Born in Ashland, Wayne, Tennessee on 14 Jul 1858
Married Josephine Olofson Mayberry in Logan, Utah on 6 Jan 1886
Died in Oakland, Alameda, California on 11 April 1934
Buried in the Sunset View Cemetery, Berkeley, Alameda / Contra Costa, California on 14 April 1934
LEAVES from ************************ LIFE'S JOURNAL
Some incidents in the life of
GASTON LAFAYETTE BRALEY
Born July 14, 1858 Died 11 April 1934
A highly prized poem, carried for many years by G.L.B.
Dear Lord, in the battle that goes on through life I ask but a field that is fair, A chance that is equal with all the strife, A courage to strive and to dare; And if I should win, let it be by the code With my faith and my honor held high; And if I should lose, let me stand by the road, And cheer as the winners go by. -------------------- And Lord, may my shouts be ungrudging and clear, A tribute that comes from the heart, And let me not cherish a snarl or a sneer or play any sniveling part; Let me say, "There they ride, on whom laurel's bestowed Since they played the game better than I." Let me stand with a smile, by the side of the road, And cheer as the winners go by. -------------------- So grant me to conquer, if conquer I can, By proving my worth in the fray, But teach me to lose like a regular man, And not like a craven, I pray; Let me take off my hat to the warriors that strode To victory splendid and high, Just teach me to stand by the side of the road And cheer as the winners go by. (By Berton Braley) 1925 -1- LEAVES FROM LIFE'S JOURNAL The greater part of the contents of the following pages was dictated by Gaston LaFayette Braley (Braly); "With the hope that this may be of interest to my children, grandchildren and other relatives and friends. "Therefore I dedicate this effort to them." Summer of 1933 At home - 1514 Allston Way Berkeley, Calif. Copied by Josephine Mayberry Braley Recopied by Rosanna Combs Andersen Recopied by Margie Baker Combs Conversion to ASCII text by L Daniel Baker Errata Very little interest was manifested, in the South, during my childhood days, in keeping records, or family history; therefore I am depending on memory for the most part, for these early reminiscences, and later episodes of my life, which I will endeavor, to the best of my ability, to portray truthfully. My immediate family are more or less conversant with many of the important events which I have related to them at various times; never- theless, I will proceed to give a somewhat detailed account of events as they occur to me. I was born on July 14, 1858, in Ashland, Wayne Co., Tenn. in a log house of four rooms, in the backwoods of the state, and surrounded by very primitive, unsettled conditions. I grew up without the companionship of my father, as he died when I was but little more than three years of age. My knowledge of him is very limited. I remember seeing him but twice; the first time was when he saved my life by rescuing me from the jaws of a vicious hog, by killing him with a hammer. The second time, he lay in his casket --dead. A Short History of my Father JOHN STEELE BRALEY He was born on Feb. 14, 1813 in Orange Co., N.C. Was educated in the University of North Carolina Was a Civil Engineer and Surveyor Married Nancy Melvina Stowe, Nov. 11, 1846, and moved west to Tennessee. -2- He was an athlete - 6 ft. 4 in. tall, weight about 240 lbs., had black hair and black eyes. He built the first house, in what is now Linden, Perry Co., Tenn. which later became the County seat. The family lived there for many years. Surveying Counties was his special work, and in many instances, he was paid in land... thereby acquiring several hundred acres of forest land; which after the war, and after his death, my mother was unable to hold title to, thereby loosing all but one small farm. He died in Sept. 1861, of pneumonia caused by exposure while surveying. Perhaps at this time it might be of interest to describe the method used at that time, for marking the boundary lines, through the forest, and I will do so by relating an event that to me was intensely interesting; an old friend of my father's and I were walking along the road, in a part of the country that I didn't know that my father had ever seen, when the friend - Mr. Dabbs said, "Come here, and I will show you some of your father's work." He pointed up on a tree to some marks about eight feet from the ground which had been made with a small ax, saying; "Your father did that while surveying my father's land." We followed along the line which he had surveyed and the trees on either side were marked like the one above mentioned. After a while we came to a corner, and he showed me how all the surrounding trees were marked on the side next to the corner. Mr. Dabbs said that my father remarked that "those notches would remain as long as the tree existed." They were shallow marks made in the outer bark. (If I were there today I could go to the exact spot.) He was buried close by a large tree, near the town of Hohenwald, Tenn. A SHORT STORY OF MY MOTHER NANCY MELVINA STOWE BRALY She was born on Feb. 28, 1824, in Lincoln Co., N.C. Stood about 5 ft. 7 in., weight about 140 lb., brown eyes and hair. Married John Steele Braly Nov. 11, 1846. Moved west to Wayne Co., Tenn. Was very attractive. Had a common school education, besides being highly trained in all the ways of converting raw material - such as wool, cotton flax and silk - into clothing. Was an expert weaver on the hand loom, making cloth of different kinds and beautiful designs in counterpanes, (Bedspreads etc.) gathering bark and leaves with different kinds of flowers from most kinds of trees and plants to make combinations of colors for dying cloth. She was self reliant, industrious, honest and strict. She wouldn't allow even a semblance of wrong to be committed by any member of her family without applying the old method of punishment... the switch. She was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and wanted me to become a minister, but I didn't see it that way, so we disagreed. -3- She was the mother of six children... three boys and three girls whose names follow: 1. Stanhope Hugh; born Sept. 9, 1847. He was conscripted into the Southern Army at the age of 15; and was killed about Dec. 12, 1863, at Parker's Cross Roads (Under Captain Harder). 2. Louisa Jane; Born Aug. 1, 1859, Linden Co., Tenn. Married George Jackson, born about 1845. Children: Solon, Susan Elenor, Joseph Acum, Lee, Anna Belle, Jarrett Edward, and Bff. She died about 1901. He died Jan. 1912. 3. Octavia Elenor: Born Dec. 1, 1851, Linden Co., Tenn. Married John W. Braley, second cousin.. Children: Emma, John and Bulah. (He died in Tenn. 1883). Moved to Franklin, Idaho, 1883. Married Mark Preece June 1885, Cove, Utah. Children: Freeman, Ella, George. Octavia died 1901. Preece about 1912. 4. Byron Emmerilla ?: Born Dec. 25, 1855. Married Thomas Jeter Oct. 9, 1870 who was born May 18, 1839. Children: Lena Vance, Panic, Leona, Thomas Island, Donald Carl, Jessie Lee, Hattei Erma, Byron E. Died Dec. 31, 1839. Jeter D. Oct. 5. 1902. 5. Gaston LaFayette: Born July 14, 1858, Ashland, Wayne Co., Tenn. Arrived in Franklin, Idaho Nov. 22, 1883. Married Josephine Olofsen Mayberry Jan. 6, 1886. Parents of ten children: Myrtle M., LaFayette., Blanche M., Rena M., Glenn M., Wayne M., Leda M., Erva M. born in Franklin, Idaho. Vance M. and Doris Linda born in Blackfoot, Idaho. Moved to Berkeley, Calif. on Dec. 24, 1924; and Gaston LaFayette Braley died 11 April 1934 and was buried in the Sunset Cemetery. 6. William Thomas(Mack) was born Nov. 14, 1861 about 3 months after the death of my father. Married Francis Seabolt. Children: Elmer and Arthur. Mack died Feb. 11, 1886, Tenn. I, Josephine M. Braly, daughter-in-law of Nancy Melvina Stowe Braly, wish to add a few lines to what my husband has had recorded of his mother. We lived together for many years, and through varying vicissitudes of life; and in memory of her I will say that she was a worthy mother in every way, having been a widow since 1861 when in Tenn. her husband died, leaving her with five children, the sixth being born after the death of her husband. Her oldest son, Stanhope Hugh, was drafted into the Army at the age of 15 and was killed in battle. She went through those terrible scenes of war supporting her family as best she could with everything taken away or destroyed by the soldiers passing through. She was living on one of the main roads used by the Union Army for transportation. Many times the road and surrounding woods were filled with soldiers making their way to some distant field for action, and anything that could be taken for their use -4- was taken, although many times there was a guard placed on her premises for her protection, who proved annoying at times. She was utterly fearless, and bravely went on her way doing the necessary routine work, that could be attended to under those trying circumstances; many times, of course, having to hide out in the forest for the protection of herself and her babies. When the war was over, there was the rehabilitation of the home and farm, taking many years of hard work and economical planning, both of time and strength, foresight and accomplishment. Her family - gradually getting older and more capable of helping in the labor for subsistence, and accumulating the necessities of life. She worked out in the fields in the daytime and at night, gathering her children about her, teaching them to shell corn for bread, card wool for clothing, seed cotton, cure meat, etc. She was knitting, sewing, weaving or doing any of the things that must be done before retiring, to be ready to take up the duties of the next day, according to a planned program that must be schedulously carried out that they might exist. The boys Gaston and Mack grew to manhood, the daughters married. The old homestead acquired a reputation for hospitality and many friends surrounded them. Then came a time when Mormon Riders came into the neighborhood, visiting there at times promulgating the new religion that had caused so much speculation as to what it was. And although she had been a staunch member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church all her life, she was converted to the new faith, as it satisfied the religious side of her life more than anything she had known before. So she and her son, Gaston LaFayette, were baptized by immersion in one of the tributaries of the Tenn. River by Elder Joshua Hawkes of Franklin, Idaho, there on a mission. Her daughter, a widow, had previously been baptized by Elder Spence of Idaho. They were baptized on Nov. 1, 1883, and embarked for Idaho on about 12 Nov. 1883, arriving in Franklin, Idaho on the 22 Nov., 1883, making her home there until 1904 when the family moved to Blackfoot, Idaho. She passed away in Aug., 1909. Her remains were taken to Franklin, Idaho, and interred in the old cemetery, one mile south of Franklin, where she rests today, leaving an honored name behind. She was over 86 years old and had good health up to the last 6 weeks of her life when she gradually got weaker, no suffering was evident at the time, going to sleep peacefully in the home of her son, firm in the faith of a glorious resurrection and being reunited with her dear husband and children that had gone before. -5- Some Incidents of the Civil War "My earliest recollections are of tragedy, stark and terrifying; my father's untimely death, and the sufferings and privations contingent upon that and the deprivation committed by the soldiers of the Civil War." I well remember hearing the cannon boom in the Battle of Shiloh, the second greatest battle fought during the war on April 6 & 7, 1862, at Pittsburg Landing, about ten miles away. I remember holding to my mother's dress, scared at the confusion. Many of the wives and children of the neighbors gathered at our place, crying and listening to the noise of the battle. When the wind veered so the sound became dim they would all lie down on the ground, holding their ear close to the ground, to catch the vibrations from the cannon. All had husbands, brothers or sons in that battle. The next day I remember that a number of women, with my mother, rode in a wagon, drawn by a yoke of oxen, and went down to the river, and seeing them dragging the dead bodies of the men out and burying them in the mud to keep them from the buzzards. Also I saw the battered transports and battle-ships going down the river. A cousin of mine, Jim Braly, an officer in the southern army, leading his men to battle, was shot in the hip, the bullet going through and lodging in the saddle. He never stopped until he was shot again in the knee. His leg was amputated twice without anesthetic. He was the son of my Uncle William Braly and fought in the Battle of Shiloh at Pittsburg Landing on the Tenn. River. A Union army camped overnight in front of my Uncle's and my mother and I passed by and saw 14 men lying on the ground, their faces covered, they having died during the night from small pox and exposure. It was raining all the time, as it was winter. Negros buried them in a shallow grave and an epidemic followed among the negros. I also remember that an officer of the Union army came by and placed two men to guard our home until the army had passed by. The soldiers were taking everything they could use. We carried our bacon out into the forest and hid it in a hollow tree. Wild hogs found it and destroyed the the meat. The people suffered greatly for the necessities of life during and Immediately after the war. There were no able bodied men in the country as all had been conscripted into the war and had gone into hiding, or had made their way into Kentucky, to get into Union lines. We were very fortunate when we could go into the woods and gather wild fruits, such as winter huckleberries, winter grapes, wild persimmons, wild crab- apples, and pawpaw apples which were edible only in the winter. In the summer there were strawberries, blackberries, dewberries, summer grapes and many other varieties of fruits that we gathered. Sometimes fish were plentiful, -6- such as perch, catfish, buffalo and drum, which often served as an entire meal. Salt was a very scarce article and it might be of interest to describe somewhat in detail the method employed to obtain this very important article of diet, surrounded as we were by the havoc of war. ---To obtain salt--- people dug up the dirt floor in their smoke houses, into which the salt had dripped from the salted meat that had been hung up to the ceiling to be smoked by burning hickory wood. This dirt was mixed with water, then boiled, then filtered through a straw filled V shaped box, and again boiled until all the water had evaporated leaving a brown colored salt, that was again put through a process until it became white and usable. ---To obtain soap--- All ashes that were obtain- ed or made through the winter by burning wood for cooking, etc., were care- fully saved in barrels and boxes until spring; then they were put into a V or leach, as it was called, and described above. Water was poured into them which would filter or soak out into a board through V shaped dripping into a wooden bucket. The liquid was a dark brown color. This was called lye. This was added to tallow or grease of any kind, boiled until thick, then allowed to cool, after which it was cut into squares and dried. This was soap. --Every home was a factory. The family making everything that was used in the home. The wool was sheared from the sheep, washed, dyed, carded, spun and woven into clothing, blankets, etc. --Cotton was picked in the field, the seed being separated by the children sitting around the fire place at night, was spun into thread, and woven into cloth by the older members of the family,.. Different colors of dye were made, such as blue, green, red, yellow, etc. from combinations of bark, roots of trees, plants and flowers. There were no idle hands at that time. The Manufacturing of Leather at Home The process of converting green hides into leather was as follows: First, lime was made by hauling "white lime rock" from a stone quarry, and piling it up with a number of trees --cut into short lengths-- and@ put on top; setting the wood on fire which gradually burned the lime stone-- which was finally formed into lime. Water was added and the green hides were put into this mixture for sometime --thereby loosen- ing the hair-- which was rubbed off. Then they were thoroughly washed and placed in the vat, which had been made by hollowing out the topside of a large tree, cut down, then oak bark was gathered and pounded fine with mauls --made of wood-- the skin side was folded in with the bark in between -- and water poured on it to form "tan oose." The hides had to remain in this mixture for several months. Fresh water was added occasionally and the contents were turned over every day or two, that -7- all parts of it might be thoroughly tanned. The hides were then taken out and rubbed with tools made for that purpose until dry. It then became leather, which was used for shoes, harnessed or sole leather, according to the animal it came off of. --Shoes were made on a wooden last, that had been made in the shape of the person's foot. The leather was cut from this pattern, the top sewn by hand with linen thread made from flax and fitted on the last. Then the soles were nailed on with wooden pegs or nails. Both shoes were made on the same last, no right or left shoe.. Combs and hairpins etc. were made from cow horns, which were sawed into strips the width desired, boiled until soft, straightened out by placing them between two boards, and putting on a weight sufficiently heavy to hold it in place until dry. Then notches or teeth were sawed in one edge of the comb and filed or shaped with a sharp knife and then sharpened to form a comb. Hair pins, ear rings, finger rings, breast pins, etc. that the girls wore were beautifully carved and decorated. All hats were made by hand. Rye straw was braided, dyed and sewn into shape. These hats were worn by both men and women. The great increase of predatory animals, such as wild hogs, wolves, wild cats, coons, possums, etc., made it almost impossible to raise crops of any kind, as fences of all kinds were either burned for wood or destroyed by the soldiers. Women and children had to guard the fields at night. One little girl was killed one night by wild hogs. Life was very insecure. Most of the fences were made from split logs and built in a zigzag fashion.. the ends being put together corner-wise. The wintertime was used in building and repairing fences that were needed to protect the crops of corn, sweet potatoes or yams, peanuts, (commonly called goobers), grain, and vegetable gardens. The country in general was a backwoods country. Floods menaced the settlers. There were no bridges except in swampy places where small logs were laid across and placed close together so travel could go on where necessary. There were no roads that were defined and what trails there were, were very bad. About the only means of travel was on foot as most of the horses had been taken out of the country by marauding soldiers. When the soldiers came home, the feeling was very bitter, as they had served in both armies, and when religious services were held, they carried their guns with them always, as often one word would start a fight, and that was a match applied to dynamite. There was no civil law in the country, so the Ku Klux Klan was formed of the best law abiding people in the land. The upstairs of my mother's home was used for their headquarters. Of the two companies engaged to preserve order, there were many very dear friends. Not only did they have to preserve order and settle difficulties among the returned soldiers, but it was really necessary to check negro depredations with severe punishment at times. They did many good things as well as bad because of the natural tendency, toward protection of the many woman and children left without their natural protector. As soon as civil law became effective, they ceased their efforts and disorganized. There were no church buildings or schools for many years. A general condition of helplessness prevailed in having to live and reorganize themselves in the war ridden, destroyed land in which they existed. Much more could be said here, but history has related these things for those who desire information and I forego the task at this time. After the war, people were faced with all kinds of privation and starvation through lack of help, as many of the husbands, fathers, and sons that went to the front.... never returned. So, in this terrible situation, they were forced to put small children to work, either in the house or outside. When they were too small to use a hoe they had to pull weeds with their hands. If they made a mistake and pulled up a plant, they were punished until they learned better, which was a bitter experience for the young children. Mothers did not enjoy giving this punishment, but their intelligent co-operation was needed, as this meant food! In many cases the children were not forced to such ends, as there were many negros who refused to leave their masters. Very few negros went to the front, but stayed and worked on their master's plantation, for a time at least. They were loathe to leave the kind care and protection they had, in most cases, enjoyed all their lives and doubted their ability to provide for their own needs. A circumstance that materially helped the immediate neighborhood was the possession of some donkeys or jacks by an old man named Durham, who loaned them to the people who could use them for plowing, cultivation, etc. He had allowed his negros to raise them on the place. (The donkeys and jacks couldn't be used in the army). Later they became very valuable, as their owner turned his attention to raising mules by crossing with horses, which offspring was a mule incapable of reproducing itself, but selling for $500.00 each. As a sample of child labor I will cite an incident in my early childhood. At-the age of seven years, I was hired to a preacher. I had previously learned to do garden and farm work. The salary was $4.00 a month. The first month's pay was given in sheeting which was used to make two long shirts and by the way that was all the clothing I wore. -9- The rest of the cloth was used for the needs of the family. (People were called lazy if they were not out in the field waiting for daylight to see how to work). The work assigned to me was such as would be given to any ordinary farm hand. The "team" I drove was one large gray horse that was a cripple. I plowed the land, planted the corn, and cultivated it through the season. One day while I was using a very heavy cultivator (the corn was about seven feet high) owing to the awkwardness of the horse and my inability to handle the cultivator in tipping it at the end of the row, a few stalks of corn were broken. When the preacher saw this, he sent for my mother by writing a note which I delivered. My mother came back with me and he took her to the spot and showed her the broken stalks, telling her in my hearing that he had seen me break them with my hands, which was a vicious lie. My mother believed him and against my explanation and protest, whipped me unmercifully till the blood ran down my legs. That was a very sad experience to me and had a bad effect on my mind, which in later years, with other similar experiences, caused me to leave home for a while. The schooling which I received in my childhood was very limited most of which I got at my mother's knee at night after working hard in the field all day. We read by a light made by tieing a small hard substance in a rag, leaving it about two inches long and putting it in a shallow dish with melted beef tallow which was called a "tallow dip." Later we made tallow candles by putting a cotton "wick" in tin molds and pouring melted tallow into them, letting them get cold and drawing them out of the molds. These gave much better light, and we enjoyed it. ---Sometime later a school was started about two miles away. The teacher was an old lame man. The schoolhouse was made of logs with a dirt floor. The seats were made of logs split open through the middle with sticks or legs put in bigger holes bored in the underside. We sat on the flat side of the log. This house had been built to replace a better one that had been destroyed in the general destruction that had taken place. We went to school in the winter for three months while there was little outside work to be done. In the fore noon we would sit and look at our book, which was an old "Blue-backed Speller", for a while, then we would go up to the teacher and recite the lesson, then return to our seats, look at our books for a while again, and recite. After we had eaten our lunch we had an hour's recess. When we were called into study, the teacher immediately lit his pipe, which was a big one, and proceeded to fall asleep in his chair. We watched until the pipe fell out of his mouth, then we left. It was said that he was a pretty good speller, but couldn't read. We had our dogs with us to hunt rabbits on the way home. I usually had one or two to take home, but sometimes they would run into a hollow tree and we would have to twist -10- them out with a slick. It was said that the teacher would sleep until almost night. Later I attended other schools that were a great improvement of the former. At one school we had church services every Thursday afternoon, which the trustees would not allow to be held in the school- house, so we followed the teacher out a short distance away to an old apple orchard. There was no one living there at the time. When we had found seats on logs or grass or in the trees, the preacher, Ira North, would proceed to do his job, which was to recite some stuff from the Bible that he had learned. It was: "Therefore being justified by Faith, we have peace with God through our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and so on...... He recited so well and so long and loud that the kids learned it by heart and got tired of listening to the continuous repetition that we refused to stay. The reverend hollered so long and loud most of the time when preaching, that he could be heard a great distance. He insisted that we stay, but we told him that we didn't have to as we could hear him anywhere. The trustees came to hear him preach and after listening to him they said that the pupils would do better hunting rabbits and discharged him. That was the last time that religion was taught in schools, I saw other boys, whose fathers had returned from the front, advising them kindly, putting their arms around them showing love and consideration for them. My heart ached for such love and sympathy, which I had never received, as my father had passed away long before, when I was a baby. Later on when I had reached a point of desperation, because of lack of kindness, and consideration from my family, I left home. I was a grown young man in size and strength, about seventeen years of age. I went about one hundred miles west, and got work in a cotton "gin." The foreman, whose name was Capeton, died suddenly and it was up to me to oversee the gathering of the crop. I was then about eighteen, and the plantation covered about 800 acres. (Mr. Capeton and I were the only white men on the plantation, he was a very good fellow, and took pleasure in giving me the instruction that I needed. When he died, I was fully informed as to the duties to be performed.) I had to receive the cotton, as the negros picked and brought it in. I weighed it, bailed it, sold it and turned the proceeds over to Mrs. Capeton who was the book-keeper. The owner of the land was a Doctor, and lived in Jackson, Tenn. It was sometime before he came to see his property, but found everything moving smoothly, and was satisfied with my stewardship. I remained there until the next Spring, when I got word that my mother and brother were sick; I collected my wages, which was $15.80 a month, and went home. This was the turning point of my life.. making a decision against staying away from home permanently. My mother received me and treated me with greater kindness than she had ever shown before, for which I was grateful, --After my return -11- from the West, I was engaged in the regular routine of farming, clearing land, freighting, fighting flood, etc. During the next few years I became an expert oarsman. Owing to my great strength, and ability in handling oars, and boats, which I have not forgotten to this day -- I spent several winters on the Tenn., Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers, boating. Description of a great flood; .. On the Tennessee River during the winter of 1878, I think, that we had the highest flood that had ever been known up to that time. The waters rose thirty seven feet above normal. There was no dry land left in the Tennessee Valley. All kinds of domestic animals were either drowned or suffered so terribly from standing in the water so long that the hair slipped from their legs, and never grew back. Stranded stock often subsisted on bamboo leaves which were abundant in some places. It was not an uncommon thing to see dead stock hanging in the trees. Because of my superior ability as an oarsman, I was placed in charge of a life saving crew. I was on that for several weeks, without shelter, day or night, and many times without food. One morning early, just coming daylight, we could hear a man yelling, we looked out and saw a house floating down the river. We rowed out to the house, and saw the owner in the attic, with his head sticking out of a small window, calling for help. He had moved his family out onto dry land, three miles away, and his wife had sent him back to the house for something she had left in the attic. He had put his boat in the doorway and left it without tying, and the house left its foundation and was floating down the river. He hurried down, only to find that his boat had floated out of the door and was gone. After the flood had subsided, and the land dried sufficiently, the people would go back, and take up the regular routine as if nothing had happened. DESCRIPTION OF A STAVE BOAT AND AN EPISODE One winter I worked on a stave boat, which, by the way had been loaded in the Tenn. River by negros, for transportation to New Orleans. The boat was 250 ft. long by 80 ft. wide and was loaded to a depth of twelve ft. There were twelve men on board, I was first mate. (A Stave is a piece of split white oak, the ones we had were five feet long, six inches wide and three inches thick) Early one morning we were passing the little town of Cairo, 111. This was about 1879. On our way down the Mississippi River, I had been on shift all night while the captain and pilot slept. He asked me to take a couple of men and go ashore to buy a dressed hog, as we were about out of meat. I went ashore and found the only butcher shop in town, and the only hog they had was a live one. The butcher said he had the water hot, and a couple of niggers ready to dress the hog; if we would wait, which we did. When it was dressed the negros carried it down through deep mud, and put it in the boat. I followed on -12- board and as it was my bedtime, I went to bed. Cairo, at the time, had less than a dozen buildings, and one could hardly get from one building to another because of the deep mud. It rained almost constantly during the winter, and early Spring. We traveled down the Mississippi River, and nearing New Orleans, the boat was met by a tug boat, which towed us into the New Orleans' dock, along side a vessel, into which the staves were to be transferred. The method of unloading was slow and almost endless. A negro would pick up a stave passing it to another and so on, until it had reached its resting place in the ship which was to take the load to France.. to make wine barrels ........ Sometime later (about 40 years..) I was seated on a rock in the Yellowstone Park, in Idaho, watching 'Old Faithful', a geyser, making her wonderful play, which she did every seventy minutes. Another man and lady were sitting on another rock close by; and when the "play" was over we were soon engaged in conversation. He asked me where I was from.. I told him "from the State of Idaho.". He told me he was from the city of Cairo, Ill., and asked me if I had ever been there, I said "Yes", and related the circumstances of the hog. He listened with great interest, and when I had finished, he reached out his hand and said "I was the man who sold you that hog." I said "Well, you don't look like that man, as that man was young and slender, who sold me that hog." He had grown to weigh over 200 lbs., but he certainly remembered the hog deal... A strange coincidence. I have mentioned some of the heartbreaking things that entered into my boyhood days; and now I will tell some things of the brighter side of my life: We were dependent upon ourselves, for whatever amusements we had. Some of the games we played were: baseball, cat ball, town ball, bull pen, horseshoe, etc. There was also community dancing in which all took part. There was a great deal of competition among the boys.. in racing. We took pride in winning and I was never beaten. I grew up to be very active and strong, and did perform many feats of strength such as wrestling, lifting, etc. I could make a standing lift of 600 lbs. I owned several dogs at different times, that were good at hunting deer, coon, possum, wild hogs, etc. The hunting of wild hogs created a great deal of excitement. There were a great many of them in the woods and there were some tame hogs that had gone wild.. as the country was covered with many kinds of timber, other than that which had been cleared by the homesteaders, for farming... which consisted mostly of corn, cotton, and peanuts..gubber, as they were commonly called. There were many different methods adopted to catch those wild hogs; one we used to employ at times, was to build a trap of logs, about 20 ft. square and 5 ft. high out in the dense woods, putting corn inside and digging a deep ditch or -13- - trench extending out from under the building and to some distance away. The hogs would find their way into the trap, at night, through the trench. We could sometimes find 30 or 40 of different sizes. The men would some times club together, a half dozen or more.. for the purpose of obtaining their winter's meat, they would ear mark the younger ones and turn them loose, personal claims were usually respected.. then catch and kill all that were fat enough for meat, taking them home to be dressed, etc. Hams and sides were salted and smoked, sausage and head cheese were made of the heads and smaller pieces of the meat. Lard was also rendered from the fat.. to be used for cooking. Later on many a pot of good fat ribs and back bones were stewed, and dumplings made.. which formed the main dish for many good meals. TRUE STORY I was able to "hog tie" any wild hog, with the help of my dogs, Brag and Scott. I will relate one incident that occurred when I was about sixteen years of age; I had gone to the mill for something or another.. a man came along and said that he had seen a wild boar swim the lake just above the mill. He said he thought that if I would get my dogs, and go to the shore, I might capture it, as it was hiding in some bulrushes near the shore. I felt sure that with the assistance of these dogs, I could capture any wild hog living.. as they were absolutely dependable. I went up near where the hog was supposed to be.. but I couldn't see him as he was lying down in the mud, with the rushes about six ft. high and several feet in depth.. extending along the shore of the lake. I sent the two dogs into the bulrushes where they soon located him; and when I heard the noise of the hog grinding his tusks I yelled "catch him" and they did. When I was sure that they had a good hold on him, I went in where they were. One dog had him by a hind leg, and the other had him by one ear and the side of his head. I said "Hold him" and they did. He fought viciously, trying to hit them with his tusks, but that was impossible, as they had him helpless in the mud, and couldn't turn around to strike them. I got in, up against the back of the hog with my knees, and I reached over and got hold of his front leg, raising it so high that the other leg was almost off the ground, then I kicked one hind foot off the ground, and he fell on his side, with his back towards me; I knelt on him still holding the front leg, and when I proceeded to tie him up with the rope that I had brought for the purpose.. mixed up as I was with the mud and bulrushes and only being able to hold it with one hand, and the hand was employed with holding his other leg. I lost my hold on the rope, it had gotten over by his head, and When I reached for it, he struck me with his tusks, one of which took effect -14- in my wrist, making a very deep ugly wound. I continued the work of tying him until he was helpless. I also made one end fast to a small tree, making doubly sure of his safety. The wound was very painful, and bled a great deal. I must have fainted, as I found myself lying by the side of the hog in the mud, but he was helpless. I went to a house not far away, where I found a team already hooked up to a wagon; I told the boy in charge of the team of my plight, and got my wound dressed. The boy and I went back and loaded the hog in the wagon, took him home to my house,, I went to the blacksmith shop close by and got a hammer and cold chisel, which I used to cut off the tusks, which were fully four inches long, sticking out on either side of his mouth. He weighed in the neighborhood of 200 lbs. We unloaded him into a pen, in which there were bushes, under which he hid during the daytime, only coming out for his food at night. We fed him for a couple of months, and he got very fat. We killed him and obtained a great amount of lard. I still have the scar on my wrist and when one of my daughters, Rena, asked me the cause of it.. I told this story. There were very few people able to appreciate the pride I had in my dogs. They were utterly dependable. All the time I was tying the wild boar, I talked to them, saying "Hold him Brag" and he would wave his tail, as much as to say"I understand", then I would say "Hang on Scott", and he would answer by wagging his tail. They fully understood me and obeyed. I was about three quarters of an hour tying that hog, and if for one instant the dogs had let go, I would have been killed.... so much for the wild boar story,... P.C. Here is another phase of the situation: If I had failed to catch the boar, and lived to tell the tale, I would have been laughed at forever,. I could never have lived it down, as it would have been disgraceful.. for another great reason.. It was me and I was expected to do just such jobs as that. If the man had happened to tell anyone else about it, he would have offered to help, or make suggestions; but he knew from experience, that I could do it very well, alone with the help of my dogs. Brag knew just as well who were my friends, as I did. If my friends came he would wag his tail and welcome them, but if someone else came he would meet them at some distance from the house, and warn them to stop, they always respected the warning. When someone about the place spoke to him he would immediately return to the house remaining close enough to take a hand in whatever might come up. He was large and black with a white breast. The ensuing years were filled with many and varied experiences, some of which I will relate, by request, to fill in this biography. As stated previously in this history, my mother was a Cumberland Presbyterian, and very devoted to her faith; she wanted me to become a Presbyterian Minister, but I wasn't converted to that idea; there was -15- nothing satisfying that I could see in the confusion of many existing religions. I sang in their choir, assisted in their socials, etc. The chorister was an infidel, but a fine musician; he was paid a salary to conduct the singing, which he did for a long time very satisfactorily; but when he opened up a dance hall, he was discharged; as dancing was an almost unpardonable sin. By the way, the chorister made a wonderful success of his dancing school, and had a decidedly bigger attendance than the preacher who was a big lazy no account fellow, often too lazy to come to preaching. It was at this time that Edison had perfected his first Phonograph, and the chorister suggested that they buy one, which they did.. At the cost of 400 dollars, of which I was assessed 20 dollars, which I paid. It was a crude looking thing made of wood and poorly finished. The records were made of tin foil, spread over a wooden cylinder, and fastened there for use. It did the preaching as well as the singing. It was used for all kinds of gatherings, including weddings and funerals. The sermons from the instrument were really the best we had. The doctrinal part was absolutely false, and I knew it. Preaching "Infant Damnation, and Sprinkling" instead of burial in the water, as the bible teaches it, etc., etc. I was not a member of the church, just a member of the choir. One day I was working for an old gentlemen living close by, and he sent me to plow the garden of the resident minister, and plant a lot of sweet potato cuttings,. I plowed the garden and got the land ready for planting. I tied the team up and started planting the potatoes. The day was very hot, and the hour for eating was long past. I was very hungry. Most of the time the big lazy preacher sat on the porch reading a yellow backed novel. I became so thoroughly disgusted, that I fed the rest of the cuttings to some starved pigs in a pen close by; and hooked up the team and went home. I told Mr. Kade what had happened. He made no comment, as he was one of the preacher's right hand men. For about twenty five years I had lived with my mother and brother, William Thomas, on a farm in Wayne County, Tenn. I had a disposition to see people, rather than being selfishly inclined and was not for self alone. Although I differed in my religious beliefs very materially, I had ideas on religious subjects that seemed foreign and different from the ordinary thought. I found myself often strongly opposed by religious people; and also among my relatives by going counter to their way of thinking and acting in many ways; so consequently there wasn't the warmest of feelings existing among us, yet I seemed dependable; at least, they thought so. I found myself respected very highly by the best people in the community. -16- Once I went to borrow five hundred dollars from an old man. I didn't have a thing to offer for security, but without asking me a question, he counted out the $500.00 and handed it to me. When I offered him a note, (I was only a boy in my teens), he placed his hand on my shoulder and said "My boy, I wouldn't accept that for fear that your dead father would come back out of his grave and condemn me." PART 11 (Comment: Some of the following experiences were given with great reluctance, as they were very sacred to him. He requested the writer to make it clear that he had not in anyway sought to have them advertised or broadcast indiscriminately; as he had a very real fear that they might be cheapened in any manner, in the ears of those to whom they might come; but he justified himself by saying that, when the Prophet Joseph Smith saw the "Father and the Son", in answer to his prayer in the woods, that he didn't hesitate in telling of his vision; therefore, he related these manifestations as Faith promoting truths.) ----------- ---------- ---------- ---------- Later one beautiful Spring evening, after coming in from my day's work, I sat out under a cedar tree, waiting for the preparation of the evening meal. It was not yet dark, when a very striking looking personage walked up to our gate which was only a few feet away from where I was sitting and addressed me asking if he could spend the night at my home. I opened the gate and invited him in. By this time supper was ready. He impressed me as a remarkable person, but the fact hadn't fully appeared, until later in the evening. He sat down with us and partook of the meal. I noticed that he ate very little. He was a stranger in very deed, not the type of man that lived in that community, or that I had been acquainted with. His views were entirely different, his philosophy of life was new to me and yet very attractive. His manner of speaking seemed to fasten everything he said upon my very soul; not because of much speaking , but because of the new candor that seemed to be so full of meaning. Not only in his speaking did he seem new and strange, and different, but his appearance was different. His face was the color of wax, his hair as white as snow, his clothes, though plain were scrumptiously clean.. his shoes were clean and his hair was in good order. He seemed to want to talk rather than to visit, or stay all night. After a long and interesting evening, we retired. We arose quite early the next morning, and he started talking about a mocking bird that had been in that cedar tree for a number of years, and would start singing early in the morning and keep it up until the day grew warm. After we had talked -17- about the bird, and looked around, breakfast was announced. He inquired if we ever had prayer. I said "No, we didn't know how to pray or what to pray about." He didn't seem to think that was at all strange. He suggested that we have prayers that morning, and we knelt down. Then he prayed; the language he used in the prayer was such that it had a strange effect on me, although I didn't know what it all meant. He said,"Thank God for the privilege of taking part in the bringing forth of the Latter day work, Thank God for the mission assigned him in ushering in the great Latter day dispensation" and so forth. After we had spent a couple of hours conversing, he excused himself and left our home. Where he went or how he went, I never could learn. He was not seen by any of the neighbors, and when I told them of his visit, they laughed and made fun of me. Some time later, in relating this incident to some of the Mormon Elders they said he was either John, the Baptist, or one of the three Nephites spoken of in the Book of Mormon. (A true record of the Ancient people who inhabited this continent who came from Jerusalem about 600 yrs. before the birth of Christ, and perished about 400 AD. The record was buried in the Hill Cumorah in New York State by an Ancient Nephite Prophet 'Mormon' and delivered to the Latter Day Prophet Joseph Smith, by an angel, being returned to him when the translation was completed..(Ref. Chap. 28..3rd Nephi ..Book of Mormon. Referring to the three Nephites that were changed so they could remain upon the earth until Christ comes again.) In the Fall of the year 1881, about the month of October, a man called at my place and said that a couple of Mormon Elders were going to preach at my neighbor's place, a quarter of a mile away. Prior to this time some Elders had distributed "tracts" in the neighborhood.. and we had obtained one. When we read it, we recognized it as being the same thing that the remarkable old gentleman had been speaking about. Therefore, my mother, my sister Octavia, and myself went down with some neighbors to hear the preaching of the Elders that night. When the Elders arrived and were about to begin the meeting the lady of the house became violently possessed of devils. I'll not attempt to tell what she did or said, it was too bad to relate. The crowd became badly frightened. Near by there lived two bachelors who invited the Elders to come to their place and hold the meeting. That was one of the most impressive meetings that I ever attended in my life.... from that day to this; and yet there wasn't a great display of words. The Elders were Robert Spence of Montpelier, Idaho, and Daniel Bateman of Salt Lake City, Utah. The room where the meeting was held was the living room of a farm house. I got a seat near the middle of the room, on the floor, which was practically filled with people. After the meeting the Elders were invited out to spend the night. Their talk was on the same order as the talk of the old gentleman above referred to. Elder Spence told me in after years, that he told his companion.."That some Mormon Elder would Wet my hair yet." All this time I kept connecting up the sermons... the tracts and the words that the visitor had spoken to me. The next Spring, I was in the field plowing when four men came walking through the field; and they introduced themselves as "Mormon Elders" an their way to Conference. They had just gotten out of a flat bottomed boat and tied it up near by. They told me to keep the boat which I did. They then asked where they could get a drink of water and I told them 'At the house'. They went up there for that purpose and got a drink from a cool clear spring. I quit work early and found that they had gone on to my neighbors, who was the father-in-law of the lady who had been possessed of 'devils' before mentioned; where they had made arrangements to preach that night. My mother, sister and I had dinner and went over to hear them preach. Their efforts that night were a complete success, and I think that every one in the house became converted. We invited two of the Elders to stay at our house that night. They were Joseph Thatcher of Logan Utah, and Richard Camp from Utah. We sat up talking until 2 am on the principles of the new Restored Gospel and the Book of Mormon. It was the second time they had visited us. We invited them to come again and they with others came frequently. Pretty soon I began to take 'stock' and see just where I had gotten to; and I found myself so completely hedged around about that there was no means of escape at all.. the ground of truth had been completely covered. I was looking for an honest way out of it.. if there was one; but I found none, so was willing to submit that I had heard the true Gospel. (My sister, Octavia Braley was baptized by Richard Camp, and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on June 4, 1882 in Wayne Co.,Tenn.) ************************** VISION Up to this time I had no very striking witness, nothing entirely satisfactory at least. The Elders stayed all night, and I hadn't slept, but I went to work in the field.. While I was cultivating my crop in the fore noon, I resolved to pray for a divine manifestation in connection with the experiences I had had already. I must say that I was an amateur in that kind of thing, but I tackled it anyway, having faith. I seemed to lose track of things about me and was carried away into a state, for which I have no name. I was transported from where I was, across the broad Kansas plains, deserted and burnt, over the Rocky Mountains into the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, occupied then -19- by the Saints, Pioneers and their families; refugees from the Eastern States driven out by armed mob forces, for their religious convictions. I saw them happy and some what prosperous as I went about. Later I saw them become very lean, I saw the church in dire trouble, I saw the leaders hunter and persecuted; and I wept, as I saw what they did. I saw the hell hounds, the U.S. had sent there, throw them in to prison, I saw the church robbed and hated. Later, I saw a change come over them, a great change; the fields became white to harvest, and there was plenty everywhere. Confidence was restored, the Elders of the church had political positions thrust upon them; and I saw the church overcome her adversaries, and come into her own. I saw Salt Lake City and her beautiful Temple. It was about 5 pm when I discovered that I had been there working all day without food or water for my self and horse, and had been plowing all day. I was at the point of exhaustion, and unhooked my horse and went home. And thus practically the first prayer I had addressed to Almighty God, had been answered in very deed. PERSECUTION BEGAN I suffered constant persecution from friends and relatives, from the time it came known that I was investigating the Gospel. I was called a 'sinner' and no treatment was too severe. I will mention one instance: There was a large Revival Camp meeting held in the neighborhood, people gettin' religion. I didn't attend, but went about attending to the daily duties at home. I missed some of my stock, and conducted an extensive search for them, but was unsuccessful in finding them. Finally sometime later, a neighbor asked me if I was still looking for them. I said 'yes'. He told me, "If you will look behind a certain blacksmith shop, you will find what is left of them." I looked and found the hides where they had been hidden when the animals had been killed to supply meat for the barbecue ..to feed the people attending the Revival Meeting. I told him that I would much rather have the animals. He laughed and said, "They needed the meat, and you are a sinner anyway." HEALING I witnessed a case of healing in the family, before I joined the church. I was working on a public highway, for poll tax; when I went to work in the morning, my sister's little boy John was very sick with what appeared to be malarial fever. She asked me to go to get a doctor for the little fellow. In the afternoon I asked the man in charge to allow me to leave. He said,"Yes, anytime you wish." I got over the fence, went the nearest way home through some farms. When I got there I saw John standing by the table eating... and appeared to be perfectly well. When I inquired into the matter, my sister, Octavia said that some Mormon Elders had been there and had administered to him a short time before, and he was immediately healed. I asked where the Elders were, and she said they had gone down to the river fishing. When I found them, they had a nice bunch of fish and a soft shelled turtle. Imagine my feelings and my thoughts at that time; two ordinary looking gentlemen with a few appropriate words, given by the proper authority, raised a boy from a very sick bed.. instantly. And now I find them fishing in the river. I never mentioned the case of the healing to them neither did they mention it to me. BAPTISM When I first heard the Gospel, I found that it was just what I had been looking for these many years. It satisfied me in every way - it satisfied the hunger that I had always felt - when thinking about religion. My mother and I applied for baptism, and were baptized on Nov. 1st, 1883- in one of the tributaries of the Tennessee River - by Elder Joshua Hawkes, of Franklin, Idaho, by immersion. The only method which Christ accepted and taught while and during His life on this Earth. PROPHESY FULFILLED During the period of my conversion, the spirit of gathering rested upon me in great abundance, I began to plan to dispose of my property there in Wayne County, Tennessee to obtain the necessary means to make the trip to the West, to found a new home in a strange land - among a strange people, where I could find an asylum of rest, enjoyment and contentment of mind. After my baptism, I continued my efforts to dispose of my farm -- crops -- and animals - cows - horses and mules; it seemed impossible, and the way looked very dark - indeed. Elder Hawkes, who baptized us, and was visiting with us at the time said, "If you will labor and be faithful - up to the last moment, I promise you in the Name of Israel's God, that you shall have the money." We all stood out in the door yard - the steamboat that was to take us on our way to Zion, had come into hearing; we heard it whistle four miles away. The man that I had hired to carry our things to the boat was there, and we had already loaded some of the boxes into the wagon - still no money for the trip. Just then a Mr. Baker rode up on horse back and addressed me with a very pleasant "Good morning, Mr. Braly" and said, "I hear that you have some horses and mules for sale." I said, "I have, Mr. Baker." He said, "I would like to see them." I said, "There they are in the corral." He said,"What do you want for them?" I told him the price, and without returning a word - he pulled a roll of bills from his pocket and counted out the amount mentioned - and gave it to me. -21- Elder Hawkes put his hand on my shoulder and said, "There's the word of the Lord fulfilled; put the rest of the things in the wagon and be on your way." This I did - leaving my house and farm as it stood. After I had received the money, I walked back with Elder Hawkes - to where the group stood- with the money in my hands. The group consisted of my mother and my sister, Octavia and her three children; we were all in tears, the joy and peace and gladness that came over me that day, has remained with me more or less until this day; it is worth more than anything else in the world to me. (By the way- one of those horses that Mr. Baker bought of me, brought him more than the whole lot had cost him- as I told him it would at the time- for the horses were of excellent stock; one of them sold for $1.00 a pound.) EMIGRATION TO IDAHO We caught the boat- the Robert E. Lee- Just in time to get aboard, at New Era, and were on our way to Zion. Leaving the boat at St. Louis, and boarding a Western bound train- followed almost the same track- that was made by the Pioneer Saints on their history making exodus to the West, gave a great thrill to me- so much so- that during the night I would peer out into the darkness, in order to get a glimpse of that historic trail- which appeared familiar to me- because of the daytime vision I had while plowing in the field in Tenn. We transferred to another train at Pueblo, Colo. for Salt Lake City, Utah, arriving there on Nov. 21, 1883. MEET DANIEL H. WELLS We had been on our way to the West for several days, and I had been without a shave. I went into a barber shop near where I was staying for the night. I got a seat near an elderly man- and he soon engaged me in conversation. He could evidently tell that I was a back woodsman- and a stranger. I told him a little bit of where I came from, and why I was there. We soon took our turn, got shaved and were through about the same time. He put on his overcoat, and came to where I was standing; he invited me to go home with him for dinner, which I gladly accepted. I was seated directly across the table from where he sat. Then followed a great spiritual experience to me. The inspiration that I got from him, which seemed to emanate or flow from his whole being- while he told the story of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and his acquaintance with him- has rarely been equaled. His story was short, but what it meant to me was very valuable. His eyes were fixed upon me, and his face bore unmistakable evidence of inspiration from the Lord. Brother Wells told me that the Prophet had been dragged into his court in Nauvoo-, a great number of times- on trumped up charges- none of which -22- had ever been sustained. (Wells was a District Judge at this time.) He said, "It was then that he became interested in Mormonism." His court was used to help carry out mob law, and when it failed to be used for that purpose, the mobocrats turned on him. He related many remarkable experiences - and thus I spent one of the most remarkable evenings of my life. I went back to where we were stopping for the night, and undertook to tell my mother and sister the story told me; this I was unable to do to my satisfaction- and have never been able to tell it just as it was- because it was so full of meaning to me, and impossible for me to describe. I have refrained from telling this story, except in a very few instances- and then I have sometimes feared that I had "Cast Pearl before swine." as people would not appreciate its value to me. The next day- after my visit and dinner with Judge Wells- we left Salt Lake City for Franklin, Idaho, where we arrived on Nov. 22, 1883. FRANKLIN, IDAHO After a run over a narrow gage Railroad of 110 miles- which was finished to Franklin May 4th, 1874, we got off the train, in a heavy snow storm, and made our way to the house of Elder Hawkes, the man who baptized us, and where we were invited to stay until we found a house to live in. Franklin is located one mile north from the Utah line, and is the oldest town in the state of Idaho. We moved into what was known as the old Merrick house, consisting of four rooms, on main street- where we lived about two years. I arrived there with a very little cash, ($1.75) and our personal belongings. The first winter I was initiated into the 'occupation' of getting out timber from the mountains for firewood; I was taught how to make trails in very deep snow- sometimes 20 or 30 ft. deep, and slide great logs down the Mountains to where they could be loaded onto sleds -mostly home made from the timber at hand- and hauled into town. A very hard experience for one used to Tenn. climate; but - through faith and perseverance, we succeeded in getting through that first winter with a remarkable degree of health. MY FIRST HUNTING TRIP, IN IDAHO A short time after I arrived in Franklin, I was invited to go on a trip hunting prairie chickens; the snow was deep, and the air was clean and cold. I was sent one way, and all scattered out. I soon shot all my ammunition away, they were sitting and paid no attention to me as I sat shooting at them. I went back to the others and told them of my find, and said-that my gun was no good. The men came to where the birds could be seen and said, "Why they are a half a mile away"; such was my ability to judge distances, after living at sea level for so long. They asked me how far -23- it was to some mountains across the valley; and I said it might be two or three miles: They only laughed and said- "Those mountains are thirty miles away." In the early Spring of 1884, I rented the farm of Bishop L.P. Hatch- to care for while he went on a mission to England. ORDINATION TO PRIESTHOOD I was ordained a Teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood, on Aug. 10, 1884- by S. R. Parkinson- and was at once selected to be a Ward Teacher- which call I accepted with great joy. I labored faithfully in that capacity for some years. ORDINATION TO MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD On March 5, 1885- I was ordained an Elder by Thomas Durant- a member of the Bishop's Court. -- Some trouble arose between two brethren, in which a large sum of money was involved- one of the men being the Bishop's counselor- and could not act as such in his own case, therefore I was asked to act as counselor in this particular case. After the evidence on both sides had been heard- the Bishop suggested that we retire and prepare a verdict. I said, "If it would not be out of order, I would like to offer a suggestion." The Bishop said it would be all right. Then I suggested that the two brethren retire, instead of the Bishopric and make their own verdict. They agreed, and when they had been gone about twenty minutes, they returned with their arms about each other- beaming with happiness. They had reached a decision- thus saving the Bishopric a very unpleasant task. (I had mentioned previously, that because of the bitter feeling and persecutions of friends and relatives, that I had been unable to sell my home and farm property- but had to move out, leaving the crops in the field. Later I was surprised to receive a letter asking for Power of Attorney, to be sent at once which I did-. But time passed and I heard nothing from the deal, and have never gotten any information as to the disposition of the property. Name not mentioned for personal reasons). COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE It was not long after my arrival in the West, that I began meeting the young people of the town; going to parties and walking home with some of the best girls in town, enjoying my self generally. During the summer of 1884, I made the acquaintance of an old gentleman, a pioneer of Franklin, Idaho- having been born in the state of Tenn. His name was Joseph Mayberry- and a bond of friendship grew up, between us. Later I met his daughter, Josephine- a young girl of about 18; and used to -24- accompany her to and from Church, socials and school- Occasionally- where she taught during the week both in and out of town. Our acquaintance ripened into mutual friendship and love, which resulted in our marriage on Jan. 6, 1886 - in the Logan, Utah Temple. The ceremony was performed by Mariner W. Merrill- an Apostle. We passed through the many vicissitudes of life, that ordinarily falls to the lot of men and women; joy and sorrow, happiness and suffering- sickness and death- but through it all, we have never lost our affection for each other. Our first child-- a daughter ------ ------- Myrtle Mayberry Braley- was born on Oct. 22-1886- in Franklin, Idaho. She was married at an early age- 17- to Newton Jesse Jones- a grandson of Judge Baskin- of Salt Lake City. She had a good grade school education, was studious, cultured and beautiful. She was the mother of two children Leah B. Jones -born Mar. 11-1904- Whitney, Idaho. Married George Porter, lives in North Berkeley, California. Newton J. Jones - born April 16-1909- Blackfoot, Idaho. Married Virginia Beacham, of Ala. One child- Joy Allyn- born June 24-1938- Hollywood, Calif, Newton J. is connected with Hollywood Studios. Myrtle was divorced 1922- died of heart trouble- June-7-1939, Berkeley, Calif. Age 53. Remains at Chapel of the Chimes, Oakland, California. Our second child- a Son- LaFayette M. Born- April 22-1888- Franklin, Idaho. Died Aug. 29-1889 Franklin, Idaho. Was 16 months- 7 days old. RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION During the latter part of the 80's and early part of the 90's persecution raged against all church members to such an extent, that all Mormons were disfranchised by the Legislature passing an act for that purpose. During this time we were advised by the Stake President- Geo. C. Parkinson, of Preston, Idaho- to have our names withdrawn from the record of church membership- that we might vote. The Registrar- Geo. Fordham- a non-member lived about two miles North of Franklin, Idaho. I with others went there- to his home- and told him that we had come to register: he drew a gun on us- and said that we just had time to get away from there, and that we had better hurry- and we did. We offered to sign the 'Affidavit' of Application for registration; which was in part as follows: 10th Question: Are you a member of the order or organization in this country- commonly known as the Mormon Church, or Brighamite Branch of the Mormon Church: Ans. No. -- 11 Question: Does not the Mormon Church or organization practice Bigamy or Polygamy, or plural or Celestial marriage- as a doctrinal rite of such organization? Ans. No. (As the Manifesto had been issued prior to this time.) -26- MISSIONARY AND SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES From the time that I was converted to the Latter-Day religion- Mormonism- I entertained a great desire to be instrumental in bringing to others that great happiness and satisfaction that had come to me- in the perfect belief and confidence that had grown into my very soul- that I had espoused the only true religion on the face of the earth; restored in the last days for the salvation of mankind embracing all truth- with authority given by the possession of the Holy Priesthood, restored to earth by the Ancient Apostles- Peter, James and John- who labored with Christ while He was on this earth- and who are resurrected beings; conferring that Priesthood and Authority- they held, on Joseph Smith by the 'Laying on of Hands' - and he in turn conferring that Priesthood and Authority on others, who had become members of the church- through baptism, by one having Authority- and had proven worthy through living the principles of the restored Gospel. (I had been ordained to the different offices of the Aaronic Priesthood- and held the office of Elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood.) I received my first mission call from the then President of the Church- Wilford Woodruff, on August 17, 1893, in a letter from Box 'B' - Salt Lake City- in which he said; "You are called to go on a Mission to the Southern States. Be in Salt Lake City on Sept. 22, 1893." Signed Wilford Woodruff, Geo. Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith, Presidency The Call had come- I felt honored in accepting- which I did at once. Immediate preparations were made; by renting the farm- disposing of products to obtain the necessary means for my transportation to the Mission field; as all Missionaries must provide their own means of support while away. This entailed sacrifices which were necessary both for my family and myself. I left home on Sept. 21, 1893 for Salt Lake City, where I was 'Set Apart' for my Mission to the Southern States, and Ordained a 'Seventy' on Sept. 22- by Abraham H. Cannon- of the Council of the Twelve Apostles. In this ordination and blessing he said:- "Those who seek to oppose you shall be confounded, and the Lord will over-rule His power in your deliverance from the hands of your enemies; even beyond that which you have ever anticipated, and the devices for your destruction shall fail; and you shall be preserved from harm and accident- through your faithfulness. You shall be a useful instrument after your mission, and shall do much good in the future. We bless you with every blessing and gift that your heart can desire in righteousness- or that is necessary for you to have."- This is only in part of the many things said at the time. - 27- Partial ---- fac-simile, of Content. Seventy's *********LICENSE HOLINESS to the LORD Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. CERTIFICATE --- copy. This certifies that Gaston L. Braley (Braly) was ordained one of the Seventy Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints- by Abraham H. Cannon- on the 22 - day of Sept., A.D. 1893 - and is therefore Authorized to officiate in all the duties pertaining to said office and calling. By order of the Council of the First Seven Presidents of the Seventy's, this 30 day of September, A.D. 1893.... S. B. Young, Presiding. Attest ---- J. M. Whitaker- clerk --------------------------------- HOLINESS to the LORD Missionary Certificate. ---------- To all persons to who this letter shall come: This certifies that the bearer, Elder Gaston LaFayette Braley is in full fellowship with the CHURCH of JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, and by the General Authorities of the Church has been duly appointed to a Mission to the Southern States to -PREACH the GOSPEL - and administer in all there-of pertaining to his office. And we invite all men to give heed to his teachings and councils as a man of God, sent to open to them the door of Life and Salvation- and assist him in his travels, in whatsoever things he may need. And we pray God, the ETERNAL FATHER, to bless Elder Braley- and all who receive him, and administer to his comfort, with the blessings of Heaven and Earth, for all time and Eternity, in the name of JESUS CHRIST. AMEN. Signed at Salt Lake City, Territory of Utah. Sept. 22-1893, in behalf of said church. Wilford Woodruff - Pres't, Geo. C. Cannon - Joseph F. Smith - councilors (First Presidency.) Leaves for Mission Field On Sept. 23-1893, I left Salt Lake City, Utah, with a group of other Elder, who were going to different parts of the world, to preach the Gospel, as ordained missionaries. On the way I visited the World's Fair at Chicago, -28- Ill. and spent several days there. From there I went to Chattanooga, Tenn. the head-quarters of the Southern States Mission, remaining there for several days. Was sent from there to North Georgia for a short time, then to South Carolina- where I met my first companion- Albert P. Berry (Uncle to the one martyred later in Tenn.) We traveled a few weeks- until he was released to return to his home, having been in the mission field for over two years. We spent the time visiting the Saints in those parts. When he left for his home- I started laboring with Elder W. E. Cowley- as a missionary companion. Not long after Elder Cowley and I went into a new district, where there had never been any Mormon Elders, we found the people very bitter towards us. Many times we could get no place to stay, or anything to eat. We were very tired and hungry at times. One morning after sitting under our umbrella all night, in a heavy rain storm, we made our way to the city of Camden, and went into a hotel where we expected to get something to eat there; he suggested that we go to some other place; but as it was still raining very hard- we decided to order something there, which we did. POISONED When the meal was ready, a tall lean lady came to the door of the waiting room, said we could eat- but we must pay for the meal before eating, We paid her- although it took every cent of money we had. The woman disap- peared, we never saw her again. After eating a portion of the food we both became aware that we had been poisoned. We went out on to the back porch; I was able to disgorge the food that I had eaten, without feeling sick or uneasy. My companion's face was snow white, and he felt very much concerned but recovered without any serious effect. The food that I had disgorged appeared to be like liver- full of blood. We went out on the front porch where Elder Barry was sitting, and he said "I felt impressed that you brethren should not eat here."We walked out of town- about three miles to where there were some friends- the McClendens. Our friend told us that he would go into the city, and institute a search for the woman; he did this- but she was never located. Soon after this I was sent to labor with Jacob Tanner. We were travel- ing one day on our way to the Post Office and met a gentleman on the road, who introduced himself as a preacher- and said that he had been hunting for us for several days. He informed us that his father had a church, and a congregation; and had appointed a week in which to serve the Lord every day and every night- and wanted us to come and help him in that week's service. We gladly accepted his invitation. The old Gentleman met us with out stretched hands, and made us very welcome. Then the Week's service began. -29- It was marked with many impressive experiences to us. As the week's preaching went on- the old preacher's kindness seemed to fade- more or less- when the congregation- or a part of it began to be very friendly to us, and had the spirit of investigation come upon them very strong; which was against the preacher's feelings. The young preacher applied for baptism- but reconsidered the matter. We did, however, baptize his wife, and as many others as we cared to- about 12 in all - -------- An Instant Healing After the week's services were finished- we returned to our tracting and visiting duties. During the week I had become very ill with Malaria. We had been spending the day with some friends about three miles from the Church- where we were holding evening services. We started walking there and I became so sick that I could go no farther; I excused myself and staggered off the road some distance, where I knelt down, and after explain- ing to the Lord, in a few words, why I was there- and my desires to continue my work there, the sickness which had afflicted me- passed away instantly; and I arose from my knees with joy unspeakable- and proceeded on my way, and caught up with the company. I spoke for an hour and a quarter on the "Divine Mission of Joseph Smith"- and the Church that he had been instrumental in giving to the world. After finishing the services there- we again returned to our tracting and visiting duties, on our way to other friends, where we had previously stopped. ------------------ Daisy Roof Healed. We reached the home of Mr. Roof one day, and we found him standing in front of his house, holding a mule- with a saddle on. His wife and some of the children were also standing in the dooryard with him. He told us that he was just starting out to look for us, to get us to come and pray for Daisy, their little 12 year old daughter- who weighed but thirty pounds Her mother said that she had been born with kidney trouble; several doctors had treated her without good results. One doctor had been there that day, and said he wouldn't come again, as it was of no use- said she could live but a very short time. We were very hungry and tired. After partaking of refreshments and resting for a time- we administered to Daisy- by the Power of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood in us vested- we commanded the destroyer to leave, and promised her health and strength. She immedi- ately fell into a deep-peaceful sleep of several hours. Upon awakening- she sat up to the table and ate a hearty meal- something she had never done in her life. After eating- she took up the Bible, and,,read several passages ?rom that hour she was sound and well; and within a very short time she grew to weigh ninety pounds. We baptized the family and a number of the -30- relatives. ----- Some years later- she with the parents visited me in Franklin, Idaho. ----------------- ---- Arrested by a Mob. We continued our tracting again. while on our way, we stopped at a Mr. Sloan's house- we had baptized him previously. In the morning, a man drove up to the house and introduced himself as an officer, and said he had a warrant for our arrest. We submitted to the arrest and went with him in a wagon to a Mr. Taylor- living several miles away, who said he was a Justice of the Peace. There were 16 men there when we arrived, from there we drove with the party, about two miles through a dense forest, to an old abandoned cabin. I should say 'dilapidated'- as the Judge held his court there. (Description from the Columbia Journal- by a reporter) It was a dingy old hut- with a large fireplace at one end. Close by was the Justice's desk- an empty flour barrel- with one end knocked out. His seat was an old wooden stool. The floor was all gone- and most of the roof. There was a large Magnolia tree standing near by, and the air was fragrant with perfume. My companion at this time was Elder Alvin Smith- youngest son of Patriarch, John Smith. We went into the cabin when ordered to do so by the Justice, and were seated on a log which lay across the cabin where the floor had been, The 16 men above referred to, seemed to be excited; they milled around in and out of the cabin. The Justice seemed to be confused; he had some leaves from an old law book, which he carried in a basket on his arm. I asked him what the charges were, if anything, and if so- please read the charge. He didn't seem to have any Charge, but read from one of the leaves- from the old law book which forbade Vagrancy, which also provided that a person having fifty cents could not be found guilty of vagrancy. The last part he did not read- but he promptly assessed a fine of 25.00 dollars against each of us. As I was the first one sentenced I exhibited $25.00 that my wife had sent me to buy a new suit of clothes, but it did no good. I told them that we would not pay a fine as we were not guilty of any crime. A man in the group stood up and said he was a minister, and said that the whole country had been annoyed by our presence; and that we were guilty of vagrancy for we had stopped at his house some- time before and asked for entertainment. The excitement among the men became intense at this time; One of the men had a gun and the others had clubs. I had proven beyond a doubt that I was a LICENSED MINISTER of the GOSPEL- and had sufficient money to pay my expenses. The Justice then asked the accuser if he had anything more to say. He arose and said we had no right in the country, and if we did not leave, his men would put -31- us out in a hurry. I had already pleaded my own case; but the Justice smiled and imposed the fine. He insisted that it be Paid or we would be taken before the Court in general session, in the city of Columbia, S. C. (It was rumored later, in the neighborhood, that the mob had intended to murder us, but their hearts failed.) We got into the wagon and, surrounded by the mob on horse back, we were driven to Columbia, the capital of the state of South Carolina, and were taken to jail. The Jailer refused to receive us without commitment papers. The officer who arrested us went off somewhere and had the papers made out. We were put in jail and like Paul and Silas of old, were thrown into an inner cell, with three condemned men. We had some conversation with the jailer through the bars. He very proudly informed me that he was a 'Presbyterian'. I told him I thought he was, before he told me. He asked me why I thought so, and I said: "Because of the fact, that you are on the outside, and I am on the inside of the jail." ----------------- IN PRISON I told the jailer that I was happy to be counted worthy of the honor of being thrown into jail, into an inner cell because of my innocence of any crime. There were three condemned men in the cell-- two black and one white.-- The white man said that he had entertained the Elders many times while at home. He had been sentenced to hang for starting a turpentine fire among the turpentine trees. (This was punishable by death) He said he was innocent, and I promised him he would be a free man. He later proved himself innocent and gained his freedom. One of the black men was under sentence of death for murder, all there was against him was that he was minus a toe, I also promised him that he would be free. He was about 60 years old. Just before the date of his execution, another negro got religion, and confessed to committing the murder; the evidence against him was conclusive and he was executed. The old negro went free. The newspapers made a great deal of capital out of what had happened to us, much of what was untrue. The next morning after our arrival in jail, a friend of ours, a Mr. Bowers, came in and furnished bail for our release, until the District Court sat. We were released at that time and went with Mr. Bowers to get an attorney to represent us. We had some difficulty to get a man who was willing to take the case on the terms that we wanted. After some time spent, Mr. Bowers introduced us to a Mr. McMasters, who was a member of the State Senate, and possibly the leading criminal lawyer of the State. We engaged him to represent us in the Court for $50.00. 1 gave him $20.00 that my wife had sent me from home. He looked at me and said; -32- "Mr. Braley, the promise of a Mormon to me is worth 100 cents on the dollar as they have never fallen down on one of their obligations to me". I had promised to pay him the remainder as soon as I could get it from home. The session of the Court was 3 months away, in which we were to be tried. We went into the city once a week to get our mail, and we would occasionally drop into our attorney's office. He became very friendly, and very interested in us, so much so that he invited us to visit his father's home. He being very old. We were introduced to his father and mother and a maiden sister. They were old time aristocrats of the South, and not easy to approach. THE TRIAL The time came for our trial- a very spectacular affair it was indeed. It was a very warm day in the month of June 1895, hundreds of the so called Christians of the country round about were in attendance. The court room was packed to the door, and many were unable to obtain admittance, but remained outside. The occasion meant much to us; if that High Court ruled against us, very likely every Elder in the country would be arrested for 'Vagrancy'. But that was not to be so. That was the most tense hour of all my life; as the weight of the whole question seemed to rest on me. The Court was called to order: the clerk stood up---and read the charge against us. The Judge was about to ask if 'We were represented by an attorney- when our attorney stood up with what appeared to be a majestic air, and informed the court that he had been retained by us for that purpose. It seemed that the courtroom and everything there about was electrified by his splendid personality and the presentation of the case in hand. He stood there for three quarters of an hour and his arguments were of such strength that many of the spectators as well as myself and companion were in tears, He continued; comparing us as we appeared there, with those crouching cowards sitting about us on the floor of the courthouse and the grounds, and said "Would to God that all the people present, were such as they are." Referred briefly to some of the Mormon persecutions as due to 'Just such cowards' as they were. Finally he dropped to his seat exhausted- perspiration coming from every pore of his body. FOUND 'NOT GUILTY' The District Attorney sat in front of the Court. He never rose from his seat; but asked the Court that the case be 'Stricken from the records'. The Court ordered the Clerk to 'strike the case from the records'. This was done, thereby putting a stop to our Elders being arrested for 'Vagrancy' in the South, while carrying on their 'Tracting' and 'Visiting' in the country districts at least. (Although there were many disagreeable things connected with this trouble, it was the means of bringing the Gospel before -33- many prominent people that might not otherwise have been interested.) When the trial was over, we stood up, and our attorney took us by the arm and walked with us down the aisle out of the courthouse, down the steps between the throngs of Methodists and Presbyterians and across the street into an 'Ice Cream Parlor' . We were seated at a table near the front window, where the mobocrats could see us. We sat there, ate ice cream and chatted for almost two hours, discussing the events that had just tran- spired and answering his questions about the church and kindred matters. Thus ended, what I believe was a very important chapter in the work of the Lord, in that part of the 'Vineyard'. The Newspapers, in general, had been very busy, and active in their discussions and reports of what had happened to us all through the trial. One, a Mr Gonzalees, was especially active and bitter in his many false statements, as editor of 'The State', concerning us and had repeatedly refused to sell or give us space to answer.(Ref.to editor will be made later). HEALINGS A short time after the trial, we went to the Post Office in Columbia to get our mail; and received a telegram from a Miss Sharp, who lived about 100 miles north, where I had formerly been, saying: her father, Mr. Lewis Sharp, had been taken very ill, and had been rushed to Columbia for treatment. He and his wife had taken rooms at the Columbia Hotel, which by the way was owned by the wife of Mr. Gonzalees, above referred to. Mr. Sharp was a well to do planter and merchant. He had been operated on that morning. His daughter asked us in her telegram to call and see him, which we did; and were shown to his room by his wife, though much against the Dr's. orders. He left the room as we entered. Mr. Sharp asked us to pray for him, which we did. We knelt down by his bedside, put our hands upon his head, pleading with the Lord to heal him, and raise him up, that he might have another chance to importune His Holy Name. The Lord did miraculously heal him. Soon after our prayer, one of the Drs. in attendance came into the room, and found Mr. Sharp half sitting up in bed, with his head resting on his hand, chatting and laughing. The doctor said that he expected to find him very much improved. Mr. Sharp said, "I certainly am." His good wife was filled with joy unspeakable. They were not members of the church at this time. It was getting near dinner time, and Mrs. Sharp invited us to stay for the meal with her; which we gladly did. A splendid lunch or dinner was prepared and set in Mrs. Gonzalees' apartment. When we entered, Mrs. Sharp introduced us to Mrs. Gonzalees. She said- "Mrs. Gonzalees said, "Where are you from?" He said, I am from Salt Lake City, Utah. Mrs. Gonzalees -34- threw up her hands and said, as if very much surprised, "I'll bet you are the two Mormon Elders that were in jail a short time ago." Elder Beaty said "No, not altogether; Elder Braly enjoyed that, but I was not present." Then turning to me, she took me by the hand, very warmly, and said, "I'll see to it that you get a chance to defend yourselves through the columns of the 'State' (The paper of which her husband was editor). She said, "I'll see that some things that have happened there, will never happen again." Mrs. Gonzalees was a Southern Aristocrat of the highest type. She told us that she owned the hotel, in her own right; and that we could make our home there, when in the city, without any cost to us. We had just seated ourselves at the table when Mr. Gonzalees walked in. We all stood up, as was the custom, when he came in, of the better class of people in the Southern States. Mrs. Gonzalees then introduced us, first introducing Elder Beaty. When she came to me, I said, "I have met Mr. Gonzalees quite often during the last few months." Mr. Gonzalees took a few bites of food and left. A very important State Gathering had been called by the Governor (for some purpose not mentioned here). A man by the name of Jim Tillman, who was a brother of the Governor at that time, Ben Tillman, was appointed as Representative to that important gathering. Mr. Gonzalees was very much opposed to such an appointment and went a long ways out of his way to express himself to that effect and also through the columns of his paper, about the matter. He made some very far fetched statements about Jim Tillman, personally, which could not be taken lightly by a man of his type. DEATH OF MR. GONZALEES. He armed himself and went in search of the editor, met him on his way to his office; and without uttering a word, drilled six ugly looking holes through the person of Mr. Gonzalees, left him lying on the side-dead. He then turned, walked a short distance down the street, met a policeman and handed him the smoking revolver and said "There is a job for you up there on the sidewalk." The next morning, a special term of the Superior Court was called, a jury was empaneled, and Mr. Tillman was tried; the Trial was short and simple. The jury, without leaving their seats, found a verdict of "Not Guilty". A crowd of men rushed up to where Mr. Tillman was sitting, and picked him up in the chair, and carried him up and down the street with cheers, such as were not common. Thus ended the vicious career of the editor of the "State". This man could write more dirty, mean things than any man I had ever known. He wrote the Elders up as bad as he had written Mr. Tillman and had received his reward. However, agreeable to the promise made by Mrs. Gonzalees to me at the dinner table, as mentioned above, I had the privilege of offering a defense through the columns of the 'State', both before and after the death of - him. - 35- As a result of this agitation, we later baptized quite a number of people in and around the City of Columbia, S.C. Mr. Sharp and his family, above referred to, joined the church, and assisted very materially in building a chapel in his neighborhood, which was burned down on the 3rd of July, by a Baptist Minister and his congre- gation; they having heard of and objected to the program that had been prepared by the church members, for the 4th of July celebration, the next day. Through the efforts of various elders, a group or about twenty families of Saints had colonized within a radius of his chapel. Later it was rebuilt on some privately owned land, and was left undisturbed. ANOTHER CASE OF HEALING My companion and I were called by Elias S. Kimball, president of the Southern States Mission, to make a trip of about 150 miles into the state of N.C. to investigate some stories that had come to him, about some people who had 'Joined some Elders' instead of the church, and who were engaged in raising a mob to drive other Elders out of the country, whenever they came in. While on our way we found some families of Saints with whom we were glad to stop and rest, as the weather was very hot there. We were awakened in the middle of the night by a Mr. Robert Poole, a member of the church, who lived some three miles away, and had heard of our arrival in that neighborhood. His wife was very ill with the 'Mumps' and wished us to come and administer to her. Brother Poole was a very faithful man and had been in the church practically all of his life. His wife was not a member and had never seen an Elder of the Latter-Day Saint Church. We went to his home and found his wife in a very critical condition, her face and neck was swollen to twice the natural size. We administered to her, by the power of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, which we held, placing our hands upon her head, and reviled the disease in the Name of Jesus Christ and implored the blessing of the Lord upon her. We immediately retired, staying there the remainder of the night. In the morning we were called for breakfast, and were not at all surprised to find Mrs. Poole perfectly normal in appearance and well. She had prepared breakfast for us. We - rested over Sunday, and baptized Mrs. Poole and two others who had applied for baptism. I had the privilege that day of preaching from the same pulpit that such distinguished Elders as John Morgan and B.H. Roberts, who was a noted writer on the principles of the Gospel, had in the past occupied. We continued our journey, and investigated the reports, and found them well founded. A meeting was called of the Saints in that vicinity as well as those we had come to investigate. Those who had been charged with wrong doing refused to attend, thus ignoring our request. We proceeded to "Disfellowship" (erase their names from the church records, thereby to 'cut -36- them off from the church') as directed by the President of the Mission, President Kimball. We began our journey back to South Carolina. On our way we stopped at the home of a Brother Patterson. He and his family were faithful members of the church. I had written to Elder Parker, who had previously been my companion, before going to N.C. and told him that I expected to reach the home of Brother Patterson at about this date. When I reached there I was very sick, had a high fever and a bad headache. I asked for a place to lie down, and found while lying there that I had what appeared to be a bad case of 'Mumps', contracted while at Brother Poole's. I was very much concerned over my discovery for two reasons. The first reason was that the Patterson's had a family of small children, and the second reason was that I had work to do. As I lay there I prayed earnestly for relief, that I might prosecute my labors in the Mission Field, and fell asleep. When I awoke I could look out of the window and see the road for some distance, as it ran through the forest. I saw two men approaching the house. I recognized them as Mormon Elders from a distance, as they wore the then used 'Prince Albert suit' that was an Elder's uniform worn in the mission field at this time, and I got up to meet them. I found myself completely recovered, sound and well. My companion at this time was Elder Oliver Shumway, of Franklin, Idaho. The Elders above referred to, were a couple of young men, fresh in the mission field, with whom I had traveled a few days. They had recently been sent into this mission field, and were poorly equipped or prepared to deliver much of an address to a congregation of investigators. They had come especially seeking me, as my present companion was also an inexperienced elder, to fill an appointment to preach that night in the city of Blacksburg, where they had been tracting. We made a fifteen mile walk that afternoon, and spike to a fine congregation of earnest seekers after truth. The next day being Sunday, we held three very interesting meetings; and before closing the meeting that night, I left other appointments for them to fill, which they did, very much to their joy and satisfaction. They organized a branch of the Church there. The following day we made another start toward our field of labor in S.C. On our way we were forced to stop at a small hotel. There I met some very affable gentlemen from N.C.. They were traveling salesmen. After some conversation, the gentlemen both retired. *** NEWS OF RELATIVES A lady still remained in the lobby, sitting at a desk, writing. She turned around and said," Mr Braly, I have been very much interested in your talk with those men" (I had talked about my relatives with some of whom they were acquainted). She said, "I might tell you something that would be of interest to you." She started telling me about an old gentleman -37- named 'Braly'. with whom she had formed an acquaintance. He lived about 150 miles away, and from what she said I was satisfied that he was a near relative of mine. I very soon got permission from my mission president to go on a preaching tour through-the country to find this old gentleman.. this I did.. When I reached his place a feeling came over me which I have rarely felt. The mansion in which he lived was some distance from the road. I could see an old gentleman sitting on the porch reading. I approached him with my voice trembling, because I was filled with joy, now that I believed that I stood in the presence of a man that had known my father. I told him that I was the son of John Steele Braly. He was very careful in what he said to me, for some cause not known to me at this time. He looked me over and hesitated. He finally said: "John Steele Braly was my cousin, we were raised together. We went fishing and swimming together. In fact we graduated from the same college and in the same class." He said, "Mr. Braly, you wear a ministerial garb." I said "Yes." He said, "What church do you represent?" I told him, and then I knew why he had been so carefully looking me over, and in what he said. He was very much affected, his countenance fell, and he didn't seem to act naturally at all. I said, "Mr. Braly, I am very tired and hungry; we travel without 'Purse or script'. We would like to get something to eat and to remain overnight with you." He said "No - you cannot stay." I said, "Would you mind telling me why not, Mr. Braly?" He said, "I am a Presbyterian and it is against my religion to entertain a Mormon in my home." I told him that if he would come to my house that I would entertain him like a king, because he was my father's cousin, and not because he was a Presbyterian. I told him that my mother had tried to make me a Presbyter- ian Minister, but had failed; and for such failure I was more grateful to Almighty God than ever before. I left the old man with tears in my eyes, over the great disappointment which had come to me. We walked down the road, a short distance away where there were a crowd of men who had just finished their day's work on the road, paying their poll tax. ***** MEETING A COUSIN ***** A large fine looking gentleman stood by the side of the road was giving the men receipts for their day's work. I approached him and introduced myself and companion, asking him if he would entertain us for the night. He said yes, he could. He had seen us leave the home of Mr. Braly, and asked us why we didn't stop there. I said, "A chance would be a fine thing." He said "Were you refused entertainment there?" He said, "Did you learn the reason?" I said "I did; that man is my father's cousin, and a Presbyter- ian, and he would not let me stay because I was a Mormon." He said "That -38- man is my father, and he is a damned hypocrite! If you are a relative of mine you can stay all winter, if you wish." He said he could see that I was a relative by my looks. In fact, we were almost images of each other. We walked a short distance to his home, where we were received by his splendid wife and six children. We spent two nights and a day at that home, and did some very splendid missionary work, as we thought. I traveled in other fields after that, and never saw him again. I do not know whether he joined the church or not. He lived in N.C. and I was laboring in S.C. (Comment: During the dictation of the above hours work, the biographer Gaston LaFayette Braly - seemed a little stronger, but expressed regret that he wasn't himself, because of his illness. He said that if his mind had been clear and strong, as before, that his vocabulary would be much improved. He had been seriously ill for about two years.) While on my way back to S.C., I saw a man traveling in much the same way in direction as we were going. The road which we were on and the one he was on, came together at the river. When we met the man, he asked if we were Mormon Elders, missionaries, and we said we were. He said he had read one of our 'Tracts' that had been left somewhere and had sent to Salt Lake City for other literature. He said,"I am now thoroughly converted, and would like very much to be baptized." I spoke to my companion in the language of the 'Eunuch', spoken of in Acts 8:36, saying: "Here is water, what is to hinder his baptism, if you believe with all your heart." And he answered, "I believe that Jesus is the Christ." I asked my companion to baptize him, which he did by 'Immersion' and by the authority of the Holy Priesthood which he held. The man was seated on a log, after baptism, and I confirmed him, by the laying on of hands, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I never saw him again, but learned from other Elders that he was rejoicing in the work of the Lord. ---Elder Shumway was my companion at this time, and we were on our way to attend conference to be held near Camden, S.C. He said " Now, Elder Braly, inasmuch as I am already wet, there is no use of you getting in the water, and so if you will climb on my back, I will ferry you over the stream." I climbed on his back and we crossed over success- fully. Later while we were seated at a dinner table with a number of Elders, who were attending conference, Elder Shumway related this circumstance. It created a good laugh, and one of the elders said 'It seems that Elder Braly has been following closely the pattern set by the Saviour when he rode a donkey!' Elder Shumway weighted about 140 lbs and I .. 220. A NOT UNUSUAL RECEPTION COMMITTEE A funny thing happened when we were separating after attending conference. -39- It was necessary for some of the elders to take the train to their destination. When they arrived at the station they were met by a Baptist Minister and some of his followers. When the Elders started to get on the train they were 'fired' upon by the minister and some of those with him, with 'rotten eggs', none of which took effect on the elders, but the train men and train got a good share of them. It wasn't long before a bunch of special railroad agents and detectives were there on the job investigating the affair; very little was ever done about it. BLESSING DERIVED FROM OBEDIENCE TO -- We were later directed to the home of a man, that was said to be a member of the church. On reaching there we found that he and his wife had joined the church many years before, but had not been visited by the elders for sometime. This man was sorely afflicted..his feet and legs, almost to his knees were almost dried up, and greatly reduced in size. He and his wife were two of the worst tobacco fiends that I had ever seen. They grew their own tobacco -- which was of the strongest type, and used it constantly -- both chewing and smoking. I asked if they had not been told to observe the Word of Wisdom - as contained in the Revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants - Sec. 39?' They said yes, they had. I said "If you and your wife will stop using tobacco, and bathe those legs with hot packs, you will be restored to health." Thus showing the blessings that come to those who obey the Word of Wisdom, as revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, by re- velation, from the Lord ------- ANOTHER HEALING ..... At one time I took what seemed to be 'rheumatism' in my right leg and hip I had been walking about 40 miles a day, distributing "Tracts' in the country. My hip grew worse every day, the suffering was so great that I lost about thirty pounds. I got permission from the District President to go back to where I had been laboring previously, and where I had a friend, with whom I could stop and rest for a time. My leg was almost paralyzed, and when I started to the train my companion had to carry my grip, and with his help and the assistance of a cane, I got on the train. A great fear came upon me that I would have to go home before filling the allotted time for my mission, because of loosing the use of my leg. I was in constant prayer that my leg might be restored so I could prosecute my labors. I got off the train, when it stopped; I picked up my grip automatically, as usual, and walked out of the train, and then out into the country several miles, before realizing that there was no pain, and that my hip was well. Another answer to prayer. This affliction in my hip had been coming on for a long time, and all the elders knew of it, and kept asking how was Elder Braly's leg, and so the story of this remarkable -40- healing spread through the mission. I stayed and rested for two weeks with Ben Daniels and Henry Bowers, (Bless their memories) and went back to my field of labor, fat and well. Old Ben simply worshipped the Elders, although he never joined the church. He had no fear of God, man, or the Devil. He always went wherever the Elders happened to be in that neighborhood. (He had been educated to be a Baptist Minister.) BUILDING A CHAPEL It fell to my lot to assist in building the first two Chapels of the Latter Day Saints, that were built in the state of S.C. The first one was built in the vicinity of the little town of Foreston, Clarendon Co. A Mr. Collins and I went out one morning into the woods and cut down two turpentine trees. I personally hewed the sills, to go into the foundation of the church. The Saints hauled the logs to a mill and got the lumber sawed. A beautiful chapel was erected by the members and non- members on some ground donated by a gentleman whose name I have forgotten, a non-member of the church. When the building was completed, the people proceeded to beautify the grounds; making it one of the most beautiful spots in the country. Decorations consisted of many different kinds of flowers and evergreens. We painted the church white. A few non-members volunteered help, both in labor and money. The lady members were very proud of the little church and kept everything in perfect order. There was a Baptist community not far away, and they were very bitter. (THIS INCIDENT WAS TOLD SOME TIME AGO.) The Fourth of July was coming on, and we made great preparations for the celebration, which by the way was the only Fourth of July celebration to be held in the state of S.C. This chapel was located about 7 miles from the county seat. We went over and invited a number of leading citizens to join us in this celebration which they did. Two of them were asked to speak, which they did; saying many things in our praise, because of the effort put forth to achieve such a success. That night the Minister and his crowd turned out and burned our church to the ground. We tried to bring action in the court against them, but the court refused to grant it. (Mistake was made by the scribe in the date of the burning of the chapel in question, in the previous mention of destruction.) -- NON-MEMBER IN SUNDAY SCHOOL AS A TEACHER -- During my missionary work, it sometimes became necessary to use materials that would not ordinarily be used, to perfect some organization. At a place called 'Sharpe' where we had also built a small church, previously, (Kershaw Co.), we found that it was necessary in organizing a Sunday School to employ outside material; as all positions had been filled, with the exception of the teacher for the Parent's Class.-41- There was an old man by the name of Mr. Wilson, who was well qualified to teach the class, but did not belong to the church. He seemed our only chance for a teacher for this department. We consulted him about it. He accepted the position and was unanimously sustained in it. A day or two later, he came to me and said: "Elder Braly, I know that me being installed as teacher in the Sunday School Class is more or less foreign to the rules of the church; so I make application for baptism, which I should have done long ago" (His wife and family had previously joined the church). Mr. Wilson was baptized soon after, and has been a very faithful member and teacher, and a very useful member in the church. -- CATFISH PARTY IN S.C. - 1885 -- This took place at the Fort Dearborn, S.C., where the English troops were fortified, preliminary to fighting the Battle of Camden during the Revolutionary War. I was in the northern part of the state, when I receive a letter from a Mr. Sibley, inviting me to join him on his annual fishing trip. I received permission to make the trip. When I reached Mr. Sibley's house, I found everything in readiness. A team of mules hooked up to a wagon, an abundance of 'roasting ears' (young corn) and all the necessaries were loaded. He had two negros (well trained) catching 'Catfish' from the Cataba River which at this point was about a mile across, and full of rocks of all sizes. The method of catching the fish, was to put a seine around some rocks, one edge of it at the bottom, held down by weights and the other on top, held there with floats; in this way, the fish that happened to be hiding under the rocks were trapped. We then prepared to catch them by putting on heavy gloves to keep from being stung by the Catfish, then getting inside the seine or net, and catching them with our hands. The fish weighed from 1 lb to 15 lbs. When caught, they were turned over to the negros who skinned and cleaned them, putting them into large kettles and boiling them until the meat came off the bones. The 'soup' was then seasoned with corn, cut finely from the cob, smoked bacon, salt, etc. was added and again cooked. The method of 'eating' consisted of drinking the 'soup'. After we had 'bloated' ourselves thoroughly, we laid down and took a nap. Upon awakening, we would be ready for another quart of 'soup' and etc. This program continued for a week and the 'rest' was enjoyed immensely. Our sleeping quarters were in the old 'arsenal' built by Lord Cornwall while he was fortified there. The walls and floor were in good condition and Mr. Sibley had put a roof on some years before. It was located in a deep gorge, within a short distance from the river... The fishing party consisted of Mr. Sibley and his two sons, myself and companion, Oliver Shumway, and two darkies. While fishing, we sometimes caught a large turtle, which we gave to the negros; they would tie it to a tree and when -42- fishing was over they would take it home and have a feast. I canvassed the City of Columbia twice, with 'tracts' and other liter- ature pertaining to the principles of the Gospel; visiting the people when ever invited to and held many gospel conversations. RELEASE FROM SOUTHERN STATES MISSION (On Nov. 15, 1895, 1 received this letter through the mail.) ----------- ----------- "SOUTHERN STATES MISSION" of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. ----- --------- --------- ------- ----- ELDER GASTON L. BRALY, Ridgway, Fairfield Co., S.C. Dear Brother; This is to notify you that you are honorably released from your labors in the Southern States Mission, to return to your home and to the bosom of the church, and the association of your family and the Saints, feeling that you have performed an honorable and faithful mission, creditable to yourself and the cause you represent. Do not cease to be faithful and diligent. Throw not away the armor of righteousness nor the sword of truth. Your future success and greatness all depends upon your faithful activity in the gospel. You have honored this mission, and have honored God, and can therefore return home with a joyful heart, with the assurance that you deserve our love and esteem, and the blessings and favor of the Lord. Praying the Lord to abundantly bless you and return you home in safety and peace, I remain, Your Brother in the Gospel, Elias S. Kimball Pres't Southern States Mission ------ ------- ------- ------- --------- ------- Thus I was released to return home to my family. On my way to my missionary field in S.C. in Sept. 1893, I visited the World's Fair in Chicago; and now on my way home, as the great Cotton Belt Fair or Exposition, was being held in Atlanta, Georgia, I stopped there for a few days, a visit I enjoyed very much. From there I went to Chattanooga, Tenn. Stopping there one day, I proceeded to Salt Lake City, visiting there a few days with friends and returned missionaries, with whom I had labored in the mission field. I arrived home in Franklin, Idaho on Nov. 27, 1895, having been in the Mission Field a little over two years. I traveled on foot approximately 7,000 miles, visited about 1300 families, and revisited many of them (this was compiled from incomplete records). -43- 1 did missionary work in the states of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. Baptized 19 converts, confirmed and blessed many more. Was mobbed a number of times, but escaped unhurt. Witnessed many manifestations of the Power of God, in various ways and thus my mission was filled and a source of great joy and satisfaction to me. ------ ORDINATION to PRIESTHOOD ------- It might be permissible, at this time to give the data of my Ordination to the different offices of the Priesthood which I hold. I was ordained a Teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood Aug. 10, 1884, by L.L. Hatch, Bishop of Franklin Ward, Oneida Stake, Idaho. I was ordained an Elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood, March 5, 1885, Samuel R. Parkinson, councilor to Bishop Hatch (will give the line of descent at this time). Samuel R. Parkinson Who was ordained by - Moses Thatcher Who was " " - Brigham Young Who was " " - Oliver Cowdery, one of the three witnesses to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. He and the Prophet Joseph Smith were ordained to the Priesthood, at the same time, by Peter, James, and John, who held the priesthood in the days of Christ. I was ordained a Seventy Sept. 23, 1893 by Apostle A.H. Cannon. I was set apart to be a president of the 18th Quorum of Seventy Feb. 3, 1899 by J.G. Kimball, of Salt Lake City, which Quorum was organized in Nauvoo by the Prophet Joseph Smith. I was released from the Presidency of the Quorum of Seventies and Ordained a High Priest by James Duckworth, President of the Blackfoot Stake, on March 4, 1912. (Bingham Co., Idaho) On July 10, 1927, I was sustained as President of the High Priest Quorum, when the Stake of San Francisco was first organized with Norman B. Phillips as First Councilor and J.T. Carruth as Second Councilor (because of ill health, I was released from the presidency, having served in that capacity a little over a year and a half). On Feb. 18, 1929 - I was ordained a Patriarch in the San Francisco Stake, by Apostle Geo. F. Richards; which office I still hold. I have been privileged to give a number of Patriarchal blessings to worthy people. --------- MISSIONARY WORK IN IDAHO --------- During the winter of 1895-6. I was called while my wife was finishing teaching the winter term of school in Fairview, Oneida Co., Idaho, to visit the Branches of the church in Oneida Stake, which at that time comprised a good portion of the state. I traveled with a team and sled, breaking roads in deep snow for long distances, and getting across streams as best I could. There were but a few bridges at that time. Many times it seemed that I would not be able to return home at all during the winter, as the snowfall was very deep, and caught me in isolated places. The country-44- was very thinly populated. I re-organized a number of Young Men's M.I.A.'s and assisted Bishops and Branch Presidents in getting their Wards and Branches in working order, in a general way. Some serious difficulties were encountered existing among the members of the church, and I spent some time in effecting a reconciliation. The disagreements were purely personal. I finally reached Oxford, which was a very small place, and left my team there, taking a train for Pocatello, and other places, traveling by train altogether. Idaho was a great, wide desolate place, unsettled in those days. In Bancroft Co. and Gentile Valley, one could travel by team for days without seeing a human habitation. I returned to my home in March 1896, I having been on this Mission since Dec. During those months, I had visited my family, but two or three times. When I reached Oxford by train on my way home, I was very sick. I got my team from where I left it, and drove home alone. I arrived at the farm in Whitney, Idaho, but was unconscious; I must have lost consciousness soon after leaving Oxford, as I remember nothing of the trip home. The team knew the way, apparently and brought me to the door safely. My wife and family, with my mother, had arrived there but a short while before from Fairview; the school term being finished March 25, 1896. The stove was the piece of furniture put in place and a fire was burning, relieving the coldness to some extent. They made a bed in one corner of the room, nearest to the stove. My wife and mother carried me into the house, undressed me and put me to bed. There I lay for several weeks due to exposure to the cold and inclement weather. There was no Doctor within twenty miles, so I had no medical care. While on this Mission, at Trout Creek Branch, in re-organizing the YMMIA, I was obligated to make use of the same tactics that I did while in S.Carolina, nominating a non-member of the church to an office in a church organization. I made use of a young man who was not a member, then, of the church and appointed him to act as secretary in M.I.A. Thereupon the wrath and indign- ation of some of the ladies of the Branch was poured out upon me. The Branch President was not heartily in accord with the move, but it was made, nevertheless; as had been sent out with instructions to get this unit in working order, so I did. The materials were often very crude, and in some cases there were none at all. I questioned the young man closely, and found him to be a good clean fellow, and he told me that he would do the very best he could, and he did. In July 1897, while sitting around a sage brush fire, out near Downey, Idaho I related the circumstance to Apostle John Henry Smith. When I had finished he said; "Elder Braley, how did that end?" I said "The last I heard of the young man, he was on a Mission in Germany." He said, "All is well that ends well." -45- -----ANOTHER SON IS BORN ----- Our fifth child, Glenn Mayberry Braley, was born on Oct. 9, 1896 in Franklin, Idaho, where we owned a home and lived there part of the time when I was absent on various Missions; my family resided there, usually. --------------------------------------- A CALL TO OPEN UP THE NORTH WESTERN MISSION. On July 13, 1897, 1 received a call from President Woodruff to fill a Mission in the State of Oregon and the North West ---- Which follows: Dear Brother, Your name has been suggested and accepted as a Missionary to Oregon and the North West. The work of the Lord is progressing in the nations, and faithful and energetic Elders are needed in the Ministry to promulgate the Everlasting Gospel. Openings for doing good are appearing in numerous directions. Yourself with others, have been selected for this Mission. Should there be no reasonable obstacles to hinder you from going, we would be pleased to have you make your arrangements to start at as early a date as the 26th, inst. Please let us know at your earliest convenience, what your feelings are with regard to this call. If you accept, please have your Bishop endorse your answer. Your Brother in the Gospel, (His signature) Wilford Woodruff. According to the notification I had received I was on my way just thirteen days after receiving the call from the President of the Church. I, being notified by the Stake Presidency to be present at a Conference to be held in Garden Creek, a small Branch of the church, on July 26th, to be 'Set Apart' for a mission; which I did. I was 'Set Apart' for my Mission by Councilor Solomon H. Hale, of the Stake Presidency, to preside over what was to be the 'Washington Conference', with Headquarters at Walla Walla, Washington. I often think of how the country looked that day, look where you would as far as the eye could see, and there was nothing in sight, but sage brush and here and there a little dirt covered log cabin; usually a number of children playing about the place. They were trying to hold conference at that place and under those trying circumstances, which they did, successfully. Luncheon was served right out and among the sage brush, the meat being Sage Hens, that the men had gone out and shot, served with home made bread and butter. There was a group of devoted Saints, pioneers living in the depths of poverty. There seemed to be millions of jack rabbits that ravaged the crops, but with perseverance, they won out. I went from there to Baker City, Oregon, where I met my companion, Jas. Smirthwaite, of Smithfield, Utah. On my way to Washington, while crossing a desert, the train became filled with sand that blew in my eyes, -46- and when I reached Baker City, I was almost Blind. I had to stay there for a few days, until my eyes were better, then we went to the City of Walla Walla. We reached there on Saturday night. Sunday morning we arose from our bed, knelt down and thanked God for all the good things that we had received in the past, and asked for his guidance in the future. While fasting that day and looking for some place of interest, where we might do some good, we were passing a church where the congregation was just begin- ning to enter. We walked in and took our seats at the back, when a vener- able gentleman of about 60 moved close to us and said that his name was Philip Brock, and that he was associated with that church, and was of Christian faith. We told him who we were and what had brought us to that city. He asked us to go up to the front and be seated, which we did. When the Minister came, we were introduced to him and he invited us to take seats on the stand. My companion was asked to open the services with prayer at the request of the Minister, who made little reference to us in his talk. Mr. Brock proved to be the Editor of the leading paper in that city. We were invited to his home for lunch, and we found him to be a friend and a gentle- man throughout. We had free use of his paper, whenever we desired. We had been directed to see a Mrs. Burns, whose husband was a traffic manager of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Co. His name was 'Bob' Burns. And he very kindly offered us free passes over the entire system of the O R & N. which we gladly accepted. Mrs. Burns was a faithful member of the church, and did much to assist in laying the foundation of the Washington Conference, which ultimately became part of the North Western States Mission; presided over by the Oneida Stake Presidency consisting of Geo. C. Parkinson, presi- dent, with Solomon H. Hale and M.F. Cowley as councilors. We at once turned our attention to finding suitable locations for other Elders, who were to follow us. I visited, with my companion, a number of other cities, such as: Spokane, Garfield, Colfax and others. We soon had a number of other Elders in the field at work, sent out from Oneida Stake, Idaho. While visiting in the city of Spokane, I met the Chief of Police, who was a very high grade of gentleman, and did much to assist us in prosecuting our labors there, by befriending us on many occasions. ------ MORRISITES --------- A short history of the Morrisites as related to me by two descendants. While in Walla Walla, Washington, I had the privilege of listening to the following: I learned that what was left of the Morrisite colony that had been recruited from a number of apostate Mormons living west of Ogden, Utah, had settled in the vicinity of Walla, Walla; and as I was interested in learning something about them, I was fortunate in meeting informed persons; who related this to me: That Joe Morris had assumed leadership of those people. -47- A man had been accused of stealing a cow, and was sentenced to be executed. A request was made that the man be given a Civil Law trial, but Morris refused. Gov. Brigham Young ordered that the man be given a trial. Morris refused and served notice that he would fight. A militia, whose business it was to enforce the order of the Governor, went down there, on the river, and cut willows, binding them together with ropes into bundles, which as they approached Morris' camp, they rolled those willows ahead of them to serve as breast works, to protect them from the bullets of the opposing party. When Morris fired upon them, the fire was returned and Joe Morris, a Mr. Banks and a fanatical woman were killed. The imprisoned man was released, the cow in question was found, and returned to the owner. The remainder of the colony went to the State of Washington. Two leaders of the Morrisites developed. They were Bill Davis and John Livingston. Bill Davis led his part of the colony to a place a few miles from Walla Walla on Mill Creek. They became well established and later owned a district of very fertile land. The country adjacent was well adapted to the raising of cattle and sheep, in which they engaged, as well as raising large quantities of wheat, oats and barley. The Colonists were not allowed to own anything in their own right; all belonged to Davis. He disposed of the surplus from time to time, and appropriated the proceeds to his own account. He had a secretary, who was said to be a very fine looking lady. Later his wife died, under very peculiar circumstances, as I was told by the narrator. Davis had a pair of twin boys named Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. The boys were attacked with diptheria and died. He had been advised to get a Physician, but he refused, saying if they died, it wouldn't matter, as he would raise them the third day. The third day passed without a resurrection, and the colonists complained to the authorities and the bodies were buried. The faith and confidence of the colonists had been badly shaken and a break was evident. Mr. Davis thereupon mortgaged the property for all he could get, and sent his new wife to San Francisco with the money, with instructions to place it to his credit. He remained behind to complete his business transactions, which was to further rob the colonists. His wife reached San Francisco, and at once notified him that she had placed the money in the bank to her own credit, $100,000.00, and told him not to come, as it would do him no good, for she was through with him. He remained for some time practically alone. The colony dispersed. I met Davis' daughter, a Mrs. Jenson, whom I found to be a lady of high type. I made friends with the family and stopped at their home frequently. They didn't like to talk of Davis' failure. After I had visited the home a number of times, she showed me her father's "Book of Revelations" which he said he -43- had received from the Lord. One morning she sat down in front of me and said with a strange look on her face, "Mr. Braly, you are a 'Hypnotist', and at all times when you are here, you have us completely in your power, to the extent that we find ourselves believing the story you tell of your church" ---but they never joined the church.-- Later I visited the home of John Livingston, the son of the would be Prophet; and found him a leading and honored citizen in the country. He also handed me a copy of his father's "Book of Revelations", which I was permitted to read. Livingston, at the time of the break-up of the Ogden colony of Morrisites, led his company to some place in Nevada. Before long, Livingston and Davis corresponded over the matter of uniting the two colonies Davis wanted all the spoil. Livingston wanted a portion. They failed to agree but Livingston was finally forced to abandon his efforts in Nevada, because of famine, lack of food in his colony because of indecision, and led his colony to Washington State, to join the Davis colony who were prosperous. At the time of my visit, there was nothing left of the organi- zation as a colony. I found a few members scattered over the country, as I traveled around; one of whom was a member of the city council of Walla Walla. I had a number of heart to heart talks with him. He said that there was nothing taught in that colony that would make anything but high grade citizens. By the way, as stated, I had the privilege of reading some of their revelations; they consisted of the most contradictory, and damnable statements I ever read in my life. Davis would receive a revelation on the same day as Livingston did, and they would be just as contradictory as possible. Davis' would be bold and emphatic, setting forth his views in general. Livingston's would be of a mild nature, you might do, or you might not. A great deal of the main body of the revelations concerned the consolidation of the two colonies. None were doctrinal. All were more of a business nature, and temporal -- thus ended the history of the Morrisites. -- I spent the next few months in preaching, visiting, organization of Districts, and doing whatever was necessary in opening up a Mission Field. Meetings were held, Tracts delivered, Missionaries were established in various districts of the State, and work was progressing favorably. I took great pleasure in helping to open up and presiding over the first Washington Conference, in 1897 - under the presidency of the Oneida Stake, in Idaho, laying the foundation upon which the North Western States Mission is now built. On Feb. 7, 1898, I was honorably released to return home to my family and friends. My third son Wayne Mayberry, was born March 18, 1898, in Franklin, Idaho. My Missionary work did not cease, as I was a thorough convert to the principles of the L.D.S. Church, and made an honest effort to acquaint others that might be interested, in the same. -49- RESIDENT OF THE 13th QUORUM OF SEVENTY On Feb. 3, 1899, I was 'Set Apart' to be President of the 13th Quorum of Seventy, in Blackfoot Stake, Blackfoot, Idaho, by Jonathan G. Kimball one of the First Seven Presidents of Seventy, from Salt Lake City, Utah, which office I held for 13 years performing the duties pertaining to that High Office. ORDAINED HIGH PRIEST On March 4, 1912, I was ordained a High Priest by James Duckworth, President of the Blackfoot Stake, Idaho, this being the highest office held in the Melchizedek Priesthood (the Priesthood held by all presiding officers of the church). There are two Priesthoods existent in the church -vis: - Aaronic which has three divisions, Deacon, Teacher, and Priest. The Melchizedek which also has three divisions, Elder, Seventy, and High Priest. MISSION TO CANADA There was a call for help from Canada. They were building a large canal and it was necessary for it to be finished before winter, to insure irrig- ation for the crops that had been planted by the colonists that had but recently moved there. In the month of Sept., I with others, was called on a short Mission to assist in the work of establishing an outpost in the wilderness of Canada. I accepted the call, and worked on that canal for a specified time, receiving my release worded as follows: Cardston, Canada 28 Nov. 1399 To whom it may concern: This is to certify that Gaston L. Braley, of Franklin, Idaho, Oneida Stake, who came here as a Missionary teamster, on the Alberta Irrigation Canal is, in consequence of sickness in his family, honorably released from further labors. While here his labors have been quite satisfactory to all concerned. Yours faithfully, Charles Ora Card. President of Alberta Stake. I arrived home in early Dec. 1399, and resumed my Civic and Church duties. Leda Mayberry - born 6 Jan. 1901 (Our 15th Wedding anniversary) in Franklin, Idaho; had High School and College Education. Md. Freeman M. Buchanan, of Mo. 6 July 1921. One son John Scott - Born 5 Oct. 1931, Long Beach, Calif. Lived in Reno. Nevada - ------ ------ Erva Mayberry - born 13 April 1903, on Whitney Ranch. Our 8th child. High School Education and Music. Md. Joe E. Miller, war veteran, of Mo. 22 Aug. 1919. Is the mother of four children. Ora born 18 July 1920, Jay Brice born 20 Nov. 1926, Sacramento, Calif. Living in East Oakland.-50- MOVED NORTH TO BLACKFOOT, IDAHO On Nov. 10, 1904, we sold the farm in Whitney, Idaho; and I with my family consisting of my aged mother, my wife, two sons and five daughters with the husband of my oldest daughter, Myrtle, Jessee Jones, and the little grand-daughter Leah Braley (Braly); started out for Blackfoot, Idaho, where we had purchased a farm of 130 acres, six miles north of town. We were well supplied with 17 head of horses, many well bred; 9 cows - mostly Jerseys, some geese and chickens, and with sufficient wagons and machinery to care for such a farm. We also purchased a home in the city of Blackfoot where we lived for twenty years. I took part in the first organization of the Blackfoot Stake, sustaining Elias S. Kimball, my Mission President while on my Mission in the Southern States in the years from Sept. 1893 to Nov. 1896, as president of the new Stake, with John Shelly as first and Don C. Walker as second Councilor - ------------- Vance Mayberry was born on Sept. 23, 1905, our fourth son, and 9th child, in Blackfoot, Idaho. Had some High School Education and had mechanical inclination. Md. Freda Graham, 27 Jan. 1927. One child, June, born 8 May 1928, L.A. At present in Honolulu. ------------ I was active in politics in a small way. I acted as Deputy Sheriff several times, was nominated for Sheriff of Bingham Co. 30 Aug 1910, and was defeated by a small majority; as this was a Republican Election. I received commissions under two Governors; and had the privilege of naming and putting the motion before the State Democratic Committee, in Boise, Idaho, for the nomination of Moses Alexander for Governor of the State of Idaho. We received an overwhelming vote, and served two terms. In the days when Woodrow Wilson, was President of the United States, I was in the Game Service, which took me away from home a great deal of the time. I traveled in the States of Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and Utah. During the time that I was in the Game service in Idaho, a dam known as "The Sun Beam Dam" was built across the Salmon River in Idaho -- The dam prevented the salmon from running up the river to what was called the 'Basin', their natural spawning ground. It was necessary to build a 'Fish Ladder' over the dam, of sufficient size to accommodate fish weighing 60 lb. I was selected to supervise the Building of the ladder over the dam; which I did, and was very successful in accommodating the fish. Pictures of same show myself and men at work. "Politics" was in the air; and formed the subject of many conversations. At one time, while in Pocatello, Idaho, doing special detective work at the Rail Road Yards, at the time of the Great Rail Road Strike; I was at my daughter's for lunch. My little granddaughter, Leah, got on my lap and was listening to the conversation. She finally said," Grand-pa; which is -51- the worst, Politics or woodticks?" I said "Politics." Doris Linda was born on 24 July 1910, in Blackfoot, Idaho. Our sixth daughter and 10th child. She was married to Harold P. Hansen on 5 Sept. 1931 in Berkeley, Calif. Has one child, Karen Lee, Born 11 Nov. 1939. Living in San Leandro, Calif .------ We now had nine living children, three sons: Glenn, Wayne and Vance. Our six daughters were: Myrtle, Blanche, Rena, Leda, Erva and Doris. Glenn, our oldest living son, lives with us, taking care of us in our old age. He has never married; all others have married and moved elsewhere. All are Honorable people. (Dictation was given up to Nov. 1, 1933, by Gaston L. Braley, (Braly). ADDENDA By way of explanation: In the fall of 1933, my husband became exhausted, and too weak to continue dictating his History, He said, "Mama, will you finish this for me?" I have taken over the task, and while the results will not be entirely satisfactory, because of necessary condensing of many episodes connected herewith.. Still this writing will be a remembrance of some of the main characteristics of a man, who put loyalty to his nation, to his church and friends above all else. Concluding Pages Refer to Son, Glenn M. Braley, assessed information. Common school education. Competent in many trades. Volunteered for service in the army 1917, rejected - weakness in left arch. Has chosen Horticulture and Landscape gardening for his / as his hobby. ----------- ------------ ----------- Son, Wayne M. Braley. He had a serious head injury while working in the machine shops, R.R. Pocatello, Idaho 1916. Was hospitalized, x-rayed, etc. Later attended Agricultural College, Logan, Utah. Enlisted in army- 1918 - fighting observer, flying Corp. - 2nd Lieutenant. Disabled Veteran. Md. Vera Anderson - 1922, Son Born, Paul Willard, Born May 3, 1923. Took 4 year course in University of Calif., Berkeley, Calif. Commercial Law and Auditor. C.P.A. San Francisco, Calif. ----------- ------------ ----------- Refer to page ---- Doris Linda - Education, High School; Dancing teacher. Did office work for the Cutter Laboratory for several years. ----------- ------------ ----------- MISSION ---- REPORT Refer to page --- Mission President of the Washington Conference, Headquarters at Walla Walla, Washington, 1897, Quarterly Report of President Gaston L. Braley. Families visited 672, revisited 185, Tracts distributed 674, Books given away 24, books sold 4, Meetings held 11, Rejected Testimony 12, Refused-entertainment-140. Miles- walked- 1241. Miles-traveled-by train 620.-52- (There will be seen a discrepancy in the spelling of the name "Braly" from an old Bible Record, recently found, which contains his father's name spelled "Braly" instead of Braley, and for genealogical reasons this correc- tion is made. I rather think, inadvertently, through his life time he spelled his name "Braley" and the children use the same spelling of the name). MOVE TO CALIFORNIA The winters in Idaho became irksome, and as a number of our children were in Berkeley, Calif., we sold our possessions and came here, arriving on 24 Dec. 1924. We left snow and 45 degree below zero, in Blackfoot, Idaho. Coming by way of Reno, Nev., we had a very pleasant visit with our daughter, Leda and her husband, Freeman M. Buchanan. Thence on to Berkeley, where we were met at the train by our son, Wayne, who was a student at the Univer- sity of Calif. I must say that our stay here has been a season of pleasure and enjoyment; mixed with some disagreeable physical conditions. We spent the first few months at the home of our son, Wayne, at 1620 San Francisco St., Berkeley; our family consisted of myself, wife and daughter, Doris. In Feb. 1925, I had a small growth removed from my neck. at the U. C. Hospital, San Francisco. Then later had a operation for sinus trouble, which was unsuccessful. ------ ---- When the San Francisco Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints was organized on 10 July 1927, I was sustained as Stake President of the High Priest Quorum, with Norman B. Phillips as first Councilor, and J.T. Carruth as second Councilor. After serving in this capacity for one year and a half, I was released because of ill health; and my successors were appointed. ORDAINED ------- PATRIARCH On the 13 Feb. 1929 - I was ordained a Patriarch, in the Oakland Stake, a division from the San Francisco Stake, in which calling I have been permitted to give many Patriarchal Blessings, to worthy people, as my health would permit. I have numerous friends among church people, as well as many other. Have served as Committeeman in this precinct, as a Democrat. Have been honored guest at several functions - during the years of my residence in this locality. --- He left his testimony among thousands of people - in six states -- and Canada. Was employed in the Genetic Dept. of the University of Calif. and resigned because of ill health. His church activities took up much of his time until unable to perform such. The last two years of his life, much of the time was spent in hospitals. He had been an invalid for the past several years, suffered a great deal, but still he could enjoy telling a joke, and talked very interestingly to his -53 - many friends that called on him often during the last five months of his hospitalization. Everything that science, specialists, Doctors and nurses could do, was done for him. They were able to control the pain to a certain extent, but the internal disease, diagnosed as cancer, could not be cured. His great desire was to get well again, so he could be of service to mankind.- He passed away--- [services were held] 11 April 1934 (Saturday) at the L.D.S. Stake Tabernacle, Oakland, California. Friends came from all walks of life, the highly cultivated people, as well as the ordinary everyday folks. Services were conducted by Bishop Pharis Dunyon, Bishop of Berkeley Ward. -- Opening prayer by Stake President W. Aird McDonald. ---- -------- As follows: - Our Father who art in Heaven, we have assembled together on this occasion, to pay our respects to one of thy servants, whom thou hast called home. We pray, Our Father, that while we are thus together, thy spirit may be with us; that those who shall speak and those who shall sing, shall be blessed with thy spirit, and shall do their work with comfort and and joy; that from this occasion we may take renewed determination to follow in thy path. We pray Thee, our Father, that under these circumstances we may be comforted, and perform our duties on this earth; and while this is a time of sorrow and sadness to us and because of mortal ties and mortal understanding, we pray the great Vision of future happiness may be made manifest to us, and that while this may be a time of sadness to us-here it is in reality a time of great rejoicing for we appreciate, in thy might and goodness, thou hast given us a new understanding. In thy Kingdom here on earth. Unto the sorrowing family, our Father, we pray for thy gracious blessings that they may be comforted; that in the passing of this husband and father, they may feel that this separation is but for a time, and as interlude into a greater, a finer and never ending association, that shall always be filled with joy and gladness, where sorrow shall not come unto them, but through the realms of eternity, life may continue in the fulfillment of thy purposes. We are grateful for all these things. And during this hour we pray that Thy Spirit may rest in rich abundance with us, and that our hearts may be touched, and may be comforted, and may be reconciled. We dedicate these services unto thee, and ask it in the Name of Jesus Christ, ----- Amen ------ Singing was supplied by two of his friends, Jess Farr and Att. Jessie Lund - Contralto, who sang three of his favorite hymns. 1st from Psalmody. -- An angel from on High, the long, long silence broke- Descending from the sky, these gracious works He spoke, Lo, in Cumorah's lonely hill, A sacred record lies concealed. -54- Sealed by Moroni's hand, It has for ages lain - To await the Lord's command, From dust to speak again. It shall again to light come forth, To usher in Christ's reign on earth. It speaks of Joseph's seed, And makes the remnant known, nations long since dead, Who once had dwell alone. The fullness of the Gospel, too, Its pages will reveal to view. BISHOP DUNYON Brethren and Sisters: I have been requested to say a few words upon this occasion. I have known Bro. Braley about seven years, and during that time, I have visited his home many times. I have had many valuable conversations with him, and later, at the hospital during his sickness have learned many lessons from him. One of the greatest lessons learned was: Appreciation. I never visited him but what he told me before I left, to thank the Latter- Day Saints for their kindnesses extended to him. "Thank those who have visited me from the Berkeley Ward, and other parts of the Stake." He was very thankful for the flowers and the prayers of the Saints. He appreciated anything that was done for him, and he wanted the people to know about it. I think it is one of the finest lessons that we can learn; the appreciation of what is being done for us by our brothers and sisters. You know there are lots of people that don't appreciate anything that is done for them. I remember not long ago, at another hospital, a party received a great many flowers, so many that there wasn't room in her room for them. This party said, "I want someone to have the flowers." So they were sent to a group of patients in another part of the building. The next two or three days, this party said to the nurse - "There are some more flowers to send to them." The nurse said, "Don't send them there, they don't appreciate them, or anything that is done for them; you didn't get thanks for those sent, send them to this lady, she has been here for the last 10 days, and not a flower has been placed in her room." A half hour later the nurse came by and said "That lady wept for joy. She said to thank you for those beautiful flowers, and here is a lovely present that she has sent you." There is that much difference between people of the world. You would be surprised how happy Bro. Braley was, even in his sickness, how filled with joy he was; yet lying on his bed helpless. I went in once and said, "Bro. Braley, you have been here a long time now." He said, "Yes, it has been months and months." I said, "You have had lots of time to think, have you as strong a testimony regarding this Gospel now as you had before?" "Have I? I have a stronger testimony than I ever had in my life." He said, "Many things have happened since I have been sick, that have caused my testimony to grow stronger than -55- it ever was." He hesitated, and then said, "But there is one thing that I can't understand, and that is why I should have to linger so long upon this earth," he said, "Look at me, I am useless, I can't do anything here; and just a short distance (He said it as if he could see it), there is my father, there is my mother, my sisters and brothers all waiting for me and I am ready to go. That is the only thing that I can't comprehend -- why should I linger here so long?" There are many mysteries regarding this life that we can't comprehend, but he wound up saying, "I tell you it is a wonderful thing to have a lasting testimony." When that is with us during health and sickness, during happiness and during sadness, through joy and through sorrow, that is the kind of testimony that every Latter-Day Saint should try to obtain, just as Bro. Braley. I want to give another wonderful testimony. I think it is one of the most beautiful telegrams for an occasion of this kind that I have ever read. I wish we had more young people here to hear a telegram of this kind. This came from a Grandson that Bro. Braley loved with all his heart. That Grand- son probably spent more time with Bro. Braley in the hills and vales, hunting and fishing, traveling over mts., than probably any other boy. He started when a boy of ten or eleven years old. They were pals. This is the telegram that he sent to his grandmother; -- "Dearest Grandma, You know how I feel. I just can't say anything- but grand dad isn't really gone. He will be with us always. Remember the happy hunting ground story? That's where he has gone, on another trip, and only a moment ahead of us all. We will see him again and he will be well and happy then. I feel it, and I know it, but, gosh it's hard to take. My heart goes out to you." Newt. There's a wonderful telegram from a grandson, now in Hollywood, who just arrived in time for his service today. He had faith in the future, faith that Bro. Braley is still alive. A lady said the other day when he died, "According to our belief, this must be a happy day for Bro. Braley. This must be a joyful day for him because he is meeting with those loved ones who have gone before." That is our belief, but we cling to this life, and we love life, so we don't want to leave this earth. Bro. Braley was a very faithful man in his work for this Stake. He was chosen as first President of the High Priest's Quorum of this Stake in 1927. Two years later he was set apart as a Patriarch of this Stake, and he has told me of the many Blessings that he has given to the men and women, boys and girls, who have come to him. His only regret, while he lay on his bed, was that he couldn't get up and do something more. But this is what he said: "I don't want to die to miss something. If I die, it will not be to get out of something." Isn't there a lot to that? -56- He didn't want to die to get out of something, but to be of service to mankind. This is what he said, "I go out of this world not weeping but feeling that five hundred hands of the Latter-day Saints are stretched forth, wishing me all the joy and happiness, they could possibly wish." Those are a few words, but they are wonderful, and have a lot of meaning. He was nearly 76 years old. He had been married 48 years ago, in the Logan Temple, Utah, to Josephine Mayberry. Josephine, his wife is here. They have ten children. Nine of these are living at the present time, three sons and six daughters. Ten grandsons and four granddaughters. Certainly this is a wonderful family to leave here upon this earth, and I pray our Heavenly Father will bless those who are left, and may he give them encouragement and peace, and happiness all the days of their lives, is the prayer I offer, in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen. I. B. Ball My Brothers and sisters, I feel it is a very great honor, but a very great task also to stand in this position and speak the appropriate words on this occasion. Brother Gaston L. Braley was indeed such a man as the poet referred to when he said that in him the elements were so mixed that nature might stand up and say to all the world, "Here is A man." He was as you know, a mixed type of character, who seemed to be at home in any company. He was varied in his interests. There are present in this audience today people who knew him largely in one phase or another, but did not know all his interests. He was a sportsman, he loved to fish and hunt. On the other hand, he was a civic leader and stood high in one of the councils of a national party. He was wise, honest, and straightforward in all of his political deliberations. Then on the other hand, he was a church man of very high type. Of course I cannot speak this afternoon in the few minutes allotted me, on the various phases of his life, I will have to leave many thoughts to you who knew him best; but he had this peculiarity in his nature that when with a group, he adjusted himself to the interests and likes, the occupation and the thoughts of that group, and he never pressed upon them his other interests which may not have been convenient or congenial to them; and it happens that many that have gone on hunting trips with him, have never known his spiritual nature. They would only have known it if they had sought a means of getting it from him, for he was the last person on earth to impose his views unasked or unsolicited on another, and in spite of that, he was one of the greatest missionaries our church has ever known, except a few. Because of this reticence on his part to speak out his views unless asked for them, I am very sure that but few outside of this city knew the religious history of Bro. Braley, and it is that particular phase of his life I would like to speak about. I remember very clearly the first time I heard -57- him speak of having had any unusual spiritual experiences. It was in a Sunday School class in the Berkeley Ward. He arose, and in explanation of the lesson that was given he related an experience that he had had. I remember some time after that I engaged him in conversation, and said that I should like to hear more; and I found to my surprise that he was reluctant to relate it to me. He said, "It was so sacred to me that I hesitate to tell it to others lest it be misunderstood", and I think that explains his reticence. But soon afterward he became ill, and in my visits to him and his good wife, I drew from him more and more of his history with the result that I was later invited to become his biographer as far as his spiritual experiences were concerned. I spent many hours over a period of weeks and months while he lay on his sick bed taking from him his dictation in long hand as far as his strength, each time, would permit, until I finished the task, as I think, some- what completely. -------- (Here follows a condensed report of the first five pages of this History) Refer to Page 20 beginning with "later ---- Refer to pages 22 -23 -25 -26 -27 of this history. Ten years later he was called on his first mission to the Southern States. It was in Sept. 1893. Sister Braley told me privately ---- I suppose it is all right to tell this --- That the letter came while he was at work. If I remember it rightly, she opened it and saw that it was a call for a mission, and when he came from the field, she met him and handed the letter to him. He read it but said nothing. She said, "You are going, aren't you?" And he seeing her anxious interest- - said, "Yes". It was in Sept. The crops were not gathered on that Idaho ranch. But there was no doubt that he would accept, and he did. He labored for a year in Georgia and then was transferred to South Carolina. (Refer to page 35). Poisoned (Refer to page 36) Invitation to preach by minister. - Instant healing etc. and he goes on from one experience to another, one healing to another. (Refer to pages 37-42.) This made many converts in the city of Columbia, S.C. He returned to his home more than two years in that mission field having traveled on foot nearly 7,000 miles, visited approximately 1300 families, and revisited many of them; Baptized 19 converts and confirmed many others. (This has been compiled from incomplete records). In that very winter that he had returned, 1895-96, he was called on another mission to visit many Branches and Wards in the - then Oneida Stake, in Idaho, against many difficulties in the snow and hard winter weather. He became sick and more interesting experiences occurred. (Refer to page 56). In the years 1897-98, he was called by President Woodruff, to preside over what has become known as "The North Western States Mission." He was, you might say, the first President of that Mission. It was then a branch of the Oneida Stake in Idaho; but he was sent out to prepare it for a mission center; -58- his headquarters were at Walla Walla, Washington. He spent 7 months in that Mission. In 1924, he came to Berkeley, and has made his home among us. In closing, I will say, it seems to me that I have known him longer than since 1924. After my return here some eight years ago, I became acquainted with him; but I can hardly realize it. It seems that I have known him all my life, and it must be that way with all of us. We will always know him. He had the quality of friendship so that he could mold himself into the lives of everyone. I have the very highest regard for this man, and his qualities. He had thoughts that indeed filled him with great joy. Repeatedly he spoke of the great joy that came to him in his missionary experiences and he said that this joy ever after remained with him. He was filled with peace in the Hospital, although he hardly had strength enough to make me hear with my ear close down to him; but his conversation was about the Gospel. I told him that I had just reviewed his written words again, and he said, "Brother Ball, do you think they are worth anything?" I assured him that they were, and that they would be sent to the church Historian's Office in S.L.C. May the peace of God be with his family is my prayer in the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen. J. Edward Johnson - First Councilor in the Stake Presidency My Brothers and Sisters, I should have preferred to have been spared this responsibility, but I appreciate the great honor to stand in this representative capacity at this time and to speak for as well as the departed and there is nothing that I wouldn't do for Gaston L. Braley, or for his dear wife, or for his children or for his friends, and that feeling- being possessed of that feeling---I find a great satisfaction in being here at this time. Brother Braley was a lone wolf, he was a father bear. He didn't go around alone, he went where folks were, I haven't discussed with anyone when he first came to this country - but in thinking over in my mind I have estimated that it was about ten years ago, which fact I have verified here today. You know that I had only to chat with him once, and I suppose that it was the first time I saw him, to have the feeling that I had always known him. It was the deep in us responding to the deep. Rather wonderful - almost strange, the way it took place. Bro B. had a fine sense of humor. From the first time or second time that I saw him, I had the temerity to joke with him freely, just as freely as I would dare to with the most intimate friend I would have in the world, and he responded, He took a very great interest in me, and said some of the sweetest things to me that any man had ever said. I will never forget it. And he took a very great interest in my children. He told me that he had an especially beautiful blessing for my boy - Bob, although he never had an opportunity to give it, He took a -59- special interest in my boy, Marion, in my little girl, Carolyn, and little Tom. He gave my wife once, a little present that betokened the king of man that he was. It betokened the spirit of the Westerner. I have never run into a man that was more western, although he came from Tenn, than Bro. Braley. I had a good time with him in my life. I remember not so long ago, and I look back on it with the greatest pleasure in the world, and I had an opportunity to tell him about it before he passed away, and he chuckled as I did so. About a year and a half ago, at a dancing party in Berkeley, when we were all there so happy and gay. My wife and Bro. Braley. and my self found ourselves in a group. My wife and I had just come back from a trip to the Sequoia Park where an incident took place, that my wife considered a good joke on me. She couldn't wait to get home to tell Bro. Braley. The occasion for our meeting was at this dancing party. I believe I had a dance, maybe she did, but it was set aside so she could tell Bro. B. of the incident. It was one of those things that had dual possibilities in it, so she told her phase of it, and he laughed, then I told him my phase of it. We went our three directions, she her way, Bro. Braley his, and I went mine. We parted chuckling. Now I wonder if he hasn't gone out of his world just like that. I wonder. Brother Braley lived his own life. He followed the gleam as he saw it He was himself. He was true to himself. Emerson has said - "That we lie in the lap of an Immense intelligence, which makes us receivers of the truth and organs of its activity; when we discern justice, when we do nothing of ourselves, but allow a passage of its beams." (Emerson's essay on self- reliance). You may not read that in the Bible, but in the words of J. Golden Kimball, it is just as good, if it is true, and it is true. That reminds me of Bro. B. I have heard him pray from this pulpit at the beginning of our meetings, and I have heard him use words on this order. "Our Heavenly Father, we are thankful for what we are about to receive? We are receiving sets, and through our hearts, we receive spiritual impressions and Bro. B. understood all that and he knew what we were about to receive. He knew also that he would receive, because he knew how to adjust himself to receive. Bro, B* was an interesting man to be around, because he always told us what he thought, and he wasn't worrying unduly about what other people thought. And as he lived his life, so let his children individually live their lives; Live their lives and follow the gleam, as they may see it, and they will never go wrong; and as they do that, so let us do the same thing. You know we are all different. God made us different. Got put the eye in me so it would catch the ray in a way that no one else would, in order that we might testify to that ray; and Bro. B. has lived a life which has testified to certain things more beautifully than they can ever be testified to again, -60- because they have been revealed to him as he has seen them. There is a time for everything. A time for gladness and a time for sadness and certainly this is not a time for gladness, but on the other hand, we may feel the spirit of consolation, and be reconciled. Bro. Braley lived his more than three score and ten years. In passing it occurs to me, that in my opinion, the greatest blessing that any one can possibly have is the blessing of life, and the next greatest blessing after that is to be permit- ted to live a long time. He has enjoyed both of these blessings. But no matter how long we live, and how proper it is for us to pass away, the fact nevertheless remains that the ending of every life is a tragedy. And although Brother Braley, though so sick and so helpless and in some respects, a pitiable sight, still he was alive. Don't you worry about it, don't you forget it; there is all the difference in the world between the situation today, when he is gone, and the situation two or three days ago, when he was still here, in the estimation of his loved ones. And even though folks are suffering, while there is life, there is something we hold on to do dearly, and when it is gone, something very important is gone. Still I don't look on death anymore in the terrible way that I have in the past. I do look upon it as a transition, and I do adhere to the trust and the hope and confidence that, which has been told to us by those who have been inspired a little more than it is the lot of most of us to be, and that death in this world does not mark the end; that there is a brighter future ahead, where we shall all be reunited. I realize that much that I have said today seems to relate to the relations between Brother Braley and me, but it is truly representative of the relations which he had with every man and woman, who ever knew him, and for that reason, I think that what I have said which involves me, holds equally true with regard to all who knew him, whether they are here today or not; whether they know of his passing or not. I pray that the Lord will bless his family individually according to their needs, and that they may do as he had done, fulfill the measure of their creation. Live their lives and be true to themselves. And I pray that Sister Braley may come to know more fully than she has heretofore, known, the good and sweet comforting influence of the comforter, and I pray this in the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen. -------- ------- -------- Closing Hymns - sang by Jess Farr, Carrie Moses and Jessie Lund. Do what is right, the day dawn is breaking, Hailing a future of freedom and light; Angels above us are silent notes taking Of every action, Do what is right. -61- CHORUS Do what is right, Let the consequence follow; Battle for freedom in spirit and might; And with stout hearts, Look ye forth 'till tomorrow; God will protect you, Do what is right. Do what is right, The shackles are falling, Chains of the bondsman no longer are bright; Lightened by hope soon they'll cease to be galling; Truth goeth onward - Do what is right Do what is right, Be faithful and fearless; Onward press onward - The goal is in sight; Eyes that are wet now ere long will be tearless; Blessings await you -- Do what is right. ----------- ------ ---------- "O My Father" (tune - My Redeemer) Words by Eliza R. Snow. O my Father, thou that dwellest in the high and glorious place! When shall I regain Thy presence, and again behold Thy face? In Thy Holy habitation, Did my spirit once reside? In my first primeval childhood, Was I nurtured by Thy side? ------------------------ For a wise and glorious purpose, Thou hast placed me here on earth, And withheld the recollection of my former friends and birth; Yet oft times a secret something, whispered "You're a stranger here" And I felt that I had wandered From a more exalted sphere. ------------------------- I had learned to call Thee Father, Thro' Thy spirit from on high; But until the Key of Knowledge was restored, I knew not why. In the Heavens are parents single? No; the thought makes reason stare Truth is reason, truth eternal, Tells me I've a mother -- there. ------------------------- When I leave this frail existence, When I lay this mortal by, Father, Mother, may I meet you In your royal courts on high? Then, at length when I've completed all you sent me forth to do, With your mutual approbation Let me come and dwell, with you. Closing Prayer was offered by Brother George Southgate. We thank Thee with grateful hearts for Thy blessings and for Thy Spirit that has been with us in these services. We thank Thee for the life and the works of Patriarch Braley. We know that we have received a great benefit -62- because of the life of this great man; and our Father in Heaven, bless us, help us, that because of his deeds, his life, his testimony, his good works, and his companionship, that we may draw nearer unto Thee, That when the time comes that we will answer the last call, that we, too, may be prepared to come unto Thee, even as he has been prepared, and has come unto Thee in Glory and honor, and in the service of the Holy Priesthood. Father, Bless us that this may be our privilege. We pray at this time for Sister Braley, that Thy comforting influence and Thy blessings may be with her in rich abundance; That she may continue and carry on the Work that she has set her hand to do and that she may be comforted. Bless each and every one of her family that they may feel the full power of Thy comforting influence, and that the love of their father may be with them as an inspiration to draw nearer unto Thee. We ask for Thy Blessings to be with us, and accompany us to the cemetery, that no harm or accident may happen; but that Thy peace and blessings may be with us until we return to our homes. May Thy Spirit and blessings ever be with us, we ask it in the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen. ---- MANY FRIENDS ATTENDED THE FUNERAL SERVICES The Pall Bearers were very intimate Friends; --- D. J. Cox, Dean of the Teacher's College (State), who went coon hunting with G. L. Braley for many years. Willis Berg, a member of the University of California Board, who had gone on many fishing trips with him. A. Erickson, an Attorney, whom he had known in Idaho, and later in Berkeley, Calif. J. T. Carruth, an old Idaho friend, also a resident of Oakland, Calif. Von T. Ellsworth - President of the State Farm Bureau. J. Edward Johnson an Attorney, and second councilor in the Stake Presidency. ---------------------------------------- The flowers were carried by thirty ladies, to the waiting hearse. A long cortege of Automobiles followed the remains to the Sunset Cemetery, North of Berkeley, Calif. ---------------------------- The Dedicatory prayer at the grave, was offered by Eugene Hilton, Stake Councilor and Superintendent of an Oakland School. ---------------------------------------- Gaston LaFayette Braley(Braly) was laid away, beautifully dressed in white linen, a good casket, great floral pieces, and a resting place in a lot - surrounded with sunshine, flowers, and trees; Honored as few men are honored, respected and revered by all. -63- Memorial Services were broadcast over Station KTAB on Sunday April 22, 1934. Sponsored by the Church, and given by Prof. of Science, I. B. Ball; reviewing a part of the life history of the deceased, that he had written from dictation some two years previously. Followed by renditions - given by the Mormon Male Chorus of about twenty voices, concluding with a selection from "Largo", "Going Home." --------------- In Memoriam: (Longfellow) The say is done, and darkness falls from the wings of night- As a feather is wafted downward from an eagle in his flight. ******************** A TRIBUTE** (By David J. Cox, Dean of men San Francisco, State College) To those of us who live the common existence that must befall common people, there are a few highlights, and rare, of our lives, which because of their rarity, seem to be stamped indelibly and remain unforgettable until we pass on. These experiences may come to us in the form of episodes, great emotions, unusual adventures or as contacts with certain persons who impress us most profoundly. As I look back on the years, I cannot help but to call to mind certain events that are outstanding in and of themselves; experiences that have become rare and precious Jewels in my memories, because of the fact that they were enjoyed and realized in the company of a person who, himself, was one of the most exceptional I have ever encountered during my life. I refer to none other than my old friend - Gaston L. Braley. A Man who was serious, yet a wit; a good churchman yet not a prude; a man who was a natural sportsman, and an out of doors man, and at the same time a true and dignified gentleman, who seemed to typify the 'Old South' and from childhood to maturity he was a pioneer and a lover of nature in all its forms. There was no plant or animal too small or too insignificant to attract his attention and interest. He loved fishing, hunting, hiking, riding or any other means by which he could contact the great (Out Doors). He was a boy and a man in one; a boy because he had the zest and enthusiasm that comes with youth, a man because he could enjoy and philosophize and commune with nature as only outdoors men can do. Some of his homely sayings were founded on the great truths and philosophies which are funda- mental in the thinking of civilized man. He was keen, a natural teacher, a stimulating companion and a sympathetic friend.
MOVED NORTH TO BLACKFOOT, IDAHO
On Nov. 10, 1904, we sold the farm in Whitney, Idaho...