From Findagrave: Major League Baseball Player. The right-hander pitched nine years in the big leagues for the St. Louis Cardinals (1935 to 1936), the Philadelphia Phillies (1938), the Philadelphia Athletics (1940), the Cincinnati Reds (1943 to 1946) and the Phillies (1948). His nickname was “The Wild Elk of the Wasatch”. He led the National League with a 2.38 earned run average in 1944, when he was 13-11 for the Reds with 17 complete games in 23 starts. The following year he went 11-16 with a 3.71 ERA with 223 innings pitched and 18 complete games in 30 starts. He was traded by the Reds to Brooklyn on Dec. 4, 1946 for outfielder Augie Galan, but he never played for the Dodgers. For his career, he was 56-67 with a 3.69 ERA and 50 complete games in 104 starts.
Studebaker, McCormick and Bain wagons were popular in Utah’s Dixie.
The white canvas covered wagons were used by Dixie Peddlers to haul Dixie Sorghum and Dixie Fruit and other farm products to mining and farming communities in the north. Then, trade goods were hauled back to Dixie.
Huge bags of wool were hauled in these wagons to the railroads for shipment to the markets in the East.
Freight wagons were used to haul freight from the railroad in Marysvale, York, Lund, Milford and Modena to the merchants in Dixie.
Several loads of juniper and pine wood were hauled from mountains and mesas to each home for use in their wood-burning cook stoves, fireplaces and heaters. Many young men, from twelve to eighteen years of age, hauled several loads of wood down steep, dangerous dugways each year.
This covered wagon was donated to the Heritage Park by Woodrow Jepson, a son of one of Hurricane’s founders.
Between June 9, 1856, and July 6, 1860, ten separate Handcart Companies left Iowa City, Iowa, or Florence, Nebraska to their land of Zion in the Utah Territory. There were 653 handcarts and 50 wagons.
Nearly 3,000 souls, some with babes in arms, and grandparents in their 70’s, pulled their worldly possessions and their fervent hopes across 1,400 miles of treeless prairie, lonely desert, icy rivers and rugged mountains. They came undaunted in their fragile two-wheeled carts, powered and fueled by muscle, unwavering faith and determination.
The first three and the last five of the handcart companies made the journey without suffering any unusual hardship or death, but the fourth company of 500 people, under the leadership of Captain James G. Willie and the fifth company of 576 people, under the leadership of Captain Edward Martin, suffered excruciating agony through hunger, fatigue, dysentery, and death.
“If raw courage and endurance make a story; if human kindness, helpfulness and brotherly love in the midst of raw horror and tragic suffering are worth recording, this never-to-be-forgotten episode of the Mormon Handcart migration is one of the great tales of the west and of America.” -Wm. Stenger
A Warning Unheeded
Upon returning from a four-year mission to Siam, India, Levi Savage, Jr. arrived in Iowa City, Iowa where the Willie and Martin handcart companies were preparing to leave for Salt Lake City. He was chosen as a sub-captain over 100 immigrants in the Willie company. These immigrants had started late from Liverpool, England and they were delayed in Iowa City while handcarts were constructed for them from unseasoned wood. They were delayed again in Florence, while they repaired the handcarts and made other last-minute preparations. Levi could see that they were far too late in the season to start across the plains to Salt Lake.
At a meeting in Florence, Levi tried to persuade the immigrants to stay in Florence until spring, but being naive and unacquainted with the hazards they would face, and anxious to reach Salt Lake, they voted him down.
Levi savage then said, “Brethren and Sisters, what I have said I know to be true; but seeing you are to go forward, I will go with you, will help you all I can, will work with you, and if necessary, will die with you; but you are going too late. May God in his mercy bless and preserve us.“
For most there was the joy of fulfillment, as they reached the Salt Lake Valley, to join others who had come by ox teams and covered wagons in earlier years. For the Willie and Martin companies there was heartbreaking tragedy. Caught in the grip of an early severe winter, in the Wyoming plains, they were brought to an ill-prepared delay in a fierce blizzard. Faced with deep snow, freezing weather and an exhausted food supply, they were forced to await a most heroic mass rescue the frontier had ever witnessed.
Courage dared them rise And face each dawning day. Faith, it was their blanket As at the close of each they prayed. Courage got them moving As ever west they went. Faith kept them moving Their courage and strength long spent. And so with weary windworn hearts They reaped as they had sown. Faith and courage – tempered strong And from this land, a home. Built with courage, cemented in faith It would survive time’s sands. Then somewhere, somewhen, somewhy They placed it in our hands.
Rescue Parties Sent Out by Brigham Young
When word reached Brigham Young, during October Conference in Salt Lake City, he dismissed the General Conference and immediately called for volunteers. By the end of the week two-hundred-fifty wagons, loaded with food, clothing and bedding, were on the way to give relief and to bring these destitute souls to Zion. However, without food or shelter, a staggering toll of deaths occurred before help arrived.
Of these two companies, nearly 250 died of fatigue, disease and exposure. They were buried along the way in shallow graves. Some would have to have frozen limbs amputated, while others bore the scars of this arduous journey the rest of their lives.
A Scene to Remember
The desperate plight of these immigrants was recoreded by a traveler in these words.
“A condition of distress met my eyes that I never saw before or since. The train of handcarts was strung out for three or four miles. There were old men pulling and tugging carts, sometimes loaded with a sick wife or children; women pulling along sick husbands; little children struggling through the mud and snow. As night came on the mud would freeze to their clothes and feet. There was no fuel to burn, except wet sage brush, and their clothing and bedding now altogether insufficient to protect them from the bitter cold. Several who pulled handcarts by day would be placed in a mass grave the next morning.“
The leaders and members of the Willie and Martin handcart companies have left a glowing legacy of faith, tenacity, and integrity to innumerable stalwart descendants who helped colonize historic Utah’s Dixie and are included among its residents today.
Levi Savage, Jr. 1820-1910 “Let no man be afraid to lay down his life for my sake; for whoso layeth down his life for my sake will find it again.” Doctrine and Covenants 103:27
Levi savage, Jr. was born on March 23, 1820 in Greenfield, Huron County, Ohio. He was the second of 15 children born to his parents.
Levi joined the Mormon Battalion in 1846 and was part of its historic march through the southwest and on to San Diego.
Levi moved to Toquerville, Washington County, Utah in 1865 and lived there with his three wives and family for 45 years, until his death in 1910. He was laid to rest in the Toquerville Cemetery.
The Savage Crossing on the Rio Virgin
Levi Savage, Jr. owned farmland in Toquerville and La Verkin, Utah. Some time before Hurricane and La Verkin were colonized, Levi dug a ditch along the south side of the Rio Virgin and irrigated a farm about a quarter of a mile west of where La Verkin Creek and Ash Creek join the Rio Virgin.
The area that he used to cross the river became known as the “Savage Crossing.” Sheepmen and cattlemen used this crossing to take their wagons and herds to the Arizona Strip. They Honeymoon Trail branched at the foot of the Hurricane Cliffs and the west branch went to Washington and St. George, Utah and the north branch crossed the Rio Virgin at the Savage Crossing and ran north through Toquerville and on to Salt Lake City.
This Pioneer Handcart plaque and funds to help with the perpetual care of Heritage park were donated by the Levi Savage, Jr. descendants. The handcart illustration was drawn by Susan Savage, a great-granddaughter of Levi Savage, Jr. The poem, “Handcarts West” was written by Derek Naegle, a great-grandson.
At the junction of highways 6 and 89 in Spanish Fork Canyon where 89 cuts off to go to Sanpete is a heart made of painted rocks and three crosses memorializing 5 who have lost their lives on the road at that location.
Katie and Taylor Marcus from Ogden tragically lost their lives April 3rd, 2014.
16-year-old Katherine “Katie” Pauline Marcus and her 12-year-old brother, Taylor Zane Marcus were the inspiration for the heart memorial.
The next year, 38-year-old Heather Jacobson and 7-year-old Broc Jacobson of Cleveland, Utah were also killed at the location.
A third cross was added for Merlene Green of Fairview who had been killed at the intersection back on October 2, 2003.
Hopefully we can all be a little extra careful and remember these people who were gone too soon.
The construction of the Hurricane Canal is one of Utah’s proudest stories of pioneer determination. This canal, built completely by hand, opened the Hurricane Bench to farming and the establishment of the town of Hurricane.
In 1893 two local men, James Jepsen and John Steele, decided to try to build the canal, even though earlier reports had determined it impossible. Company shares were sold to help finance the project. This stock was issued in blocks, not to exceed twenty shares. Each share was one acre of land with water rights. Nearly 100 men subscribed to stock in the Hurricane Canal Company; many of the shares were paid for in labor.
Work on the canal was difficult and dangerous. The canal’s 7-1/2 mile length clings to the sheer walls of the Virgin River Canyon, then follows the Hurricane Fault and circles the farmlands of the Hurricane Bench. The canal is 8 feet wide and 4 feet deep, laid out on a 12-foot shelf of conglomerate and limestone rock. Twelve tunnels had to be blasted through solid rock and six flumes on wooden trestles were built to span ravines. Ten cisterns were built on the hillside below the canal to hold drinking water. Construction could be done only during the winter months in order to leave the men free to take care of their farms. Work progressed slowly and landslides often wiped out months of hard labor. After eleven years of tenacious effort, the canal was finished in 1904, providing water for 2,000 acres of farmland and the new community of Hurricane.
Marker placed in 1992 by the Hurricane Valley Chapter, Sons of Utah Pioneers
The Kanosh Tithing Office, now the Sally Kanosh Camp D.U.P. Museum.
Built in 1870, the Kanosh Tithing Office is historically significant as one of 28 well preserved tithing buildings in Utah that were part of the successful tithing system of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon church) between the 1850s and about 1910. Tithing lots, which usually included an office and several auxiliary structures, were facilities for collecting, storing, and distributing the farm products that were donated as tithing by church members in the cash-poor agricultural communities throughout the state. Tithing offices were a vital part of almost every Mormon community, serving as local centers of trade, welfare assistance, and economic activity. They were also important as the basic units of the church-wide tithing network that was centered in Salt Lake City. In addition, the Kanosh Tithing Office is architecturally significant as one of eight extant examples of Utah’s tithing offices which were designed in the Greek Revival style. It is one of seven of those buildings which is a temple-form building. Of those seven temple-form buildings, it is one of the three best preserved examples of the type. The other two examples include the tithing offices at Escalante and Paradise. The temple-form building originated in the Greek Revival period of American building,’ and typically has its short end to the street and a pedimented gable end in imitation of monumental classical buildings. The temple-form building was the preferred building type for early religious buildings in Utah, having been brought to the area by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after 1847. 3 Very few unaltered, well preserved examples of this building type are presently extant in Utah.
Under the direction of Culbert King, bishop of the Kanosh Ward, the Kanosh Tithing Office was built in 1870 to serve as the center for the collection and distribution of “in kind” tithing contributions from members of the Kanosh Ward of the LDS church. Typical of most other Utah towns during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Kanosh was a cash-poor agricultural community, therefore tithing contributions were usually farm products, such as crops, dairy products, and livestock. By at least the 1920s, however, cash was much more plentiful and was used for tithing donations instead of the “in kind” commodities. Since the building was no longer needed for its original use, it was either left vacant or used as a meeting place by auxiliary organizations of the church for a number of years. Even when serving as a tithing office, the building was used as the first meeting place of the ward’s Mutual Improvement Association, the organization for the teenagers.
In 1952, the church granted the building to the local chapter of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, which has used it as a meeting place and relic hall up to the present.
The warm, comfortable, productive climate in the sheltered valleys along the meandering Rio Virgin and its lower tributaries in Washington County became known as “Utah’s Dixie”.
The rugged pioneer colonizers and their descendants are known as “Dixieites” and the stalwart men and women who took hundreds of covered wagon loads of “Dixie Sorghum”, “Dixie Fruit”, “Dixie Wine”, nuts, dried fruit, figs, pomegranates, etc. northwards to sell and barter in communities as far north as Salt Lake City became known as “Dixie Peddlers!”.
Cotton was grown in “Utah’s Dixie” in the late 1800’s. Fruit crops matured three weeks earlier in “Utah’s Dixie” than similar crops in the Provo area.
The perservering Pioneers of the communities of “Utah’s Dixie” were constantly having their integrity honed by the heart-breaking hardships of adversity. These rare qualities of integrity have been carried throughout the world by leaders throughout the world by leaders who have their family roots in “Utah’s Dixie!”.
This 1924 photo shows the east side of Main Street in Cedar City. Wagons loaded with sacks of wool from Gould’s Shearing Corral, near Hurricane, are being taken to the railroad for shipment in Lund, Utah.
This historic plaque sponsored by the family of Verl and Margaret Sanders, owners of Sanders Construction, Inc., Henderson, Nevada, in honor of Verl’s parents, Moroni and Mildred “Millie” Zabriskie Sanders.
Moroni was born Oct. 18, 1903 in LaVerkin, Utah. He was the first boy born in this pioneer community and later served 16 years as City Mayor. He was also a Dixie Peddler.
Moroni and his brothers Bill and Ervil were Pioneer turkey growers and hatchery owners for many years in Utah’s Dixie. Moroni’s father and mother, William and Sara Amelia Wilson Sanders, were Dixie Peddlers and Dixie Sorghum makers and members of the first LaVerkin L.D.S. Ward organized June 23, 1904.
Moroni’s wife, “Millie”, was a talented musician and Grand Daughter of James C. Snow who owned Snowfield and was the first School Teacher in Bellevue, a prominent camping spot for Dixie Peddlers, at the south end of the Black Ridge.