[Geo. A. Smith and Ezra T. Benson to Editor of the News, G. S. L. Cit, 12 Feb. 1855, Deseret News, 22 Feb. 1855.]
Tour in the Country.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Historian Office,
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† G. S. L City, Feb. 12, 1855.
Editor of the News:
††††† We left this city on Saturday, the 10th, at 3 p.m., arrived at Mount Pleasant at 6, and called on Elder Lewis Wight, who immediately gave notice of our arrival. Within half an hour, all the inhabitants met in the School-house, where we addressed them for about two hours. The School-house is a hewed log building, 23 by 17 feet, is well finished, and was erected in eleven days in December, 1854. Eleazer Hickcox is teaching a school of 25 scholars. The fort is laid out 25 rods square; a very good wall, 3 feet by 6, is commenced around it, and 60 rods are completed. The soil is well adapted to the making of earth wall. The fort contains eleven families, who are organized in a branch of the church, in connection with the people at Jordan Mills, under the presidency of Elder James Kilfoyle, who informed us that peace and the good Spirit reign predominant in his branch. We slept at brother Wightís. Wind blew severely in the night.
††††† We arrived at Herriman on Sunday at 10 a.m., our appointment having previously been given out for that hour. At half-past 11, the people assembled, and we addressed the Saints at considerable length on the necessity of obedience to the counsels of the Presidency, and union among themselves. A vote being called whether the people would sustain Elder Thomas Butterfield as their president, 27 voted for, and 11 against, and some did not vote either way. Elder Butterfield then tendered his resignation, which was accepted, and Elder McGeo Harris was unanimously chosen as president, and William Kidd and Thomas Whittle his counselors. This place contains 23 families. The School-house was built of logs in 1853, and is 22 feet by 18. Elder Robert C. Petty has kept a school in it ten weeks this winter, and has recently been succeeded by a female teacher. About 1,600 bushels of grain have been raised by this settlement, on land irrigated by a small stream from the west mountains. Several large flocks of sheep are kept here.
††††† We left Herriman at 1 1/2 p.m., and arrived at Jordan Mill School-house at 3, where we found a congregation waiting to hear us preach. We addressed them for two hours and a half, on the first principles of the gospel, and the necessity of continuing to listen to the voice of the good Shepherd. This School-house is 27 by 20 feet, and was built, December Last, of logs sawed in two, and is lined with plank, and well finished. A good school of 26 scholars is kept by Elder Royal J. Cutler. Immediately after the meeting we started for Taylorsville, passing by brother Gauntís woollen-factory, which he informed us was producing 500 yards of cloth in each week; this looks encouraging for Deseret manufacture.
††††† At 7 p.m., we arrived at Taylorsville, and found the adobe School-house, a building 30 by 20 feet, crowded with people. We preached one hour each on the building up of the stakes of Zion, and the necessity of educating our children properly; and were listened to with perfect attention. A school of 30 scholars is taught by Mr. J. K. Cannon. Bishop Joseph Harker has attended this school during the last five weeks. We slept at brother Harkerís.
††††† Arrived in this city to-day at 12 oíclock. Stock on the range look remarkably well, and every flock of sheep was interspersed with a considerable number of lambs, which were all thriving finely on the luxuriant grass of the plains west of Jordan. The Saints listened to our instructions and admonitions with anxious countenances, and grateful hearts; and, as we took leave, abundantly showered their blessings upon us, for which we return to them our grateful acknowledgments.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ezra T. Benson.