History of James Henrie
an Immigrant Ancestor
The following is a history was written by his daughters, Ane Marie (Henrie) Excell and Myra Rhoana (Henrie) Cameron. James Henrie was the second child of William Henrie and Myra Mayall. James was born 18 Sept. 1827 in Miami or Coleraine in Hamilton County, Ohio. He was baptized in 1842, endowed 10 Nov. 1855 and sealed to his parents 15 Jan. 1948, in Manti Temple-record of his sealing to parents at an earlier date could not be found. So upon advice from the President of Salt Lake Temple Brother Chipman the work was redone at this date. James died 12 Feb. 1916 at Panguitch, Utah was buried February 14.
James Henrie had three wives, he married his first wife 28 Dec. 1850 in South Bountiful, Utah. Her name was Rhoana Hatch, daughter of Ira Sterns and Weltha Bradford Hatch. She was born 19 May 1832 at Farmersville, New York, in the county of Cattaraugus. She was baptized June 1843, endowed and sealed to husband, 10 Nov. 1855, Salt Lake endowment house. She died Feb. 22, 1923, in Panguitch, Utah. He married his second wife on the 6 Dec. 1861, Christena Schow. She was born 19 Jan 1844, in Alborg, Alborg Denmark, daughter of Niels Christensen and Mary Christensen Schow, baptized 13 April 1851, endowed and sealed to husband 6 Dec. 1861. She died 15 Oct. 1927 in Panguitch, Utah and buried there Oct. 17. He married his third wife, 18 June 1879, Gedske Schow who was a half-sister of Christina, his second wife. She was born 20 Sept. 1864, at Mantua, Box Elder County, Utah, and baptized 16 June 1875, endowed and sealed to husband 18 June 1879, died 29 July 1933, at Panguitch, Utah was buried there July 31st.
James Henrie spent his boyhood days in Coleraine, Hamilton County, Ohio, some 14 miles from Cincinnati. He helped his mother with domestic affairs and his father in the mills. He said, "I learned to read, write, and cipher tolerably well up to my 14th year, then my school days ended." His mother was a school teacher, a fine seamstress and cook, it was from her that he received his meager education. Since his father was a millwright, owning a grist mill and saw mill. James was naturally inclined to like millwork and later in life owned mills of his own. He was known to be one of the best woodsmen in his day, leading all competitors with the ax.
At an early date, James took a great interest in attending the meetings of the different denominations of the day, especially the camp meetings and revivals. His father and mother were Methodists. The sectarian ministers met his father's home many times to refute Mormonism but they were badly beaten. He loved to hear the discussions between the Mormon elders and the ministers.
When he was ten years old his father was converted to the Gospel as taught by the Mormon Elders. James witnessed several miraculous healings in his boyhood days and later in life he was healed from very serious illnesses by the administrations of the elders.
In the spring of 1841 all the Henrie family except James emigrated to Nauvoo so they could be with the Saints while building the city. They went by boat down the Ohio and up the Mississippi Rivers. James went with the hired men taking their teams, wagons, and belongings over land through the states of Indiana and Illinois. They suffered many hardships on that trip from storms, severe cold weather, high water in the rivers and creeks from the spring runoff. When they arrived at Nauvoo they started breaking up land on the farm, his father had bought from the Prophet Joseph. James spent his young manhood days in Nauvoo helping to build it up and hauled many loads of rock for the Nauvoo Temple. When Nauvoo was under marshal law he stood guard. Although young, he was very ambitious and ready to help any way he could, because he loved the Prophet very much, The Prophet Joseph Smith visited their home often, and was always treated to baked potatoes or a bowl of buttermilk, or a piece of pie. Upon leaving he would always ask God to bless them. James declared he felt the power of God and his spirit come with those blessings and he knew beyond any question of doubt that Joseph was a prophet of God. James remembered well when the Prophet, his brother Hyrum and brothers Taylor and Richards went to the Carthage Jail. The Prophet borrowed one of their horses for John Taylor to ride, and as they passed the Henrie home the horse whinnied and the family went to the door. The Prophet raised his hat and said, "God bless you." He could not describe his feelings later when he heard that Joseph and Hyrum had been killed by the mob. He heard Joseph's last speech to the Nauvoo Legion. He was dressed in his uniform and it made a deep impression on James. He and his brother Daniel were at the meeting when the mantle of Joseph fell upon Brigham Young. James said Brigham's appearance, and voice was that of Joseph Smith and the saints knew that Brigham Young was to be their leader.
In June 18, 1905, at a sacrament meeting, a notable incident of the meeting was the presence of five Nauvoo veterans, all brothers and a sister of one family namely: Daniel Henrie of Manti, Utah, Joseph Henrie of Idaho, Margaret Henrie Daily of San Bernardino, California, James & Samuel Henrie of this place. Brothers Daniel and James each addressed the meeting and bore their testimonies of the divinity of the mission of Joseph Smith the Prophet. This is taken from the Church records of the Panguitch word,
James father's family covenanted while they were in Nauvoo, They would help the poor to the mountains. James helping in many ways driving their ox teams across mudholes, rivers of quick sand. He drove five yoke of cattle across the plains for his board and helped build three resting places for the weary saints between Nauvoo and Salt Lake City. His motive for coming to the mountains was like that of all other Latter-day Saints freedom of worship and the association of relatives and friends. He took his and his fathers teams and made several trips back to winter quarters to help the saints to Utah, His father left Nauvoo in the spring of 1846 with President Brigham Young and the first company of Pioneers that came to Utah. He was one of the 5th ten in the company. On one trip back James stayed at the winter quarters to help his mother and family. They arrived here in 1848 coming by way of Council Bluffs, Winter Quarters, Elkhorn, Ft. Laramie, and Ft. Bridger. When his older Bro. Daniel was called into the Mormon Battalion, James took his place night herding the cattle so they wouldn't stray away and Indians from stealing them. He helped plant crops, he was called to go down into Missouri to labor for food, clothing, and money for the needy. In the Spring of 1849, they left winter quarters and started on West crossed the river July 4th under command of Allen Taylor and Samuel Snyder. One day as they were moving along, the crack of a limb on a tree gave the cattle a fright. James and a friend (Meltiah Hatch) would often perform heroic work by riding ahead of the stampeding cattle until they were quieted down. They arrived in Salt Lake City Sept. 1849. thinking and hoping they would settle down near the city. In a short time they received a call to go into Davis County to help settle that part of the country. James settled Sessions, now South Bountiful. He married Rhoana Hatch in December 1850, and built up three places while living in Davis County. In the fall of 1853, James was called by Pres. Brigham Young to go to Ft. Hall, Oregon with a company of men to bring back to Utah merchandise and equipment that the Church had bought from an English fur company. In the winter of 1853, he was called to Manti, Utah to help strengthen the settlement from the invasion of the Indians and help build the big fort there. He took part in the Indian wars. When peace came with the Indians he returned to Davis County and helped his father build the first grist mill. He was blessed in his efforts of raising wheat during the gross-hopper and cricket famines. He stored wheat and flour with his brothers and sisters and Indians. When he could have sold it to the California emigrants for a dollar a pound. He loaded up a four-horse load of wheat and hauled it to Salt Lake City and unloaded it in the old tithing office and donated it to the Temple workers. Pres. Young later looked him up and put his arms around James and promised him he would never be without flour for his family as long as he lived. Although he had three wives and thirty children, besides a Indian boy, rearing 22 of them to maturity, eight of them died in childhood, this promise was fulfilled. Not long after his second marriage he was called to go with his brother Samuel and several other families to Panaca, Lincoln County, Nevada on a mission to help with the settlement of that place. There he met a number of leading men of the state. He was President and Superintendent of the Co-op Store-and owned stock in the woolen mills and cotton mills and Bur Mill at Kanab.
While he lived at Panaca, he was counselor to Samuel Lee who was presiding elder, he was counselor to the Bishop and also Bishop of his ward. He freighted merchandise and supplies from Salt Lake City to Panaca, it was a major operation in those days it took better than a month to make the trip which would be once in the spring and in the fall. Vet the Indian boy was a good teamster, James would trust him with his big outfits to make these trips sometimes, Vet also played the violin by ear. He would go to the musicals while in the city, learn new pieces, then when he returned he would play for dances at Pioche. The miners at Pioche said he was the only musician that could make them cry playing a solo and the next minute make them feel like jumping out of their shoes on the dance floor.
In those days the miners were very bitter against the Mormons. Some of the old Missouri mob had settled there. One day they Mounted their horses and rode to Panaca, rode up in front of James house called him out and told him they had come to drive the Mormons out or kill them. James had expected this, so he said "all right gentlemen fire your first shot at me, but remember that shot will be a signal for my men to fire at you, they are looking through the sights of their guns at you right now and every one of you will drop from your horses dead." There were no shots fired but in 1871 the saints were released from the Panaca mission because of the bitter opposition of the Pioche miners. Pres. Young ask James and Samuel and their families to go over to Panguitch on the head of the Sevier River and help settle that part of the state. They really wanted to go back to Davis County but this call from the Pres. of the church helped them make up their minds to stay. James became counselor to the Bishop George W. Sevy whom he loved dearly. Then when the stake was organized 23 April 1877 by Pres. John Taylor. He set James apart as the first President of the stake. He held this position until 1882 and released on account of his health. He was ordained Patriarch by Erastus Snow, 18 June 1882 Francis M. Lyman. John H. Smith & Erastus Snow were at the conference.
He built three nice homes for his three wives in Panguitch, during the time of government trouble over polygamy. He was arrested and fined a considerable amount of money. He was threatened a prison term, if they caught him again. He refused to abandon his third wife and young family. The deputy, U.S. marshals were trying to bring him before the courts again making life so miserable, he decided to move his third wife and children to Fredonia, Arizona where he could not be arrested. They lived there until May, 1904 when they moved back to Panguitch.
In the early days of Panguitch, James and his Brother Samuel moved their grist mill from Panaca to Panguitch where flour was ground for that community for many years. They owned the first saw mill, a tannery and show shop where they made the only shoes obtainable. They made saddles and harnesses. Later he entered a partnership with John E. Myers, and his brother Samuel in the Myers and Henrie Store. He was a lover of fine live stock. He had three full-blooded stallions in his big barn at one time, a Perchion, a Clydesdale and a Hamiltorian. He brought the first herd of sheep into Garfield County and that herd continued on the range there for about eighty years. He also had choice cattle and hogs. He bought some of the finest farm land and ranches in the area. After going the church, he spent his life helping to build temples, churches, schools, roads, bridges, and all improvements that go to make up a community life. He held every position in the church up to and including the President of the Stake and Patriarch, also every office in the county, including judge and selectman. He also held many positions in business. He believed in paying an honest tithing and was told by the general authorities that the Henrie family were among the best of all tithe payers in the church. He never forced his council on anyone but men usually listened to him and took his advice. He also taught his family to get along with everyone if they couldn't, he said leave them alone, and just be friends. James divided his property among his three families just before the turn of the century and his boys carried on the business thereafter. He died at Gedske's home 12 Feb. 1916. He was greatly loved by his entire family and made a success of polygamous marriage. He said it was like being on a mission, there was never quarrels, among his wives and children that amounted to anything.
They always loved each other and still do. This history goes on telling of the life histories of James' three wives.