Willard Call Journal

A selection from Willard Call’s Journal

Monday, Apr. 22 1895

I have heard that my Brother A.B. Call of Dublan, Old Mexico was coming to England and in describing the kind of a man we needed for a special work in Cambridge the City of Colleges, I had A.B. in mind, I think Brother Lund understood me for a soon as Bowen arrived, about May 1st, he sent him to our Conference. I will not attempt a description of the meeting on foreign soil of two brothers who had always been companionable and loved each other’s society, after a separation of five years; but suffice it to say that during my short stay of two months in Eng. after his arrival, we allowed nothing but duty to separate us. In going the rounds of the Norwich Conference, which consisted of three counties, to say my farewell, ‘ for I was expecting my release, he went with me and as introduced. I had the pleasure of initiating him into the business of street preaching and I think I shall never forget his first effort. And though he is not a timid man he seemed frightened of every sound – or moving thing. He could hardly keep his feet up on the ground; and he looked as though but for the burden of mortality, be would soar aloft and I really think he would have been more comfortable in his feelings amidst clouds of heaven than he was in the jeering moving, unbelieving crowd on the Norwich Market. And so the time went on preaching the Gospel, looking after the Elders, the Saints, the tithing, the Millennium Stars and the general business of the Conference until June 29, 1895 when the very interesting document from President Lund came to me at Norwich – Well I was really glad to get this letter of release (with the Presidents kind mention of my missionary labors and his blessing for the future) for I had been already more than two years away from home. And though this absence from my family had passed indeed very pleasantly, now that the time to return had come the trains could not run fast enough nor the big Ocean Liners apply enough steam to suit me.

Going to England I had planned a few side trips, sightseeing, excursions, to do away with the tiresome travel of my homeward journey: but now that prospects to embrace my family seemed so near all of these side issues were abandoned and I selected the shortest and quickest route to S.L. City.

In charge of a little company of six I went up to Glascow on July 8, visited with J. L. Fackrell. and the Glascow Elders till the p.m. of July 11 when we embarked on the good ship Anchoria and sailed down the dirty Colide headed in the direction of the setting sun for “that land over there,”

At London Derry the ship weighed anchor and we had a three hour’s run on Irish soil “All among the Shamrock”.

Our crew was Scotch, their ways were Scotch, the menu was Scotch; but it was not so bad. They were very affable and accommodating, the1200 passengers were congenial and pleasant. I experienced almost no nausea and indeed enjoyed the voyage.

We arrived in New York on the 20th of July, stayed one day during which I visited Mr. Van Arsdall in Jersay City (My wife’s relation) and the Mormon Elders in Brooklyn at 48 Sand St. just at the foot of the great Brooklyn Bridge

On July 21 we boarded train and again turned our faces homeward where we arrived at 3 a.m. on July 25 having been gone 25 months and 11 days. I found my people all well and after a visit of two weeks with my folks and a month’s trip in the mountains with wife and children I went back to my old place in the P.O.,O.C and M. Co’s store. In Jan. 1896 I was elected President of the P.O.O..C and W. Co. and manager of their opera house. In Feb. 1696 1 was elected to the office of School Trustee in Dist. #2.

Bishop Call having resigned his Bishopric and left Bountiful, David Stoker was ordained Bishop and he paid me the compliment of making me his second Counselor a week later on. By the unanimous vote of the Saints of East Bountiful, Henry Hampton was sustained first Counselor and Willard Call second Counselor to Bishop David Stoker and on Feb 3 1896 I was ordained a High Priest and set apart as second counselor to Bishop Stoker under the hands of Franklin B. Richards.

I have neglected to say that after coming home from England and prior to being placed in the Bishopric I served as a Home Missionary in the Davis Stake.

About April 1896 I was set apart as a Sabbath School teacher and given charge of the primary department of our School, consisting of an Assistant Principal, 15 teachers and 280 little folks ranging from 3 years to 10.

On the 3rd of June 1896 my wife gave birth to a girl we named Jennie June.

In the spring of 1898 the United States was convulsed over the inhumane treatment of our neighbors the Cubans by their cruel and despotic owners the Spanish.

I felt that some strong arm should place a chastening hand upon Spain for the indignities and insults they were heaping upon Cuba; and when at one fell swoop without provocation or warning 500 of our marine soldiers were hurled into eternity their bodies wrapped as it were, in the Stars and Stripes and with a $1,000,000 ship. “The Mamie” were sent to the bottom of the sea: it was no longer a question nth ma who should wield that strong arm. And I said surely now every liberty loving American will rise in his indignation to avenge that great insult to “Old Glory”, and show those “Dons” that America and Americans must be respected.

At this time I was a Sergeant in Company of the Home Guard of Utah, we offered our services as a company of Infantry to Governor Wells to be used in the Utah contingent how and when he might see fit; and when our State was asked for two Batteries of Artillery, .six of my company including myself enlisted in the service of Uncle Sam on May 3, 1898.

At the organization of Battery “A” Utah Light Artillery at Fort Douglas I was recognized as a Laison Corporal by Captain R. U. Young. We drilled at Fort Douglas till May 21, then mid a grand ovation from our State, the crying and caressing of our wives and mothers and – sisters, the Hurrahs and goodbyes and cheers of our fathers, brothers and neighbors we started westward the trail of those who will always know better from now on than to fir on the Stars and Stripes.

We arrived in San Francisco just at the first expedition was sailing out of the bay for Manila. The 8th Army Corps wan being mobilized at San Francisco. The Regulars at the Precedo and the Volunteers at Camp Richmond afterwards Camp Merrith. We drilled here three weeks, by which time Camp Merrith had become a City of Tents with a population of 12000 volunteer soldiers. Transports were made ready and on June 15, 1898 the second expedition under General Green, consisting of four ships carrying about 5000 soldiers sailed out of the harbor at San Francisco. Our batteries were divided and detachments placed on each of the four transports, ‘The China”, the “Colorn,” “The Gelandia” and “The Senator.”

The 1st and 2nd platoons of Battery “A” under Capt. Younge with their 32 modern guns (which have a 9 mile range) were aboard the U.S. Transport “Colon”. I was a corporal in sec. 21st platoon under Lieutenant Gibbs. .

Nine days out on that wilderness of water we cast anchor at that oasis in the great watery desert Honolulu. We were right royally received with bands and cheers and banqueted at the eastwhile Palace of Queen Liliquilani. We had a 36 hours stay at the Sandwich Islands during which time we aimed the Islands, the people, their property, railroads and all. It was just before the annexation and the feeling was so friendly to America that an American could not spend money with them. They vied with each other to see who could entertain the most “bluecoats.” We went 30 miles inland on the R.R. and visited the. Ewa sugar plantation and factory, riding through fields of pineapples, bananas, mangoes, sugar cane, etc.

Then we resumed our toilsome journey across the Pacific Ocean touching at Wake Island on the 4th of July we took possession in the name of the United States and planted the Stars and Stripes. We also touched at the Ledrone Islands but the first expedition had possessed them and taken the Spanish Governor a Prisoner to Cavite.

We arrived in Manila Bay on July 17 and for the first time I listened to the roar and thunder of real war. The Filipinos had the Spanish Army surrounded in the City of Manila and kept up a desultory fire night and day. Dewey had blockaded the bay since the 1st of May and the Spaniards really seemed to have lost their courage. We landed on the 21st within 3 miles of their big guns (at Malate) unmolested and went peacefully into Camp Dewey.

On July 28 the first detachment of American soldiers relieved the Filipinos and went into their trenches within 950 yards of the enemies strong fortifications. My platoon was with the first to go to the front and I was Corporal of the guard on the 2nd relief the first night in the trenches. The first battle was fought in the middle of a dark night on July 31. The American losses were 18 killed and it is said that the Spanish left 150 on the ground. An so the fighting kept up for 20 days. We would dig trenches and fight for 24 flours, then go to camp and hunt wood, cook and police the camp ’till our turn came again. My discharge papers give me credit for being under fire five times during those 20 days. I also took part in the bombardment of Manila on Aug 15 when 30,000 Spanish soldiers surrendered to 2 regiments of American Infantry and we possessed ourselves of the well fortified city of Manila. Oh what a City! Three months shut up from the rest of the world without water, an army of 30,030 Spaniards and a dense population who have almost no ideas of cleanliness or sanitary regulations. It took weeks of steady policing before Manila was fit to live in.

We stayed 3 days at Malate than took up permanent quarters at Cuartell de Mesic. The war was over, the Protocol was soon signed and then every volunteer declared his contract ended with the U.S. and demanded his discharge. But Uncle did not see it so, he foresaw the Filipino insurrection. Here I must say that I had some sympathy for the Filipino, for he was fighting for his Country, his home and family and it mattered not bow ignorant be might be, or how much bettor an American Protectorate might be for him, he did not know it. And I did not want to fight his principals. So we got our friends at home to ask for our discharge through the war office and it was cabled to us on Dec. 12 and Dec. 15 we started home, J.J. Holbrook and I, on board the U.S Transport. We stopped five days at Nagasaki, Japan to coal up, and enjoy the novelty on Christmas day of a ride – – around town in a gin rickashaw drawn by a low-built, heavy-set, very enduring Jap. Horses and wagons are out of the question in Nagasaki, the women are the beasts of burden. Having taken on 2000 tons of – coal we shoved out towards the States aid when once away from the coasts of Japan we saw no more sails or signs of human life until we neared the shores of California. The voyage occupied 34 days. We – had free transportation, but paid $1.50 per day for our board.

Arriving home I found my Wife and children well and since my enlistment the Lord had blessed us with a little girl. We blessed her Constance Liberty, she was born on Oct. 24, 1898.

We arrived home on Jan. 18, 1899 having been from home 8 months and 13 days, passed through the campaign of the Spanish American War, been in five battles besides the bombardment of Manila, traveled about 18 thousand miles, 64 days of which was on the broad expanse of the Pacific Ocean, been under 3 flags, and enjoyed good health all of the time. I claim the distinction of being the first Mormon Elder to preach the Gospel among those Roman Catholic people in the Philippine Islands. I preached in Cortel de Mesic about Aug 30, 1898.

After spending about five weeks with my family I accepted a very pressing invitation from Bowen to visit him in that sunny, and at that time of the year, windy Mexico.

Visited with Bowen, his folks and the people of Colonia Dublan and Colonia Juarez from March 1st till May 1st, 1899, brought Theresa home with me. Appointed City Councilman in Bountiful City on October 12, 1899.

Appointed Justice of the Peace in and for Bountiful City 1899.

Was elected 2nd Lieutenant in company “E” 1st infantry N.G.U, Sept. 1, 1900.

Addle and I received our second endowments in the S.L. Temp1e under the hands of John R. Winder Sept 14 1899.

Oct. 22, 1900 dear wife presented me with a bright healthy little girl. We named her Unity.

On April 15, 1901 Willard and I started for Old Mexico. Visited in Dublan and Juarex till April 22 when I started across country in Brother Thurber’s carriage for Waco, Ariz. Twas a beautiful trip through large pastures, over mountains with ancient caves and large trees. We passed through Aaxaca and near Colonia Morales. Arrived in Waco on Apr 30 began work as book-keeper for C.D.C.V.T. Co. on May 1 at a salary of $75.O0 per month. On the 15th of June they lost their contract and on the 18th I went into the office of the Canane Supply Store at a Salary of $75 .00 per month. Willard arrived in Waco May 12 and went to work on R.R. for $l.O0 per day Mex. money.

Aug 20 met Addle and two babies. Anson and Unity, in Elpaso Texas. She had made the 1200 mile trip across Utah, Colorado and New Mexico without any help. Like the brave little woman that she had always been she undertook this journey as though ‘twer a picnic party; nor had any word of complaint when I met her. We visited together in Dublan till Sept 2 when I started back to my job in Waco. Addie stayed in Mexico till Oct. 2 when she came hone with Bowen who was going to Wyoming on a Mutual mission.

Quit work Dec. 5, went to the Colonies to visit Wiillard who was going to school in Dublan. Arrived home Dec. 18, 1891.

At a ward conference held in Bountiful Jan 1902. Because that I was going to move away I was released from acting as 2nd Counselor to Bishop Stoker.

Feb sold 1 60/100 acres-of land to Aaron for $405.00.

Feb. sold 6 acres of land to Mark Waddoups for $1835.00

Jan. 21 1902 P.O.O.O and M. Co. consigned their business to John Fisher their secretary; and I suppose that the $1360.00 which I invested with them is lost.

Moved to Mexico June 9. Bought a home in Dublan for $400.00 of A. L. Farnsworth. Began work as salesman for the Union Mercantile on June 12, 1902.

(From a hard copy of his journal)

Join the Conversation


  1. Please… Where can I get a copy of Willard’s journal? He was my great grampa and I’d really like to have a copy if you can tell me how to get hold of one.

    Thank you so, so much.


  2. I found Willard’s Journal, and will probably post on this site sometime in the next couple months.

  3. I would love to have a copy of his journal, Liz, if you can get me a copy. Even just a copy on regular paper from the nearest copy machine would be great, and I will reimburse you, of course. You can reach me at Luanne775@gmail.com. Are you a relative too? Where do you fit into the family line? Let me know asap, k? And Thank you so much.

  4. I’m Luanne’s little brother, David Nelson. Our mom was Jeanne Mae Call and her mom and dad were Belva & Aaron Call. Aaron’s dad was Willard Call.

    We’ve heard a lot about Willard but were kids when we did. We’ve got Anson’s journal. Please post Willard’s journal.

    Does anyone have Willard’s father’s journal, I believe his father’s name was Israel. Or anything you have on either of Willard’s wives would be wonderful.


  5. I’m Heather’s sister, the administrator of the site. I’ve almost finished uploading the journal and will e-mail you both a copy today. It should be up somewhere on the site sometime soon. Thanks for being patient with me!

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