Sunday, July 10, 2005

Wilford Woodruff Home

Randolph, UT
Wilford Woodruff Home
GPS Coord: ?

This house is in Randolph, Utah on main street. I don't really know when or for how long Wilford Woodruff lived there, but he did live there for a time. If you know anymore information let me know.


Robert Leifson said...

The home in Randolph Utah was used by Wilford Woodruff’s wife Sarah Brown and her children for 4 years 1872-1876 and President Wilford Woodruff would periodically visit.

Robert Leifson said...

Taken from book Wilford Woodruff Witness – the development of Temple Doctrine

Sarah’s oldest son David was a horse enthusiast and Wilford Woodruff wanted to support David’s interest in raising stock horses. Wilford Woodruff purchased 20 acres in Randolph, Utah – about 75 miles northeast of Salt Lake City – and moved Sarah Brown’s family there in May of 1871. Wilford then spent weeks there building fences, plowing, and planting with his sons David, who was 16, and Wilford, Jr. – Phoebe’s eldest – who was 30 years old.[14] Reflecting on Wilford’s work ethic, Newton’s son Wilford Weeks Woodruff said his grandfather "worked so hard he'd make himself sick. He didn't stop until he got through with a job. He'd go like crazy till he got through.”[15]

Sarah was sad to leave Salt Lake City and her close association with Wilford’s first wife, Phoebe, who had become a second mother to her. In her autobiography Sarah wrote that Phoebe “was a noble woman and a loving mother to us all … She would administer to the sick children and give us good counsel and advice in all things.”[16] It was also hard for Sarah to leave her second oldest son, Brigham, behind in Salt Lake City, but he stayed so he could pursue an education at the University of Deseret.

Sarah’s daughter, Arabell, wrote the following about the move to Randolph: “This was a severe trial for me. There were no good schools or teachers in Randolph. I arrived there on my twelfth birthday [May 30]. We lived in a tent for six months. I went boat riding with my sister in a tub on Little Creek. In the fall we moved into a new home, the only home in Randolph with an upstairs. Mother taught school two years and was secretary in the Relief Society. I often attended these meetings with her.”[17]

Wilford, David, and Wilford Jr., built a 20 x 40 foot cabin on the farm in Randolph. For five years, Sarah’s family of five children shared the Randolph cabin with Wilford, Jr. and his wife Emily and their children. Wilford lived in Randolph periodically between 1872 and 1876. On Sarah's 39th birthday, January 1, 1873, Wilford recorded that he installed two floors. He also wrote that, "Sarah was very poorly through the night."[18] A month later, Wilford and Sarah's eighth and last child, Edward Randolph, was born on February 2, 1873. He died six days later and Sarah wrote that she “came very near following him.”[19]

Wilford records farming, fishing, and hunting with his sons in Randolph, particularly during the summers. One entry, from September 6, 1873, tells of taking both Sarah’s family and his daughter-in-law Emily’s family in a wagon on a day trip. He caught 30 trout, three ducks and two sage hens.[20] During this time Sarah also accompanied Wilford when he traveled around the area meeting with the various wards and branches. On one occasion, in May of 1874, he was responsible for organized the settlements into the United Order.

On June 14, 1875, Sarah’s daughter Phoebe Arabell was married to Jesse T. Moses, and Sarah became a grandmother in April of 1876. That fall the Moses family moved back to Salt Lake City and Wilford traded some of his cattle for 40 acres with a house in Cache Valley that David wanted. So Sarah moved to Smithfield with David, Sylvia, Newton and Mary.

Robert Leifson said...

Story from Wilford Woodruff’s life
“I will now give an example from my own experience of the result of not obeying the voice of the Spirit. “Some years since I had part of my family living in Randolph, Rich County [Utah]. I was there on a visit, with my team [of horses], in the month of December.
“One Monday morning my monitor, the Spirit watching over me, said: ‘Take your team and go home to Salt Lake City.’
“When I named it to my family who were at Randolph they urged me strongly to stop longer. “Through their persuasion I stayed until Saturday morning, with the Spirit continually prompting me to go home. I then began to feel ashamed to think that I had not obeyed the whisperings of the Spirit to me before. “I took my team and started early on Saturday morning. When I arrived at Woodruff, the Bishop urged me to stop until Monday and he would go with me.
“I told him, ‘No, I [have] tarried too long already.’ “I drove on sprightly, and when within fifteen miles of Wasatch, a furious snow storm overtook me, the wind blowing heavily in my face.
“In fifteen minutes I could not see any road whatever, and knew not how or where to guide my horses. “I left my lines loosely on my animals, went inside my wagon, tied down the cover, and committed my life and guidance into the hands of the Lord, trusting to my horses to find the way, as they had twice before passed over that road.
“I prayed to the Lord to forgive my sin in not obeying the voice of the Spirit to me, and implored Him to preserve my life.
“My horses brought me into the Wasatch [train] station at 9 o’clock in the evening, with the hubs of my wagon dragging in the snow.
“I got my horses under cover, and had to remain there until the next Monday night, with the snow six feet deep on the level, and still snowing.
“It was with great difficulty at last that I saved the lives of my horses by getting them into a [railroad] box car and taking them to Ogden; while if I had obeyed the revelation of the Spirit of God to me, I should have traveled to Salt Lake City over a good road without any storm.
“As I have received the good and the evil, the fruits of obedience and disobedience, I think I am justified in exhorting all my young friends to always obey the whisperings of the Spirit of God, and they will always be safe” (Leaves from My Journal [1881], 90–91).