluctance, after receiving counsel to that effect. He felt the counsel to be correct; but to leave those in whose interest he had so deeply enlisted the warm sympathies of his nature, was like a father withdrawing from his children. He says: President Snow, in counseling with me on the subject, felt that I had honorably accomplished my mission in that country; and in accordance with his sug- gestion, with great reluctance, I resigned. I say truly with great reluctance, because I had learned to love a great many of them, and I gave my heart to the Lord for the well being of His people in that country.