Biography and family record of Lorenzo Snow/Chapter XL
Dedication day. Fourth of July. Gratitude and[thanksgiving. More than two thousand had suffered loss. In six months the Factory is rebuilt. Great rejoicing. Dedicatory prayer. Address. Speeches. Brigham City M. and M. Association. A raid. Railroad contract. How a village sprang up. An onslaught. Confusion ensues. The Grand Jury issues indictments. Men drove to jail in a herd. Great excitement. Superin- tendent Dunn speaks. John Merrill in custody. Handcuffed. Chained in jail. Telegrams from the United States President. How the Judge received them. More about Merrill. Left unguarded and unacquitted. About the mill. Dishonesty of Jurors. Financial loss.
N the fourth of July, 1878, just six months after the calamitous conflagration, the Box Elder people, by their united efforts, indomitable energy and enter- prise, had erected another factory building 48x80 feet, two
stories high, and nearly fireproof and more substantial and commodious than its predecessor. They also had purchased and put in running order an improved set of machinery. Our national day, the fourth of July, was chosen for the dedi- cation, and the entire day, from early dawn, was, by men, women and children, devoted t<3 gayety, mirth, congratula- tions and expressions of gratitude and thankfulness to Him who overrules the destinies of nations, and whose watchful care is ever extended to His people.
More than two thousand of those people were sufferers in the loss of their factory, and on this day a feeling of recompense and remuneration warmed and cheered the most desponding heart. It is utterly impossible for any disinter- ested person to appreciate the satisfaction of the good people of Brigham City and vicinity on this occasion. The repro- duction of one of the most remunerative and important branches, which constituted their independence, was calcu- lated to inspire every heart with gratitude to the Giver of all good, for the marvelous success with which He thus far had crowned their efforts in overcoming difficulties which at first seemed insurmountable.
We shall not attempt a description of the general exer- cises of the day the mammoth procession, the huge floating flags and waving banners, and the brilliant, profuse decora- tions;; suffice it to say the dedicatory services were performed in the factory building, which was filled to overflowing. Lorenzo Snow, president of the association, offered the dedi- catory prayer, delivered the opening address, and was fol- lowed by others, all interspersed with singing by the Brigham City choir, and music by the bands. The assembly was dis- missed by prayer.
So rapidly had the Brigham City Mercantile and Manu- facturing Association increased in wealth, influence and pop.u- larity, that a strong feeling of envy, jealousy and avarice, the outgrowth of political aims and financial cupidity in the
302 BIOGRAPHY AND
hearts of Gentile officials and unscrupulous apostates, broke out in one of the most flagrant raids ever concocted.
After the heavy loss the association suffered by the burn- ing of their woolen factory, estimated at thirty thousand dol- lars in cash, being in great need of funds to liquidate cash indebtedness, incurred in rebuilding their, factory, purchas- ing new machinery, etc., they took a large contract on the Utah Northern Railroad, then in progress of construction through Idaho, to furnish supplies of timber, ties, shingles and lumber, to meet demands. It was a gigantic contract, and they immediately shaped their plans to meet emergen- cies. They purchased a saw mill and shingle mill in Marsh Valley, Idaho, and moved to that place their steam saw mill, from Box Elder' County. They employed about one hundred men in the various departments of labor, also a number of women, who assisted as cooks.
The arrangements were so made with Mr. Dunn, the con- struction superintendent of the railroad, that the furnishing contract might be extended to an indefinite length, or as long as the furnishing party wished; in view of this, it was requi- site that the laborers employed should be made comfortable as practicable, so as to continue work during the winter months. Accordingly, log and frame houses were erected shanties, sheds, stables, stack-yards and corrals were built; and the location presented the appearance of a village formed for comfort, of no inconsiderable dimensions, and not entirely devoid of taste.
There the association kept a small store, from which the employees supplied their wants. In fact, the entire concern was so complete in its organization, and so systematically con- ducted, that everything moved like clockwork, honorably representative of the institution by which it was inaugurated. Superintendent Dunn was highly pleased with the prompti- tude with which his bills were filled and his calls answered. He was furnished from twelve thousand to fifteen thousand
feet of lumber or timber per day, besides a large quantity of ties.
For several months this satisfactory order of things con- tinued, much to the advantage of the railroad as well as to the prospects of the co-operative establishment, when, sud- denly, without any premonition, like a tremendous avalanche, a mobocratic raid, instituted by the grand jury and sustained by an unprincipled judge, a Methodist minister, Hollister by name, changed the scene, and an indescribable pell-mell and confusion ensued.
In October, 1878, the grand jury, composed mostly of apostates from the Church of Latter-day Saints, sat in Malad City, and conniving against the interests of the co-operative efforts of the Saints, got up indictments against the laborers at the mills for unlawfully cutting timber. Fifty-three of the men were simultaneously arrested and driven, like a herd of cattle, fifteen miles to Malad City, and the mills were ordered to be shut down.
Then, instead of peace and thriving industry, all was consternation and disorder among the workmen, and great excitement spread everywhere abroad. The men who were not arrested were every moment apprehensive of the marshal pouncing upon them; some concealed themselves in the woods, some under hay stacks, while others made steps for their homes as fast as possible. Thus the camp was broken up, the villagers scattered to the four winds, and the busi- ness prospects closed.
Although these difficulties were settled, as will be shown hereafter, it was not till winter had set in, and the people gone to their homes, many having entered into other engage- ments, etc.; and thus the anticipated resources were gone, but not without heavy losses.
In order to show the villainy of the instigators and con- ductors of that fiendish raid, we will take one specimen, for instance: Elder John Merrill, who had charge of one of the
o04 BIOGRAPHY AND
mills, and had not cut one tree, was arrested by indictment of the grand jury, for cutting seventeen thousand trees, and was sentenced to pay a tine of $13,800 and three months' con- finement in jail. The construction superintendent of rail- road said to Mr. Merrill : " You shall not go to jail; I would bond the railroad rather than you should yo." But all to no pur- pose; the trial was a humbug an immense crowd of wit- nesses were called, and no one had seen Mr. Merrill cut a tree. After the sentence was pronounced, he was placed in charge of the United States marshal, handcuffed, chained to another prisoner and lodged in Malad jail.
The following telegrams speak for themselves:
FROM ONEIDA COUNTY, OCTOBER 13TH, 1878. To Judge timith, Brie/ham City:
Merrill's fine, thirteen thousand eight hundred dollars three months imprisonment. Your son, eighteen hundred dollars and nine months imprisonment. The judge refuses parties as bail having less than five thousand dollars real estate. We cannot raise the bail here.
[Signed] WASHINGTON DUNN.
ONEIDA, IDAHO, OCTOBER 18, 1878. Judge Smith, Brigham City:
Jay Gould says the.U. S. President will remit fine and imprisonment.
[Signed] WASHINGTON DUNN.
SALT LAKE, OCTOBER 18, 1878. Judge Smithy Brigham City:
Received the following last night: "I have arranged with the Attorney-General to
pay the value of timber taken for
the U. N. R. R., and the fines and sentences will be remitted by the President of the U. S. Jay Gould."
[Signed] WILLIAMS & YOUNG.
NEW YORK, OCTOBER 24, 1878. Judge Smith, Brigham City:
The President has ordered the lumber men released and fines remitted.
[Signed] JOE RICHARDSON.
ONEIDA, OCTOBER 24ra, 1878. Has Merrill been released? If not, where is he?
[Signed] WASHINGTON DUNN.
On receipt of the foregoing telegrams, the judge ignored the authority of the President, saying that President Hayes had no jurisdiction in the case that it belonged to the Sec- retary of the Interior, Carl Schurz; and finding himself in an awkward and embarrassing dilemma, this policy judge, being destitute of sufficient noble manhood to acknowledge and honor a defeat, instead of dismissing those cases a,nd dis- charging those under indictment, he affected to disregard the telegrams and resorted to base subterfuges, conniving with his mobocratic clan; and all of those indictments remained for years as so many foul blots on the judicial docket. At length they were expunged by order of the court.
On Sunday, four or five days after the receipt of the despatch to set the prisoners free, the United States marshal took Elder Merrill from Malad jail, and, pretending he was taking him to Boise in conformity to the verdict of the judge, stopped in Corinne, sixty miles from Malad, after dark, when, after Mr. Merrill stepped out of the carriage and proposed to assist in taking care of the horses, the marshal gruffly replied, "No, I'll see to them myself," and drove off, leaving his pris- oner standing alone, unguarded and unacquitted.
The mill, which the Brigham City Mercantile and Manu- facturing Association purchased in Marsh Valley, had been in operation there twelve years before the purchase; and, after the raid, the foreman of the jury bought it of the asso-
306 BIOGRAPHY AND
elation at half price, and has kept it running from that time, supplied from the same woodland, which proves his egregious dishonesty as a juror.
It was understood, and those raiders must have been cog- nizant of the fact, that the government not only granted the right of way, but also the right of timber for building the railroad, and that the section under controversy was included.
Irrespective of the anxieties, disappointments and embar- rassments resulting from that unhallowed onslaught, the financial loss which the association suffered amounted to from six thousand to eight thousand dollars.