Huldah Dimeras Vaughn (1808-1886)

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Huldah Dimeras Vaughn Harmon Bassett
Hulda Dimaris Vaughn Harmon Bassett.jpg
Huldah D. Vaughn
Born: 11 Feb 1808 Elizabethtown, Leeds, Ontario, Canada
Died: 12 Oct 1886 Clarkston, Cache, Utah
Father: Charles Vaughn
Mother: Elizabeth Morgan
Siblings: Edward Vaughn
Damaris Vaughn
Henry Vaughn
John Vaughn
Nancy Vaughn
Huldah Dimeras Vaughn
Betsey Vaughn
Samuel Vaughn
Joel Jonah Vaughn
Daniel Vaughn
Spouse: Alpheus Harmon
Married: 1 Feb 1823 Conneaut, Erie, Pennsylvania
Children: Caroline Harmon
Edwin Harmon
Elizabeth Harmon
Ebenezer Harmon
Henry Martin Harmon
Alma Harmon
Ammon Harmon
Alpheus Amulek Harmon
Huldah Harmon
Spouse: Loren Elias Bassett
Married: Jan 1844 Hancock Co., Illinois
Children: Loren Elias Bassett
David Edwin Bassett
Dimrus Delia Bassett
Harriet Cordelia Bassett
Thardeus Gillette Bassett

Huldah Dimeras Vaughn was born on 11 Feb 1805 in Elizabethtown, Leeds, Ontario, Canada. Her father is given in various family data as George Cathles or just Cathles Vaughn and her mother is Elizabeth Morgan.

The earliest record we have been able to find in which we are certain that Huldah herself gave the information on her parent's names is her TIB [Temple index bureau record] and she gives the name of Cathles Vaughn for her father and Elizabeth Morgan for her mother. She gives her birthplace as Elizabethtown, Canada. According to early baptism records, Huldah was baptized by proxy for her Grandmother Dameris Vaughn. Research has uncovered information from an old Bible which lists Hulda as the daughter of Charles Vaun and Elizabeth.

Huldah Dimeras Vaughn married Alpheus Harmon on 1 Feb 1823. Hulda was seventeen years old and Alpheus twenty-five. They were married in Erie County, Pennsylvania. Martin Harmon came to Erie county in 1818 and although he does not show up on the 1820 census there, he states in his pension application of 1823 that he had been living with his son-in-law. Alpheus' brother, Jesse Perse, was living in Conneaut in 1820 and so was his sister, Lucina who was married to Joshua Meacham. In 1820, Alpheus is living near a family whose head of house is listed as Charles Vaughn. Alpheus’ name is spelled Elfyus Arman and he is a single man.

Alpheus and Hulda are on the 1830 census in Erie County, Pennsylvania. They are living next to Alpheus' father, Martin Harmon; his brother-in-law, Oliver Harmon, and his brother, Jesse. Also living very nearby is Charles Vaughn, whom I believe is Hulda's father. Hulda and Alpheus are the parents of 9 children:

1. Caroline b. 27 May 1824 Erie County, PA; md. 23 May 1850 Hancock Co, IL William Absolom Lincoln; d. 22 Aug 1897 Hopkins, Nodaway, Missouri; had seven children: Charles W.; Jane Elizabeth; Henry M.; Herman C.; Ardelia A; John; and Thankful E. 2. Edwin b. 7 Jun 1826 Erie County, PA; died 1845 in the Black Hills; unmd. no children. 3. Elizabeth b. 8 Jun 1828 in Erie County, PA; md about 1854 William Berry; had one son, Henry born in 1856 in Union, Floyd, Iowa; She died 1869 in Floyd Co., Iowa. 4. Ebenezer b. 3 Jul 1830 in Elk Creek, Erie, PA; went to California and died there. Marriage or issue unknown. 5. Henry Martin b. 19 Jun 1832 at Elk Creek, Erie, PA; md. 2 Mar 1856 in North Ogden, Weber, UT to Susan Marler; they had 11 children: Susan Elizabeth; Henry Martin; George Alma; William Ammon; Allen Ithamer; Millie Almeda; Appleton Milo; Hulda Dimeras; Alvaretta; Jesse Perce; and Harvey. Henry married in polygamy to Mary Alzina Sperry on 20 Nov 1868 and had the following children: Alpheus John, Mary Alzina, Harriet Matilda, Louisa May, Orby Ann, Orilla, Orson Elmer, Sarah Jane, King Charles, Hosea, Essie, Walter Sperry, and Henrietta. Henry died in Afton, Lincoln, Wyoming on 7 Dec 1895 and is buried there. 6. Alma b. 21 Oct 1834 in Ohio; married Elizabeth Scott and had seven children: Francis Marion; Matilda Olena; William Henry; Elmer; Emma Jane; Curtis Homer; and Celestia Evalin. Alma died 5 Feb 1881 of Estherville, Emmet, Iowa. 7. Ammon b. 27 Jan 1837 in Kirtland, Geauga, Ohio; md Margaret Scott [sister of Elizabeth who married Alma] 2 May 1858 in Shellock, Iowa; served in the Civil War; He had eleven children: George Washington; Candace; Victorey E.; Mary Louise; Harriet Cordelia; Susan Margaret; Hulda Almeda; Ammon Alpheus; Ida A.; Alice Caroline; Marion Henry. Ammon died 26 Apr 1902 in Lewisville, Idaho and is buried in the Lewisville Cemetery there. 8. Alpheus Amulek b. 14 Apr 1839; came to Utah in 1854 with the Mormon Battalion. Md Eliza Bramwich on 1 Feb 1860 and had the following children: Harriett Elizabeth, Almeda A., Susan, John Henry, and Henrietta Terrill. Alpheus Amulek and Elizabeth were later divorced. Alpheus died 30 Apr/May 1916. 9. Hulda b. 2 Aug 1841 at Portage, Ohio. She married in 1855 at Shellrock, Butler, Iowa Isaiah Marthur Rogers. They had nine children: Hulda C.; Sarah I; Mary Jane; Ida Celestia; Isaiah; Lillian Esther; Caroline D.; Elizabeth E.; Alpheus Marthur; Elvira. Hulda married second Benhart Clouse and had three more children: Harry Edwin; Mary; and Edith. Hulda died 30 Jan 1884 in Neilsville, Clark, Wisconsin

Erie County Pennsylvania was a site of much missionary work in the early days of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many of Alpheus grandparent's families and Aunts, Uncles and cousins names are among those listed as early converts of Elk Creek. There are also several Vaun names; namely Olive A. Vaun, John Vaun, Charles Vaun, Nancy Vaun, Daniel Vaun and Joel Vaun. Our family records say that Alpheus and Hulda were baptized in 1834. The names of their children seem to bear this out. Notice that beginning with their 6th child, the sons all have Book of Mormon names.

The Charles Vaughn/Vaun baptized is probably the father of Hulda. When Hulda was baptized for the dead, she was not baptized for her parents.

The Alpheus Harmon family moved to Kirtland, Ohio, and to Portage County, Ohio where their youngest 3 children were born. The town of Hiram, Portage, Ohio was a gathering place for the Saints. There were also some members in Mantua. However, the anti-Mormon element was very strong in these two places also. It was in Hiram in 1832 where the Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigden were beaten, covered with tar and feathers, and left for dead. Many of Alpheus' relatives were among those who chased the Mormons out and persecuted them severely. From 1832 to 1836, the Saints sacrificed to build the temple in Kirtland which they referred to as the House of the Lord. In the weeks before and after its dedication, they enjoyed the richest outpourings of the Spirit in the history of the restoration. Alpheus Harmon's name is among those who received a special blessing from the Prophet for his help in building the temple. Ten meetings were held in the temple between 21 Jan and 1 May 1836. Surely, Alpheus and Hulda were there. The Saints beheld Heavenly beings, and in five of the sessions, many saw the Savior. After this, the spirit of contention and persecution raged and the Saints were driven from their homes in search of peace.

Elmeda Stringham, the future wife of Alpheus' nephew, Appleton Harmon, wrote the following: "In Kirtland, I and the other children gathered bits of glass and broken dishes which were broken up quite find and mixed with mortar used in plastering the temple. My brothers cut wood to keep the fires to dry the plaster. On July 4, 1838, we went with a company of 500 Saints journeying with horse teams to Springfield, Illinois. Briant and Jerry (her brothers), with other men and boys of the company, built a turnpike road of gravel and sand across the river bottoms for the county before the company could travel across the marshy land. They were paid flour and a very little meat for their labor. This was a great help to us, as provisions were very scarce. We subsisted upon cornbread, bacon, and a little wheat-flour bread. Father, with a number of other families, remained in Springfield, Illinois while the rest of the company went on to Missouri. In Springfield, Mormon girls and boys found ready employment--in fact, they were preferred for their honesty and good behavior. Many of the people of the city were from the Southern states and were not as good housekeepers as the Mormon women who came from the Eastern states. We remember, as children, seeing a tall, quiet man standing at the shop door watching father cut shingles and they said his name was Abraham Lincoln. At Springfield, we attended the schools of Abraham Palmer and Joseph Johnson for two winters a few weeks at a time, and also attended the writing school of Ralph H. Coats, where we used goose-quill pens; each pupil making his own pens.”

In 1840, Charles Vaughn is still in Erie County, PA. However, Alpheus and Hulda have moved to Springfield, Sangamon, Illinois. Alpheus' father, Martin, still lived in Erie County. When the Saints were driven from Kirtland they left as a group called Kirtland Camp. This exodus began in 1838. In most instances small groups of less than fifty traveled westward. Five hundred and twenty-nine left Kirtland on 5 Jul 1838. In this group were 256 males and 273 females consisting of 105 families. Jesse P. Harmon and six members of his family were amongst this group. Due to sickness, many families were requested to stop in Springfield by the Prophet Joseph Smith and recuperate and help build a road through the area.

Alpheus and Hulda did not stay long in Springfield, but went on to Nauvoo, Illinois and helped build up the kingdom of God there. The Mormons turned a swamp into the largest and most beautiful city in Illinois in a few short years. Once again they began to build a temple. The work of completing the temple was one of the most important and urgent activities at Nauvoo. Timber and lumber for the building were not available near at hand but were obtained from the pine forests in the Black River region of Wisconsin territory several hundred miles up the Mississippi River from Nauvoo. Frequent reference is made in the various records concerning the activities of the "timber missions." Many people were called by the Church to go to the North County for this purpose. Large rafts of lumber and logs were floated down the Mississippi River and immediately put in to the temple and other public buildings under construction. It has been said that whenever the Saints of God began to build a temple, the bells of hell began to ring. Persecution followed as night follows the daylight. The people in political positions were jealous of the prosperity of the Mormons and feared lest they would take over the government.

In Nauvoo, Hulda and Alpheus were enumerated in the 1842 Census in the same ward as the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Nauvoo 4th ward. Diantha Hanchett, a cousin of Alpheus' told of hiding the prophet in their home while Jesse Pearce Harmon stood guard on the chimney of their home. The story is told of one time when Alpheus was in the field with his son Henry (our ancestor). A black snake was after Henry and Alpheus said, "Run to me, Henry." The boy did as his father said. Alpheus reached around his son with a long whip and cut off the snake's head. Those snakes could run as fast as a horse.

Alpheus was called of God to serve a mission in the fall of 1842 to Wisconsin. His brother, Jesse Perce Harmon probably accompanied him on this mission. A nephew, Orsey Harmon, went with Alpheus as his companion.

While crossing the prairie on their return from their mission and somewhere between Carthage and Nauvoo, Illinois, the two missionaries perished in a snow storm. Appleton Milo Harmon says in his journal: "It appears that my cousin, Orsa, had fallen first, being of a tender constitution, the howling blast had over come him as the snow was falling fast and the wind blew. My Uncle [Alpheus] had left his nephew and traveled some 12 or 14 miles toward Carthage, when being without chart or compass and as the snow fell so thick and fast that no landscape or mark or roads was visible, lost and bewildered, over come with fatigue, hunger and cold, he fell asleep laying on his face, where he was found some 5 or 6 days after frozen stiff, leaving a widow and seven small children to mourn the loss. The news of this reached me about Christmas."

Alpheus and Orsey (listed as Asa) are buried in the Old Nauvoo burial grounds in Nauvoo, Illinois. Whether before Alpheus' death or afterwards, Hulda made her home in Carthage, Illinois. From what we have been able to ascertain in our research, the Vaughns who joined the Church in the early days did not stay with it. Carthage was known for being of an anti-Mormon sentiment and it has puzzled us for years why Hulda was there. Apparently, after her second marriage, they had a home in town and a farm 3 1/2 miles out of town. At the time of the martyrdom of the prophet, Emily Harmon--the sister of Orsey who died with Alpheus--was employed in the Carthage jail. Did she live with or near Hulda at the time?

This was a very difficult time for Hulda and her family. According to the Nauvoo house Ledger, Hulda used the provision store a number of times to obtain food or clothing for her family. She remarried in 1844 to Loren Elias Bassett, a widower with 3 children. Loren was not a Mormon, but our research indicates that he may have been a relative or acquaintance of Hulda or Alpheus prior to his death. This has not been proven. The older children of Hulda did not get along well with their step-father and as soon as they could the boys left home. Ebenezer and Edwin died going to California around 1845.

At age 12, Henry Martin Harmon [our ancestor] witnessed the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He later signed an affidavit that is on the records of the Church in the Church Historian's office, of which I have a copy. I quote from it here: "I, Henry M. Harmon aged 25, do solemnly declare and affirm, that on the 27th day of June 1844, I lived in Carthage, and was on the cupola of the court house in Carthage when the anti-mormon mob made their appearance from the West. I came down from the cupola and arrived at the jail about the time the mob did. They were painted black and mostly wore the uniform of the Warsaw Company. I saw the mob rush onto the guards who were stationed at the jail, when the guard fired upon them and a scuffle ensued. Some of the mob then went into the jail and I heard the reports of the guns fired inside. Joseph Smith came to the window, and then went back, and in a few moments appeared again, and leaped from the window, when the mob fired upon him and he fell dead. The fifer of the Warsaw Company came running into the jail yard as Joseph fell dead, and brandishing his fife over Joseph triumphantly exclaimed, "You were the ruination of my father. I will have revenge, and struck him several times on the head with his pewter fife, and fled with the company toward Warsaw.

I then went home and told my mother what had happened and returned in a few minutes and saw Joseph who was set up against the well curb, and was informed that Stigall the jailor had set him up there. Stigall appeared very much alarmed, his room in the lower part of the jail being fired into through the window, and his wife only just escaped being shot. I have examined many times where the ball lodged in the wall after being shot through the window.

In company with my mother and step-father we moved that even 3 miles out of Carthage to our farm. My mother did not wish to go, but my step-father insisted. Next day with my brother, I returned to Carthage and found the town almost entirely vacated." In another history, we read, "His mother, standing in the doorway of her home, on one side of the public square, saw the murder committed." Hulda's obituary says she was an eye-witness to the martyrdom.

In 1850, the Bassett family [Hulda's second husband], were living in Hancock, Illinois. A child, Dimrus Delilah died in 1850 before the Census was taken. She was 2 years old. Another baby was born in September of 1850, named Harriet Cordelia.

Hulda had 5 children by Bassett: 1. Loren Elias b. 13 Oct 1844 at Hancock, Illinois; md Emma Durfee on 24 Dec 1865 and had the following children: Elias, Harlow, Milo, Manae, Richard, William, Alma, and Fannie. Loren died 29 Aug 1915 in Mendon, Cache, UT and is buried at Beaver Dam. 2. David Edwin b. 9 Oct 1846 at Hancock, Ill, He married 1. Eliza Jane Atkinson on 9 Apr 1867 and had eleven children by her: Eliza Ann; Susan A.; Lucinda J.; Appleton H.; David E.; Lucretia M.; George K.; Nancy M.; Harry D; Ona L.; Herbert L. David married in polygamy the sister of Eliza; 2. Emily Ann Atkinson and had the following children: Emily I.; C. Albert; Elena C. David lived most of his life in Cache Valley, Utah. He went to Wyoming to escape persecution to polygamists. There he died on 17 Feb 1935 at Lovell, Big Horn, Wyoming. 3. Dimerus Delilah b. 1848 in Hancock Co., IL and died before the 1850 census. 4. Harriet Cordelia b. 30 Sep 1850 at Hancock Co, IL. She married George Hill in 1865 in Utah and had eight children: George William; Henry Edwin; Hulda Elizabeth; Joseph; Alma; Alice; Jane Louise; and Emma. Harriet died 2 Oct 1884 and was the first person to be buried in the Lewisville cemetery. 5. Thardeus Bassett b. 13 Dec 1853 at Carthage, IL. He died in 1854 probably just prior to the Bassett's moving to Iowa.

Henry Martin Harmon was not with his mother in 1850. He was about 18 years old at this time. Perhaps he was with relatives or working out. Henry, to please his mother, who was heartsick at losing her husband, two sons and also a baby daughter to the mysterious hand of death, stayed himself from going west for her sake. However, he had a very disagreeable relationship with his stepfather. Finally, at age 21, when his step-father undertook to horsewhip him, Henry left home. Henry Martin left to go to California to search for gold, but contracted Mountain Fever and went to the home of his cousin's husband, Heber C. Kimball to recover in Salt Lake. He remained in Utah where he married Susan Marler and had a family. Ammon later came to Utah, but his siblings, Alma, Hulda, Elizabeth and Caroline never did come. Nor did they become Mormons.

In a biography of Hulda's son, Edwin Bassett, by his daughter Ona Bassett Scott, we read: "My father, Edwin Bassett, was born 9 Oct 1846, near Carthage, Illinois. He journeyed westward in 1853 with his parents, an elder brother, Loren and a sister Harriet. Along the way (In Floyd County, Iowa) they found a beautiful meadow of wild hay, covered with flowers and partly surrounded by timber.

My grandfather, Loren Elias Bassett, decided to file on the 160 acres of land and make his home there for a short time before continuing on to California. After making a permanent camp so that Grandmother, Hulda, and the children would be comfortable, he made a two day trip to the land office for the purpose of filing on the land. When he arrived there were many people ahead of him waiting to file their claims, and when his turn came he found that the land he wanted had already been filed upon. The new owner told him that he might live there as long as he wished and when he was ready to leave, he would pay him for any improvements he had made upon the land. Grandfather decided that would be a way to earn money to help them on their way to California, so he returned to the camp and began to make improvements.

He built a house which had one room downstairs, and an attic they used as a bedroom for the boys. The entrance to the attic was a square hole cut in the ceiling, and the stairs was a ladder. The beds were bunks nailed to the wall. The household furnishings consisted of a few pieces of home-made furniture and a fireplace.

They had been warned of the wild pigs that roamed the nearby woods as many of them were dangerous. One day when all was peace and quiet, and Grandmother and the three children were home alone, an old pig came barging into the room with three little pigs following her. The sight of her mouth wide open and the terrible noise she was making sent Edwin and Loren up the ladder to the attic. Grandmother and Harriet jumped up on top of the bed. The pig began ransacking the house. Every one watched for a time, but when she tipped the flour can over, that was too much for Edwin. Down the ladder he came and dashed to the fireplace where he picked up a big hickory stick with which he hoped to drive her from the room, but when she charged him with her mouth open, big tusks showing and making that same vicious noise, he went back up the ladder even faster than he had come down. The old pig hadn't the best of him yet, however. From his perch on the ladder, we waited his chance and when she came close, he hit her with all his might. It must have been a terrific blow, for it broke her lower jaw completely off, leaving it hanging by the skin. The old pig and the little ones promptly fled and Edwin was the victor.

In Floyd County, Iowa, Loren and Hulda are living with their family in the Union township in 1856 and the Rockford township in 1860.

It is not known how long the Bassetts lived in Iowa--(about 10 years at least.) When they started west it was with the intention of going to California. Shortly after Hulda's son Ammon Harmon was married, Hulda and Loren started for western Iowa near Council Bluffs. While Hulda was camping with the children, she went out squirrel hunting. A fellow saw her and was scared. He went and told people that there was crazy people living there and to look out or they would be killed. From Iowa they journeyed to the Missouri River where Grandfather [Loren Elias] heard of a Mormon wagon train which would soon be leaving for Utah. They crossed the Missouri River in a ferry boat and found a large camp of Mormons near Omaha. Some were from Utah who had come for supplies and some were from the other side of the river who were going to migrate to Utah. They had been waiting to accumulate as large a train as possible to make the protection stronger against the Indians which were rather dangerous. Grandfather Loren Bassett talked to the leader of the train and asked permission to travel with them. When the request was granted, Grandfather sold part of his belongings and bought other things which would be more useful to them crossing the plains. Among other things, he was asked to buy a saddle horse to be used for scouting. And so they started their long trek to Utah, helping the Mormons.

Following is Edwin Bassett's description of their trip: Mr. Curtis was the captain. We started out with one team, four yoke of oxen, and two wagons which was considered a very good outfit in those days. The first day we made only a short drive and stopped to organize our company for the best advantage of the journey. We divided the company into two divisions, with an equal number of wagons in each division and a head teamster for each outfit who would take the lead. One division leading one day and the other leading the next day. At camping time, the division in lead would turn from the road to the right, making a circle and pulling back to the road and reaching the road just the time the last wagon of that division was about to leave the road. Then the leader of the second division would turn out to the left and make a similar circle. This would make a complete enclosure in which the animals could be corralled in the morning or could be corralled any time for protection from the Indians. There was about 25 or 30 wagons in the train and we had exceptional good luck. We were instructed to keep peace with the Indians at any cost. Our captain said, "It is cheaper to feed the Indians than to fight them". We followed his advice and made friends with the Indians along the way. The trip was a long, hard one. The children had shoes to wear on the trail, but whenever they camped, they would take their shoes off for any unnecessary running around.

One of the chief entertainments was dances and I played my violin, which was the only one in the outfit. We were on the toad about two months and we arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in fine shape. We took up a subscription in the camp and gave to our captain to show our appreciation for his services. After camping a few days at the edge of Salt Lake City, every man went his own way. Some went farther west, some went south and we went with others to Cache Valley. By the time they reached Utah, Grandfather [Loren Elias] had been converted to the gospel and chose to remain in Utah rather than continue on to California.

We stopped at Providence, Utah with a relative for a short time and later, father bought a house and a lot in Providence and we lived there.

Hulda became well known throughout the state caring for the sick and operating when necessary. She was ordained as a “doctor” in Providence, Utah. There was an almost fanatical adherence to the use of herbs among Utah pioneers. Along with their herbs, a midwife's equipment usually consisted of a pan of water, a few rough blankets and a wagon box. The only anesthetic was perhaps a whiskey tea. Upon arrival at the home, the midwife saw that all the children were taken away to neighbors or relatives. The father was expected to remain, ready to help if needed. Always there was a big fire in the stove with the tea-kettle on and a large saucepan full of boiling water. Squares of white cloth were placed in an oven on a heavy earthenware plate to be sterilized by light scorching. A heaping tablespoon of flour was browned in a skillet. A large raisin or two were set to soak in boiling hot water. The mother would usually have prepared the delivery bed by spreading an oil-cloth over the straw tick or mattress on top of which, old, disposable sheets were folded. The delivery was not to be hurried even if labor lasted for days. The midwife encouraged and reassured the mother. If complications arose, the midwife called in the Elders and they prayed at the bedside for the muscles to relax.

After the birth, the midwife oiled the baby's body and; "sprinkled parched flour over the navel, them opened a raisin that had been in a bowl of hot water and carefully placed the inner, meaty side on top of the flour, binding it all together with a tight belly-band."; (Pioneer Midwifery in Utah--; Winter 1995 Pioneer Magazine) Lorin and Edwin Bassett are listed as molasses boilers in Providence, Cache, Utah in 1860. (This could be Hulda and Loren's son, Loren.)

The early homes in Providence did not have floors, doors or windows. Hay was spread on the dirt for a floor and a piece of pillow case was hung for window and old quilts over the doorway. They had a few Indian scares but just after the Indians began attacking the settlers, Chief Bear Hunt and over 200 of his people were slaughtered by Colonel Connor and his California Volunteers who were stationed at Camp Douglas.

The diaries and biographies of the pioneers describe encounters with mountain lions, coyotes and bears invading the corrals of the town and killing livestock, damaging crops and terrorizing the settlers. The most widely talked about incident occurred in August 1863 and involved Hulda's son, Alpheus Harmon:

Tired of having his corn patch robbed each night by a grizzly, Ira Rice set a strong trap to catch the nightly visitor. One morning, the bear, dragging the trap with him, had crossed the Logan River and gone into the canyon. Armed with pistols and rifles, Mr. Rice and some of his adventurous neighbors trailed the grizzly. They found him near the river trying to rid himself of the trap. Wounded by a bullet from Mr. Rice's rifle, the huge grizzly, with a fearful growl, lunged toward his pursuers. Catching up with William Dees, he knocked him to the ground with a mighty swing of his paw. Bleeding profusely from the head wound, Mr. Dees was rushed back to his home. The next morning, Mr. Rice and 14 men and boys, armed with knives, shotguns, pistols and rifles went after the bear. Arriving at the scene of yesterday's encounter, they found the bear sitting on the trail nursing his wounds. This time he did not wait for the attack. Sighting the group, the bear arose in his fury. There was an immediate scamper for safety behind bushes and into larger trees. Braver than the rest, Alpheus Harmon, aiming his weapon at the bear, pulled the trigger when they were only a short distance apart. The gun failed to fire. It was too late for Harmon to get away, and the bear wrapped him in its arms. Time and again, Harmon struck at the bear with his knife, but he was seriously clawed before the bear released him. Afraid to shoot for fear of injuring Harmon, one man struck the bear over the head with his rifle barrel. At the same time, Henry Gates fired his shotgun into the mouth of the bear, knocking out several of this teeth. The infuriated animal released Harmon and plunged toward Gates, clawing his face, arms and legs and inflicting serious wounds.

The fearful cries from the two wounded men brought quick action from their comrades. Three or four shots fired into the body of the bear seemed to have no result except to further infuriate the beast. It was then that William Dees who had been badly wounded the day before, sneaked up behind it and shot it in the head. The bear fell to the ground dead. The two badly wounded men were carried home on improvised stretchers made from willows. Six days later Henry Gates died as a result of his wounds. Try to imagine Hulda, if you will, implementing all her skill in trying to save her son from the same fate. Although a grown man by now, Hulda probably earned her good reputation as; "being a good hand with the sick"; from her tireless efforts to care for these wounded men.

For several years, the pioneers of the Utah valleys were attacked by plagues of grasshoppers. Providence did not escape the onslaught. The entire community--men, women, and children--threw their energies into defense of their food crops. The grasshoppers were often so thick that they darkened the sun.

In 1867, Hulda and Loren received their endowments in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. On 8 Nov 1867, Hulda was sealed to her first husband, Alpheus Harmon. Her son, Henry acted as proxy for his father, thus fulfilling a prophecy Alpheus had made prior to his mission from which he never returned. Alpheus said to Henry--then an 11 year old boy--; "Henry, I want you to be a good boy for the day will come when you will take my place with the family.";Henry went to the temple this day with his mother and in completing the ceremony, Loren Bassett stepped forward to take his wife, the mother of Henry, through the veil, when Heber C. Kimball, standing by, knowing the circumstances and parties of this family, stepped up and said; "No, that is not right"; and taking Henry by the arm, said; "Here is the man who should stand in his father's place with this family."

From the history of Providence, Utah, we read, regarding Hulda:"The early residents of Providence had no professional medical attention. Out of necessity; gentle, helpful, courageous women, without a lesson in nursing assumed the medical care of the community. They were women with families of their own, but with a natural talent for nursing and a sincere and tender devotion to the sick. These women were loved and trusted. The first of these nurses was "Grandma Bassett".

She was remembered as being 'one with a real good hand with the sick'. Hulda Bassett and Elizabeth Bullock were sustained as doctors on 27 April 1868." These women traveled in a horse and buggy caring for the sick and delivering the many babies born in the area. Hulda enjoyed years of having many of her family of grown children live nearby. She delivered babies of her daughters-in-law and had many grandchildren named in her honor. She kept in touch with her children who did not come west. Hulda was a very family-oriented person. Her sons were involved in community entertainments at the old Rock Church acting, playing violin, singing, etc. Loren Bassett and Ammon Harmon's names are on a plaque outside the Old Rock Church in Providence for participation in the community theater productions.

In 1870, Loren and Hulda were each listed on the census as 63 years old (although we know these ages are wrong) and living in Providence, Utah. Their real estate was valued at $250 and they had $200 worth of personal property.

On the 11 Oct 1872, Lorin Bassett was sealed to his deceased wife, Rachel English who had died in 1840 in the Endowment House by Joseph F. Smith. At the same time he was sealed to Elizabeth Harmon, daughter of Hulda and Alpheus. Elizabeth had died in 1869. Huldah acted as proxy for these sealings. Loren died sometime between 1880 and 1886. One record says that Loren was killed in Utah. Even though we are not certain of his death date, we can estimate that Loren and Hulda were married over forty years. He provided her with a comfortable living. On 12 Oct 1886, Huldah died and the following is her obituary as printed in the Deseret News.


Deseret News

Deaths: Bassett--At Clarkston, Cache County, 12 Oct 1886 of paralysis:

Huldah Bassett born Feb 11, 1808 at Quebec, Canada, baptized at Kirtland, Ohio in 1832, moved to Nauvoo in 1841 with her husband, Alpheus Harmon. He went on a mission and on his way home was froze to death, leaving her with nine small children. She was an eye witness to the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum, her home being then in Carthage. She afterwards married Lorin Bassett by whom she had four children. She arrived in Utah in 1863. She was the mother of 13 children, grandmother of 67 and great grandmother of 32. She was full of zeal for the Latter-day work.

In the Probate Court, county of Cache, Territory of Utah, Alpheus Amulek Harmon, son of Hulda Bassett, petitioned the court and gave the value of her property as follows: A town lot in Providence with improvements worth about $500. A homestead entry in Clarkston worth about $200. Six head of horses and colts worth $400. One cow and one yearling worth $40. William Law, the commissioner duly appointed by this court to make partition of the estate of Huldah Bassett made partition of the personal property of said estate among the persons entitled thereto, as follows:

To Henry M. Harmon, Ammon Harmon, Alpheus A. Harmon, Loren E. Bassett, and Edwin Bassett in equal shares, one red cow, one spotted bull and one shawl. To Caroline Lincoln, 30 years carpet, milk pans. To Henry Berry, stove rack, flat irons, dishes, one clothes press, one stove, and one rocking chair. To Francis Harmon, Lena Harmon, William Harmon, Elmer Harmon, Emma Harmon, Curtis Harmon and Celestia Harmon one ringer, one milk safe, pictures, one stove and lounge. To Sarah Clouse, Isaiah Rogers, Eddie Clouse, Betsy Rogers, Lilly Gear, Alpheus Rogers, Mary Clouse, Nina Clouse, May Welch, Huldah Palmer, and Ella Rogers, two buckets, one brass kettle, sundries, four jars, one tidy, one table, two clocks, one chair and one bedstead. To George H. Hill, Henry E. Hill, Huldah E. Hill, Alma Hill, Alas Hill, Louisa Jane Hill and Emma Hill one sewing machine. In cash, each living child received $33.39 or $33.45 and grandchildren received $4.77.Henry Berry, son of Elizabeth, Hulda's deceased daughter, received a share with the other children of $33.39.

Compiled by: Cheryl Harmon Bills 2192 East Hwy 33 Sugar City, ID 83448


  • Thompson, A.C. History of Indiana, Vol 2, pg. 252:
Henry J. Hanes ... is a son of Huram and Betsie (Vaughn) Hanes. ... Betsie Vaughn, [is] a daughter of Charles and Elizabeth (Morgan) Vaughn, natives of Canada, and the father and mother of eight children, namely: Henry, John, Joel, Daniel, Samuel, Nancy, Dimers, Hulda and Betsie.
  • Bills, Cheryl Harmon. Cheryl's Ancestry Dec 2006, database
  • Portrait from Bills, Cheryl Harmon