Sunday, February 7, 2010

John Tate Journal account of 1887 Irish Creek Shooting concluded.

The following John William Tate December 1887-1888 journal account is continued from here.
December 24th: After a somewhat restless night we arose very stiff & sore, from our wounds. After washing I rubbed my wounds with Olive Oil & changed clothes. During the morning the rumor of our being shot having spread, many callers came & expressed their indignation and regretted that such a thing had happened. At 2 p.m. although suffering considerable pain we started for Bro. John Laytons where we intended to hold a meeting on the morrow, having previously given out notice to that effect. Called at Sister Steels who desired us to stay all night, but thought it better to go over to Bro. Laytons where we arrived about 5 p.m. 2 ½ miles from Bro. Carrs. Bro. Layton went to Post Office for me, but no letters or word from home. I can’t tell what it all means – folks sick at home & no word for more than 12 days.
Note: Elder Tate’s concern for his wife throughout is moving. He was the father of seven children when he arrived in Virginia to serve this mission, and ever concerned for the safe delivery of his wife, Lizzie’s 8th child. The last he’d heard, she was ill.

From Lizzie's letter dated December 18, 1887:

Oh, John, I have got the sweetest little babe that we have ever had. She is so pretty. She has got a lot of hair as dark as Ethel’s was. What would your like to call her … I will write soon, and so must you. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and may God be with you in all your trials is the desire of your faithful and ever loving wife. Lizzie Tate

P.S. Give my regards to Sister Steele and tell her that I kindly thank her for the leaf and all the kindness that she showen [sic] toward you. Write often, the children all send papa a kiss and I send one to. God bless you. Lizzie
Sunday, December 25th: “Christmas” On arising this morning was very sore and stiff. Bro. Hendricks wounds appearing to be more sore than mine, perhaps on the account of him possessing a cold & his blood being somewhat out of disorder. At 11:30 a.m. we called our meeting to order some 18 or 20 present. I spoke a few minutes on the Gospel, also Bro. Hendricks spoke about 35 mines, but on account of our wounds paining us we did not feel to stand up long. About 2 o’clock, our force was increased by the arrival of a new Elder from Utah, Moroni Gerber of Midway, Wasatch County, U.T. … In the evening we anointed our wounds with Olive Oil & asked God to let this blessing be with it. We had them wrapped up in tallow & turpentine when after prayers, we retired for the evening.
December 26th: On arising this morning found my wounds very painful & almost impossible to move around. Bro. Hendricks appearing to be much worse than myself; during the day Bro. Hendricks wrote a letter to Bro. Morgan in relation to the affair, explaining the circumstances & asking what he thought about prosecuting the perpetrators of the deed, yet knowing that it was almost useless for a Mormon to get justice in the Courts at home & much more so in the world as past experience has taught us. I wrote a letter home to my wife, but did not mention the shooting affair, thinking it would be better to wait until I was thoroughly better …
December 27th: On getting up this morning did not feel any worse myself, but Bro. Hendricks seemed to be worse on the shot in the fleshy part of his leg appeared to pain him very much, besides he was somewhat sick & feverish, still we hope to be around and about in a few days.
December 28th: On arising this morning felt more sore than day previous and had to lay down in the afternoon. Bro. Hendricks still seemed to get much worse & suffer from the one wound on the calf of his leg & had to keep to bed the most part of the day. During the evening had slipery[sic] Elm poultice on him. After reading a chapter in Bible had prayer and retired.
December 29th: Felt some better this morning, ligaments of my leg not so stiff this morning, but was much bother for me to move around. Sister Steele sent us over some sweet cakes. Bro. Hendricks still getting worse & suffering much from wound in fleshy part of leg. Sister Laytons baby was sick today. After prayers we administered to it & dressed our wounds & rubbed with linament [sic.] & retired.

December 30th: Did not rest much during the night. Bro. H. scarcely closing his eyes, but as soon as morning Bro. Gerber prepared to bathe his leg with cold water & salt by wrapping it with wet cloth. During the day Sister Steele called in & brought a nice young chicken to cook for us, also Bro. & Sister Carr came to see us and to see if we would be able to come and spend New Years with them, but owing to the condition we were in we did not think we would be able to do so, although we would have liked to. After prayers retired for to try to rest.

December 31st: After a good nights rest, I arose much improved & feeling better. Bro. Hendricks also appeared to have made a turn for the better, the bathing with cold water cloths having apparently done some good. During the day Br.[Brother] Car[r] & daughter called upon us to see if we could spend New Years with them, also bringing us some pies and cakes. We thought we would not be able to accept their invitation this time, went to bed early tonight after prayers & dressing wounds …

January 1st:
During the night my wounds were very sore & on account of this & the dampness caused by the snow and rain did not rest very well. Bro. Hendricks much worse & did not sleep any, at about 12 o’clock by his request Bro. Gerber & I anointed & administered to him. After fasting during the morning we again administered unto him after which he felt some better. I wrote a letter to my wife, but did not mention my circumstances …
January 2nd: Bro Hendricks wounds troubled him so much that he did not rest during the night. On arising my wounds were about the same. … After singing some hymns we had prayers, then we dressed our wounds, I rubbing mine with Arnica salve, Bro. Hendricks poulticing his with ___& red oak bark poultices, when we went to bed.

January 3rd: My wounds were about the same. Br. H. wounds run some. He was feeling much better. During yesterday Bro Gerber made a litter for to carry Bro. H. over to Sister Steeles, but Bro & Sister Layton would not listen to it, so we had to stay here some longer. Bro & Sister Layton have been very kind to us, for which we feel very thankful to them … During the evening, Mr. Wm. Hamilton called in & passed the evening and informed us that the people were trying to raise a mob to drive us out of the country, this was news to us, this being the first intimation, however we feel if they came we cannot help it. We feel that we are doing God’s service and he is able to take care of his children, therefore, we feel to put our trust in Him and always crave his protecting care …

January 4th: Not feeling very well this morning as did not rest well during the night. Bro. Hendricks appeared to be somewhat better. During the day I wrote a letter to Prest. Morgan for Bro. Hendricks stating our condition … and also the prospect of us being mobbed, etc. Bro. Gerber went to Vesuvius to get his valise. He was accompanied by Bro. John Carr & another young man. They returned about 2 p.m., bringing another letter from my wife in which was a copy of my Patriarchal Blessing. They were all well at home on Dec. 28, 1887. After dressing our wounds retired for night.

January 5th: Fast day which we observed. My wounds on the guiders were very sore this morning more so than for a week past. This is the notable day the mob had intended to come upon us. However not being able to go away we put our trust in God and cause that there would be no harm come to us. Several friends came during the morning and said they would stand by us, among which was Bro. John Carr, Sister Steele, M. Ed Campbell, Saml Carr and others. We also wrote a request that the Magistrate be present so that in case of need he could deputize some constables so that we would be enabled to arrest any person that should commit some overt act. He came at our request and said he would do whatever he could for us; we waited until about 2 o’clock, but no mob as yet, although the time set to meet at the store one miles from here was nine o’clock and parties (Bro Carr) had seen Mr. Ramsey & his son and another one going to the place appointed early this morning so we supposed naturally that we would see a mob indeed. But about 2 o’clock two of Bro Jacob Hamilton sons came down from the store and said from appearances the mob was a failure as there was only four persons met, viz.: Jack Ramsey, Charly Ramsey (his son) Wade Jerald and Len Mahon, who when they found no more they left for home disgusted no doubt with their failure …
Note: Through the month the wounded Elders rallied and then regressed, and then rallied again. They continued at the Laytons, nursing their injuries, and enduring colds and sore throats. Elder Tate continued to keep his condition from his wife. There is no further aggression against them mentioned.

January 10th: Felt somewhat improved from yesterday, but very sore. During day made door latch for door of Bro. & Sister Layton’s house, read some in Bible and tried to commit some of the 12th Chap 1 Corinthians on Spiritual Gifts …Bro. Hendricks received letter from Prest. Morgan inquiring to our condition and for us not to fail to report to him, also stated another elder would be here next Friday evening, advised us to try to get the Saints to emigrate. If we succeeded in doing this we would be doing a good work … I anointed my wounds with olive oil & after prayers, retired.

January 11th: Felt well this morning in getting up, but after moving around wounds began to be quite sore & painful. Bro. Hendricks wrote to Prest. Morgan, stating our condition and thought we would be able to resume our labors in a few days, also thought that perhaps three families would be able to emigrate with the next company. Passed my time in reading, but this confinement is too much for me for what I read I can’t remember … Sister Steele brought us some apples during the day. She has been very kind.
January 12th: Read Deseret News, doctored wounds by poultice of Axel Greese[sic]. Stormy night, had prayers & retired … 15th: My wounds apparently not so painful. Bro. H’s worse than what they have been for more than a week past, do not know what is best to do for them … Sister Hamilton sent us a nice sweet cake. Read some in the Voice of Warning. I have a cold and suffering from sore throat. Bro. Hendricks condition so much worse that we do not know what to do for the best. We administered to him, dressed our wounds & retired …16th: Did not rest so well last night, wounds about the same, leg somewhat stiff, cold no better and not feeling very well, troubled about Bro. Hendricks wounds which is much inflamed … seems to be worse than it was two weeks back … Bro. Gerber & I have an idea it would be proper for him to go home where he could get proper treatment and attention for though the people here do what they can, they are not able to do more on account of their limited means. I wrote a letter to Prest. Morgan stating our condition and especially that of Bro. Hendricks …

January 22nd: Still improving, wounds almost healed up. Bro. Hendricks still on the improve. Sister Steele called in and brought us some apples, Mr. Wm. Hamilton called to see us, his wife Sister Hamilton sent us a roast chicken, glass of preserve & light bread. Some of the people have shown us very great kindness. I received a letter from home of date of Jan 12th inst., all was well on that date for which I felt very thankful for, there was also enclosed a five dollar bill, some of which was sent by my little girls, after prayers, retired.

Thank you John Morgan and John Tate descendant Karen M. for sharing your grandfather’s journal entries.
According to the list of the Southern States Missionaries in the John Morgan Collection, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Milo A. Hendricks was released April 12, 1888. Elder Tate’s release date is not listed, nor is Elder Moroni Gerber's.


  1. These 2 posts are amazing. I have been wondering if cousin knew about the Morgan Tate connection before now. Elder Tate is quite distinguished looking.

  2. Yes, Cousin Karen, has always known about the Morgan/Tate connection. I didn't get it until just recently. John Tate's wife, Lizzie, is Elizabeth DeLaMare Tate. She is Phillip DeLaMare's daughter. That is what amazes me!

  3. Wow. That's quite a story. All these connections, the account of all the home remedies (turpentine! slippery elm!), the kindness of the members.

    Thanks for sharing the story. Is the Tate diary available at the church archives or a university library?

  4. And, by the way, you're writing some excellent history!

  5. Thanks for the kind words. I'll ask if the Tate journal is available in the archives or a library.

  6. Amy, a note back from cousin Karen M. says, "No, the journal is not in the Church History Library that I know of. I don't think it is in the records of any of the universities."