Anson Call Conversion

Their preaching created much excitement in our town but had little effect for nearly three years. It was a constant annoyance to my feelings. I became dissatisfied with all denominations and myself. In the Elders passing through our country they frequently stopped at my house, and in discussing with them upon the principles of the gospel they would cuff me about like an old pair of boots. I came to the conclusion that the reason of my being handled so easy was because I did not understand the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I resolved to prepare myself for the conflict by investigating the two books. I accordingly furnished myself with the Book of Mormon. I then commenced the Book of Mormon and the Bible. Compared the two and read my Bible from Genesis right through, praying and searching diligently for six months. When I finished the two books I became a firm believer in the Book of Mormon. I was then taught by the Spirit to obey the principles of the gospel. My feelings were not known by any but my wife. I was proud and haughty and to obey the gospel was worse than death. I labored under those feelings for three months, becoming at times almost insane. To be called a Mormon, I thought, was more than I could endure. I lamented that my lot was cast in this dispensation. My dreams and my meditations made me miserable. I at last covenanted before the Lord that if he would give me confidence to face the world in Mormonism I would be baptized for the remission of my sins; before I arose from my knees the horrors of my mind were cleared; I feared no man, no set of men. The next day I went to the Methodist meeting and declared unto them the truth of Mormonism. I told them I should obey it as soon as I could get to Kirtland. I accordingly went immediately there and was baptized by William Smith, Joseph’s brother. My wife accompanied me. I was confirmed in the Kirtland Temple by David Whitmer . . . After moving to Kirtland I was ordained to the Quorum of Seventies in February, 1836 by Zera Pulsipher and Henry Herriman. 

While tarring at Di Ahman, two of the guards came to the tree top where I and my family were sitting, eating our dinner and asked me some questions. He said I was a damned liar and said he would shoot me. He cocked his gun and put it to my face. My family screamed and he lowered his gun and rode off. The second night after the surrender the snow fell about six inches deep. My children nearly froze to death. One of them froze his finger so that he lost part of his nail. After riding to Far West the weather continued severely cold so that many of the mob were obliged to leave. They killed our cattle, stole our horses, burned our houses, constantly killing and abusing all that they met with, insulted our women, and murdered some of our children.

We were not permitted to leave for Far West only to get our firewood. We had not the privilege of hunting our cattle and horses, yet we were told that we had immediately to leave the state. We were deprived of holding meetings of any kind. Joseph Smith Senior and Brigham Young were our principle counselors. We received two or three epistles from Joseph, who was at the time in Liberty Jail, Clay County. Some few times in the course of the winter we slyly congregated our selves in a schoolhouse about two miles from Far West to receive instructions from Joseph and others. (Call, p. 10)

The next day I was taken by ten men and an old negro. They took me into the back part of a store, ordered me to disarm myself. I told them I had no arms about my person. They said I –as was a damn liar for the Mormons always carried arms. They ordered me to take the things out of my pockets and lay them in a chair. I refused. They threatened me and flourished their knives about me and said if I did not do it they would take my life. I accordingly removed everything out of my pockets. Turn your pockets wrong side out. I did so they then ordered me to put my things back into my pockets. I accordingly did so. They then told me to draw my coat. I did it. They then said, He carries his arms at his back, and they examined me until they became satisfied I had no arms about me. They then commenced tantalizing and saying I was a damned Mormon and was in the Bogard Battle. Each of them had a rifle which they set against the house. They sat themselves down and went to whittling with butcher knives. One of them by the name of James Ogle said, that he had suffered by the Mormons and that I had to atone for it. He said they had felt my back and they would see it bare before morning and I would feel hickory upon it. He then commenced beating me with a flat hand in the face. He then said he would not abuse a man that was not armed. He threw his butcher knife at my feet and told me to pick it up and fight. I told him I did not wish to fight. He said I had got to fight or die. He then picked up the knife and put it into my hand and told me to take it. I discovered all the rest of them had their hands. I refused to take it and leaned up against the side of the house. I then said in my heart, “Oh Lord, preserve me or they will take my life.” I immediately became satisfied that I would be delivered from their hands. He thrust a knife within an inch of my breast and said he would rip my guts out. He then struck me repeatedly between my eyes with the back of his knife. He tantalized me in this manner for over two hours, and struck me in the face with the back of the knife and his flat hand about fifty times. He said that it is getting near night and we must make a finish of the business.

They took me into the street and said they would serve me as they served a Mormon the other day, strip me and tie me to a hickory and leave me till morning. While they were making arrangements to accomplish the deed a grocery keeper stood looking out of the window at us. I told him I wanted a bottle of liquor, for I wished to treat the company, on which he handed me a bottle and tumbler through the window. We were arranged in double file. I stood in front between the two forward men. I stepped a step or two out of rank and took the bottle. I drank them a toast and told them they were men after my own heart, the bravest set of men I had ever met with and before we went any further with the business I was going to drink with them and wished them to be merry, for tomorrow is Christmas and we must prepare ourselves for it. I handed the bottle to my right-hand man who fired off his gun and set it up against the grocery store and took the bottle. Every man set his gun up against the grocery also. He then poured the liquor into the tumbler and I discovered every mans eyes were fixed on it. I then sprang into the hazel brush which was within three or four rods of where we stood. (This was a little town situated in Roy County called Fendericksburg, a new place just commenced in the woods; it was surrounded with the hazel and hickory brush). They then pursued me and hollered, “Catch him, damn him, catch him.” I squatted in the brush and they passed by me. They went one way and I went another. My legs served me well for five miles and probably saved my back from being severely lacerated.

Willard Call Photos

Willard Call with Adelaide White and Leah Pratt
Adelaide White, Willard Call, Leah Pratt

Notice the car. Willard was driving one of the first cars in the area and ran into another car. The driver was upset, so Willard got out the manual right then and there and read how to slow and stop the car.

The sweater he has on reminds me of the story Aunt Leah told. Willard worked for the church on the grounds near the burial site of Brigham Young on South Temple Street. It was hot and his dentures bothered him so he put them in his pocket and hunt the sweater over the fence. When he came back both were missing. We went to the local drugstore and purchased new dentures.

Leah Pratt was reported to be extremely attractive and was encouraged by Addie to pursue her affection and become Willard’s second wife.

willard2Willard worked for the railroad and became blind, because of cataracts. He couldn’t afford to have them removed. One article says the railroad paid to have them removed, but they did not.

Call Homes

Anson Call Home, Bountiful

This was Anson Call’s home where he hid from polygamy raids. It is on the west side of 200 West Street at about 1210 North, Bountiful, Utah. They had a prayer room upstairs and they had two doors, one for each wife.  Leah Pratt Call's Home, Bountiful, Utah

This is Leah Pratt Call’s home in Bountiful, Utah on the west side of Main Street, south of 200 North Street. It was built and paid for by her son, Ivan. callhome1This house is Aunt Samantha’s, the midwife that delivered Marlene Call Walker. 200 W. 400 N., on the northwest corner in Bountiful, Utah.

Maria Ann Cook

Maria Ann Cook

By Emily Tyler

I remember only one of my grandparents, Maria Ann Cook Bezzant.  The last years of her life she lived in our home and this is where I remember her.

Maria Ann was born into a stalwart English family in Lowestoft, Suffolk, England on 27 March 1837.  Her father, Cotton Cook, was a Wesleyan Methodist minister of some renown. (see addendum)  Her mother, Emily (Amelia) Green make a very happy home for Maria Ann and her three brothers and two sisters. (see addendum) Continue reading “Maria Ann Cook”

Life History of Mathew Bezzant

Life History of Mathew Bezzant

by Emily Wright, granddaughter—Oct. 1987

Mathew Bezzant was born in Broadtown, Wiltshire, England on august 10th 1826.  He was the son of Robert and Sarah Loveday Bezzant.

Mathew was reared a member of the Church of England.  While still a small boy he moved to Wales where he was employed for fourteen years by Squire Surrage.  He married Ann Savior and they were baptized members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on March 16th 1851 by Elder John George.  They became very active church members.  In the 1860’s Mathew was President of the Cogan Hill Branch and later, after moving to London he was president of the Goswell Road Branch.  He conducted many street meetings.  His oldest son, Mark, usually accompanied him to the meetings.  At one time they were rotten egged and driven from the street. Continue reading “Life History of Mathew Bezzant”

Thomas and Sarah Smith Cobbley

Thomas and Sarah Smith Cobbley

by their sons; Robert J. and Charles A. Cobbley

Thomas Cobbley was born Jan 15th 1818 in Barham, Northampton, Eng.  He was the son of Thomas Cobbley, who was born in 1758 and Ann Bird, born in 1750 in Northampton, England.  Thomas, Sr. And Ann had seven children; John, Thomas, James, William, Caroline, Betty and Jane.  This is not the order of birth and there may have been others. Continue reading “Thomas and Sarah Smith Cobbley”

Arthur Maxwell

Biographical Record of Salt Lake City and Vicinity, National Historical Record Co., Chicago, 1902, P. 270-271. (See

ARTHUR MAXWELL, Bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, for the Peoa Ward. Summit Stake of Zion. A native of Utah himself, he comes from that sturdy Scotch stock which has been an honor to every country where they have settled. His father, Arthur Maxwell, was born in Scotland in 1825. When a young man, he became interested in the doctrines and principles of the Mormon Church, and after a thorough investigation he became convinced of its correctness and authenticity and cast his lot with the fortunes of that faith, and for man years was President of the Glasgow branch of the Church, before coming to America. In 1856 he sailed for America on the vessel John M. Wood, and that same year came to Utah. crossing the plains as a member of the famous hand cart brigade. He located at West Jordan, where he spent the first winter, and at the time of the general southward movement of the Church, caused by the entrance of Johnston’s army into the Salt Lake valley, he moved to Spanish Fork, and after a time went to live in Goshen. From the latter place he returned to West Jordan, and in 1864 went to Peoa, and there took up farming. in which occupation he remained for the balance of his life. He was ordained high Priest and set apart as Counselor to Bishop Abraham Marchant, retaining that position until his death in 1872, at the age of forty-seven years. At the time of his death Mr. Maxwell was one of the best-known and most prominent men of his community. His wife was Elizabeth (McAuslin) Maxwell. She is still living and has been the mother of six children, four of whom are now living—Arthur, our subject; Jane Ann, wife of John A. Marchant ; Elizabeth, wife of Abraham H. Marchant, and Catherine, wife of John R. Marchant. Continue reading “Arthur Maxwell”

Elizabeth McAuslin, News Article



Serious Accidents—Failure of Wheat And Potato Crops—News Notes.

Special Correspondence.

Peoa, Summit Co., Sep. 20.—In a recent Issue of the “News” a list of the veterans of the hand cart companies was given, along with a notice of the reunion which will be held in Salt Lake City during conference week. Another veteran, who it seems, was overlooked in making up the list, is Mrs. Elizabeth McCauslin Maxwell, who came across the plains in Capt. Daniel McArthur’s hand cart company in 1836. Mrs. Maxwell and her husband, Arthur Maxwell, brought an orphan child four years old, all the way across the plains on their hand cart. The Old lady—she is now 75 years of age—has many pleasant recollections of the journey, and speaks in the highest term of the captain of the company, Daniel McArthur, who was a good man, kind and true, who did all that was in his power to make the journey as pleasant as possible under the conditions. Mrs. Maxwell has a great desire to attend the reunion of the veterans. Continue reading “Elizabeth McAuslin, News Article”

Elizabeth McAuslin

Elizabeth McAuslin born 16 Feb. 1852 Barony Parish, Brighton Lanark, Scotland. Her parents, William McAuslin born Abt. 1801 or Aug. 1804, place Glasgow Scotland, and Jane Kennedy born July 1803 at Concaddens, Lanark, Scotland Died about 1865. Elizabeth had four brothers John born abt. 1827 died abt, 1829, James born 8-9 July, 1858, Alexander born Oct. 1842 died 1848 William Jr. born 26 May 1845 Died 11 Mar. 1877. Married Mary Grahm 21 Oct. 1870. All were born in Glasgow Lanark Scotland. Elizabeth Married Arthur Maxwell Sr. aboard The ship “Enoch Train” On the way to Zion. 18 May 1856. They boarded the ship at Liverpool England, bound for America and Zion. They all came storage (steerage) class on the Perpetual Emigration Fund. The captain of the ship Henry P. Rich. They arrived in Boston, Mass. May 1, 1856 , and from that city they traveled Via New York to Iowa City In the Second Handcart company with Daniel McArthur as their captain. The trip was long and hard. Their children were Arthur Maxwell Jr. born 14 Dec. 1857 in West Jordan Utah. Salt Lake County Ut. Married Welthea Ann Casper 5 Jan. 1882. Jane Ann Maxwell born 22 Jan. 1860 Goshen Utah, Utah County married John Alma Marchant 15 Nov. 1879, Elizabeth Maxwell born 50 April 1862 in West Jordan Salt Lake County Ut. Married Hyrum Wright 26 Jan.1882. Abraham Henry Marchant 50 Jan. 1900. Agnes Maxwell born 22 June 1864 at West Jordan Salt Lake County , never Married. Catherine Maxwell born 14 Feb. 1867 Peoa Summit Co. Utah Married John Alma Russell 28 Aug. 1889. Ann Maxwell born 25 July 1869 Peoa Summit Co. Ut. Married Levi Pearson15 May 1895. Continue reading “Elizabeth McAuslin”