Jacob Foutz


Jacob Foutz, Sr. was a native of Pennsylvania. He was born in Franklin County on Nov 20, 1800, the son of John Foutz and Elizabeth Catherine Hinkle, who were also natives of the same county and state.

The information available regarding the earlier ancestry of this family is meager. It is know, however, that the father of the above mentioned John Foutz was Conrad Foutz born in Sweibruchen, Germany in 1734 and died in Donegal, Pennsylvania Nov. 20, 1790. Conrad’s wife, Elizabeth, was born in 1739, place unknown. She died Sept. 26, 1827 at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. According to the records of Mr. A. B. Boutz, who lived in Pennsylvania, and who died about 1937, the above-mentioned Conrad Foutz came to this country from Germany. His father and mother died during the trip over and were buried at sea. Conrad came to America alone, but no record is available as to the year he came. (Recent research has showed that Conrad was on the ship Edinburg and landed Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 14 September 1753, James Russel was the ship Captain.)

It is believed that Jacob Foutz, Sr. had several brothers and sisters. The only authentic record we have as yet is a mention made in the diary of Jacob Foutz, Sr. where he writes of having a brother, Micael and a sister, Elizabeth. (Later research shows a family of seven; Mary, John, un-named daughter, Elizabeth, Jacob, Micael, Solomon and Nettie.) The record of his sister, Elizabeth, shows that she was born 22 June 1797 in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. She married Jacob Hess in 1816. Elizabeth Foutz Hess joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and came to Utah with the pioneers in 1847. She was the mother of twelve children. She made her home in Farmington, Utah. Her posterity is numerous throughout northern Utah.
Very little information is to be had regarding the early life of Jacob Foutz, Sr. we do know, however, that he was an energetic brick layer. When he twenty-one years old (July 22, 1822) he married Margaret Mann (Munn). She was the daughter of David Mann and Mary Rock. born 11 December 1801 in Thomastown, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. When Margaret was a mere baby she was left an orphan, deprived of both parents.

The lives of these two young people, Jacob and Margaret, were destined to be adventuresome and notable. They lived in one of the most progressive periods the world ha ever known and in one of the countries which was making its own early history at this time. They came from a section of this country that furnished many pioneers and early in their married life they too went to live on the frontier.

While they lived in Franklin County, Pennsylvania four girls were born to them, two of which died in infancy. Susan was born 14 Feb. 1823 (married James Brown), and Polly was born 10 Oct 1824. Polly lived to be about seven years old, as it is believed she died sometime in 1831. The third daughter, Nancy Ann, was born in Jemper City, Franklin, Pennsylvania on the 21st day of May 1826 (married Ephraim John Pearson). The fourth child Elizabeth was born September 13, 1827 (married Henson Walker).

Mainly German people settled Franklin County where the Foutz family lived and the Foutz children were taught to speak the German language before they learned to speak English. This caused them much embarrassment when they left this section of the country and went west among the English-speaking people.

In the latter part of the year 1827, the family moved west to Richland County, Ohio. At this time Ohio and the country westward was only sparsely settled. The small settlements were chiefly along the rivers which were the main means of travel. There was much good land to be had for the taking and many families were leaving their homes in the east to take up farming on the western frontiers.

It was in this new home in Richland County, Ohio where the fifth child in the Foutz family was born. This daughter they named Sarah. Here also death visited this humble abode as Polly, their second daughter, died sometime in 1831. In December of the same year their sixth daughter, Catherine, was born to them on Christmas Day.

While this little family lived in Richland County, Ohio, Elder David Evans of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints came to visit their home and taught then the Gospel. They were convinced of its truth and were baptized, which was a very unpopular thing to do at this time, as most people were very bitter toward the Elders.

The same year they became members of the Church, their first son was born. He was Alma, the seventh child in the family, born 4 December 1824. This child, however, was not permitted to live long upon the earth, as he died in childhood sometime before October 1838.

Shortly after the Foutz family joined the Church, they probably felt the “spirit of gathering” which was then being taught by the Elders of the church, for they left Ohio and moved farther west. This time they purchased some land on the Crooked River in Missouri. Here was an organized branch of the church and here they hoped to have a permanent home. This branch of the church was presided over by their friend, Elder David Evans, the elder who first preached the gospel to them.

Speaking of this new home in Missouri, Margaret Foutz says, “We enjoyed ourselves exceedingly well and everything seemed to prosper, but the spirit ;of persecution began to manifest itself. Falsehoods were circulated about the Mormon population that was settling about the region and soon there began to be signs of trouble.”

Here on the Crooked River in Caldwell County, Missouri, another son was born to the Foutz family on 16 March 1837. This son they named Joseph Lehi. He was the eldest son to live and was destined to play an important role in the settling of the west.

The Foutz family, with the other members of the little settlement, was not permitted to enjoy their new home for long. The mobs were driving the Saints out of one county after another in Missouri and as Margaret Foutz said, “Even in the little settlement of Haun’s Mill in the Caldwell County, trouble was being felt.” The mobs had threatened to destroy the mill owned by Brother Haun and so as a precautionary measure the Saints had organized themselves together and planned to keep a few watchmen at the mill continually.

Many times the brethren had tried to settle matters peaceably, but to no avail and so in October 1838 the Foutz family had a most trying experience.  It is know in Church History as ‘The Haun’s Mill Massacre.”  The following paragraphs are taken from the account of Joseph Young, an eyewitness of the massacre.

“On Sunday, October 28, we arrived at Haun’s Mill where we found a number of our friends collected, who were holding a council and deliberating upon the best course for them to pursue to defend themselves against the mob who were collecting in the neighborhood under the command of Colonel Jennings, of Livingston (county) and threatening them with house burning and killing.

“The decision of the council was that the neighborhood should put itself in a state of defense.  Accordingly about twenty-eight of our men armed themselves and were in constant readiness for an attack if any small body of mobbers might come upon them.  The same evening, for some reason best know to themselves, the mob sent one of their number to enter into a treaty with our friends, which was accepted on condition that each party, as far as their influence extended, should exert themselves to prevent any further hostilities.  At this time, however, there was another mob collecting on the Grand River at William Mann’s which was threatening us; consequently, we remained under arms on Monday the 29th, which passed away without molestation from any quarter.

“On Tuesday, the 30th, that bloody tragedy was enacted, the scenes of which I shall never forget.  More the three-fourths of the day had passed in tranquility as smiling as the preceding one.  I think there was no individual of our company that was apprised of the sudden and awful fate which hung over our heads like an overwhelming torrent, and which was to change the prospects, the feeling and sympathies of about thirty families.

“The banks of Shoal Creek, on either side, teemed with children sporting and playing, while their mothers were engaged in domestic employments.  Father or husbands were either on guard about the mills or other property, or employed in gathering crops for winter consumption.  The weather was very pleasant, the sun shore clearly, all was tranquil, and no one expressed any apprehension of the awful crisis that was near us, even at our doors.

“It was abut four o’clock, p.m., while sitting in my cabin with my babe in my arms and my wife standing by my side, the door being open, I cast my eyes on the opposite bank of Shoal Cree, and saw a large body of armed men on horses directing their course toward the mills with all possible speed.  As they advanced through the scattering trees that bordered the prairie they seemed to form themselves into a three square position, forming a vanguard in front.  At this moment, David Evans, seeing the superiority of their numbers (there being two hundred and forty of them according to their own count) gave a signal and cried for peace.  This not being heeded they continued to advance and their leader, a man named Comstock, fired a gun, which was followed by a solemn pause of about ten or twelve seconds; when all at once they discharged about one hundred rifles, aiming at a blacksmith’s shop, into which our friends fled for safety.  They then charged up to the shop, the crevices of which, between the logs, were sufficiently large to enable them to aim directly at the bodies of those who had fled there for refuge from the fire of their murderers.  There were several families tented in the rear of the shop whose lives were exposed and amid the showers of bullets they fled to the weeds in different directions.

“After standing and gazing at this bloody scene for a number of minutes and finding myself in the uttermost danger, the bullets having reached the house where I was living, I committed my family to the protection of Heaven and leaving the house on the opposite side, I took a path which led up the hill following in the trail of three of my brethren that had fled from the shop.

“While ascending the hill we were discovered by the mob, who immediately fired at us and continued so to do ‘till we reached the summit.  In descending the hill, I secreted myself in a thicket of bushes, where I lay till eight o’clock in the evening.  At this time I heard a voice calling my name in an undertone.  I immediately left the thicket and went to the house of Benjamin Lewis where I found my family, who had fled there in safety, and two of my friends mortally wounded; one of whom died before morning.  Here we passed the painful night in deep and awful reflections on the scenes of the preceding evening.  After day-light appeared some four or five men with myself, who had escaped with our lives from this horrid massacre, repaired as soon as possible to the mills to learn the condition of our friends whose fate we had but too truly anticipated.

“When we arrived at the house of Mr. Haun, we found Mr. Merrick’s body lying in the rear of the house, Mr. McBride’s in front, literally mangled from head to foot.  We were informed by Miss Rebecca Judd, who was an eye witness, that he was shot with his own gun after he given it up and then cut to pieces with a corn cutter by a man named Rogers of Davis County, who keeps a ferry on the Grand River and who has since repeatedly boasted of this act of savage barbarity.  Mr. York’s body we found in the house.  After viewing these corpses we immediately went to the blacksmith’s shop, where we found nine of our friends, eight of who were already dead and the other, Mr. Cox of Indiana, in agonies of death, which soon expired.

“We immediately prepared and carried them to the place of interment.  This last office of kindness due to the remains of departed friends was not attended with the customary ceremonies nor decency; for we were in jeopardy, every moment expecting to be fired on by the mob, who we supposed were lying in ambush, waiting the first opportunity to dispatch the remaining few who were providentially preserved from the slaughter of the preceding day.  However, we accomplished without molestation this painful task.  The place of burial was a vault in the ground, formerly intended for a well, into which we threw the bodies of our friends promiscuously.”

Sister Foutz said the Saints had thought all was amicably adjusted after the meeting they had had with the mobbers the day before and Brother Evans had gone to inform the brethren, her husband among them, that all was well.  It was about the middle of the afternoon of that day when all of a sudden without any warning whatever that sixty or seventy men with blackened faces came riding up, their horses at full speed.  The brethren ran for protection into an old log blacksmith’s shop.  Being without arms they were helpless when the mob rode up to the shop and without any explanation or apparent cause, began a wholesale butchery by firing round after round through the cracks in the log wall of the shop.

Margaret found her husband in an old house covered with some rubbish.  He had been shot in the thigh.  She rendered him what aid she could but it was evening before she could get him home with the help of Brother Evans and his wagon and team.  Brother Evans carried Jacob into their house and laid him on the bed.  Then she was left alone to attend to his injuries.  Six days later he helped her to extract the bullet that was buried deep in thick part of his thigh and was flattened like a knife.  This was done with a kitchen knife.  During the first ten days the mob came every day with blackened faces cursing and swearing that they would kill the old Mormon preacher but Margaret would hide him out in the woods behind their home and covered him with leaves or would sit him up, dressed as a woman, and put him at the spinning wheel.

The mobs had taken food, clothing and bedding from the Saints and had even burned some of their homes.  So now besides the pain and sorrow they had to bear, many of them were without even the bare necessities of life.

The day came, at length, when the mob finally left the Saints alone with the understanding that they were to leave Missouri in the spring.  The Saints agreed to do this, even though it meant giving up another of their homes and the improved land that went with them.  Always the enemies profited from their labor and suffering.  About the middle of February 1839 the Foutz family, along with other inhabitants of the little settlement of Haun’s Mill and hundreds of other Saints from other parts of Missouri, began their exodus.  They went from Missouri to Quincy, Illinois.

At Quincy the people were hospitable; they understood the unjust treatment the Saints had been given in Missouri and for a while they seemed to sympathize with them.  As more Saints continued to come into Illinois the local citizens became alarmed.  They feared that the new citizens would take all the work to be had and probably upset political authority and so they too began to suggest that the “Mormons” move elsewhere.

In the files of the Latter Day Saints, there is on record what seems to be a registered complaint signed by Jacob Foutz, sworn to against individuals of the mob that had molested the Saints in Missouri.  This complaint reads as follows:

“Quincy, Illinois, March 17, A D. 1840

This is to certify that I was citizen retime of Caldwell County, Missouri, at the time Governor Bogg’s exterminating order was issued and that I was quartered on by the mob militia without my leave or consent, at different times, and one time by William Mann, Hiram Cumstock and brother, who professed to be the captain, also Robert White; and that I was wounded and driven from the State to my inconvenience and deprived of my freedom as well as to my loss of at least four hundred dollars.

Signed——————Jacob Foutz

Sworn to before C. M. Woods, Clerk Circuit.”

Many such complaints were sworn to by different men and they are on file in Illinois, but, although the matter was even taken to the Federal Government at Washington, D. D., the Saints were unable to get help or redress for the sufferings and material losses which the citizens and Governor of Missouri had caused them.

It must have been sometime in 1840 when the Foutz family left Quincy, Ill. for in that year (Oct 1840) we find Jacob Foutz was made second counselor to Bishop Matthew Leach in the Freedom Stake of the Church, near Payson, Adams County, Illinois.  While the Foutz family lived in Adams County, Illinois, probably in the City of Quincy or near Payson, their daughter, Margaret, was born.  This was on the 16th day of October 1839.

Sometime between October 1840 and February 1841 the Foutz family moved into Brown County, for it is recoded in the writings of Joseph Smith that February 28, 1841 a branch of the church, of Stake of Zion, was organized in Brown County, western Illinois with Levi Gifford as president, Lodarick as first counselor and Jacob Foutz as second counselor.

Jacob Foutz must not have lived in this locality long, for shortly after this he was living in Nauvoo, Illinois.  On the 20th October 1842, the High Council in session (at Nauvoo), “Resolved that the City of Nauvoo be divided into ten wards according to the division made by the Temple Committee and that there be a Bishop appointed over such districts immediately out of the city and adjoining thereto as shall be considered necessary.”  This resolution goes on further to give the names of those chosen to preside over these districts.  Jacob Foutz was appointed Bishop of the Fifth Ward.

In a little diary kept by Jacob Foutz we are given a little insight into his life.  This book is a meager affair, hand made of white paper, sewed to a black cover.  In this diary he says, “Left Nauvoo 112th of September and left Quincy 3rd of October.”  This we believe to be the notation made at the time he left for the mission field.  The year is believed to be 1841.

The Church Presidency thought it advisable to keep in touch with the eastern branches even if the Saints were hard pressed in their new location.  Missionaries were sent out as usual in spite of the fact that they were badly needed at home to drain the swamp that was to be their home, build their homes and help with the erection of the temple.

Under just what circumstances Jacob Foutz tells, in his diary, of leaving “Pitsburg” and going out and searching faithfully and preaching in nearby neighborhoods.  He labored in Indiana, Camberg, Bedford, and Franklin counties.  Most of the time he preached at meetings held in the schoolhouses but occasionally meetings were held in the homes of individuals.  According to his record, the investigators of these meetings numbered from eleven to eighteen and at one meeting he notes twenty-eight were present.  November 16, 1842, Jacob Foutz records that he baptized Levi Thornton and wife, Elizabeth.  An expense account in the diary which he kept right along with his other records, is interesting when we compare the prices and variety of goods which this missionary bought with those purchased today.  Evidently these good brethren bought for their families as well as themselves while out in the mission field, as such items as “calico” appear often in the lists, one of which is as follows:  10 lbs. fish .40, sugar .10, calico 1.60, cofy .12, and butter 2 lbs.  20.

Just how long Brother Foutz remained on his mission is not known.  The next account of him we have is in June 1842, at which time he was again in Nauvoo.  His wife had given birth to a baby boy in his absence.  This child was born in December 1842 at Nauvoo, Illinois.  No record after this time is to be had concerning this baby, so it is believed it died in infancy.  Nauvoo at that time was a most unhealthful place to live.  There was much sickness throughout the settlement and old and young died of fever continually.

In Margaret Foutz’s autobiography, written years later, she had this to say:  “My husband was a man of great faith and many times had sickness yielded and even broken bones been united in our family, through prayer and administration of the laying on of hands.  I bear testimony that this work commonly called “Mormonism” is true and I leave this as a testimony to my children and to my children’s children and to all who may read my autobiography, that this work is the work of the Lord.

“I will now chronicle one miracle that took place in my home.  My husband took very sick, also a young man that lived at our house was very sick and my eldest child had been very sick for about ten days; in fact he was so bad that he had become speechless.  I sent for an Elder, Bro. J. Carto.  He and another Elder came that came with him, and they administered to each of the sick and then called upon them, in the name of the Lord, to arise from their beds and be made whole.  They did so and I got them something to eat, of which they partook and they were instantaneously healed by the power of God—His servants officiating in Priesthood which they had received.”

After returning from his mission, Jacob Foutz was very active the Church and he was also made a member of the Nauvoo Legion.  Inasmuch as threats were being made by mobs to take the Prophet and others out of Nauvoo, men were called especially to protect Bro. Joseph.  Jacob was among a group of about eighty0five men aboard the “Maid of Iowa”, a steamboat, which was sent out from Nauvoo to patrol the Mississippi River in an effort to prevent anyone from taking the Prophet to Missouri by water for trial.  This boat was loaded June 25, 1842 and sailed that night.  They were out about one week, as it is recorded they left Quincy July 1, 1843 at 8 o’clock to return to Nauvoo.

On Sunday, October 1, 1843 Joseph Smith attended a meeting in Nauvoo in the morning that was adjourned in consequence of cold and rain.  The weather in the afternoon was more pleasant and the people assembled to resume their meeting.  They were addressed on this occasion by Elder William Marks, local president of the Nauvoo Stake, Charles C. Rich and Bishop Jacob Foutz.

The Foutz family, like all of the other Saints, were busy making their home in Nauvoo while, at the same time, they lived in fear of the mobs that were threatening them continually.  In June 1844, the Prophet Joseph, his brother, Hyrum, and others following the advice of some of the Saints, gave themselves up to the mob in an effort to save trouble and bloodshed.  These men were taken to the jail in Carthage, Illinois from which the Prophet and his brother, Hyrum, never returned alive.  After this dreadful event, which took place at Carthage, in which the two brothers, Joseph and Hyrum, lost their lives, the Saints lived in even greater fear and anxiety.  Threats were made continually by the mob to burn Nauvoo and drive the people from the state.  In these troublesome and uncertain times, Margaret Foutz gave birth to another son, Jacob, on the 25th of August 1844.

In the fall the general conference of the Church was held.  At this conference, October 7, 1844, Jacob Foutz and other leaders and Bishops were sustained in their various offices by a unanimous vote.  On October 8, 1844, at another session of this general conference, Pres. Young proceeded to select men from the High Priest Quorum to go abroad “in all the congressional districts of the U. S. to preside over the branches of the Church.”  Jacob Foutz was among those chosen on this occasion.  It seems that there was much unrest and many evil practices that had crept into the eastern branches of the church and Pres. Young thought it advisable to send faithful men, whom he knew to have the spirit of God with them, to preside over these branches and straighten out matters.

Although persecution was great and it was felt generally that the Saints would again have to abandon their homes, they were commanded of God to go ahead with the building of a Temple.  All who could gave of their time and means for this purpose.  At the beginning of the New Year special efforts were put forth to rush the Temple to completion.  In a record published by Bishop Whitney and Miller, trustees in trust for the Church, dated Jan. 31, 1845, it is shown that Jacob Foutz was one of the brethren appointed as agents by the proper authorities of the Church to “collect donations and things for the Temple and for other purposes in the City of Nauvoo.”

Three months later at the General Conference of the Church, on Apr. 7, 1845, William Clayton recorded the principal officers of the Church who were sustained by the Church membership.  On this occasion Jacob Foutz was sanctioned as Bishop of the Eighth Ward of Nauvoo.


(On Jan. 3, 1846 Jacob Foutz and Lucinda Loss were sealed in Nauvoo.)

On Monday, 9 February 1846 the temple was seen to be on fire.  Men and women, carrying water frantically, succeeded in putting out the flames.  It was with sorrow they viewed the damage that had been done to the Lord’s House, the structure that many had gone hungry to build.

When spring finally came again, life became more normal and the Foutz family made preparations for the wedding of their daughter, Elizabeth.  On April 10, 1846, Elizabeth was married to Henson Walker, Jr. in the Nauvoo Temple.  This young couple began their wedded life in troublesome times.  The members of the church were moving across the river and leaving Nauvoo as rapidly as possible.  Many had moved during the dead of winter and those still in the city were urged to speed their departure.  Pre. Young and many of the Twelve Apostles were already as far west as Council Bluff in search of a place of refuge for the Saints.  So Elizabeth and Henson Walker, eager to make a home for themselves, had no idea where this home might one day be.

Among those first to leave Nauvoo, crossing the Mississippi River on the ice, was Elizabeth Foutz Hess, a sister of Bishop Jacob Foutz.  Elizabeth’s husband, Jacob Hess, was at that time paralyzed.  They suffered greatly from cold and exposure.  The first night after leaving Nauvoo they camped on the Iowa side of the river in a cold rain.  From here they went on to Mt. Pisgah in the state of Iowa.  They encountered hardships and trouble throughout the journey and upon their arrival at Mt. Pisgah; Elizabeth’s husband was far spent.  Her son, John W. Hess, had assumed the responsibility of his father’s family as well as his own.  He made his father as comfortable as possible in one of the two wagons and in the other was carried all the household supplies and provisions the oxen team could draw.  All able to walk were forced to do so.  At Mt. Pisgah they prepared to stay for a while.  Here the earlier pioneers had planted crops for the benefit of those who would follow and it thought this would be a good place to rest.  They were not there long until Jacob Hess died, June 1846.

It is not known definitely just when Bishop Foutz and his family left Nauvoo, but it must have been soon after their daughter’s, Elizabeth, marriage to Henson Walker, for trouble with the mob came worse each day.  It is recorded that few Saints were left in Nauvoo after Aug. 1846, for on the 12th of that month the mob about twelve hundred in number, came upon the Saints, armed with cannon and guns, and had a terrible battle.  After fighting for a little more than one hour the mob offered terms of compromise.  All Mormons were to leave the city with five days, leaving only twelve families to finish the unsettled business and dispose of property, etc.  The brethren, having no choice, consented to these terms and they hurried preparations to leave.  It is said that on Thursday, five days later, when the mob came to Nauvoo some fifteen hundred in number, such was the distress and suffering of the Saints as actually to draw tears from the mob.

On leaving Nauvoo, the Foutz family went first to Garden Grove, Iowa.  Here they stayed long enough to harvest a crop (summer and fall of 1846) then they moved on to Winter Quarters.  Here the Saints had built some homes and were preparing to spend the winter.  Many, arriving late, were forced to live in their wagons throughout the long, cold winter.

In the spring of 1847, Pres. Young and the Twelve Apostles organized a company of pioneers to blaze a trail westward and search out a suitable place for the Saints to settle.  On the 14th of April this little band set forth.  There were one hundred forty-three men and boys on the list of this company, three women and two children.  They had seventy-three wagons with horses, oxen and cattle.  Among this group was Henson Walker, Jr. the young husband of Elizabeth Foutz.  When Henson was called to take this journey his wife was very ill.  He would have declined to go had not Elizabeth urged him on.  She wanted him to respond to all calls made upon him by the Presidency and would not now consent to his staying with her.  So Henson left with the promise that if his wife lived, she would follow him later.

Elizabeth was determined to keep this promise, so preparations were made for her to make the trip with one of the first companies to leave after the original company was well on its way.  She planned to travel with her husband’s people, the John Adam Bouch family.  When her own folks learned that she was going, they prepared to follow that they might look after her burial.  They had no hope that she would live to see the valley of the Rocky Mountains.  However, as they moved on westward, out of the damp lowlands, Elizabeth’s health began to improve.  He life, which for a time seemed to be close to the end, had in reality only begun.

It was on the 21st of June 1847 that the Foutz Family left Winter Quarters on the journey that was eventually to take them to a permanent home in the mountains.  These pioneers were organized into companies with a captain over each hundred, one over each fifty and one over each ten.  This was done that each family might know where it was to travel and to whom to look for counsel and help.  Bishop Jacob Foutz and Joseph Horne were captains of the second fifty of the Abraham O. Smoot Co.  As near as we are able to figure, there in the Foutz family at this time Bishop Jacob Foutz, who was forty-six years old, his wife, Margaret, forty-five years old, Nancy Ann, twenty-one years old, Catherine, fifteen years old, Joseph Lehi, ten years old, Margaret, seven years old, Jacob, Jr. who was four years old (three years old) and maybe Elizabeth, who was nineteen years old.  (The church archives also list two small boys by the name of Brown, presumably their daughters children with them as their father was in the Mormon Battalion.)

The family very likely had two wagons in which to store all their household good and provisions, as Catherine and Lehi often told how they drove one of the teams of oxen on their journey westward.  Even though they were better off in this respect than many families, the individuals in the family had to walk most of the way.

On August 30th the brethren from the advance company returned and met the Spencer Company on the Sweetwater, east of Fort Bridger.  Henson had been fearful lest his wife had departed this life and found her well and traveling with his folks and her folks.  The Foutz’s and Walker’s continued on their journey to Salt Lake Valley arriving there in September 1847.  Taken from the Pioneer History Journal, compiled by Andrew Jenson, the following is the end of their journey:

“Sept. 7, 1847.  It snowed part of the day and the weather was cold.  By night the snow had cleared away.  They crossed the Dry Sandy Creek at 2 p.m. and the Little Sandy at 10 o’clock in the evening where they stopped to camp.  The road was good and the cattle traveled very much faster, especially after sundown.  They made 28 miles that day.  The second fifty of Smoot’s hundred, with Jacob Foutz and Joseph Horne as captains, spent part of the day with other pioneers from another company at the upper crossing of the Sweetwater.

“ Sat., Sept. 18 1847.  Smoot’s hundred arrived and camped on Bear River.”

And so the journey continued until the whole company arrived in the Salt Lake Valley Sept. 25, 1847.  This company was fortunate in getting there before the heavy snows fell.  Some companies caught in these storms suffered terribly.   Again in Pioneer History Journal, we find:  “The second fifty of Smoot’s company responded liberally to the call of sending teams from the valley to help the rear company over the mountains.  Jacob Foutz sent back one yoke of oxen.”

When winter set in, the entire Foutz family became very busy establishing their new home.  With the other Saints they assisted in making the first improvements in Salt Lake City, along with working in the first organizations of the Church that were set up in this new location.

On November 7, 1847, Bishop Jacob Foutz was again placed at the head of one of the wards of the Church.  This time he became Bishop of the east half of the New Fort Ward, which was one of the five wards into which the Pioneers of Great Salt Lake Valley were divided.  This ward was located in the west side of town near where the Pioneer Park was later developed.  It was in this general location where the Foutz family located.  In this new home, Jan. 7, 1848 a baby daughter was born, whom the named Maranda.

Bishop Foutz had poor health and was in bed much of his time.  His ill health was contributed to by the injuries he received at Haun’s Mill and to the fever sickness, which he suffered while in Nauvoo.  Of this sickness his wife tells us more in her later years.  Just a little over a month after the arrival of the baby girl, which was their twelfth child, Bishop Jacob Foutz passed away.  His death occurred while he was away from home excavating in gravel, Feb. 14, 1848.  His fellow workers said he took what they called a stroke and died suddenly.

It is not known where Bishop Jacob Foutz was buried as his death was one of the first to occur in the valley.  (He has since been interred from his grave to make room for a freeway and moved to the city cemetery in Salt Lake City.)  His life had been an eventful one, mingled with joys and sorrows.  He had been a faithful member of the Church for many years and a diligent worker in it.  The Church Leader, as well as the membership, joined with the family in mourning the passing of this humble servant of God.


(Mattie Secrest was sealed to Bishop Jacob Foutz on 24 Oct 1888.  There doesn’t seem to be any record of her earlier for the family.)

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1 Comment

  1. interesting informaiton on Jacob and his family. thank you for posting.
    my side of the Foutz comes also through Conrad Sr and Jr –
    our relatives primarily come from the Conrad Foutz Jr side – who also had a son named Jacob – bor in Maryland in 1816 – then nigrated to Illinois and then to Indiana – from there the sons of Jacob went to Kansas and Oklahoma.
    Thank you again for sharing
    Brian Foutz
    New Ulm Texas

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