Annual Family Conference 1
Tributes to Loved Ones 2
News From Poland 3
Progress on Volume III 4
Remembering Handcart Pioneers 5
Family Reunion Notices 8
JASFO Executive Council 8
Objective: To "turn the heart of the fathers to the children,
and the heart of the children to their fathers." -- Malachi 4:5-6

Volume XVII May 2006 Number 2

Reminder of our annual Family Conference:

Picnic in the Park
June 24, 2006, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
100 South Main Street, Pleasant Grove, Utah
  • 9:00 Gathering and Registration                                                                           Pleasant Grove Park, 100 South Main Street, Pleasant Grove
  • 10:00 Cemetery Excursion                                                                                     Pleasant Grove Cemetery, 400 North 100 East, Pleasant Grove
    Beth Olsen, Pleasant Grove Historian, will present An Early History of Battle Creek.  Justus Azel & Mehittabil have agreed to visit us at Justus' grave site at the cemetery.
    Please bring folding chairs for the cemetery and blankets to sit on at the lunch. We’ll need our sunscreen and hats or umbrellas to keep the sun off at the cemetery.
  • 11:30 Return to the Pleasant Grove Park for a potluck lunch.                              JASFO will provide the meat and drinks, please bring your favorite picnic dish to share.
  • 1:00-4:00 The Pleasant Grove DUP Museum and Pioneer Schoolhouse are across the street from the park and will be open that afternoon for us to visit at our convenience.
There is a children's playground at the park.

      How to get there:  We will meet at the Pleasant Grove Park on Main Street between 100 South and 200 South. To get to the park from I-15, take exit 275, Pleasant Grove/Lindon Exit. At the exit ramp travel to the east on Pleasant Grove Boulevard to U.S. 89 (State Street). Turn right onto State Street. Immediately get into the inside lane, preparing to make a left turn onto 200 South (there is no signal light at the intersection, so be careful). Go east on 200 South to the park which is on Main Street between 200 South and 100 South.
      We ask everyone to meet at the park at 9:00 am for registration.
If you haven’t sent your dues, this is a good opportunity to support the family organization.  Name tags will be provided.
      We will leave the park as a group at 10:00 am and travel to the Pleasant Grove Cemetery. To get to the Pleasant Grove Cemetery from 200 South, turn left onto 100 East. Drive to 400 North and turn left onto 400 North. Park anywhere along 400 North. Justus Azel Seelye’s grave is about 2/3 of the way between 100 East and 100 West and near the 400 North edge of the cemetery. Set up your folding chairs and apply your sunscreen. Be sure you bring a hat or umbrella!

The Officers anticipate your attendance and look forward to greeting you.


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      Editor’s note: We are passing along the news of the deaths of some of our beloved “cousins.” Any time we receive a notice of one who has passed away, we will include it in a Newsletter; we welcome such notices. Please give us the benefit of your thoughts. And by all means, if we need to honor someone, please write up the tribute and send it along to us. We’ll be glad to publish all the news. Please keep us informed. [We might need to edit the stories in order to make them fit into the available space.]
      Suzette Gay Weiler Arnold, age 37, passed away 29 December 2005 at the Grand Canyon Airport North Ramp, Arizona. Cause of death: Behcets syndrome, a chronic inflammatory disorder of the small blood vessels and the immune system–from which she had suffered for the past ten years.
      Suzette, daughter of Karl Ludell and Linda Joy Niswender Weiler, was born in Lynwood, California, 9 February 1968, at 6:30 a.m., the day after her father’s 30th birthday. She attended Cypress Elementary School, until the family moved to Fresno when she was in third grade. In Fresno she attended Starr School.
      Suzette was a joy to have around. She always smiled and laughed and talked. She was a real sparkler! She loved to cook, and her specialty was cinnamon rolls.
      She served an LDS Mission to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1988-90.
      She married Gregory Dean Arnold in the Los Angeles Temple 31 July 1993. She was mother to two children: Rachel Suzanne, born 26 August 1994; and Jessica Kate, born 8 May 2003. Suzette worked hard in her career and became a successful salesperson.
      Suzette is survived by her husband Greg Arnold, daughters Rachel and Jessica, Queen Creek, Arizona; her parents, Karl and Linda Weiler, Fresno, California; sister Jill Renae (Don) Castro-Condie, Fresno; brothers Terry Karl (Leanna) Weiler, Alta Loma, California, and Clint Karl (Ahjenae) Weiler, Fresno; aunts, Loleath “Toots” Brundage, Ogden, Janeen Lewis, Alhambra, California, and Charmaine Matthews, Spring Glen, Utah; and numerous cousins.
      At her funeral she was eulogized by her brother, Clint Weiler: “When I heard of Suzette’s passing, my first thoughts and feelings were joy and relief. In Alma 40:12 it reads...
      And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care and sorrow.
      “Suzette truly deserves the paradise she currently is in. She didn’t have it easy in the latter end of her life, but she bore her afflictions well; so well in fact, that her pains and afflictions were transparent to many who were close to her. . . .
      Of course, I will never forget all the good times I spent with my sister watching the movies in her collection. And my family and I will continue to enjoy the comfort of the blankets and pillow cases she sewed for us.      “There’s a scripture that reminds me of her. In Moroni 7:45 it reads...
      And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
      “Suzette was absolutely wonderful, and truly possessed charity. I think we would all agree that each of us knew Suzette always cared about each of us individually. She always made sure that we had what we needed and went out of her way to be kind to us.”
      Suzette was buried 5 January 2006 in Chandler, Arizona. Her lineage is Karl L. Weiler, Odessa Wilcox, Ephraim Wilcox, James H. Wilcox, Mary Young Wilcox, Elizabeth Seely Young, Justus Azel Seelye.

      Ruby Theora Seeley Taylor, age 100, passed away April 5, 2006. She was born March 18, 1906 in Castle Dale, the eleventh child of Orange Seeley, Jr. and Elizabeth Christine Petrine Andersen. She was the last living of 14 children. She had a beautiful singing voice.
      Ruby married William Melvin Taylor on May 13, 1926. Marriage solemnized in the Manti Temple May 4, 1933. They have a love affair that will never end. Mel died Nov. 19, 1985. Their four daughters are Arlene, Rayona, Rita Mae and Dixie Lea.
      Ruby served in many positions throughout her life in her LDS faith. She dearly loved Relief Society and was very proud of her 60 plus years commitment to the visiting teacher program, keeping a 100 percent record. She and Mel served a stake mission doing work at the Manti Temple.
      She loved her flowers and yard and made the hillsides bloom. She and Melvin were recognized by the Deseret News for their work in community beautification. Ruby was very proficient at handwork: she enjoyed painting, sewing, knitting, crocheting, gardening, crafts.
      She is survived by daughters Arlene (Lynn) Wilstead, Rayona (John) Anderson. Rita Mae (Merlin) Farish, Dixie (Jim) Richens, 25 grandchildren, 83 great-grandchildren, 39 great-great-grandchildren, nine step grandchildren, 25 step great-grandchildren, 13 step great-great-grandchildren; two sisters-in-law, Thelma Smith of Oregon and LaVon Seeley of Spring Glen. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, seven sisters and six brothers.
      The family would like to acknowledge the Woodland Park Care Center and Odyssey Hospice in Salt Lake City for their loving care. Funeral services were Monday, April 10, 2006 at Fausett Mortuary Chapel in Price. Interment in the Mountain View Cemetery in Helper. Ruby’s lineage is: Orange Seely II, Orange Seely I, J.Wellington Seely I, Justus Azel Seelye.

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[Editor’s note: This really is a small world. A couple of months ago we learned that two Seely cousins had met again at a zone conference in Poland. Sister Evelyn Moody, our former JASFO President, who is serving with her husband, Dr. Lyman Moody, as Medical Advisors to the Europe Central Area, wrote a letter to tell about it– to the parents and aunt & uncle of the sister missionary, Sister Rebekah Barlow.]
Dear Dorothy & Gary [Barlow], Kathryn & Montell [Seely],

      Can you imagine my total delight to have been meeting and greeting smiling missionaries at a zone conference in Katowice in the Poland Warsaw mission, when I asked a stately, beautiful Sister Barlow where she was from. As soon as she said, "Bountiful," I realized that I was greeting a cousin - Dorothy and Gary’s daughter! I can remember seeing her as a curly-headed little girl running around the Seely Conferences when I was president of JASFO. So we had a mini-Seely Family reunion! I threw my arms around her and hugged her tight and we had an exuberant visit, catching me up on her family. That was so delightful!
      We are treasuring our mission as Medical Advisors to the Europe Central Area, doing the same thing we did in the Europe West Area when we were centered in Madrid, 2002-2004. Lyman enjoys treating the missionaries by telephone contact, helping them understand what their ailments are, how long they are likely to be sick, and advising them on the best care for their quick recovery. It is our privilege to visit each one of the missions in the Area in the course of our months here, meeting in the zone conferences to instruct the missionaries on stress management and appropriate care of their bodies.
      We enjoyed our visit to Poland a couple of weeks ago. After the zone conference in Katowice, President and Sister Barnett rode in our car the four-plus hours to Warsaw and we had a wonderful chance to visit and get to know that loving couple from Johannesburg, South Africa, with their delightful British accent. As President Barnett directed Lyman’s route, he repeatedly said, "Turn at the MacDonald’s." Those golden arches are so abundant in Poland that we continued to hear them used as the landmark to make a turn, until we began joking that to find your way around Poland, you simply turn at MacDonald’s, any direction, just turn, and you will arrive where you are going! In Poland the headlights on all vehicles must be turned on at all times after October 1. That must be an acknowledgment of the gray, short hours of
daylight during winter. We realized and laughed together that the rude truck driver who had pulled alongside us early in the trip, vigorously protesting something in loud Polish was probably trying to tell Lyman to turn on his headlights, not trying to merge his big vehicle into our lane!
      Poland has the surprising figure of 96% Catholic, which is amazing for a nation that endured the pressure of atheistic Communism for over 40 years. The Catholic church seems exceptionally strong (I wonder if any other land in the world has such a high percentage) and the traditional family is also very strong, meaning that if Grandpa and Grandma do not want a young person meeting with the Mormon missionaries, their wishes are respected, and studying the Restored Gospel is stopped.
      We approached Warsaw, a city of 2.5 million, at twilight and saw huge shopping malls with large well-lit parking lots, heavy traffic, elegant new skyscrapers, sophisticated shops along broad boulevards with a very busy commuter rail system. A consumer economy was everywhere visible. But this is a country which until 16 years ago was under Communist control! I looked on with amazement. It occurred to me that perhaps the reason that it feels so vibrant, so different than the other former Soviet Satellite nations we have visited is that all through those 40 years, they managed to keep God and religion as a part of their national identity, atheistic Communism notwithstanding! That is most remarkable. Warsaw reminded me of any bustling city I have ever visited, and probably most like Chicago. I would never have dreamed that Warsaw, Poland would call to my mind a city in the U.S.A. The zone conference in Warsaw was held in a beautiful chapel on a spot that could not be better for public visibility. Sitting at an intersection of a broad boulevard, the chapel is noble in its lines, painted in butter-gold stucco with white trim and with a gracious spire confirming that it is a church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Warsaw is located at the edge of a park and adjacent cemetery and could not be more eye-catching and beautiful.
      We found the Polish people to be warm and friendly. We met several of the "Hope of Israel" (the youth) in that land and rejoiced at the foundation that is being laid by the missionaries, and there is a Seely descendent among them! Thank you, Dorothy and Gary, for raising such a wonderful daughter!
                                Love, Evelyn Hammond Moody
      [Sister Barlow also “wrote home” about their meeting:]
      . . . We had heard that a Mission Doctor was coming to speak at Zone Conference as well as to look at the missionaries who might need some kind of medical attention. Mom, you will be happy to hear that it was none other than Elder and Sister Moody.

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      They are serving a mission in Germany, but travel to do medical work with Missionary Medical I believe. It wasn't until half way through his talk that I thought, wait a second, I think he just might know my mom. I went up to him during the break and introduced myself. He said that he did know you and was grateful for all of your help.
      Then, AFTER the Zone Conference while everyone was eating, his wife [Evelyn] came up to me and asked me my name. I told her who I was and who my parents were and before I knew it she was hugging me and telling me that we were cousins. She talked about how she used to be on the Seely History board (I think that's what she said.....) She said that she knew Uncle Montell and told me all about how we were related back through Justus Azel Seely and Justus Wellington Seely and Orange Seely. She talked about the Pageant and told Sister Barnett all about how our ancestors came across the plains together and how they settled Emery County.
      . . . I told her all about the family and what was happening. She kept stopping everybody who walked by–[telling them] that we were cousins. It was so wonderful to visit with her and have relatives with me here in Poland. We took pictures together. . . . She is so very sweet, and I will look forward to meeting her again after the mission. When she writes you, you can write her back and tell her again how wonderful it was [for me] to have been able to meet her and spend time with her here in the mission.
[Isn’t that great? When you meet a relative in a far country, it makes you feel all warm and happy inside!]

      We’ve received a few more stories–and book orders too–since our last issue. But we hope to hear from a lot more of you. Keep working on those stories!
      Here’s information about sending your stories and photos for Seely History Volume III: We can take Microsoft Word or WordPerfect, and just keep it simple as to font size and all that--your default is fine. That would usually mean 12 point and Times New Roman. We haven't decided which format for the final book. Email submissions are good. We can print it if we want to--and we don't have to retype. And photos in jpeg format are good as well. If you choose to send photographs through the US Postal system, please don’t send us your originals. Make inexpensive copies, and send us the copies.

      The book has three sections:
      1) We’ll give you space, FREE OF CHARGE, for an 800-word story and one photo. Extra words cost 30 cents each–but don’t count single-letter words or single-digit numbers. Extra photos cost $20 each These stories will go in the Living History section of the book.
      And here’s an incentive to do it right away: If you send in your history before September 30, 2006 (this year), you may purchase your book for only $45. The regular price is $50–and after publication, it will be $60.] Make your check to Montell Seely. We have a dedicated account at the credit union, and the money will earn interest until the time of publication.
      2) We’ll also have a Memorial History section. This is where you’ll put the history of your deceased loved ones. Most often, you think of your parents and grandparents–but it could be a deceased brother or sister or child. We have to charge for these pages, in order to generate enough money to print the book. (Advance book sales also help us to obtain the cash we need.) Memorial pages cost $100 each, and you get to say just how it will look–mostly text with just a couple of photos; or mostly photos, with a few paragraphs of text–or,-- you get the idea, don’t you?
      3) The General History section will focus on the history of our direct Seely line, which begins with Robert Seely, the immigrant. Robert, Nathaniel, Benjemen, John, Joseph, Justus, Justus Azel; and his children Elizabeth, Mary, Sarah, William Stewart, J.W. and David. The General History section from Volumes I and II will be edited, modified, expanded, and generally made more useful and readable.
      “If you don’t leave a written history of yourself, you will end up as a forgotten person.” Write about yourself and your families–the one you grew up with, and the one that includes your own children. Then write histories of deceased loved ones, and then buy a bunch of books. One of the best gifts you can give to your children and grandchildren is a Volume III Seely History book. So please help us spread the word to all the family members. We want all the stories we can get for this big, beautiful Volume III!
      Send your stories and photos snail mail or email to Montell and Kathryn Seely, P. O. Box 934, Castle Dale, UT 84513 or

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The Handcart Pioneers
by Montell

      Do you want to know some more stuff about Brigham Young’s handcart companies? Well then, listen up. This year, 2006, is the sesquicentennial (150 years) of the beginning of the handcart venture.
      On June 9th, 1856, the first handcart company left Iowa City–headed for Salt Lake City. So on June 9, 2006, it will be 150 years.
      No, I’m not going to go back to Iowa City and do another handcart journey to Salt Lake, although I could – I’m physically capable.
      I just want to tell you some information that is seldom, if ever, spoken of in relation to the Handcart venture. In the real sense of the word, it was not successful, much to my dismay–and probably equally disappointing to Brigham Young. They tried it, and approximately 3000 immigrants traveled to Zion in the ten handcart companies, but it didn’t pan out as envisioned, so it was scrapped. Historians estimate that approximately 60,000 immigrants came to the Valley during the pioneer era (1846 to May 10, 1869). After that date they came on the railroad. So 3000 out of 60,000–that’s not very many. The handcart period was from 1856 to 1860, and the pioneer era ended in 1869. For the last nine years of the pioneer era, immigrants came by wagon train.
      Side note: The pony express was not a successful venture either; it lasted only two years. But it was so daring, exciting, adventuresome, and unique that it has captured the admiration of our society. It has a solid place in history, and many movies have glorified its riders.
      The handcart venture was somewhat like the pony express. It was daring and adventuresome, and it has captured our hearts, but it wasn’t successful. The Church went back to the covered wagon as the mode of conveying the new converts to Zion. The covered wagon was a successful method.
      But even so, I love the handcart system, and I wish I had been alive at that time. I wish they had put me in charge; I could have ironed out the problems and made the system work. Brigham Young made some statements that were correct, and he made some statements that he shouldn’t have. But I can’t fault him for that. I’m that same way–as you already know. (But I admire people who don’t make erroneous statements.)
      Anyway, Brigham Young made one statement that is absolutely true: “Folks can walk all the way, and get stronger
each day.” I proved that, along with my son Mark and my daughter Janell–along with those others, some 3000 19th-century pioneers.
      One thing Brigham Young shan’t have said was that a handcart company can travel faster than an ox train. I understand why he threw that in–it was part of his hype. But that mindset led to the death of many poor handcart walkers. I’m not talking about the Willie and Martin companies and their tragedies. I’m talking about those who died in the other companies as a result of the “forced march.” You may have bristled up a bit when I used the term “forced march,” but I’ll tell you straight: some of the company leaders put the people into a “forced march.”
      I’m gonna use some quotes to prove my point, and it’s gonna be sorta technical reading–so don’t let your mind wander. Brigham Young stated, “ . . . They can come just as quick, if not quicker, and much cheaper . . . They will only need 90 day rations . . . [When Brigham Young and his advance party did it in 1847, it took them 110 days.] . . . Fifteen miles a day will bring them through in 70 days, and after they get accustomed to it, they will travel 20, 25, and even 30 miles with all ease, and no danger of giving out, but will get stronger and stronger.”
      So when Brigham Young was using this kind of rhetoric, then naturally the other leaders jumped on board too–saying the same things–so then the handcart leaders who were called slipped into the same mindset. Their position was, “Go fast and prove out what our Prophet has said,”–and they did. And they killed some people by so doing. In the long haul, that factor had a negative effect; it helped to defeat the movement.
      Here are some quotes from a personal journal:
     June 15, Got up about 4 o’clock to make a coffin for . . . William Lee, aged 12, . . . had to make another coffin for Sister Prator’s child.
     June 21 . . . Brother Bower died about 6 o’clock . . . I have never been more tired . . .
      June 26, Traveled about 1 mile. Very faint from lack of food. Made a child’s coffin for . . . Emma Sheen, age 2 ½ years.
      July 21, Traveled 15 miles. Walked very fast,–nearly 4 miles an hour. Brother Brown’s family and some young sisters with _____ going first which causes many of the brothers to have hard feelings . . . ½ lb flour each; 2 oz rice; which is very little, and my children cry with hunger and it grieves me and makes me cross.
      From a different journal:
      June 21, A child died this morning and was buried under a tree.
      June 25, A German sister fainted on the road.

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      June 28, Sister Laurenson fainted.
      June 30, This day Brother Arthur stopped at a town, himself and his family as he could not draw his handcart any further . . .
      July 3, Started at 5 o’clock and camped at 7 1/4 after a long and tedious Journey of 25 miles. Some of the Brethren fainted on the road and were carried into camp on the ox team. I nearly fainted myself from exhaustion . . .
      July 8 . . . The company generally very fatigued. Found some of ____’s company lying insensible on the road.
      I could go on and give much more evidence that they were, for all practical purposes, doing a forced march, but this will suffice.
      In almost every case, the captain of each company walked at the lead and set the pace. The captain should have walked at the rear of the Company; he should have been back there helping along the stragglers.
      Now I want to go back and say a few words about why handcart travel was started in the first place. The literal start of the First Company was on June 9, 1856. As a point of reference, the first wagons left Nauvoo in 1846, so we were ten years into the Saints’ hegira to the Great Basin, before the handcart hegira got underway. [Side note: Go to your dictionary and look up the word hegira. Our cousin David Seely used that word when he wrote his autobiography in about1880. So read between the lines on that one.]
      Anyway, when Brigham Young began to gather the Saints to the Salt Lake Valley–Zion to them–he conjured up the Perpetual Emigration Fund, established in 1850. The converts who qualified could get a loan from the fund. With it they could buy passage on a ship to get to the United States; buy railway tickets to the end of the rails (Iowa City, Iowa); and buy a team of oxen and a covered wagon and the other necessaries to sustain their family on the last leg of their journey to Zion. Then they were supposed to find a job and earn enough money to sustain their families, and also to pay back the loan.
      I’m positive that every person who had a loan from the fund, and who arrived in Zion, was an honest, hardworking person–and did the best he could to pay off his loan, but the money didn’t come back in as fast as it went out–and by 1855 the Fund went “broke.” So Brigham Young and his counselors discussed what to do. In fact, they began discussing the ramifications way back in 1851. Brigham Young wrote in the General Epistle, printed in the Millennial Star, Volume XIV, dated October 1851, “Some of the children of the world have crossed the mountains and plains from Missouri to California with a pack on their back to worship their God–Gold! . . . Some of     
the Saints now in our midst came here with wagons or carts made of wood, without a particle of iron, hooping their wheels with hickory, or rawhide, or ropes and had as good and safe a journey as any in the camps, with their wrought iron wagons.
      “Yes, start from the Missouri River with cows, handcarts, wheelbarrows, with little flour and no un-necessaries, and come quicker, and with less fatigue, than by following the heavy trains with their cumbrous herds.”
      The following spring (1852) a handcart plan was presented to the General Conference in Salt Lake City, and 93 men volunteered to go east with teams and provisions to meet such walking immigrants. [Millennial Star, XIV, p. 325]. But this plan was not put into operation at that time.
      Also in 1851, Ezra T. Benson, who was an agent for the Emigration Fund, told the people of the Council Point branch (Council Point was a short distance from Council Bluffs) that they should fit up their wagons and gather with the saints to Zion, and if they can’t get a wagon, GET A HANDCART. He undoubtedly gave this pep talk soon after reading Brigham Young’s article in the Millennial Star.
      Years later, in September 1855, Brigham Young sent the following message to the President of the European Mission: “I have been thinking how we should operate another year. We cannot afford to purchase wagons and teams as in times past. I am consequently thrown back upon my old plan . . . to make handcarts, and let the emigration foot it, and draw upon them [the carts] the necessary supplies.”
      So ten companies came. The largest company [the Martin Company] had 576 persons and 156 handcarts with 7 wagons. And also the greatest number of deaths, 135-150. In contrast, the smallest company [the Stoddard Company] had only 124 people and 21 handcarts with 7 wagons. And 0 deaths. In the four years from 1856 to 1860 nearly 3000 emigrants traveled to Zion by handcarts. Altogether they used 653 carts and 50 wagons.
      Brigham Young instructed the handcart builders to “build . . . without using a particle of iron.” He meant to not have a metal skeen on the spindle. (The spindle is the end of the axle shaft and the skeen is the metal sleeve that fits over the spindle. It fits over it like a thimble; in fact, it’s sometimes called a thimble.)
      He also said to wrap the tire rim with rawhide rather than using an iron hoop (tire). For our 1997 re-enactment, we built a handcart in this fashion, without using a particle of iron. We had a wood axle turning inside a wooden hub. By the time we reached Scott’s Bluff, Nebraska, it was so well worn that we feared it wouldn’t last to Salt Lake, so we would wrap the spindle with tin cans that we found along the highway.

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      This wasn’t breaking any of the rules because in the first handcart company, Captain Ellsworth directed their tinsmith (Joseph Argyle) to use his supply of tin and wrap each spindle in the company. The later handcarts were built stronger–with a metal skeen over the spindle and the light iron tire replacing the rawhide.
      Historians of the handcart pioneers are LeRoy R. Hafen and his wife Ann W. Hafen. Their book, HANDCARTS TO ZION, first printed in 1960, is a work that all should study. The Seely trekkers read the book as they walked along on their modern-day handcart journey in 1996 and 1997.
      The Hafens summarized the 19th century handcart movement with these statements:
      “Most people, in looking at the handcart emigration, have seen only the tragic misfortune of those late companies of 1856. This was indeed a pitiful episode, one of the most pathetic chapters in the history of the West. But taken in its normal operation, with adequate preparations and proper scheduling, the handcart plan was economical, effective and rather beneficent.
      “The economy of handcart travel is undisputed. It enabled hundreds to emigrate who, in all probability, never could have come to America. Also, by this plan the limited resources of the Perpetual Emigration Fund were so spread as to afford assistance to many more emigrants than could have been helped with wagon trains.
      “A majority of those who traveled by handcart were factory workers or peasants whose economic opportunities were greatly enhanced by coming to the New World. Hard work and sacrifices were well known to them, and they did not hesitate to undertake a type of travel simply because it involved strenuous work and difficulties.
      “Concern for material welfare alone could never have produced the handcart migrations. It took consecrated resolution, the sustaining conviction of a deeply religious faith. Spiritual resources buoyed these humble, faithful souls with a strength to endure summer heat and winter cold, fatigue and hunger, discouragement and despair.”
      The newsletter “boss” said that I have to wrap it up right here. But let me slip in this “parting shot.” I wish I had been living in 1856, and I wish they had called me to be in charge of the handcart venture–but that would have “fouled up” the whole history–because if I had been in charge, the venture would have been a success, and we wouldn’t have had the
Willie and Martin tragedy; and if there were no tragedy, there would not be a Martin’s Cove Visitors Center. And here’s another point. Do you know who the “down and back” boys were? Well, after the handcart venture was discontinued, then they came up with the plan to send teams and wagons from Utah, to go back to the Missouri River (Florence, Nebraska) and bring the immigrants “back home” with them. That’s how Orange Seely met Hanna Olsson. He was in one of those down and back wagon trains, and when he saw this lovely young lass from Sweden, his heart did a somersault, and you know the rest of that story. Well, if the handcart venture had been successful up until 1869 when the transcontinental railroad was completed, then Hanna would have been in a handcart company and maybe Orange Seely would have missed her. Whoa! That won’t set very well with their descendants.
      Okay! I’ll quit now. Take my ending there with a grain of saleratus.
The Handcart

            A crude and lifeless thing of wood –
            Two wheels, two shafts, and a box.
            Yet it rolled the road to a Zion home
           With never a mule or ox.
            Propelled by blood of the human heart
            The wood became a walking cart.

           Creeping thirteen-hundred miles
            It squeaked and groaned and whined
            Through dust, and rivers of mud and sweat,
            Greased with a bacon rind.
            At night, as silent as the graves
            New-hidden under grassy waves.

           Hand-fashioned, this rude family cart
            Of Iowa hickory, oak.
            No iron strength in the rustic art
            Of axle, shaft, or spoke.
            Creaking along while the pioneers plod,
            Choraling anthems to their God.

           But the lowly cart, with its miracle wheel
            As timeless as the poor,
            Was a circle of faith that eased the way
            To an inland Salt-Sea shore.
            A man and wife, its walking tea

                                     –Ann W. Hafen      

Page 8

Family Reunion
John Henry Owen Willcox Family Organization

Date:      27 May 2006, Saturday
Time:     9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where:  Orangeville City Park
                          100 North Main Street, Orangeville, Utah
Lunch:  12 noon, cooked in Dutch ovens
                          Provided by JHOW Organization at no cost

               RSVP for all family members
               (specify the number of age 12 and under
                    and the number of age 13 and over)

F To RSVP and get more information, contact:
           Karl Weiler, 6528 N. Delbert Avenue, Fresno, CA 93722
           (559) 277-8227 email
           See also and        

Family Reunion
Moroni Seely Descendants

                           June 30, July 1, & 2, 2006
                        At the Alder Flats Legion Hall

           Evening: Campfire and Weiner Roast
           Afternoon: Games, activities, ball tournaments
           Evening: Pig Roast Supper provided by the family
                           organization, auction, karaoke (Seely Idol!)
           Morning: Family Meeting

           F For information, contact Colin and Janey Villiers
           Box 178, Alder Flats, AB T0C 0A0 CANADA
           (780) 388-2396

President: Genealogist:
Camille Bell 93 North Valley View Dr. Kathie Olsen 639 Eighth Avenue
801-298-0279 North Salt Lake, UT 84054 801-355-0301 Salt Lake City, UT 84103
Vice-President: Asst. Genealogist:
Clair Hendrickson 8483 Terrace Drive Jane Poulsen 1045 East 1160 South
801-943-0253 Sandy, UT 84093 801-377-9808 Provo, UT 84606
Secretary: Web Master:
Nita Workman 3319 North Deep Creek Rd Thom Wilcox 2246 East Warwick
208-766-6019 Malad, ID 83252 559-322-8419 Fresno, CA 93720
Treasurer: Family Representative for Elizabeth Seely Young:
Charles Astle 620 East 3990 South Lucille Anderson 617 East 3970 South
801-266-5363 Salt Lake City, UT 84107 801-265-8254 Salt Lake City, UT 84107
Historian: Family Representative for William Stewart Seely:
Montell Seely P O Box 934 Enid Jeffs Cox 1283 Logan Avenue
435-381-2195 Castle Dale, UT 84513 801-484-2678 Salt Lake City, UT 84106
Newsletter "Slaves" Kathryn and LeAnne Seely
Family Representative for J. Wellington Seely
Brock Seeley 2476 South 200 East
801-491-2962 Springville, UT 84663