The Life History of John Thomas Burnett



James Burnett was born 29 May, 1825 in Bishop Stortford, Hartsford, England. His first wife, Elizabeth Clark, was the mother of seven children, two of whom lived, James and Mary. Because of poor health she was in the hospital several years and died in January, 1859.

One year later James Burnett married Susan Hunt who was born on 2 January, 1831 at Barry St. Edmons, Suffolk, England.

I, John Thomas Burnett, was born the following 25 October, 1860, in Bishop Stortford, Hartsford, England. They say England is a beautiful place with mild damp climate, tall grass in the meadows and no snow, except in the high mountain. I do not remember much about it, except the house we lived in. The spring of 1864 when I was four years old, my parents decided to move from England. The government was colonizing New Zealand and they wished to emigrate there to help settle the country.

To New Zealand

We want on board ship, father, mother, James, Mary, and I. Soon after going to our rooms before the ship had left port, Jim fell down the hatchway, splitting his head open. They thought for a time he was dead, but he gradually regained consciousness and was up and around again.

When the ship pulled anchor it sailed out into the beautiful Thames River, down into the Atlantic Ocean. We had been sailing several days through very stormy weather and those on board had grown very nervous. My mother who was expecting a child, became very frightened when some sailors threw water over the cabin - she thought it was a huge wave and was so severely shocked that it caused the premature birth of her baby girl on the 28th day of April, 1864. She was named Susan Gertrude. Kind friends did all that was possible for mother, but she rapidly grew worse and passed away before the day was over, leaving father to care for us children. Mary was old enough at this time to help care for the children. They buried mother the next day in the ocean as was necessary in those days, wrapping the body in canvas. As young as I was at this time I remember standing on deck and watching them slide my mother's body over the railing and down into the water. This was stamped so strongly on my mind that I never forgot it. We were without the care of a mother and wife. Friends helped us and were very kind but to me they could never take her place.

We sailed three long weary months. The weather was very stormy and many times it seamed the ship would surely sink. This was a very trying voyage for my father. A goat on the ship gave nourishment for the baby and she grew and did fine. Finally through the grace of our Father in Heaven we arrived safe in Kaiahor, New Zealand. My uncle, William Burnett, who lived in a city several miles distant, met us at the dock and we traveled to his home at night, in an one horse cart. The wind was blowing hard all the way and my straw hat blew off and was lost. I felt very bad about losing it.

New Zealand

We lived with uncle a short time until father rented a grocery store and then we moved into the rooms in the back part. The parts of New Zealand where we lived were very beautiful. The climate was mild with lots of rain. There was fog, but not much where we were. Like England, there was no snow, except in the high mountains. There were wild black berries along the fences and roads everywhere and I used to like to take a bucket and pick them for us to eat.

The baby did fine until one day soon after we had arrived in Kaiahor the goat died and it seemed like they could not find another kind of milk to agree with her or take the place of the goat's milk. She began to fail and on the 27th of August 1864 she passed away at the age of four months.

One night after I went to bed and was asleep, in the back of the store, the folks went to visit some friends. Sometime afterwards I awoke and finding I was alone became very frightened. Jumping out of bed and crying very loudly, I picked up one of the weights from the scales and threw it, breaking a large plate glass window in front of the store. Climbing through, I stood on the sidewalk, crying as loud as I could. Soon some neighbors heard me and came and took me to their home. When father and Mary returned and saw the broken window they were alarmed and much more so when they found after going inside, that I was not there and could not be found anywhere. It caused a lot of excitement until I was located at the neighbors.

Mary became acquainted with and married a young man who lived on a farm. Soon after her marriage, father and I went to live with them. James was also married by this time.


One summer day, right in the midst of harvesting, it started to rain very hard. Towards evening the water in the creek which ran through the farm rose rapidly. We went to the creek and amused ourselves by forking out bundles of grain which were floating by. That night after retiring, we were suddenly awakened by the sound of running water. It frightened my brother-in-law and he jumped out of bed and into water up to his knees. We were living in a sod house and made our way to a big hay stack, climbing upon it. We stayed there the rest of the night. As daylight came, we saw that the whole country was covered with water which was flowing swiftly to the ocean, carrying bundles of grain, beehives, cattle, pigs, small buildings and most everything in its way.

Many families were ruined financially, my sister and husband along with the rest. It took a long time to get things cleaned up again. Sometime after, brother Thomas J. Steed of Famington, Utah, brought the first alfalfa seed into New Zealand. It grew well but had to be cut and used as green food as there was so much rain and damp it could not be cured. Earthquakes were very common. I remember one so hard it splashed water out of a tub sitting in the backyard.

My father bought some cows and I was sent out on the hills to herd them. One day some boys came and coaxed me to go swimming with them so I did, forgetting the cows. We had such a good time until time to go home and then I could not find the cows. Kneeling down I prayed to the Lord to help me, making a bargain with him. The cows were found and everything was all right.


We had been in New Zealand sometime when a number of missionaries arrived from Utah. They were representing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some of these were Fredrick W. and Charles Hurst, brothers from Logan, Utah; Thomas J. Steed, Farmington; T. Rich, Grantsville, Utah; and Carl Ammussen of Logan, Utah. These Elders visited in our home, preaching and explaining the gospel, holding meetings wherever they were permitted to do so. Father was greatly impressed with the doctrine and asked questions and discussed the principles with the missionaries. He read a lot and finally, after being thoroughly satisfied of its truth, asked for baptism. Missionary Carl Ammussen baptized him on the 6th of March 1867 in Kaiopal, Canterbury, New Zealand. He was always a true and faithful member. I was baptized on my eighth birthday, the 25th day of October, 1868, by my uncle, William Burnett, and was confirmed the same day by my father.

Soon after this, father married his third wife, Fanny Fairbrother. Through the following years she gave birth to seven children, Ada, Jane, Joseph Samuel, Edith, Charles, Arthur, and Elizabeth. She was always a good mother to me. I helped her in the home doing housework of all kinds. I also delivered milk to customers. I had very little time to play or for pleasure, as other beys did. I went to a church of England school and graduated from the eighth grade when I was about fifteen years old.

Joining the Church

It was the custom there for all young men to be bound to learn a trade. I was sent to a wagon maker and bound to serve for seven years. I had served two years for this when one day as I was walking out with a missionary from Utah, talking to him, I received the desire to go to Zion. Soon after this father decided to go and I wanted to go with him, but as I had five more years to serve he said to me, "What are you going to do my boy, you cannot go to Utah with us at this time." I told him I was going to Utah with him but he said that was impossible until I had served my apprenticeship. But I was determined to go. My boss talked to me and tried to persuade me to stay but I said, "no" I was going to Utah. So they took my case into court, serving notice on my father and I to appear. When the day arrived and the court started, with all interested present, the judge asked to see my papers. My boss brought them and they were read but to the surprise of all they had not been signed. As this is necessary the judge said, "My boy you can go to Utah all right." I was very happy and knew the Lord had helped me. The Spirit of Mormonism was in it and in this way was brought about a way for me to go to Utah with my parents where we could be with the Saints. Father made all preparations necessary, and on the 6th day of May 1877, we left New Zealand for America. The members of the family were Father, his wife, John T., Joseph, Samuel, and Edith. James joined the Church and later went to Utah.

To America

We sailed on ship, City of Sidney, for San Francisco, stopping at several ports, one the Sandwich Islands [Hawaiian Islands] where we stayed two days. We were met at the ship by the King's band as it was called and I talked to King Kala, of these Islands. He shook hands with me and said, "Good morning, sir."

While on the ship my stepmother took very sick and when they would take her on deck she would keep fainting and almost died. Father said he almost wished he had not started to America as this was almost more than he could bear. Some missionaries who were with us chided him severely for saying that. I was eighteen but sure told them they should be ashamed to talk to him that way as he bad gone through a lot and was a true Mormon and a good man. Through the mercy of the Lord and administration of the Elders my stepmother recovered entirely. After reaching America we sailed up the Sacramento River all night, reaching Sacramento City by daylight.

We boarded the Central Pacific train, going east, and reaching Farmington, Utah, on the 6th of June 1877. We had been just one month on the water. Father left New Zealand because of his love for the gospel and his desire to live with the Saints and he proved a very faithful member. He left the two eldest children, James and Mary, in New Zealand, James coming later.

Arriving in Farmington, Utah

On arriving in Farmington, we went to the home of Brother Thomas J. Steed, Sr., a former missionary to New Zealand. We stayed there until Father bought a home and lot. I went to work the next day after we arrived. I bargained to work for Brother Steed for a certain length of time unless something better was offered me. I worked there 2 years for $12.50 a month and board. Would be up at 4:00 each morning and work all day until after dark, doing all kinds of farm work. We put up a thousand tons cf hay, much grain, corn and barley. During this time I was growing fast and always was hungry. Brother Steed had had a farm on the Sandridge, south of Ogden, where I plowed and worked, going back and forth from Farmington.

One night after getting through work, we started for Farmington. I had just the running gears to ride on and when we had gone a short distance a severe snow and rain storm came up and it wasn't long until it was dark. I had seven quilts with me and instead of putting all of them over me at once, I used them one at a time and they were soon wet through. It was very cold and I could not see where to drive so let the horses take the lead and they took me right home. I was almost frozen when we arrived and Sister Steed put my feet and hands in cold water to draw out the frost. It was good to get by a warm fire again. The team was fed and taken care of for me.

Many times for our lunch we would have a loaf of bread cut in half with a piece of butter in the center, and for breakfast we had corn meal mush. I grew tired of this and asked Brother Steed if we couldn't have something different to eat. He told his wife to give the boys some more to eat, so after that we had bacon and eggs, along with the corn meal mush, a little fruit and some meat with our lunch. This satisfied us more and we felt more like working.


Father sold our home in Farmington and bought eighty acres of land on the Sandridge. Mrs. Herrods bought our home, and Charles Steed, son of Tom Steed, owned the lot in 1938.

The third year, desiring to get more money, I talked to Brother Steed about a raise. He said he could not pay me any more but if I could get more somewhere else to leave him and go. Ezra Clark offered me a dollar a day so I took the job and worked for him all summer and in the winter fed cattle, of which he had one thousand head. In the spring he paid me in five 20 dollar gold pieces as I had not drawn any all winter. I worked on the railroad next as a section hand.

One evening a friend was visiting me. We were looking through my picture album, when he, coming to the picture of a young lady, asked me who she was I told him she was a Miss Hurst I had met in Logan. "A fine looking girl, " he said. Just then Father came up behind me and said, "yes, that is your future wife, my boy." I told him he was a mile off but he said to write it down as she would some day be my wife. At the time I was keeping company with and was engaged to Fanny Steed, to be married in a few months. She was the daughter of Thomas Steed. One evening while talking together of our future marriage she told me she would never leave Farmington to live. I told her she couldn't mean that as the girl I married must be willing to go where I wanted her to go, but she said she would never leave Farmington. For this and other reasons we later decided to quit but were close friends, the rest of our lives. She grieved very much and tried every way to get me to change my mind but I could not. She spent the rest of her life in doing temple work. She later married a Mr. Meadows but did not have any children.

While living in Farmington we witnessed many severe electric storms and cloud bursts. The hills are covered with big boulders, also the lower land, these having been washed down by the flood waters from the canyons. During the cloud bursts the water would run down the canyons, washing tons of big rooks and debris down into the valley below which spread over the hills and fields. During a severe storm one night lightening struck my watch which was hanging on the bedpost, but we who were in bed were not hurt. Around 10:00, during the height of the storm, we heard a noise as of rushing water and thinking the house would be swept away, rushed to the door just in time to see the water separate and go each side of the house. We knew when it was all over that the Lord had again protected us. In later years floods in this area did much damage and took many lives.

One day I went to the canyon for firewood. I had gone early before anyone came up the canyon. My companion came up later and persuaded me to throw off my load and go further up into the canyon with him, to get a red pine log. Foolishly I did and we found the pine log, cut it and loaded it on the wagon. When I started to pull it up the hill the harness broke and my companion would not help me, so I had to mend it myself. I then returned to the place where I had left the first load. After loading the logs onto a wagon I felt very warm and thirsty and so drank some cold water from a spring nearby. This melted my palate and caused it to fall down into my throat. Becoming quite ill, I could not ride on the load so drove it into a cove and rode the horse home. Because of inflammation in my throat I had to wait three days before the doctor could do anything for me, then he jerked up on my hair which pulled my palate into place, and I was all right again. When I went to get my load, someone had stolen my new log chains and doubletrees. I would have liked to have known who was so dishonest.


In 1883 I applied for citizenship papers to the United States and was accepted on the 31st of October, 1890. The Logan Temple was being built and I was called to work on it. Before leaving I was ordained an Elder by William R. Smith, who was then President of Davis Stake. Upon reaching Logan, I went to the home of Brother Fred W. Hurst. I was giving a painting job on the temple which I liked very much. They asked if I could contribute some money to help the work go on. A twenty dollar gold piece was all I had and the men said if I would give that I would be blessed and never need money but that I could get it some way. Willingly I gave what I had and that premise had been fulfilled many times throughout my life.

Lucy Hurst

At this time I started keeping company with Lucy Hurst, eldest daughter of Fredrick W. and Aurelia Hawkins Hurst, and I learned to love her very much.

After a short courtship, we were married in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah, on the 24th of April 1884 thus fulfilling the prophecy my father made earlier in my life as to the young lady who would become my wife. Lucy Hurst, my wife, was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on the 19th of September 1865. We moved to a little white house across the street from her parents in the 4th Ward in Logan, Utah, and here we were vary happy. I helped on the temple until it was completed, then helped my father-in-law paint houses.

On the 4th of February 1885 our first child, a girl, was born to us. We called her Aurelia Lucy, for her mother and grandmother. She was so tiny, weighing just six pounds. She had blue eyes, dark hair, and very red face. We loved her and were very proud of our first child.

I was ordained a Seventy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by W. W. Taylor, one of the First Seven Presidents of the Seventies. Lucy's brother, Harris, a young man over six feet tall and I were hired to paint the roof of a mill in Logan. Another man had been fired from the job and being angry pulled the scaffold down and he was made to put it back again which he did not want to do, but did it in a half-hearted way. He did not brace it strong enough and when we climbed up the ladder onto the scaffold to paint the roof, the scaffold pulled away from the building until we could just take hold of the shingles with our fingers, our toes touching the scaffold. The old machinery was below us and a group of men in the building told us to edge our way towards a window. Harris was tall and it was easier for him but much harder for me as I was shorter. I thought I could not make it but they kept urging me to try and finally I succeeded and was pulled through the window. A very narrow escape for us.

Clifton, Idaho

I took up a homestead of 160 acres of land near Clifton, Idaho. My half brother, Jim Burnett, helped me get from the canyon a good set of house logs but before I started to build the house he persuaded me to leave there and go with him to Oakley, Idaho to homestead 160 acres of land. I did not use my own judgement which of course was a fault of mine, but listened to him and made preparation to leave at once. He had described it in such a way that it sounded like a very good proposition. He said he would send us fruit or money or anything he could to help and in spite of the anxious protest of Lucy's parents we put our few belongings into a covered wagon and started on our way, Lucy, the baby, Jim, and I. We started on the 18th of April 1885. Aurelia, the baby, was just three months old.

It was early spring, cold and stormy. The mud was hub deep and it rained and was very cold. Our wagon cave was not the best and the rain soaked through it, and soaked all our bedding. Lucy would hold pans ever the baby's head in an attempt to keep her dry. When we left, the baby had a bad cold but it gradually grew better. As we traveled along the wheels would sink hub deep in the mud and Lucy would put a quilt down by the side of the road and put the baby on it while she helped push the wagon, picked the baby and quilt up and put it down a little ahead again and push some more. When we came to Rattlesnake Pass the horses could not pull the wagon up as it was so muddy and steep so I gave a man $7.50 to pull us to the top with his team. Lucy and Jim became ill and did not want to eat. I would make a fire and cook some bacon and eggs and cocoa and take to then but they would eat very little. This was a very trying trip for all, especially Lucy, and many times I felt like turning back.

We traveled one week and finally reached our destination. We felt as though it was our condemnation after we saw the place, we had gone through to get this. What a desolate sight met our eyes, rocks everywhere, dry land and sagebrush. Just an one room shanty, no doors or windows and this was to be our home, a dirt roof and floor. It was enough to discourage the best of pioneer wives. We did not like the place from the first and found that Jim had misrepresented things greatly to us. We decided to stay and give it a try, but could not farm the land as it was most all rock. I went to work and fixed the house the best I could, put in a floor, windows and doors. I took sometime but finally I succeeded in making it quite comfortable. Lucy fixed it up inside as nice as possible with what we had, Jim left us his wagon and returned to Utah on horseback. By Fall I had done some plowing but the ground was so rocky I could not plant it or get any water to irrigate with. I bought three milk cows and four horses, two of mine and two of Jim's. All the time we were there all Jim ever sent us was a quart of plum jam which he sent with one of my neighbors. I went to the canyon and cut and hauled logs to build a stable and corral and chicken coop, and later I built a granery. I was very glad when I could get odd jobs to do and willing to take anything for pay. We certainly knew by this time how foolish we had been to leave a good job at the co-op in Logan, Utah for this.

In the Spring I planted a garden in the same ground along the creek. The garden was lower than the creek was. The seed came up fine and one afternoon when the peas were ready Lucy took the baby across the creek to the garden and was enjoying a feast of peas, when she heard a roaring noise. She looked up to see a man riding by on horseback. He called to her to hurry to higher ground as a flood was coming down the creek. She grabbed the baby and ran and just reached the top ground when the water went roaring by, covering the garden completely. Dismayed, we thought everything was washed away and ruined but when the water had gone we saw the garden was not hurt. A good soaking was what it needed and we had a wonderful garden especially lots of carrots.

Damn Mormons

I was riding the range one day when a cowboy rode up to me and asked if I was one of these "damn Mormons." I replied that I was and he then pulled out his gun and said he ought to shoot me. I told him now was a good time to blase away. He looked up at me very much surprised and asked if I wasn't afraid and I told him, "no," I was not afraid, and began talking to him, telling him that he knew nothing at all about the Mormons. He listened, then lowered his gun, and we afterwards became good friends. There were a lot of tough cowboys in that country.

There were lots of coyotes around who would howl all night making us feel very lonesome. One morning Lucy went out to feed the chickens, leaving the baby in the house alone. There was a small cat hole in the bottom of the door. When she started towards the house she saw a big coyote sitting by the step and the baby was looking out of the eat hole at it.

I ran a farm for cut Worthington but had very poor luck. We had nice carrots and the Indians heard of it and would come and ask for them. They seemed to like them very much, but would not take them without permission and would always pull just a few and would pay well, sometimes trading pine nuts for them. One day a chief with several young men rode up on horseback and from a signal from the chief, all dismounted and came to the house and asked for carrots. Lucy was alone and very frightened. She had to go down the cellar for the carrots but finally got up enough courage, and to her horror, all followed. She was so frightened that all the color left her face and they laughed at her and said, "Papoose afraid. No hurt". She gave them some carrots and going out to their horse, they mounted at a signal and rode away.

One day about 2:00 Indians stopped to make camp in front or our place. I told them that my white papoose was alone so much and was afraid of them and would they camp further up. They laughed but moved at once.

We also had a melon patch and the cowboys would steal melons from the other men, but did not touch ours. I would ask then if they would like some when they would go by and saying they would, they cut them open and enjoyed then right there.

We had raised a fine lot of chickens and they were just ready to lay. I went out to feed them one morning early and saw thirty-six piled in the middle of the coop all dead. A weasel had killed them during the night.

Our hogs took the cholera and died and the cattle were driven away by Indians or cowboys. Some died as the feed was so scarce.

On the 19th of September 1886 our second daughter was born. I had been plowing all day as usual. I always turned the horses out on the range but this night I put them in the corral and fed them. About midnight Lucy told me I had better go for help and I was very grateful the horses were shut up. I had to go a long ways for help, but was back in time. We named her Fanny Hunt, after my mother and step- mother. We were very hard up at this time but did get a girl to help. All the time Lucy was sick she had little more than bread and milk to eat. Many times I have staggered in from the field, faint from hunger. Sometime I would go up the creek fishing, would get some nice trout and trade some of them for grease to fry ours in.

Dramatic Club

I was a member of the Dramatic Club which provided entertainment for the people in that place by putting on plays and so on. One night in the theater I was taking part with another man, no one else would take part with this man, as he would get so excited in a sword duel he would strike out of turn. This he did with me, making a thrust when he should not have done. He thrust, hitting me over the heart, but lucky for me the large buckle on my suspenders was in the way and it saved my life. I often gave readings in the plays or concerts, one of which was entitled "The Stolen Sheep."

While in the community we became acquainted with some very fine people and enjoyed ourselves while in their company. We made some lifelong friends, among whom were Hyrum Clark and his wonderful wife, Eliza, who was always smiling and happy, loving her friends dearly; Orson McBride and family; and Orson Height, who was our Bishop and a very good one.

When Fanny was two weeks old another brother and I were asked to go to Elmo as home missionaries. Elmo was up in the mountains and I left Lucy alone, with the babies and went with my companion. We held several meetings during the day and towards evening a blizzard came up and made it impossible for us to return that night. I was so worried as Lucy was very nervous and not strong and I prayed for them and they were blessed as Lucy could see the storm in the mountains and she worried for fear we would get lost or be frozen on the road as it was very cold, but we arrived home safely next day.

The cattle men and sheep men were having trouble over pasture lands. One man came to me and said he was going to kill another man, I tried to talk him out of it but he went to the man's home, called him out and shot him.

I made a hayrack and it seemed like I loaned it to every man there. It would be gone for weeks sometimes before I would get it back.

For some weeks I could not get any work and we were hungry. I went to the store to ask if we could get a few groceries on time, another man who was quite a wealthy farmer was ahead of us and he asked the storekeeper if he could get some groceries on time but he refused to let him have any. Thinking it useless to ask, we were leaving the store, when he asked what he could do for me. I told him I had come to ask for a few groceries on time but hearing his answer to another man thought we had better go. He said, I could have anything I wanted in the store and we were very grateful to him for his kindness.

Goose Creek

Two neighbors and I went up into the top of the mountains in Goose Creek. We reached the place and soon after it started to rain. I was the only one who had a wagon cover so we quickly made a tent, pegged it down and put inside our bedding and food. We dug a ditch around the tent outside, unharnessed the horse and turned them loose down the mountain side. The storm broke over us in fearful thunder and lightening. We had had no supper but it was so wet and dark that we just crawled into bed. I layed awake while my companion slept and snored. All night I could hear the trees being struck by lightening and falling all around us. About midnight I heard the horses coming along the trail for home. I could hear them coming as I put a bell on them. Finally morning came at last and I was glad the storm had spent itself. We had a hearty breakfast and then went to work cutting logs for our loads. After cutting them we put one load on the wagon and the logs to be drug down the steep places. Starting home my companion went down first, I followed with my team and load. Everything went fine until the log on behind hit a rock and stuck and the team could not move it. I threw down the lines and jumped off the wagon and going back found the trouble. I worked the dirt away and moved the rock. The load began to move and knowing the horses would mind me I ran to the brake rope and pulled so hard the pole broke, then away went the whole thing. Part way down one of the horses fell, which stopped the load. The other men came back and helped me get the horses from under the load. One horse had broken its leg and we had to shoot it. The men helped me take my load down to the bottom of the hill where I left it, riding the other horse home. Next morning I took another horse and brought my load home. This last trouble discouraged me so very much that I decided it was all I could take. It seemed like all hell was working against me and I told Lucy we were going back to Utah, that I could not stand it there any longer. We had been there just two years. A better, more patient and faithful wife could never be found, but I never will forget the expression of joy on her face when I told her this. We had tried to be good pioneers but had been tried in so many ways and lost so much in this new country. We had gone through so much poverty and Lucy had never once complained but did the best she could in every way and was a grand and faithful companion. We told our friends of our intentions and they said they hated to have us leave. We also hated to leave these dear friends we had made. The Dramatic Club put on a play for our benefit and between acts they asked me to read "The Stolen Sheep," which I did, also several others which I had read many times before. The play was well attended and afterwards they presented us with a purse containing $25. This kindness helped us so much and we knew we had true friends indeed. We were glad to get out of that country, our only regret being we had to leave our friends. We had learned to love so much these friends. I sold what we could and packed the rest in our wagon. I had a pile of logs which I sold to a man for $40, he promising to send it to me but after we left all I received from him was a pound of butter and one dozen eggs.

Back to Utah

We started happily on our way, traveling in the old covered wagon back to good old Utah. (The granery house and correl and things were still as I left them years after when my brother went through there). I never did go back. I felt so bad because my brother had misrepresented things to me and had not kept his word.

We camped the first night in Albian, Idaho. During the night we heard considerable shootings and were worried but got through the night right and were happy when daylight came. We ate our breakfast and were soon on our way again. It was Spring time of the year, the roads were muddy as they were when we had made the trip two years before. We were one week on the read, but what a different feeling to be returning to our loved ones. We arrived on Sunday morning, just two years after leaving our home in Utah. All the folks rejoiced to have us safely home again. The babies had sunburned faces and skinned red noses but were fussed over by the folks. We were happy to get back to civilization again. I went to work at the co-op the next morning and the Manager told me I might just as well have been working there all the time. I worked first in the dry goods. Lucy said I gave more shoes and clothes to poor people while working there than half my wages, but I hated to see anyone need things and not have a way to get them, so I helped all I could. I worked next in the hardware room and finally outside, receiving grain, which was stored in a big grain elevator as the farmers brought it in. Many Indians brought grain from Malad and their farms around. Later I cradled hundreds of dozens of eggs which were stored in very large vats.

We moved into an empty house on father Hurst's lot where we lived for one year and then bought a lot north of Logan in the fourth Ward, out in the field they called it. We built a nice house on the land. One time while here, Aurelia was sick with rheumatism after getting her feet wet, and could not stand on her feet for some time. It was only several blocks south from where we lived to Lucy's folks so she would put Fanny in the buggy and walk there. One day a strange thing happened while she was on her way to visit her folks. Fanny was in the buggy, Aurelia walking by the side, when Lucy saw a horse with the harness on, running wildly down the street. It crossed the road and came directly toward them. She reached for Aurelia just as the horse jumped over the buggy, catching its feet in the handle and kicking the buggy to pieces, throwing the baby out. She received only a few scratches. Lucy who was expecting another child was very shocked and upset. This happened near her mother's home and she and the children were taken inside and cared for. Aurelia says she can remember this incident and felt bad because they would not let her go into the room where her mother was. Lucy rested awhile and then felt all right. Soon after this, on the 5th of October 1888, our first son was born. We called him John Thomas and called him Johnny. Sometimes the neighbors called him Bishop as he was so fat. We loved him and he was a fine little fellow.

About this time I was called to work as Counselor to Nicholas Crookston in the Mutual in the 4th Ward. I labored here for a number of years and enjoyed my work. R. 0. Larsen was our Secretary and I have never worked with a more faithful man. We were asked to tell in meeting what had been the most influence in our lives and Brother Larsen arose and said, "I want to tell you Brother John T. Burnett has been the most influence for good in my life". I felt very honored.

Agricultural College

Soon after we bought some land on the hill east of Logan. The government was looking for a suitable place to build an Agricultural College. While talking to the committee one day I asked them why they did not build it on the hill and told them I would sell them my land and was sure they could buy from the owners. Finally it was decided upon to build it there and so we sold our land with others for that purpose. The college was built and they could not have selected a more suitable place. Later many buildings were added.

On the 2nd of June 1906 we received a blessing at the home of and by Patriarch Thomas J. Steen in Davis County, Utah, city of Farmington.

After selling the land on the hill for the college, we bought two lots just at the foot of the hill in the 5th Ward in 1889. Here we built a nice three room house, planted one lot in alfalfa, the other in orchard and small fruit trees of all kinds. We liked this location very much as there was a beautiful view of the temple and bench, the island, river and mountains with the college back of us. We planted a lawn and on it we planted three cherry trees, two evergreens, lilacs, catalpha trees, roses and Lucy had a flower garden laid out in the shape of moons end half moons. We had bleeding heart and tiger lilies around the lawn, two ways. By the house on the East was a big strawberry-apple tree in which each of the girls had a play horse and many an imaginary miles they went on these horses. There was a swing for the children and a grape arbor over the cellar which was pretty and cool and an ideal place for playhouses. We had a barn and a number of chicken coops. We had a horse we called Nell, also a surry. Old Nell had a long tail which touched the ground. It also had a long mane and was a very pretty horse. One morning when I went into the barn a tramp had slept there all night and before going had cut a lot of hair from Nell's tail. We kept this horse many years, even after going to the Sandridge to live, until she was almost too old and feeble to walk, then she had to be shot to put her out of her misery.

I was called and set apart as President of the 5th Ward Mutual. R. 0. Larsen was my Secretary. In this office I labored a number of years. I was one of the City Councilmen two years, also President of the Religion class and had charge of the dances. At first we had a hard time trying to keep order, but finally won out and had excellent dances. We started a dramatic club and put on some fine plays. My favorite was Michel Karl in which I took the leading part. One night during the play the villain shot at me. This frightened Aurelia in the audience. Thinking it was real, she cried out, "Papa, Papa", which, of course, caused quite a lot of amusement.

I was ordained a High Priest by Orsen Smith and set apart as Second Counselor to William Hyde on the 10th of December 1891. From then on I had some very trying experiences. One brother was jealous because he was not chosen and acted very very badly towards me. I treated him the best I knew how, but he continued to be disagreeable until it became unbearable and then going to the Bishop I told him I had never asked for the position and that he should give it to the man who was anxious to have it. He then related to me the following incident: When the Presidency of the Stake was electing the man for the position they could not agree on anyone. After holding a number of meetings, President Smith said, "Brethren, we will go home, fast and pray about this, then each one write on a slip of paper the name suggested to him by the spirit of the Lord for that position". When they met at the appointed time they all put their slips on the table and each one had my name on it. There were five men in the meetings, the President of the Stake, his Counselors, and the Bishop and his First Counselor. When I heard this I felt much better and went ahead with renewed faith and courage and did not let the man bother me again. In 1934 there was very bitter feelings against the leaders of the Church, especially Moses Thatcher who was an Apostle at the time. When Joseph F. Smith came to Logan to conference they would not entertain him. I had a nice surry and horse and drove him to the home of a sister who had once worked for him in Salt take City. He stayed there for dinner, then I took him back to conference and considered this a grand privilege. He was very grateful and thanked me many times. He also visited at Father Hurst's home. He and President Smith were missionaries together on the Islands in New Zealand. He held Geneve on his lap and talked to the other children. He later was the Prophet and Leader of the Church.

I enjoyed my work very much while in the Bishopric and gained the confidence and friendship of many members of the Ward. When there was trouble we always tried to settle things the right way and satisfactory to all. Bishop Hyde was a wonderful man to work with and I loved him.

At this time I was still working at the co-op and would often go right to a Bishop's meeting and not get home until too late to eat my supper, and would have to leave for work so early in the morning that the children would only get to see me at noon, except, of course, on Sundays. They hardly had a chance to get acquainted with me. On Sundays and once in a while in the evenings we would ride up beautiful Logan Canyon, where the water in the river went dashing over the rocks making white foam. One time we crossed over a bridge to the other side to look at a new saw mill, taking up the bridge after us so stock in there would not get out.

Going on vacation we often camped in the canyon overnight. My folks lived at Clinton, about sixty miles from Logan, and desiring to visit them I drove, taking Aurelia and Johnny with me. We had a nice visit, went to Sunday School while there which was held in an old granery of Uncle Sam Burnett. Everyone had to take their own chair. Another time when we went to visit my parents we went on the train and I carried Aurelia on my back from the station to my father's home.

On the 20th of May 1890 our third girl was born. We called her Mable. The other children were all dark and Mable was the first child to be fair like her mother. She was a lovely baby so fat and healthy.

At this time Johnny was about 2 years old and he had had many narrow escapes from death. One day his mother was busy and did not notice him for a few minutes. Suddenly ha came running into the house all covered with mud and his clothes were wet. He had fallen into a stream of water which ran past the third house and had been washed through the culvert. I shuddered to think what would have happened if he had been caught inside the culvert and how he had gone through without being drown was more than I could figure out. Only the help of God could have saved him. Another time we could not find him anywhere. Lucy went to the barn where I had been digging post holes, to look for him, and she saw his little legs kicking over the top of the hole. He had fallen into it head first and soon would have smothered if his mother had not found him in time.


In August 1890 an epidemic of diptheria [sic] went all over the country and we did not escape. Many families lost three or four children and some all they had. An Aunt, not knowing she had the disease, visited us and the children caught it from her. My brother-in-law, Harris, lived on the corner of the block from us and they lost their girl with it. We were quarantined in and could not go to the funeral. As they were leaving the home I watched over the fence. Johnny wanted to see also and as I lifted him up in my arms he asked where they were going. I told him that Cousin Flora was going to heaven and they were taking her to the cemetery. He said, "Me go too Papa". A day or so later he took sick, also the baby, Mable, and they were very sick children. The doctors did not seem to know what to do for it and it usually left the heart very weak. We called in the Elders and had them administer to them and they promised Mable that she would get better and grow to womanhood, but when they saw Johnny they patted him on the head and told him he was a fine little boy. He seamed to be getting along fine until one evening he wanted to play with the other children and not knowing it would hurt we let him sit up but his heart was so weak and before morning he passed away, this being the 12th day of August, 1890. I remember the power of prayer at this time. The baby, Mable, was very ill and I was so worried because of Johnny's death for fear that we would lose her also. I took Aurelia and Fanny by the hand and went down to the barn, climbed up on the hay and knelt down and prayed, saying, "Oh, Lord isn't one enough". I remember a man outside the barn extracting honey from a hive of bees and I talked to him awhile through the loft window. We went back to the house and I felt that my prayer was answered and felt sure the baby would live and told Lucy so. We were numb with grief over the death of Johnny but were very thankful that the baby lived. While the children and I went to the cemetery for the burial of our little son and brother, Lucy sat and held the baby at home. The doctor had said that she would take the turn for the better or otherwise at a certain time and it was while we were at the cemetery that she turned over and slept soundly for several hours, and thereafter continued to improve until completely well. The rest of the children had this dreadful disease but not so bad. Aurelia often had severe sore throat spells for years after which were caused by the diptheria. We thanked our Father in Heaven for sparing the rest as there were hundreds of cases everywhere.

I enjoyed my work very much in the Bishopric and made many dear friends. Many times I was called to go with the Elders to administer to the sick. It seemed that my gift was faith. I felt very humble in this calling and helped in some very wonderful cases of healing, some of which I will relate here.

Doctor Ormsby claimed to be the best physician in Logan. Otis evening as I was on my way home, he met me and told me his daughter, Mable, was very ill and would I get some Elders and go to his home. He said he had done all he could for her. I told him we would be glad to and gathering up several of the Brethren, we went to his home and administered to his daughter. After the anointing I called a brother from the other side of the room and asked him to seal the anointing, which he did, but there was not any spirit to it. We then retired to another room and were talking when the doctor came in and said, "Brother Burnett, Mable wants you to come and seal that annotating". We returned to her room and gave her a splendid blessing, telling her through the blessings of the Lord she would recover. It was not long until she was completely well.

I had experiences in many other cases, as wonderful as the one just related. Mine was the gift of faith and I saw it manifested many times in my own family as well as in helping other families.

Revere, our second boy, was born on the 16th of July 1892 and we were very proud of him. He was a lovely baby.

I loved to teach the Adult Class in Sunday School and in Sunday School we had many discussions which were very interesting. Some of the Professors from the College attended and they did not always approve of my method of explaining the doctrines. One especially did not like my method but later he apologized and said he had found I was right in my explanations.

Business Dealings

When living in the 5th Ward, Lucy's brother asked me to sign a note for $200 he was borrowing to go to Mexico. He planned to buy some land there but was disappointed when he saw the country and returned to Utah. I signed the note but when it was due he could not pay it so of course they came to me. I did not have any money then but told them I would get it by the end of the year. They took my horse and buggy for security which later was returned to me. I had just paid $30 for a cart and they took that for $12.50. Harris bought some land east of Hyde Park, Utah in the foothills at the foot of a big mountain. I heard of this and told them I wanted ten acres of that land for my money. It was fixed up and I got it but this caused bitter feelings in the family towards me and my wife. This was a beautiful place but there were so many rattlesnakes one had to continually be on the lookout so as not to get bit by them. We visited the folks here many times, sleeping on the haystack, listening to the horses crunch the hay during the night. Later I sold my ten acres to Leo, another brother, but the trouble and hard feelings it caused, were never cleared up. Thus so many times in my life in helping people I almost always got the worst deal. I worked for the co-op eight years, then after trying several ways to keep it going, they finally had to close it so I was out of a job. Now out of work it was up to me to find something else to do to make a living. A stall store in the 5th Ward was for rent so a friend, Rastus Nelson, and I decided to rent it and run a store of our own. Lucy warned me against going into business with him as we had heard he was not always honest but I did not listen to her end want ahead and stocked it with groceries and dry goods. Lucy's brother, Reige, was also a shareholder, and Lilly) her sister, clerked for us. We had very good success for awhile and then noticed something was wrong. Our books did not tally and after watching and thoroughly investigating found that Rastus Nelson was very dishonest and crooked and had been taking money from the till. In finding this man was not the honest friend I thought him to be I was very disappointed. I resigned my partnership and he continued to rim the store for awhile longer and then closed it. A man who had helped us get the store told me that I should have gone into business for myself and not have taken Rastus Nelson in as my partner.

During this time three more children were born to us, Geneva on the 5th of October 1894 who was born on our eldest son's birthday, Naomi on the 19th of January 1897 and Myron who was born on the 11th of November 1898.

Next I tried the poultry business. I bought and sold chickens, ducks, turkeys, and pigeons. We dressed and shipped poultry several times a week. I also bought eggs and sold themn by the case and I had some pure bred laying hens and also ran several incubators. At first too, Lucy's brother, and I were together, but he secured a good job and so withdrew and went on alone.

I dug a cellar and had three incubators in it. I built more coops, made more chicken runs and sold eggs for setting. Aurelia would take care of the chicks in the brooders after they hatched. We kept a cow and had lots of milk for the children. The older children now were attending school in a rock building up on the bench. They later went to the Benson School which was eight blocks away and here they had several teachers a day.

Scarlet Fever

Lucy's sister, Leolin, who was a twin, died when her second child, Mary, was born. This was a sad time for everyone as she was a very lovely person and was loved by all. The next summer Lucy's brother and family came to visit Mother Hurst's home from Bearlake, Idaho. Some of their children slept with ours and not knowing they had scarlet fever, gave it to our children. Fanny was very sick and Aurelia had a very bad sore throat but they recovered, we were thankful to say, though Mable and Fanny were left kidney trouble. The smaller ones were also very ill. We were quarantined in for six weeks and were very glad when that time was up and we could go out again. It was amusing to see the college students go over across the street, holding their handkerchiefs to their face, as they were afraid of getting germs. In those days it was thought it was caught by the dead skin scales from the baby but today doctors tell us differently.

We were having a vary cold winter, thirty below, when word came that Lissy, my brother's (Jim) wife, had died in childbirth. Lucy and I with the baby went in a cutter to their home in Malad, Idaho. There were so many big drifts along the way and going over one was tipped over but no one was hurt so we continued on our way. Lucy and I offered to take the two youngest children, Clarence and Minerva, home with us to raise. Jim brought them over to Logan later and we treated them as our own children and bought all their clothes. Jim came quite often to visit them and each time he came he would try to persuade me to take him in as a partner dividing my share and putting an equal amount of value of his things in from the farm. It sounded all right to me, though if I had thought of past experiences with him and listened to Lucy I certainly would not have taken him in. It seamed I just could not believe he was so dishonest. So I accepted him and we drew up our plans and every thing went fine. I would help him in the crops and decided to buy together a hay field three miles north of Logan, then called Greenville. I was busy and so gave him my share of the moving to take with him to make the first payment and he signed his name to the papers. Later a friend came and told me Jim had had the whole thing put in his name and had taken my moving money. I could not believe this but soon found it was true. Of course, I felt very badly but this time I had learned my lesson. He had planned to take all the hay we had in the stack, also the rest in the field, which was about ready to cut. I went to Jim and asked him how he had fixed the papers and he said, "In my name, of course". I asked him whatever had made him do such a thing and he said he had a purpose in mind. I then told him we were through and for him to get out, which he did. A few days later it was necessary for him to go to Bear River to his farm and he ordered me not to touch the hay while he was gone. As soon as he had left I immediately had the stack of hay measured and cut through the middle, then hired my half hauled onto my place. It was all done when he returned. He was very angry and came with his team and hay rack to haul it away, He drove it into the lane and I ordered him off my place. I would not even let him turn his team around but made him back it out. I sold my share of hay to the A. C. College as I was afraid that Jim in his anger would come and set fire to it or something. We settled things by giving Jim half of the chickens. I had kept an account of the money spent for clothing for his children and he paid me for that. About this time he courted and married a daughter of my dear friend, the Larsens. Of course this affair made them have feeling towards me. Jim was living a couple of blocks down the street from us and when the trouble came up he took the children to live with them.

Move to Clinton

It was a trial to me to know my half brother would deal with me as he had done so many times. My father, stepmother, two half brothers and one half sister had passed away not long before this. I received ten acres of land as my share of Father's farm in Clinton, Utah, seven miles south of Ogden, called the Sandridge. An epidemic of typhoid fever had razed in Clinton that summer because of bad drinking water. Some years before my father had told me I would some day make the old home my home. I felt we could not continue to live near Jim, so decided to move to Clinton; this was avery foolish move as I found out later but as things had gone against me before here it was again. While living in Logan 5th Ward I had done my duty in the Bishopric to the best of my ability and had labored diligently to the best of my knowledge. I loved Bishop Hyde and loved to work with him. I had made good friends and loved them all. We tried to do our duty in teaching the children the right way to live, also the principles of the gospel. They went to Sunday School, Primary and Religion Classes and were taught to live good clean lives. Aurelia's friend was very ill and on Primary day Aurelia fasted for her and asked them to pray for her in Primary. They did and the mother said at that exact time they prayed for her she took a turn for the better and was healed.

Another time Aurelia was asked to feed the chickens. I kept the granery locked and gave her the key. When time came to feed the chickens the key was lost and could not be found. She hunted everywhere, then kneeling down, prayed she would find it. Rising, she went to get some wood for her mother and as she picked up a few sticks, saw the key lying there. She had looked there for it before and had not seen it and so knew this was an answer to her.

We lived on the next corner from Lucy's father and mother on the same block. Her father loved flowers and had a beautiful garden for years.

Lucy's sister, Lilly, married Apostle Benson's son, Don. He soon left for a mission and nine months later she gave birth to a son. I had promised to stay by her in her husband's absence and do all I could for her. She was very ill and thinking I was her husband she called me by his name. The doctor said she was so ill he would not give a snap of his fingers for either of their lives, hers or the baby's but we administered to her several times and she did get well. Nellie, Lucy's youngest sister, had severe ear trouble and I often took her to the doctor for treatments. One time I had to hold her arms while the doctor scraped the bone of her ears as he could not give her anesthetic.

As soon as I decided to move to Clinton, Utah, we want to the Bishop and told him the way I felt about my brother and that I wished to resign and move to Clinton. Of course he tried to persuade me not to go but my mind was made up. It was very hard for Lucy to leave her folks and the children their friends. The 5th Ward gave us a farewell party and presented me with a nice chair as a remembrance. Everything possible was done to show us a good time. It was October of the year 1900 that we left Logan for Clinton, fulfilling my father's prediction that I would return.

My brother, Samuel, came with his team to help us move our things. Aurelia and Fanny drove the Ludlow and Old Nell. Sam and I had a load each. Lucy stayed to visit with her folks a few days. We had very good luck on the way. We camped at Willard and as it rained some people asked us to sleep in their house the first night. Finally we reached the old home.

It was very dark and as we went into the house the cats jumped through the holes where the window glass had been broken out. We had just arrived and alreadywere so homesick for our good old home in Logan. Making our beds on the floor we soon dropped off to sleep as we were all very tired. During the night Aurelia awoke to find the bed full of bed bugs and so none of us slept much more that night. Next morning when we went outside and looked around I will never forget what a dismal sight met our eyes. Everything we could see looked so dry and barren. A few days later Lucy came on the train. I got a job in the section. It was hard work but we were grateful for it.

Typhoid Fever

Fanny was anxious to clean as much as possible before her mother came. She scrubbed the floors in the room where my brother, Arthur, had died of typhoid fever. They had put ice packs on him and it had run onto the floor and must have been full of the germs even yet.

When her mother came the house was nice and clean but in three weeks time Fanny became ill and kept getting worse and they finally decided that this was typhoid fever she had. In scrubbing the floor the germs had got under her finger nails and in this way had been carried into her mouth. Lucy was frightened and scolded me for bringing them to such a place. It seemed we had already gone through so much and it hurt me to have Lucy scold me. Throwing myself upon the bed I wept bitterly. This frightened the girls as they thought the reason for my weeping was because Fanny was dead but I quickly assured them this was not so.

Fanny was ill a long time. We had the Elders administer to her, also one of the Apostles. He gave her a wonderful blessing and rebuked the disease. She at once began to get well. One day it seemed she was better and the next thing we knew she was worse again, but finally she began to improve and was soon well.

That was a very trying winter for us. I sold my ten acres of land to my half brother, Samuel, and bought ten acres from Edith, my half sister. This ten acres included the house.

In Logan the water was the very best in the state, but here it was hard and nasty and was very hard to get used to. Myron was the baby and one day he ran in all excited, saying, "Mamma, Mamma, too, too." He could see a train away east of the place and as it was something new to him was all excited.

None of the other children took typhoid fever from Fanny and as soon as she was well again things went on as they usually do in a big family: joys, sorrows, trials. The next spring we planted peas and tomatoes and we all worked very hard. We had been here nine months when our fourth son was born. He was born on the 2nd of August 1901 and was named Horace William. He was very fair and was a beautiful child.

I had put our home in Logan up for sale and until Horace was two weeks old everything went well. Then I learned through some friends that the bank was trying to get our house away from us. Before moving from Logan I had owed them some money and not having it just when it was due had to ask them to wait a certain length of time so I could try to get it and they refused so I had told them to get it if they could. In this way they thought they could take my home. A friend of mine helped we and through him we saved it. I paid the bank later.

We had to go to Ogden to have the papers signed. Lucy was not strong yet after the birth of our son and as we had to leave early in the morning it was cold and she got chilled and when we returned she was ill.

By night she had a burning fever and I was frightened and sent for the Elders. I said if anything happened to her I would not be responsible for what I might do to those who had caused it. Bishop Padlock came and administered to her and she was healed.

Chruch Callings

I was called as President of the Young Men's Mutual with Brother John Childs as FIrst Counselor and Myron B. Childs as Second Counselor. We had very good success and enjoyed our labors with the young people, visiting with and administering to the sick. One young Man, George Reid, was taken very ill with stoppage of the esophagus and had to be fed through a tube in side to the stomach. The Bishop asked Brother John Childs and I to visit him. We did so and for many weeks thereafter and sometimes two and three times a week we visited him. Many times they would come for us in the middle of the night or early morning. We talked to him trying to convince him to live a better life. We administered to him many times. He was a son of southern parentage who did not think much of the Lord and he had lived rather a fast life. Yet when in trouble he wanted the Lord to help him. At times he had faith he could be healed but it seemed about when that blessing was to come, we were stopped each time. I had great faith he could be healed but something seemed to hold us back each time. Unless this young man could feel the same as we it was useless. A cottage meeting was held in their home one day. Two Patriarchs presided and during the meeting one spoke in tongues, the other gave the interpretation. The young man was told that if he just had faith enough to stand on his feet and say he knew he could be healed he would be. They waited for him to stand but it seemed like an evil power had possession of him. Finally he arose and went outside. It seemed he could not help himself. As he withdrew there was a terrible feeling in the room. He grew worse and we were again called to administer to him, I anointed and Brother Childs sealing the anointing. As he was about to tell him to rise from his sick bed he stopped in the midst of it and did not continue. On the way home I asked him why he had stopped and he said there was enough faith there but saw that if he had been healed he would have made fun of it and become wicked, so the Lord would not permit him to recover. The next few weeks he steadily grew worse and passed away.

I was next called as Second Counselor to Bishop Orlando Hadlock. I worked to the best of my ability in this capacity but it seemed we were not united somehow and things did not go as they should. I felt bad about this but did not know what to do about it.

I worked hard on my farm but did not have much success. I put in a peach orchard which bore fruit one year. The peaches ripened overnight and I could not ship them so lost the whole crop except those that Lucy canned. Then the trees died so the whole thing was a complete loss. Next I planted cucumbers which I hauled to Salt Lake and made more on them than any other thing we had tried to raise. We planted tomatoes with which we worked so hard, the girls and I picking and loading them for the cannery. I also tried to raise sugar beets, peas and strawberries but did not make much on any of them. I just was not cut out to he a farmer, I guess.

County Assessor

I was appointed County Assessor and had Mable help me. We would stay during the week at the old Steed home in Farmington and would go home weekends. We liked this job and got along fine. I was Justice of the Peace and Precinct chairman of the Republican Party, also Superintendent of the Religion Class and President of the Davis County Farm Bureau.

Fanny married Leo W. Child of Clinton, a fine young man. They lived in Clinton. I bought the ten acres of land joining ours on the East which belonged to Edith, my sister-in-law and widow of my late brother, Arthur. For years we struggled on, had poor crops, low prices, and east winds which blew our crops out of the ground. Going through financial set backs and working very hard early and late we were going behind more each year that passed.

Two more babies were born, Thora on the 1st of May 1904 and Erma on the 1st of September 1906, making eleven children in all - we were so proud of each one. We bought cows and tried selling milk but could not get anything for it. We raised a carload of beautiful Jonathan apples but when shipped they sold in St. Louis for one dollar and fifty cents a bushel and I received twenty cents paying expenses.

As a farmer I am a failure but trust not spiritually. During these very trying experiences, through the Blessings of the Lord, we came through all right. We were blessed with good health most of the time.

In the Spring of 1906, Lucy's mother took sick. Lucy went home and stayed five weeks and while there her mother passed away. She was buried in the Logan Cemetery. About this time her brother Reigo's wife took pneumonia after child birth and passed away, leaving four small children. Reigo was heartbroken and mourned for her for several months and than he too passed away. This left the family alone to shift for themselves. Grandpa Hurst, married a Mrs. Norfick, an old friend. They lived happily for two or three years, then she passed away.

Aurelia married Roy Steel Servoss and Mable married Warren William Parker. They lived in Clinton several years. Grandpa came and stayed at our house awhile. He loved to paint so we let him have a room and he painted some beautiful pictures even though his hand shook so he had to hold it with the other to steady it.

Flu Epidemic

The fall of 1920 an epidemic of flu went all over the country, in fact, the world. It seemed to start at October conference and the fair and in a few weeks there were hundreds of cases and many deaths. Grandpa had gone home to Logan and was staying with his daughter, Lilly. This family took the flu and sent for Lucy to come help them nurse these who were ill. Her father, sister, and sister's son, Stanley, were very ill with it. Lucy worked very hard waiting on one and then the other but though among so much of it she did not take it. Her father died, also the boy, Stanley. Then our family took it and we sent for her to come home. She then nursed those of our family who were ill. None of our family had it very bad and were soon well again for which we were very grateful to our Father in Heaven.

Lucy's sister became worse and they sent for her to come to help nurse her but it was impossible for her to go at that time. She died sometime later. I went out to the various homes and administered to many who were seriously ill with the flu. This was about tho beginning of the war and the United States sent soldiers to help France who was fighting against Germany. Thousands of soldiers were sent across the water and many gave their lives. It was a very happy day when at last we finally heard the whistles blow saying peace had come. The war was over and our boys could came home.

I found it hard to get along and work with Bishop Hadlock. He was a good man it seemed with lots of faith, but he did not tell the truth always and it seemed he just could not keep out of trouble. Aurelia was Primary President and one day wishing to treat the children after the regular meeting to try to induce them to come to Primary more often and not thinking it necessary to get permission from the Bishop made ice cream and served to the children. When Bishop Hadlock heard about this he called a meeting of the officers, telling Aurelia he wanted her to resign. I told her she did not have to resign until I talked to the Stake Presidency of Farmington, then told the Bishop he had better go home and stay until he had the spirit of the Lord to instruct properly and kindly in such things.

I went to the Stake Presidency in Farmington and told them of the incident and they, of course, told me to tell Aurelia not to resign, so she carried on the best she could but did not have the same enthusiasm after that. Soon afterwards she married and resigned from the Primary. It was impossible for me to labor in harmony with him. I met much opposition from others. Troubles and differences were continually coming up. Finally I went to the Stake Presidency and explained to them that I could not stand to work with the Bishop the way he did with the people. He certainly was not the man Bishop Hyde was whom I worked with in Logan. They investigated and found what I said was true and released me as Second Counselor. I was sorely tried in many ways but nothing could turn me against the religion I loved, or keep me from living as good a life as possible.

In some way I ruptured myself and suffered for years. I tried all kinds of trusses, getting no relief, then the doctor persuaded me to be operated on so I went to the hospital. This was a success and the doctor marveled at my strength at my age. I was all right after the operation.

We attended meetings in Ogden and many times have walked two miles from our home to the station to go on the electric train and back and was never late for a meeting.

One time Horace and I were painting a house upon the highway. We had come from home and had parked the car west of the store and were walking the rest of the way on the pavement, I walking on the inside. Along came a car and it passed us so close that the handle on the door of the car struck my arm, tearing the flesh very badly and the impact was so great that the handle was straightened right out. It must have hit the bone too. I was thrown to the pavement, hitting my head and rendering me unconscious. In just a moment people had gathered from all over to the side of the road, an ambulance was called and I was soon taken to the hospital, Horace going with me. It took nine stitches to close the wound but everything healed up fine and before long I was able to go home again. Ever since that time though I have had a big scar on my arm.

About September or the first part of October 1925, Horace was called on a Mission to Canada. Before he left Fanny gave a big dinner for him at her home and all the family was present and a very happy time was had by all. Horace labored in Hamilton, Guelph, St. Catherine, Windsor, and Chattem. While there he was bothered with his nose and the doctor operated on it and promised to take care of him but he was neglected and lay sick a long time. For a long time we did not get word from him and worried very much. Finally a dear Sister took him to her home and cared for him and he soon was well. The Mission President, President Quinney, wrote and told us about Horace being ill after quite awhile and I wrote back and told him to spare no expense in doing all he could for him but he did not do so. We felt very bad because he was neglected but he got well and fulfilled a wonderful two year mission. I was in debt through crop failure and was getting further behind each year. However, we received good prices for what we did raise. After coming home Horace took charge of the farm for a summer, then I rented it out for shares but did not get enough to pay expenses. Horace wanted the old home very much. I had borrowed money and when due I did not have the money and tried everywhere to get it. I tried to get the Farm Loan which the government was giving on long term payments but all without success and they foreclosed on my property in March of 1934. We had lived there thirty-five years and my folks before that.

Go to the Temple

One day while walking out alone and very depressed and discouraged, I heard plainly a voice say to me, "Take your wife and go to the temple." Surprised, I answered that I did not have the money. I gave it serious thought, went home and talked it aver with Lucy. She thought it a wonderful plan if we could only get the money to go. We divided our furniture and things among the children with the understanding that if we kept house again we could get them back. Then we went to Murray, Utah, to live for awhile with our son Myron, who was living there. Our daughter, Mable, also lived in Murray. Myron was at that time working at the canning factory and he and his wife had asked us to come and make our home with them and go back and forth to Salt Lake City to the temple on the bus. We packed our suitcases with a few of our choicest belongs. Revere came for us in his car to take us to Murray. We started on our way with sorrow in our hearts at leaving and losing the old home where we had known so much joy and sorrow. Revere put the suitcases outside of the car. He was quite sure he had tied it on securely but after we had gone several miles we noticed that it was missing. Though it seemed useless we turned back, inquiring all along the way if anyone had found it. All the money we owned in the world was in that suit case and we had to find it as there was no use to go on without it. We saw no sign of it so were forced to return to the old home. When Revere had called for us to take us to Salt Lake he had brought his daughter, Elda, with him and had dropped her off to a friend's home to stay for awhile. After we left one of this family had found the suitcase in the road and took it into the house. Elda looked at it and recognized it and told them it was her grandfather's suitcase. In going through it they found some money and said it could not be her grandfather's suitcase as it had too much money in it to be theirs but Elda said she knew it was as she recognized an apron as one of Grandmas. When she went home she, of course, told her father and Revere went up there and identified it and although they acted as though they hated to they gave it to him. So again we were tried but were very grateful to our Father in Heaven for His kindness. It seemed like the evil power was trying to prevent our going to Salt Lake to work in the Temple. We felt that the Lord was with us , never before or after did Elda go there to visit.

We lived at Myron's home, going back and forth on the bus to the Temple. While we were there one Sunday, Aurelia and family came from Provo and Mable and her family came over for a visit. We had a wonderful day talking of many things of interest. One day later, when his mother-in-law was visiting them, Myron asked her to read over with him his Patriarchal Blessing. She did so and when they had finished he remarked that it looked as though it had all been fulfilled. She told him, yes, it did look that way. This seemed strange, in that, a week or two later, he became very ill with what they thought then was intestinal flu. He had great faith in administration and desired for them not to send for a doctor. We did all we could for him, then one morning when I arose he was lying on the floor in pain and asked me to administer to him which I did. His wife ran for a doctor who lived across the street and even as she ran Myron called for her not to go. The doctor came and said it was appendicitis and for them to rush him to a hospital as he was seriously ill. At the hospital they operated on him and found that his appendix had burst two or three days before and his whole system was poisoned from it. Everything possible was done for him. No more faith, I am sure, was ever exercised for anyone than was exercised for him. We held prayer circles for him, and exercised all the faith possible but he grew steadily worse. We were all out in the hallway of the hospital, waiting and praying, when the doctor came out and said that our faith and prayers were all that was keeping him alive and that he was so bad and could not get all well and he felt we should all pray to the Lord to take him cut of his suffering. So we all went in, one at a time to kiss him goodbye and it was only an hour or so afterwards that he passed away Just as the sun was setting in the west. As he passed away I remarked that a beautiful life had passed away at the end of a beautiful day. He died on the 7th of September 1931, leaving a sweet young wife and two lovely boys, age 5 and 3. Wonderful funeral services were held at Murray where everyone had loved him. He had lived a good, clean life and had been active in the church. After the services at Murray, the funeral procession proceeded to Clinton, Myron's former home and there a very lovely service was held also. He was laid to rest in the Ogden, Utah, cemetery. When we returned to the old home at Clinton the Relief Society had very kindly prepared a nice luncheon for all of us. My son, Horace, and his family were living in the old home at this time. While all the family were together I felt I must talk to them which I did, asking them to be kind to each other and to always do right and be true to our religion and our God. Myron's passing away was a very hard trial to us as he had been a good and faithful son and we had all loved him so very much.

We went back to Clinton awhile and then planned to return to the Temple. We rented a room in the New Lindsey Hotel, which was in the 14th Ward in Salt lake City. The people in the Ward were wonderful, so very friendly with us and so spiritually minded. Perhaps living so close to the Temple of God had something to do with this.

On the 24th day of December 1932 I received my heart's desire in being called an ordained worker in the temple in Salt Lake and I prayed that I would be worthy of such blessings. We did not know how we would get the money to live at the Hotel but we had this work to do for our departed ones and the Lord blessed us in our endeavors. Our enemy is doing all he can to lead us astray into forbidden paths. We have our eternal happiness to look after. We desire to be all together in the life to come and enjoy eternal life forever. We must serve God and keep his commandments to enjoy His sweet spirit, doing good to others. How wonderful to work for the Lord Wealth, money, houses and lands are nothing compared with eternal life and have the Lord as our friend.

Golden Wedding Anniversary

On the 24th of April 1934 we celebrated our Golden Wedding anniversary. In the morning early we met at the home of our daughter, Fanny Childs where many friends and relatives called, bringing gifts and good wishes for a continued happy life together. In the evening we all met in the Clinton Ward Recreational Hall where a program and dancing was enjoyed. Refreshments were served and an enjoyable time was had by all present. The program was as follows: Song - "Come, Come Ye Saints" by the Congregation, Prayer by Kenneth Burnett, Address of Welcome by Leo W. Child, Song by Ruth Burnett and Velma Mortenson, Current Events by Orvil Child, Quartet Ray Mitchell and his two daughters and son, Reading - "Twenty-five Years Hence" by Lena Child, Song "When Your Hair Has Turned to Silver" by Elda Burnett, Remarks of Appreciation by John T. Burnett, Song by Elda and June Burnett, Reading by Florence Taylor, Reading by Wendel Walker, Prayer by Bishop. At this time we had nine living children, forty-five grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

A few days after our Golden Wedding Anniversary we returned to our work in the temple in Salt Lake City. Each vacation we spent with some of our children.

The later part of February 1936 we attended a fast Meeting in the Tabernacle and met Sister Smith from Logan whose healing I told of elsewhere in this history. It had been forty-two years since I had promised her she would recover and she was still well and the picture of health. I told of this incident in meeting and after meeting she came up to me and told me she was the woman that I had told of in my testimony. I was happy to see her again and to know that she was still enjoying good health.

On the 1st of May 1934 we were happy to receive this letter which follows from one of the boys in Clinton who had moved to another city:

Dear Brother and Sister Burnett,
     Just a day or two ago while reading a Utah paper I was pleased to read you had celebrated
your Golden Wedding Anniversary with your family and many friends participating in the happy
anniversary.  Permit me to extend to you both my sincere best wishes and congratulations.    
     Unknown to you perhaps I, as a youngster in Clinton, learned to admire and respect you
for your sincerity and faithfulness and the many years since those happy days have truly justified
my belief in you.
     May our Father in Heaven continue to bless you both with good health and much
happiness in life.
     We are happy here at the end of the old Oregon trail.          
          Walter Hadlock 

We made many wonderful friends in the Temple and thank our Heavenly Father for the blessings and help he gave us and for the privilege of working in such a wonderful place. In April 1936 Aurelia was going to Washington to join her husband who had secured employment there and the girls all planned to spend one day in the temple together before she left. Several days before her departure the girls all met at the temple with us and went through two sessions. Those present were Lucy and I, Fanny, Aurelia, and Fanny's husband, Leo, Mable, Thora, Naomi and Revere and wife (Ivy). We all sat close up to the front and received many compliments on so many in one family being present. Only two members of the family were not present. We all had a wonderful day in the temple and afterwards gathered in our room at the hotel for a grand social where light refreshments were served. The Deseret Newspaper Published an article in the paper telling about it.

One day I had the privilege of taking a company from Clinton through the temple. We had a wonderful time and they expressed themselves as very thankful for the privilege. It is truly a great work.

The winter of 1937 I was very ill with flu and I recovered very slowly. It left me with a weak heart. In June of the same year I had another sick spell and did not gain strength. I felt so weak and my breath came hard and it was difficult to breath.

We started to work in the temple in 1932 and always tried to be on time. We did our work willingly and in a God-fearing way and always tried to be true and faithful to the religion and God we loved. We were severely tried at times but tried never to complain.

The 25th day of June 1938 we received word our dear friend, Hyrum Clark, whom we had thought so much of in Oakly, Idaho, when we lived there had passed away. It must have been a happy meeting with his dear wife, Eliza, who had proceeded him in death.

Trip to Washinton

Our daughter, Aurelia, had told us so many things in her letters of the beautiful country in the northwest where they had gone to live. We desired very much to visit them and see the country for ourselves, so, on the 25th of June 1938, Friday night, in company with our grandson, Elbert Parker, we left Salt take on the bus for Washington state. It was a long trip and very enjoyable and we arrived in Seattle on Sunday morning about five o`clock. Aurelia and Warren were in Seattle to meet us. We were very tired but had to travel seventy miles farther west to our daughter's house in Lacunar, Washington. We soon were there and could rest after a long trip. I enjoyed myself there very much. Everything reminded me so much of New Zealand, the abundant growth, the water and the climate all reminded me of New Zealand. We had a wonderful six weeks going to places of interest. We went to Alexander Beach where the big waves rolled in on the beach, Snee Pash, Similk and Rosalie Beaches and many other places. One town we went to was called Annacortes and I jokingly called it Annie's Corsets.

Our daughter and family had helped organize a branch of our Sunday School in Sedro Woolley, Washington, twenty miles from their home and we attended this Sunday School and enjoyed it very much. I was asked to speak and bear my testimony and did so. My grandson, Darrell Servoss, was Superintendent of the Sunday School at this time and he asked me if I would go and talk with one member who had almost lost faith with the Church. I talked to her, trying to show her she had the wrong attitude but apparently my preaching did no good. She was good to the missionaries but seamed to be bitter towards the church since the passing of a dearly loved son.

At the end of six weeks we decided to return home so as to be back in Salt Lake in time for the opening of the temple. My health had been much better.

While in Washington all the time we were then I had only had a few light heart spells. However, the mornIng we left for home I had a severe attack. We left our daughters home early in the morning, going to Seattle where we were to catch the bus for Utah and home, Aurelia and daughter-in-law took us to Seattle in their car. We hated to leave and knew that Aurelia wanted us to stay but we felt we must go home and get to work again in our beloved temple. As we left Seattle, Aurelia asked us if we would like to come again next year and I told her we sure would. We had really had a lovely time and could hardly wait to get home and tell the other children about it.

Aurelia's Addition

The following part of the history of John Thomas Burnett was supplied by his daughter, Aurelia Lucy Burnett Servoss:

Father and Mother seemed to hate to leave us and we hated to see them go. Before the bus started I went up into it and kissed them three times. I felt I just could not let them go. Little did I dream at that time that I would never see my father alive again. After they left I did net hear from them for ten days. Then I received a telegram telling of my father's death. They had reached home safely but whether the long trip had been too much for his or the return to the hot August weather in Utah we will never know. We, his family, like to think that his work here on earth was done. Our Father in Heaven called him home. We heard later that they had returned to Salt Lake City and to their work at the temple and after several days work Father became ill and friends took he and mother to their daughter Fanny's home in Sunset.

He had written to all the children telling them he could hardly wait to tell them about their trip to Washington but be never had a chance. He gradually grew worse and passed away on the 15th of August 1938, thus ending the earthly life of a wonderful husband and father. He died at the age of seventy-eight years, ten months.

After Father's death Mother grieved so much for him and was very lonesome. She tried to continue her work in the temple but finally had to give it up because of ill health. She lived a year and a half after father's death and then she too passed away on the 12th of February 1940 at the age of seventy-five years. She had been a wonderful wife and mother and her passing away was felt deeply by her loved ones and many friends. What a happy reunion there must have been on the other side when she was met by her beloved husband and two sons who had proceeded her. Our parents had always set us the example of right by first living it themselves and I am sure they gained a great reward in Heaven.

And as we work remember this plea:

     God grant me these:
     The strength, some needed service here,
     The wisdom to be brave and true
     The gift of vision clear
     That in each task that comes to me
     Some purpose I may plainly see.

     God teach me to believe that I
     Am stationed at a post,
     Although the humblest  neath the sky,
     Where I am needed most
     And that at last if I do well
     My humble service will tell.

     God grant me faith to stand on guard,
     Uncheered, unspoken alone
     And see behind each duty hard,
     My service to the throne,
     What e'er my task, by this my creed,
     I am on earth to fill a need.