From: Jacob Gates Journal—through January 1836
Jacob Gates, the son of Thomas Gates, who was the son of Isaac Gates, who was the son of Amos Gates, was born in the year of our Lord, 1811, in the town of St. Johnsbury, County of Caledonia, State of Vermont.
Jacob Gates, the son of Thomas Gates and Patty Gates, his wife, was born in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and eleven, the third month, the ninth day of the month, which is called March, having been born of good parents yet I was not instructed and brought in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. After I had grown to be a lad of seven or eight years old, my parents professed religion which was after the order Methodists which order was very numerous at that day. Nothing of interest took place with myself until the fall of 1827, when a Methodist revival broke out involving me in its course. I soon, however broke the spell, by leaving them to feast upon their own folly. My mind however still remained unsatisfied, for I believed that there was something of importance in relation to the salvation of man which I had not got, neither did I understand it, but not withstanding all my reflections, I sorrowed because of my situation, being in my youth. I mingled with the World and oft times forgot my situation until I was suddenly awakened by a cry from the West. Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. I listened with attention to the flame and simple tale, which the heralds of the Gospel, Orson Pratt and Lyman Johnson declared. It was new and strange, but it was forced upon the mind with a conviction that it was true. I did not however embrace it at that time. In the spring of 1833, the 16th day of March I took a wife by the name of Mary Snow. On the 18th day of June following, my wife and I both, in company with four others embraced the Gospel and were baptized by Orson Pratt. Our numbers soon increased to about 30 in number who met often-together rejoicing in the Lord until the spring of 1834 when the word of the Lord came for the strength of the Lord's house to gather up for Zion. I immediately prepared myself for the journey, for the eleventh of April 1834 my wife and I bid adieu to our friends and home in company with four others, like Abraham of Old left our homes for the West, not knowing whither we went. After traveling eight hundred miles, we joined a company of Saints numbering between one and two hundred led by the Prophet Joseph Smith, bound to the western part of Missouri. While on our journey westward, our numbers increased to two hundred. After traveling about 16 hundred miles, being threatened with death and destruction on every hand, we arrived in Clay County Missouri on the 21 of June 1834. Others remained with their brethren who were in that country. Much excitement prevailed amongst our enemies during this time, but for fear of the contagious disease, they did not fall upon us. After a short time the cholera passed away and peace was partially restored and we waited in patience for the authority of the State to do something in our favor by way of restoring our brethren to their rights, which they had been robed of the year before. But we all waited in vain, for the people had corrupted their ways and the fear of the Lord was not before their eyes.
I located myself in the western part of the county called Clay on a piece of land, which I purchased of one of the brethren. I commenced building me a house, which we moved into as soon as the logs were rolled up. We covered one side of the roof the first day, while my wife's brother laid a small portion of the floor on which we made our beds for the night. After refreshing ourselves on mush and milk, we lay down in our new lodgings, rejoicing in the Lord that our circumstances were so favorable. In the midst of a beautiful forest which waved her rich foliage to the breeze, while the moon shed forth her brightest rays to light up the wiles of nature and make the earth agreeable to the Saints who then slumbered among strangers and in a strange land, the Spirit whispered peace to our souls and we fell asleep. After a pleasant night of repose we awoke with light and joyous hearts to execute the building of my house which moved slow in consequence of the extreme of the summer heat and the weakness of our bodies brought on by a long journey. A change of climate necessity compelled us, however, to labor all that we possibly could in order to get means to live upon. We continued under these circumstances until about the middle of August when we were all taken sick with the ague and fever and no one to assist us, our house being yet unfinished having no chimney, the sides being open, we suffered not only from sickness, but from cold and after about three or four weeks, my wife's brother Willard began to get better insomuch that he finished my house, my wife also began to mend slowly. I continued very sick for fourteen weeks after which I recovered my health. Meantime, my wife's brother left us and returned to Kirtland, Ohio and we were left without any acquaintances nearing eight or nine hundred miles. About the same time however, brother Poswell Evans came from Vermont with his family with whom I had some little acquaintance and put up at my house and remained with us four or five weeks after which they moved away. About the first of December I recovered my health. I commenced laboring to procure the comforts of life, for we had become very poor as to the comforts of life. I cleared and fenced four acres of land on my little farm, built a log barn, corn crib and in the Spring of 1835, I hired some land which I cultivated about one mile from home. I raised that summer between seven and eight hundred bushels of corn, 80 bushels of potatoes, cut wheat on shares until I earned 40 bushels. At the same time my wife spun, too, for her neighbors to get means to live upon. Thus, the summer passed away and in the fall we were able to procure many of the comforts of life. I purchased a wagon and a yoke of oxen, which with my horse made me a good team. In January 1836, being solicited by Caleb Baldwin to accompany him on a mission, I accordingly arranged my affairs, put my team into the hands of brother Abbott, agreed with Mariah Evans to remain with my wife in my absence. Thus everything being arranged, I left my wife bathed in tears to go forth for the first time to preach the gospel.
(not dated, written by his own hand)
The history focuses on his activities from 1833 to the fall of 1861
Who was born March the 9th, 1811, town of St Johnsbury, County of Caledonia, State of Vermont. My father's name: Thomas Gates. Mother's name: Patty Plumbly. March 16th, 1833 was married to Mary M. Snow. Baptized the same year, June 18th, by Orson Pratt. Confirmed under the hands of Z. Snow, and Orson Pratt, Snow being mouth.
On the 11th day of April 1834, I left my father's house with my young wife for the land of Zion, in fulfillment of a revelation given Feb. 24th, 1834, in regard to the redemption of Zion. After traveling 800 or 900 miles, we overtook the camp, located for the night. There was the first time I beheld the face of our beloved prophet, Joseph Smith. We arrived at Clay County the last of June, where the camp broke up. I located 7 miles west of Liberty, the county seat. While there I was invited to take a mission. I accepted and left home on the 25th of January 1836. I was not ordained until I had reached Flat Branch Langamo County, Illinois.
Here I was ordained an Elder the 18th of Feb. 1836 under the hands of Caleb Baldwin. May 25th, I left Edgar County, Illinois to return home in company with 32 souls who chose me their Captain; arrived home the 23rd of June, having been absent about five months.
Then, in the fall of that same year, 1836, I moved into Caldwell County, Missouri. A distance of 50 miles, where I was ordained to the office of a Seventy under the hands of Sidney Rigdon, and Joseph Smith, the Prophet, Sidney being the mouth. I think my ordination was in Far West, December 19th, 1838.
That same fall and winter I was compelled to march under a large military escort some 40 miles in company with 57 others to Richmond, Ray County, where we met Joseph the Prophet and his brother Hyrum, and 4 others, where we were tried for all the capital crimes save one, before Austin A. King and we were imprisoned some three weeks. Finally we went each other’s bail and were released, when we left for Quincy, Ill.
I left Missouri that winter and came to Illinois, Hancock County. While in Missouri I was elected to the office of ensign in a company of militia and received a commission under the hands of Governor Wilber W. Boggs.
The 1st of May 1839, I left home to preach the gospel in company with Chandler Holbrook. I went as far west as Kirtland, Ohio. From there into Canada, and returned home late in the fall of that same year.
Hancock County, Illinois, July 7th 1841: I left home in company with William Snow on a mission to La Porte, north part of Indiana, holding meetings at times on our way. While I was in La Porte, I went south in Marshall County and organized a branch of the church, during my stay in the vicinity of La Porte. There were quite a number baptized. I reached home Oct. 8th 1841.
In June 1843 I was appointed to go on a mission to the New England States. (Prior to leaving, he was accepted into the Nauvoo Lodge of the Ancient York Masons, on June the 1st 1843). I left on the 15th of June 1843. During my mission my health failed me and I was obligated to quit preaching. I left my field of labor to reach home the 26th of May 1844.
At the October Conference the same year, I was ordained and set apart under the
hands of Orson Pratt, as President over the fourth Quorum of Seventies. (Which position I held until the 23rd of October 1859, when I was appointed to fill a vacancy in the first Presidency of the Seventy, the notice of which I received while in England on my last mission there).
At a general conference held in Salt Lake City October 6th, 1849, I was appointed, with several others, to take a mission to England. I left home on the 19th of October 1849, went by the way of New Orleans, and landed in Liverpool the 6th of April 1850. Bro. Orson Pratt was absent, although still presiding in England. But he had left word that I was appointed to Lester and Derby; under the Presidency of Elder Lewis Robins, I labored about six months. When Elder Robins left, I took charge of the two conferences, Lester and Derby. There I continued to labor in these two conferences until the 25th of November when I left for London, where I landed 7:00 pm the same day. I had previously received a letter from F.D. Richards to inform me that I was appointed to labor in the London conference. And also myself and J.C. Haight and others were to hold us ready to travel into any part where our labors should be most needed. Finally, my labors were pastoral embracing London, Essex, Kent, and Reading conference, numbering some 70 branches. My labors as a pastor continued 13 months, 23 days in which time 1300 were added the church.
I left London, January 17th, for Liverpool, where I was appointed Captain (or President) of the company of saints who were to sail with me on the ship Golconda, all things on board, we left Liverpool on the 25th of January 1853 with about 300 Saints on board. Chose C.V. Spencer and A. P. Harmon as my Counselors.
We arrived in New Orleans March 25th, 1853. We there went aboard of a steamer bound for St. Louis, where we landed April 8th. I remained in St. Louis until the 20th when I went aboard of a packer bound for Keokuk, Iowa. Here I was appointed to take charge of a company of Saints across the planes to Salt Lake City, which I accepted, and landed them safe in Salt Lake City, 30th of September 1853 as near as I can remember. Not being able to find all my papers.
During the following 6 years, I did not leave Utah, but traveled with President Joseph Young and others to San Pete. We ordained and organized two Quorums, the 47th in Ephraim, and the 48th in Manti. Once as far north as Brigham City, twice to Iron County, once with Erastus Snow, and once with Parley P. Pratt
Salt Lake City, September 1859: Several Elders were selected for a mission to England, myself being one of them. I left home on the 19th of September, and went by way of Boston. Went on board the steamship Utopia, and left Boston on the 2nd of November 1859, and reached Liverpool on the 13th. While in England I was not confined to any one conference, but was instructed to visit the principle cities and branches of the church; while I was in Norwich to attend a conference in company with President Asa Calkin.
The 17th of December 1859: I received a letter from President Brigham Young to inform me of my appointment in the first Council of Seventy.
March 26th, 1860: In Liverpool counseling with president Asa Calkin, who at that time chose N. V. Jones and myself to be his counselors while he remained in England. On the 7th of May I came to Liverpool where I found N.V. Jones, who had arrived two days before. I learned on arriving, that President Brigham Young had instructed by letter, President Asa Calkin to give into the hands of N.V. Jones and Jacob Gates all the affairs of the mission, both temporal and spiritual, which we received on the day following.
On the 28th of July while in Nottingham. I received a letter stating that Amasa Lyman and Charles C. Rich had arrived in Liverpool. The 29th, I went to Liverpool and found the brethren all well that had lately come from America.
August the 5th, 1860 in Birmingham, where we held a conference, President A. Lyman, and C.C. Rich and NV. Jones, Milo Andrus, and several others from Salt Lake City, were present. The presidency is now in the hands of A. Lyman, and C.C. Rich. And it was decided in council that A. Lyman, and N.V. Jones should remain in Liverpool office; I and C.C. Rich should travel together and visit the different conferences.
We left Birmingham, August 8th by way of Cheltenham, Bristol, and from there, into Cardiff, Wales. We returned from Wales to London, and from London to Liverpool; where I arrived on the 16th, found George Q. Cannon, and N.V. Jones. 18th we went and engaged our passage from Liverpool to New York. 19th January 1861, we went on board of the steam ship Arabia and left old England.
We had a rough time. The 28th and 29th the wind blew a perfect gale for 30 hours. The ship was literally underwater. Bro. Jones and I were sick most of the way to New York, where we landed the 1st day of February 1861.
President George Q. Cannon desired that N.V. Jones should stop in New York, and take charge of the saints when they landed, and I was to go on to the Missouri River or Florence and take charge of buying teams and getting up the general fit-out for crossing the plains to Salt Lake City.
I remained in New York until the contract was closed with the Railroad Company to take our immigrants to Florence. And then I left New York on the 6th of March for my field of labor on the frontier. On the way, I called at Chicago and contracted with Mr. Shutter (or Shutler) to supply us with all the wagons that we might need for the years’ emigration.
I also called upon Mr. Martin, the Freight agent of Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad and contracted for the freighting of all of our wagons from Chicago to Florence, Nebraska Territory.
I left Chicago on the 11th of March. I called at Far West the 18th and visited with John Whitmer, one of the 8 witnesses to the Book of Mormon. He was glad to see me, and bore a strong testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon. I arrived at Omaha on the 30th of March.
I employed C.B. Spencer, and Milo Andrus to assist me in purchasing cattle, and fitting out, and organizing the companies for the Plains. I was detained at Florence from 30th of March until the 15th of July when I started the last company west. During the time I remained in Florence, I fitted out 8 large independent companies. After closing up the business, I left on the 17th of July in company with N.V. Jones, and C.V. Spencer, and arrived in Salt Lake City about September 1st or 2nd, 1861, after an absence of two years, lacking a few days.
The same fall that I returned from England, I was sent to Southern Utah in company with many others. Erastus Snow and Orson Pratt went also to the south to take charge of the settlement, while I remained. I traveled much amongst the saints in company with President Erastus Snow. I was one of the committee to locate and lay out the city of St. George.
Notes on the Activities of Jacob Gates
During his Stay in St. George
[It is apparent that much of the information in this section is drawn from the book, “I Was Called to Dixie” The Virgin River Basin: Unique Experiences in Mormon Pioneering. Andrew Karl Larson. 1961. St. George, Ut and is sited in full later in this document.]
When in May 1861 President Brigham Young, accompanied by several of the Church authorities, visited the settlements along the Virgin River in southwestern Utah, he found that in spite of the reinforcements, which had been sent to those settlements, the population remained exceedingly small. In spite of this, he still believed that his reasons for settling that remote part of the country were sound. Consequently, when the party stopped at the junction of the Santa Clara Creek and the Virgin River, President Young stood for some time in silence looking intently at the valley to the north. As he did so, he saw in his mind’s eye a city that would be built there, “a city with spires and steeples and containing many inhabitants.”
Accordingly, at the October conference held in Salt Lake City on the 6th, 7th, and 8th of that month, President Young rose to his feet and without preliminaries read the names of around three hundred men, most of whom were heads of families and were numbered among the most progressive saints in the city. These men, he informed the audience, had been selected not only to reinforce the discouraged settlements along the Virgin River, but to build a new city near the junction of the Virgin River and the Santa Clara Creek—the city he had seen in his mind’s eye but six months before. He then read the names of two apostles and two members of the Seven Presidents of the Seventy, namely, Erastus Snow, Orson Pratt, Henry Harriman and Jacob Gates. These four men, President Young continued, were selected to add strength and stability to what he knew would be a most difficult mission, and they, like the rest of the men called, were to take their wives and children with them and make their homes there. But, he warned them, if any man selected to go on that mission could not go with a whole heart, he need not go at all.
It is not know exactly how many Saints responded to the call. Most of them, however, at once set about disposing of the homes they had struggled a decade or more to build, and the gardens and orchards they had taken such pride in.
Having accomplished this, they loaded their wagons with what necessities of life they would hold, hitched their horses to the tongues of those wagons and the trek was on.
The trip south took approximately thirty days, and many are the stories of the hardships those pioneers endured on the way. At one point between Cedar City and what is now known as Bellevue, they were not only forced to unload their wagons of their contents, but to take (in many instances) their wagons apart and carry each piece separately down what is still known as “Peter’s Leap”. This spot has recently been designated by The American Heritage Foundation as an historical spot, and a marker giving this information has been placed there.
A few of the Saints arrived in what President Young had already designated as St. George (in honor of George A. Smith) on November 25th. The rest of the company arrived there on December 1st, 1861. The Saints made camp about a half-mile east of what is now known as Temple (or Second East) Street, and south of what is now Tabernacle Street. A furrow was immediately plowed through the wiregrass covered soil in order to bring water from the East Spring at the foot of the Red Hills to the north of the camp ground. Tents and wagon boxes were immediately placed along the side of the ditch, as temporary homes. Erastus Snow and Jacob Gates pitched their tents alongside each other on the west of the ditch.
A meeting of the Saints was called on December the 4th. It was to have been in Apostle Snow’s tent, but inasmuch as Jacob Gates’ tent was larger than Apostle Snow’s tent, the meeting was held there. From then on it was known as “The Executive Mansion”.
The first item of business in this meeting was to determine ways and means of getting the spring water on the land in the lower part of the valley. The second item of business was to select a site for the new city. Jacob Gates, together with Erastus Snow and Angus M. Cannon, were chosen to make this decision.
Six weeks after the arrival of the Saints in the valley and while the heavy rains still plagued the Saints, as they had done almost every day since their arrival, Erastus Snow suggested that a stone building should be erected for use as an educational and social center. He further suggested that such a building should be finished before any other building in the valley. The idea was approved by the majority of the Saints and a subscription list was made, totaling $2,174.00 from one hundred and twenty people, not one of them having a roof over his head. Jacob Gates, among others, was chosen as a member of the building committee. In the course of the construction of the building, Jacob Gates and James Bleak went to Salt Lake City to ask for donations. As a result, $525.00 was donated in cash, as well as merchandise of various sorts, including shoes, nails and tea. The stone cutting for the building, as well as the carpenter work was donated by the various Saints who were skilled in some trade or other. The building was completed November 1863. A rental charge was made for all public meetings, fixed at $20.00 per night. This historic old building, built under the critical eye of Jacob Gates, was as solid a hundred years after it was erected as it was in the beginning. In the name of prosperity and up-to-dateness, this fine old building was torn down to make way for a gas station.
In the year 1866, Jacob Gates was elected mayor of St. George. During his tenure, the problem of getting ample water for culinary and irrigation purposes was the first consideration. Mayor Gates and the City Council agreed that the water from the Pine Valley Mountains should be looked into. However, after figuring both the money and the labor that would be involved in such an undertaking, they came to the conclusion that the project would have to be left to future generations. The only alternative was to rely on the East and West Springs and Red Hill Springs. As a result, it was not long before the sparkling water from these springs was running down the black volcanic ditches, some of which may be seen to this day.
In August of the following year, the question of taxing the people for $10,000.00 with which to build a County Court House arose. Jacob Gates, who was a former carpenter and joiner, as well as mayor, fell heir to the job of supervising the building of the two-storied structure. It was to be made of red sandstone. The basement of this structure contained three rooms, to be used as jails. These rooms, or jails, came to be in good stead during the days the Silver Reef Mine was operated. The first floor was used for offices. The second story, consisting of one large room, was given over entirely to an assembly room. A gallery was built over the entrance where the orchestra was eventually to sit when dances or parties were given. The building was finished ten years after the Saints entered St. George Valley. It was built, like everything else the Saints built there, to last. But with the passing of time, it proved too small for a County Court House. It is still in use nevertheless, and stands as a monument to what men can do when they make up their minds, regardless of circumstances. It has recently been set aside as part of Our American Heritage, and has been so designated by the American Heritage Foundation. On the plaque denoting this is the name of Jacob Gates.
In the meantime, President Young paid a visit to the settlements in southern Utah, including St. George to discuss the feasibility of building a cotton factory there. The reason for this journey was that, because of the Civil War, it was getting increasingly difficult for the Saints to shop their cotton crop to eastern markets, and at the same time it was getting more difficult and more expensive to get cotton cloth from the East.
The story of the results of President Young’s decision is a long one, fraught with many disappointments, not only as far as building a factory to house the necessary machinery is concerned, but in getting the machinery over all but impassable roads. The result was that the factory was never at any time a success.
In order to keep the factory going, the company borrowed $10,000.00 from President Brigham Young. The note was signed by Erastus Snow, A. R. Whitehead and Jacob Gates, all of whom had been made directors of the company. Later on Jacob Gates made a tour of the surrounding settlements to collect money to apply on the company stock. This gesture was but one of a series of attempts on the part of the church leaders to make the cotton industry a success; this was another attempt on the part of the church leaders or authorities to make the people throughout Utah independent of the east for the necessities of life. The result of this attempt ended in the founding of Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution, Utah headquarters in Salt Lake City and branches wherever the authorities saw fit.
Erastus Snow put the matter before the people of southern Utah in 1868. He was made president and Jacob Gates, together with five others, was made a director of the new movement. The directors of the meeting subscribed $8,794.00 as capital stock of the new venture, which proved to be profitable and satisfied almost everyone but the women of St. George, but that, to use a cliché, is another story.
Due to a lamentable lack of reading material in southern Utah, a meeting was held on January 22, 1864, to establish a library in St. George. Jacob Gates was made one of the directors. The people of the town contributed to the cause by taking a considerable amount of produce to Salt Lake and selling it, the proceeds going to purchase books for the library.
Three years later, it was moved to the “Lyceum”, a one room, red rock building used for that purpose, on Main Street, a half-block north of the Stake Tabernacle. The building was eventually turned over to the Relief Society. It remained in their hands until around 1950; when it was torn down to make way for a business office. It was still as good as new and with its destruction, a good many older citizens went about for a long time with a lump in their throats.
On Monday, May 10, 1857, word came to the people of St. George that the Transcontinental Railroad had been completed, the east and west roads having met in north-western Utah. Flags were unfurled and a public meeting celebrating the event was held in which, so it was reported, Erastus Snow and Jacob Gates made “eloquent speeches.”
While all these activities were going on in and around St. George, in which Jacob took a prominent part, he was elected to the House of Representatives Assembly of The Territory of Utah, representing the district composed of Washington and Kane Counties. He was elected three times to that office. He was also elected a member of the legislative Assembly in 1873, representing both Washington and Kane Counties.
On the 12th of May 1866, he was appointed Brigade Aid-de-Camp, first Brigade of the Militia of Utah, with the rank of Colonel of Infantry.
During all these years, Jacob was fulfilling his role as one of the Seven Presidents of the Seventy. In doing so, he was renowned as a public speaker. Without waste of words, it was often said of him that he always went straight to the breast of the subject at hand. Fearless when he felt he was in the right, he said what he felt needed to be said regardless of the consequences. Long after his death, a very old man from Washington used to tell one of Jacob’s granddaughters what an inspiring speaker he was, and how as a young man, Jacob had influenced his life. (Jacob Gates died in Provo Utah on April 14th, 1892.)
In a letter written to Wellington Gates, the youngest son of Jacob and his wife Emma, written by Jacob F. Gates, Jacob’s eldest son, he said that Apostle Anthony W. Ivins, who grew up in the same block as the Gates (Emma’s) family, told him one night at his house that there were three men who had influenced is boyhood more than any other man. One of these men was Jacob Gates.
Gates, Jacob (Male)
Birth: Date: March 9, 1811 Place: St. Johnsbury, Caledonia, VT, USA
Parents: Father: Gates, Thomas Mother: Plumley, Patty or Lucy
Death: Date: April 14, 1892 Place: Provo, Utah, UT, USA
Burial: Date: April 17, 1892 Buried: Provo, Utah, UT, USA
Marriage Information: Spouse: Snow, Mary Minerva
Alternate Spouse: Snow, Millie M. Date: March 16, 1833
Marriage Number 2 Date: January 21, 1846
Marriage Number 3 Date: July 13, 1856
Marriage Number 4 Spouse: Forsberry, Emma Date: October 23, 1853
Place: Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT, USA
Marriage 4 Children:
Name: Birth date: Place:
1. Gates, Jacob Forsberry July 30, 1854 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT, USA
2. Gates, Franklin Forsberry February 13, 1856 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT, USA
3. Gates, Jedediah Morgan March 22, 1858 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT, USA
4. Gates, Emma Adelaide August 22, 1862 St. George, Washington, UT, USA
5. Gates, William Milo June 8, 1864 St. George, Washington, UT, USA
6. Gates, Wellington Forsberry June 15, 1866 St. George, Washington, UT, USA
Marriage Number 5 Spouse: Ware, Mary Date: October 25, 1862
Place: Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT, USA
Marriage 5 Children:
Name: Birth date: Place:
1. Gates, Heber Ware October 9, 1863 St. George, Washington, UT, USA
2. Gates, Charles Henry October 28, 1866 St. George, Washington, UT, USA
3. Gates, Claudius Ware February 15, 1869 St. George, Washington, UT, USA
4. Gates, Mary Elizabeth June 16, 1872 Bellevue, Washington, UT, USA
5. Gates, Lillian Josephine December 19, 1875 Bellevue, Washington, UT, USA
6. Gates, Arthur William July 2, 1878 Bellevue, Washington, UT, USA
7. Gates, Orson Pratt September 8, 1882 Bellevue, Washington, UT, USA
Church Ordinance Data:
Baptism Date: June 18, 1833 Officiator: Orson Pratt
Confirmation Date: June 18, 1833 Officiator: L Zarubabel Snow
Ordained Elder Date: February 18, 1836 Officiator: Baldwin
Ordained Seventy Date: December 19, 1838 Officiator: Joseph Smith
Temple Ordinance Data:
Endowment Date: December 15, 1844 Temple: Nauvoo, Hancock, IL,
Sealed to Parents Date: April 1, 1954 Temple: Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, UT
Sealed to Spouse Number 1 Date: January 21, 1846 Temple: Nauvoo, Hancock, IL,
Sealed to Spouse Number 2 Date: January 21, 1846 Temple: Nauvoo, Hancock, IL,
Sealed to Spouse Number 3 Date: July 13, 1856 Endowment House, Salt Lake City
Sealed to Spouse Number 4 Date: September 17, 1859 Endowment House, Salt Lake City
Sealed to Spouse Number 5 Date: November 1, 1861 Endowment House, Salt Lake City
Sealed to Spouse Number 6 Date: October 25, 1862
Places of Residence: Clay Co., MO, USA; 1834, Caldwell, Co., MO, USA; 1836, Carthage, IL, USA; 1838
Winter Quarters, Douglas, NE, USA; 1846-47 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT, USA; 1850-1860, St. George, Washington, UT, USA
Vocations: Farmer; 1860
Comments: In 1860, Jacob had a household of 3, real wealth of $400 and non-personal wealth. In 1870, Jacob had a household of 11, real wealth of $5000 and $1000 of personal wealth.
Comments: #21. This biographical sketch adapted from the LDS Biographical Encyclopedia.
Jacob Gates was one of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies from 1862 to 1892. His father was a farmer, and during the early period of Brother Gates' life he worked on the farm. He also worked at the carpenter and joiner trade, and his education was confined to a limited period of time.
In April 11, 1834, with his young wife, he left his father's house for Missouri, where he arrived June 30, 1834, where he located seven miles west of Liberty, Clay County, which was quite a small village at that time.
While here Brother Gates was invited to go with Caleb Baldwin upon a mission, on which he left Jan. 25, 1836. On the 25th of February, 1836 he left Edgar County, Illinois, to return home to Clay County, in company with 32 souls, who chose Elder Gates as their captain.
In the fall of 1838, he had been compelled to march under a large military escort, in company with some fifty-seven other brethren, a distance of about forty miles, to Richmond, Ray County, to which place Joseph and Hyrum Smith had also been taken from Far West. Elder Gates' journal says: "It was here that we were tried of all the capital crimes, save one, before Judge Austin A. King, and we were imprisoned some three weeks. Finally we went each other's bail and were released, when we left for Quincy, Illinois."
Not long after this Elder Gates went to Hancock County and received a commission as ensign in a company of militia. The same month he left home in company with Chandler Holbrook to preach the gospel, going as far east as Kirtland, Ohio, and Clay County, Mo., and in the fall returned home. In company with William Snow he left Nauvoo, July 7, 1843, on a mission to La Porte, in the northern part of Indiana, and the fall of 1841 he went south into Marshall County and organized a branch of the Church; a goodly number were baptized.
In June, 1843, he again left home for a mission to the New England States, and before going he met the Prophet Joseph. His health was feeble, but the Prophet said: "Go and fill your mission, and we will wrestle after you come back." The Prophet and Elder Gates would often engage in the game for exercise. When Elder Gates returned home from his mission, May 26, 1844, he saw the Prophet for the last time, a little distance from him, on his horse, going to his martyrdom.
At the October Conference, 1844, he was ordained and set apart senior president of the fourth quorum of Seventies, under the hands of Parley P. Pratt and Orson Pratt.
In the autumn of 1847 he came to Utah, and in the fall conference of 1849 he was appointed, with several others, to take a mission to England. He left Salt Lake City on Oct. 19, 1849, and embarked at New Orleans on the steamer Maine, which arrived in Liverpool April 6, 1850. While on this mission, which lasted three years, Elder Gates filled several important positions in presiding over different divisions of the British mission, and many were added to the Church. On his return home he was appointed to take charge of a company of Saints, which he successfully brought across the plains, arriving in Salt Lake City on Sept. 30, 1853.
During the following few years he traveled throughout Utah, assisting in the organization of the different quorums of Seventy. In 1859 he was called on another mission to Europe. To fill it, he left Utah Sept. 19, 1859, and reached Liverpool on the 13th day of December, Soon after his arrival there he received a letter from President Brigham Young informing him that he had been selected as one of the First Council of Seventies. While upon this mission he traveled with Apostles Amassa M. Lyman and Charles C. Rich. In 1861 he returned home; on his way he stopped at the different points and assisted in the outfitting work of companies of Saints about to cross the plains. At the October Conference, 1862, he was ordained a member of the First Council of Seventies.
While living in St. George, Washington County, he served as a member of the County Court for several years. He was also elected a member of the House of Representatives of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory to represent the district composed of the counties of Washington and Kane. He was re-elected three times to the same office, namely, in the years 1864, 1865, and 1867. He was also elected a member of the Council of the Legislative Assembly in 1873, to represent the district composed of the counties of Kane and Washington. May 12, 1866, he was appointed brigade aid-de-camp, First Brigade of the Nauvoo Legion Militia of Utah, in Iron military district, with the rank of Colonel of Infantry.
After a well-spent life Elder Gates died at his residence in Provo, Utah as a true and faithful Latter-day Saint.
Comments: #31. Jacob went on a mission with his wife to Boston from 1843-1844.
We encounter Jacob Gates frequently in the multi-volume works published or supported by Daughters of the Utah Pioneers: Fighting mobs as company commander in the Nauvoo Legion (1845); a member of one of the first companies to reach Salt Lake (1847); entertaining friends in his home at the "Old Fort" (28 December 1847), during which Apostle Parley Pratt spoke on "The Velocity of the Motion of Bodies When Surrounded by a Refined Element"; member of a committee (with Erastus Snow) to locate the city of Saint George; a participant of the Salmon River Mission (1857); unjustly ousted by soldiers of Camp Floyd from the ranch he had opened in Rush Valley in partnership with Daniel Spencer and Jessie C. Little (1859); president of the European mission and, briefly, editor of the Millenial Star (1860); on a preaching tour (1867); a proponent of the Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution and Director of the Southern Utah Cooperative Mercantile Association (1868); marrying his son, Jacob F., to Brigham Young's second daughter, Susa (1880). See, for example, An Enduring Legacy, Our Pioneer Heritage, Encyclopedic History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Obituary Scapbook, Orson Whitney's History of Utah, and Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah.
From: “I Was Called to Dixie” The Virgin River Basin: Unique Experiences in Mormon Pioneering
Chapter 8: “Between Those Volcanic Ridges” St. George
President Young visited the settlements on the Virgin in May 1861. He found that in spite of the reinforcements sent to the various settlements before 1861 the population remained distressingly small. Washington had less than half the families it had started with in 1857, and the others, while not subject in the same degree as Washington to the extensive ravages of malaria, showed losses in population. The President, however, was convinced that his plans for the Basin were sound; he therefore set out to implement them on a scale that would pay dividends. Accordingly, at the October Conference held on the 6th, 7th, and 8th of that month, he called over three hundred men, most of them heads of families, to reinforce the discouraged settlers, and to build a new town "between those volcanic ridges" that should become the center of the Cotton Mission. In addition to the ones called on the above occasion, President Young instructed Orson Hyde to raise from thirty to fifty families in Sanpete County and take them to Dixie; and to bolster Fort Clara came a company of about thirty families who had migrated that same year from their native Switzerland. A considerable number of the new migration went up the river, while quite a few of the Sanpete group settled in Washington. Some of the leading church authorities—Apostle Erastus Snow and Orson Pratt and two of the First Seven Presidents of Seventy, Jacob Gates and Henry Harriman were to accompany the mission and make their homes in Dixie. (pg 102-103) …
The first to arrive at the site of St. George were Robert Thompson and William Fawcett who camped in the valley on November 25, 1861. Others followed, the large numbers beginning to come on December 1, and in the days following most of the company had arrived. The camp was made about a half mile east of what is now called Temple Street (Second East) and below what is now Tabernacle Street. They plowed a furrow through the wiregrass to bring into one channel the waters of the East Spring to the camp for culinary use.
President Snow called a meeting on December 4. The first order of business was the unanimous ratification of James G. Bleak's appointment as Clerk and Historian of the mission, a position for which he was well qualified and for which he had already been set apart in Salt Lake City. President Erastus. Snow then reviewed the purpose of the mission and the careful exploring that his party had done before deciding upon the location of St. George. He then invited comment from members of the company as to the advisability of locating in the valley they now occupied. Several did so, all of them expressing satisfaction with the prospect of building their homes there. They then proceeded to attack the problems of immediate and pressing importance.
The first thing they tackled was to determine the ways and means of getting the waters of the Virgin River on to the land near the river in the lower part of the valley, choosing for this purpose a committee consisting of Israel Ivins, Robert Gardner, William Carter, Benjamin F. Pendleton, and Haden W. Church. The committee went to work that very day, but at a meeting held on the morrow they asked for another day in which to make its report. The second item of business was to select a site for St. George. Erastus Snow, Jacob Gates, and Angus M. Cannon (William Fawcett was added later) were chosen to make this decision, a natural choice, since both Snow and Gates were among the General Authorities of the Church. The meeting then adjourned until the following evening, December 5, when further problems were considered. There was the problem of caring for their cattle. Angus M. Cannon was appointed marshal and William Carter an assistant-marshal for this purpose. Their job was to secure herdsmen to care for the animals. Another committee consisting of George W. Adair, David H. Cannon, and James McInelly was commissioned to find the nearest and best road to the cedar and piñon pine that some of the men from Tonaquit had said were available.
A community of between seven and eight hundred people had to have some form of government; therefore a Camp Council was chosen and sustained by the camp. It consisted of Robert Gardner, George Woodward, Daniel D. McArthur, William Carter, Angus M. Cannon, James G. Bleak, Benjamin F. Pendleton, Ute Perkins, William Lang, William Fawcett, Israel Ivins, and Lysander Dayton. Thus in true frontier style the first pioneers of St. George prepared for an orderly, law-abiding society: nothing was left to chance. (pgs 108-109) …
While the heavy rains still plagued the campers, Erastus Snow suggested that they erect a stone building to be used by the citizens of St. George for educational and social purposes (this on January 9, about six weeks before the people had even moved their wagons and tents on to their town lots). He proposed that they complete the structure before any other building in the valley. The idea was at once approved by the enthusiastic citizenry, and a subscription list was made with contributions pledged in various amounts ranging from five to fifty dollars each, and totaling $2,074 from 120 people, not one of whom yet had a roof over his head. A building committee—Easton Kelsey, Joseph Birch, and Jacob Gates—was chosen at this meeting. At another public meeting on the 12th the committee presented plans for a school house measuring forty by twenty-one feet to be built of rock, and at an estimated cost of three to five thousand dollars. (pg 116)
Chapter 14: Merchandising and Trade
The cooperative movement was launched in Dixie soon after the organization of the Parent Association, Z. C. M. I., in Salt Lake City. The main purpose of the movement was to liberate the people of the Mormon empire from dependence upon the gentile merchants, who, with an unerring nose for profits, had moved into Utah to reap the golden harvest in that rapidly-growing commonwealth. With the support of all the outlying cooperatives beyond the bounds of Salt Lake City, the parent institution was bound to flourish and at the same time be a source of strength to them by furnishing them goods of quality at reasonable prices. Z. C. M. I. did more than this: it took many of the products of the outlying communities as pay for the goods they received. Thus it was that the dried fruit, cotton, hides, wine, and molasses paid for much which the settlers of the Cotton Mission obtained through the cooperatives that were established in practically every village in Dixie. But this was not all. Individuals loaded their own produce into their wagons and took it to Salt Lake City and points between, where they exchanged it for the things they needed. This vast network of smaller cooperatives tying into the the large one was an impressive force in helping the Saints to grow in economic strength. It would be hard to overestimate its value to communities such as those in the Cotton Mission.
The cooperative movement in Dixie began at the November Conference in 1868 when Erastus Snow opened up the subject. It was his desire, he said, that the spirit and instruction of the recent October Conference in Salt Lake City "should pervade the present Conference, that we in the South might intelligently unite with those in the North on the vital question of adopting measures to render ourselves a self-sustaining people." For three days the local church leaders poured forth their oratory on the theme introduced by President Snow. The soon-to-be President of the new St. George Stake, Joseph W. Young, made a motion "that President Snow be requested to call a convention of the Elders present at this conference for the purpose of organizing one or more Mercantile Associations for Southern Utah." It was carried without dissent. Following the conference the convention was held, and the regulations for governing the association were adopted. According to John D. Lee who was present at this meeting there was considerable disagreement as to whether there should be a parent institution in St. George or whether Z. C. M. I. would be sufficient. Apparently the parent idea predominated, for the board of directors had three men who lived in communities other than St. George. Erastus Snow was chosen as president, and Robert Gardner, Jacob Gates, Franklin B. Woolley, and Joseph Birch of St. George, William Snow of Pine Valley, William H. Crawford of Washington, and John Nebeker of Toquerville were elected as directors. Those present subscribed $8,794.00 in capital stock. …
The cooperative store in St. George grew well, however, as did the smaller stores which sprang up in every town of any size in the Virgin Basin, meeting the needs of the people and giving to them places both to buy their goods and also to dispose of their own surpluses. (pgs 254-256)
Chapter 21; Other Cultural Activities
The dearth of reading material among the pioneers led to efforts to establish a library in St. George as early as January 22, 1864, when the Governor of Utah Territory signed an act passed by the Territorial Legislature incorporating the St. George Library Association. The Board of Directors named in the Act consisted of Orson Pratt, Sr., Erastus Snow, Franklin B. Woolley, Angus M. Cannon, Jacob Gates, Orson Pratt, Jr., and James G. Bleak. Just how active this group was in getting library service established is not clear. It is known that people contributed to this worthy cause with produce, and that this produce was taken to Salt Lake City where it was sold and the proceeds used to buy books. A copy of the Articles of Agreement of the St. George Library Association, dated November 3, 1873, indicates that at that time eleven persons had subscribed $260 in stock in amounts varying from $5 to $50. Whether this was the first subscription of stock in the Association is not known. The Articles reveal that the Association was capitalized at $10,000—certainly never completely subscribed—with shares worth $1 each at par value. Stock could be purchased in "cash, books, or other such property as may be accepted by the Board." The inaugural address of the Library Association was delivered by Erastus Snow on November 19, 1873, and on January 26, 1874, the Association opened its reading room in the St. George Hall for the first time, with twelve persons in attendance. It is difficult to say how long the Library Association carried on its activities in the St. George Hall, but the probabilities are that a reading room was perhaps used there until the Lyceum building was made available about ten years later. The Association received at least an additional $1020 in stock subscribed, most of it from the same people who had subscribed in 1873. (pgs 507-508)
Chapter 31: Transportation and Communication
The telegraph was undoubtedly a great boon to these outlying areas of the church. It was particularly of value to the Factory at Washington and other businesses such as the various cooperative stores and cattle companies. It even became the basis for an attempt to publish a small daily newspaper in St. George in 1879 and was of great value to the church authorities in the Cotton Mission, for it meant the transmission of important instruction and news without the loss of time consumed in letter-writing or travel. It was helpful particularly during the Indian troubles of the early 1870's. But perhaps most of all it gave the isolated settlements in the Virgin Basin the feeling that they were not so far away from the rest of the world after all. This feeling is suggested in the following telegram sent to the church authorities from a committee, which had been delegated by the city fathers to send the message.
Monday, May 10, 1869. At 12:33 our Telegraph line flashed the word to St. George that the connection rail of the Transcontinental Railroad was being laid by Governor Stanford. From information received this morning, the Ecclesiastical, Civil and Military authorities and the people on the que vive and, immediately on receipt of the welcome intelligence, greeted it by unfurling the Stars and Stripes amid the salutes of the artillery and music of the Brass and Martial Bands. After which most eloquent speeches were delivered by President Snow and Mayor Jacob Gates. Even while we write the concluding cheers of the assembled people are making our red hills ring again.
In 1903 the telegraph service was discontinued, and its lines were purchased by local business interests under the leadership of Edward H. Snow and others who formed the Southern Utah Telephone Company. So passed into history the Deseret Telegraph Company, giving way as usual to the newer and more practical inventions of ingenious man. (pg 528-529)
Chapter 33: Tabernacle, Courthouse and Temple
The great day arrived on December 29 1871, when the last stone in the tower was laid. There had been a great flurry to get the capstone laid and the roof on by the end of the year. On Christmas Day, 1871, the hands were all busily at work on the structure instead of being at home with their families, observing the holidays. James G. Bleak, one of the participants in the ceremony, has left the following account.
On Friday, Dec. 29th. At 3 p.m. Prest. Erastus Snow, Pres. Jacob Gates, one of the first seven Presidents of the Seventies, Robert Gardner and James G. Bleak of the Presidency of Southern Utah Stake of Zion, Bishop Daniel D. McArthur and his-counselors, Wm. Carter and David H. Cannon, Bps. David Milne, Henry Eyring and Walter Granger, all of St. George and a goodly number of others, met at the St. George Tabernacle to attend to and witness the laying of the last stone in the Tower.
Prayer by President Jacob Gates.
Singing by the Choir.
Presidents Snow, Gates, Gardner and Bleak, Bishops McArthur, Milne, Eyring and Granger and others ascended to the top of the rockwork of the Tower. Elder Edward L. Parry, principal mason announced that the cap-stone was ready for laying.
President E. Snow then offered prayer of thanksgiving for the blessings vouchsafed by God to all concerned in the building of St. George Tabernacle.
President Snow then, with trowel in hand, proceeded to lay the stone in its place. Presidents Gates, Gardner and Bleak, in succession, then struck it with a mason's mallet. Miles Romney, assistant architect, laid his square on the rock and pronounced it level. Whereupon, President Snow and those present, took off their hats and shouted, "Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna! to God and the Lamb. Amen, Amen and Amen." This was echoed three times.
President Snow then gave the Benediction, invoking continued and increased blessings upon all who had been, or should hereafter, be engaged in building and finishing the Tabernacle.
Saturday, Dec. 30th. The last shingle was laid on the roof of the Tabernacle this afternoon.
In the evening after the capstone had been laid, the workers were honored by the local church leaders with a “Social Party and Festival” at the St. George Hall. There was an air of rejoicing among those present and a feeling of thanksgiving that they had partially accomplished what they had set themselves to do. (pgs 569-571)
The Court House is a landmark too. One must marvel at the spirit of dedication and energy that led the pioneers to raise this edifice at the same time that the Tabernacle was being constructed. It was begun in 1867 and completed in 1870.
The decision to build a courthouse was reached on November 12, 1866, at a session of the Washington County Court held on that date. The dimensions were to be 36 feet 4 inches by 40 feet 4 inches. The immediate plan was to build a basement, part of which was to be used for cells.
At the December term of the County Court, an appropriation of $500.00 was made to apply on the Court House Building Account. These funds were to be expended under the direction of Judge James D. McCullough.
In 1867 the County Court instructed the clerk to send out to the various precincts of the county a proposal to raise $10,000 to build a courthouse and cells for the use of the county. It was proposed to raise the amount by increasing the county tax on taxable property by one fourth of one per cent (two and one-half mills). The election on August 5, 1867, gave a large majority in favor of the increase. At the September session of the court the tax was increased to seven and one-half mills. Selectman Jacob Gates was appointed to supervise the construction.
The same craftsmen who worked on the Tabernacle worked on the Courthouse. Samuel Judd burned the lime at his kiln in Middleton, William Burt did the plaster paris decoration in the interior, and Miles Romney and other woodworkers built the cornices and interior finishing and the cupola on the top.
Three rooms in the basement were used to house people convicted of crime. The first floor was built into office rooms. The large assembly room on the upper floor served a multiple purpose; in addition to its function as a courtroom, it served as a place for parties and dances, and as a schoolroom for upper classes when the four ward schoolhouses could no longer accommodate all those who attended school.
Originally there were wooden steps, portico and a balcony at the entrance. These were later replaced by cement steps made by Thomas P. Cottam and Sons. Albert E. Miller built a colonial front with a protecting roof and iron balcony. (pgs 605-606)
From: Devoted Empire Builders (Pioneers of St. George)
Jacob Gates, son of Thomas and Patty Plumbly Gates; b. March (May?) 9. 1811. St. Johnsbury, Caledonia Co., Vt. Came to Utah, 1847. Missionary early years of Church. Member First Seven Presidents of Seventy, 1862-92. To St. George, 1861 Helped select location for city; city councilman 1862; county selectman 1863; member building committee, first public buildings; member Board of Directors St. George Library Association; 1864; Mayor 1866; director, Southern Utah Cooperative Mercantile Association, 1868; member Legislative Assembly. Md. Emma Forsberry October 23, 1843; Md. Mary M. Snow; also md. Mary Ware, who had two sons and two dtrs. They lived in SLC Home, St. George NW corner, 1st N., 1st W. Moved to Provo, where he d. April 14, 1892.
RESOLUTION OF RESPECT.
IN_AS MUCH as it has pleased the Almighty Father to call
our beloved Senior President, Jacob Gates, to a more extended sphere
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the First Council of Seventies, that
while we truly mourn the loss of his society and wise councils, we
realize our loss is his gain, and bow in humble reverence to the Will of God.
Truly a good man has passed away - one who for nearly sixty years has
stood a fearless defender of the truth one who always prophesied good
concerning Zion, and who bore a faithful testimony to the truth of God's work.
Resolved that this resolution be spread upon our record book and also that
a copy of the same be sent to the family of the deceased.
DONE THIS 21st DAY OF APRIL A.D. 1892.
Seymour B. Young
Christian D. Fjeldsted
Brigham H. Roberts
Jonathan G. Kimball