Today is the birth day of William Barker, my 2nd great-grandfather.
In the fall of 1850, Weber Co. was organized into a stake with Lorin Farr president, and Charles R. Dana and D. B. Dille counselors; Isaac Clark and Erastus Bingham bishops. My grandfather, William Barker, was one of the first school teachers in Mound Fort. He taught school in a little frame building down by the mound called Kemps House. He also taught in the rock school house on the corner of 12th; also served a number of times as trustee of the school district.
William Barker was ordained a Seventy by B.F. Cummings. After his marriage to Mary Ann Holt, daughter of James Holt, who was at one time counselor to Thos. Dunn Bishop of North Ogden, which occurred on October 5, 1855, he located in North Ogden, and except for a brief stay in Ogden Valley, resided there until 1869. During his stay in North Ogden, much labor of a public nature devolved upon him. He was out of Ogden Valley to take charge of a day school in North Ogden. He taught school there in connection with Willliam Godfrey, on May 4, 1862. He was superintendent of Sunday School, filled the position for seven years, until he came to Mound Fort, October 14, 1869. On 21 December 1865, takes up night school teaching arithmetic and writing.
William and Mary Ann are listed on the 1870 census of Ogden, Utah with their children William, Harriet, James E., Ellen, Laura and George. Next door lived Ambrose Shaw, next to Shaws Simon Barker & family then Edward Barlow, next Byron Barker & family, next Chose Wells with wife Harriet Barker, and then David Moore & wife Sarah [d/o Frederick Barker]
At one time when they first went to North Ogden to live, they lived in a dug-out in the hill east of town. Grandmother many times told her children of the hardships they endured while living in this place. At one time their little boy, Albert, was playing with the other children in the sand of a dry ditch, away from the house. The other children went away and left him alone. Finally, a squaw came along and found him, and picked him up and took him along with her. He was gone all the rest of that day and all night. All the men of the community were out all night with their lanterns hunting for him. Toward noon the next day some of them went down to the store and told about it, and also told whose boy it was. A number of Indians were in the store standing around, and the men in the store remembered afterwards as soon as they heard whose boy was missing, the Indians disappeared one at a time until they were all gone. along in the afternoon an old squaw came to the Barkers home carrying the child. They had stolen him and were going to keep him as a hostage and ask for provisions and flour, etc. for his release. They did not know whose child he was or they would not have taken him. They said that the men even stepped on their buffalo robes in the night as they were sleeping when they were searching for him. As soon as they found out whose baby he was they brought him back. The Barker family was always kind to the Indians, giving them food and clothing whenever they were in need.
Soon after WILLIAM BARKER arrived in Mound Fort he was placed in the Sunday School as superintendent, until he was called on a mission to the state of Minnesota, for which field of labor he left on the 19th of April, 1881.
While on his mission he stayed quite a bit with his sister, Matilda, who had not joined the church. She was married to a man named Alonzo Jenks. She said he was always welcome to stay there, but she didn’t want to hear anything about Mormonism. Her sons were very prominent lawyers at Darlington, Wisconsin.
At one time while on this mission, he and his companion were holding a meeting. After the meeting something seemed to tell him not to step straight out into the yard, but cling close to the house. He did this, going along close to the house and out sidewise. His companion followed him, not knowing the reason, but afterwards they learned that some men had spread a rope lasso in front of the door, and were going to catch them and drag them off into the river.
He was called home on account of the death of his son, Albert, on October 23, 1881. His older son, William Frederick, had died two years previously of the same disease, typhoid fever and pneumonia. His daughter, Nora, also had it but recovered.
After coming home he was again called into the Sunday School as assistant to Thomas D. Deed,in which position he labored until he moved to Pleasant View after nine years. While living in Mound Fort he was sent for many times, even in the night, too go to North Ogden, to administer to the sick. He was a man of great faith.
He was appointed one of the seven presidents of Seventy of the 98th Quorum; on the 11 of September, 1887, at a general Seventy meeting held in the Lynne Ward, the 98th Quorum of Seventy was organized composed of Lynne, Marriot, and Mound Fort Wards, and he was ordained and set apart as one of the presidents of that quorum, with Simon Halverson, Walter W. Crane, Samuel Richards, Alonzo Parry, Hans Madsen, and John Murdock as assistant presidents.
In March of 1890, he moved to Pleasant View and located on the main road to Hot Springs, a few blocks west of the school house, and joined the 38th Quorum of Seventy. On the 1st of June, 1891, he was set apart as one of the presidents of that quorum, with John F. Hickenlooper, John W. Gibson, W. S. Cragun, George J. Linford, David Johns, and B.F. Blaylock associate presidents. While at Pleasant View he served the people as Justice of the Peace one or more times, also as their first registration agent under statehood.
His failing health prompted him to sever his connection with the Seventy’s Quorum and on September 28, 1901, he was set apart as a High Priest. He died at home in Pleasant View after a long period of illness, on November 19, 1902.