“I promise you will have hay.” Frederick Barker and son, Henry

hay-makingMay 1859 Frederick Barker and his son Henry moved to North Ogden and settled on the hill east of the meetinghouse and south of Main Street. (Large book p. 69, small book p. 24). According to the 1902 Biography of James Barker, Frederick Barker followed the occupation of gardening and general farming.

Early one spring, Pres. Henry Holmes of the North Ogden Branch asked Frederick to feed the oxen that were being gathered to make trips to the Missouri River to meet the Saints who were immigrating to Utah. Theirs was about the only hay left in the valley after the long winter and it was getting low. It looked doubtful that Frederick had enough for his own animals until the grass would be ready for grazing.

Frederick turned to his son Henry to ask if he was willing. Henry said, “Father, you said last summer that is we would work to get the hay up, that next spring I would not have to go to the hills to hunt horses and cattle in my bare feet as I did last spring, but could feed them at home while doing the spring plowing.” Pres. Holmes said, “If you will feed the oxen I promise you that you will have hay till hay comes again.” Frederick again asked Henry what he thought about it. Henry didn’t see how it could be possible, but he consented.

The animals were brought to the Barker’s feedlot, cared for, and fed all they could eat. Frederick told his son not to feed so heavy, he was overdoing it. Henry joked back and said, “We’re going to have hay to stack on when we harvest our crop, remember! We might as well give them plenty.” They were well fed and in good condition for the hard trip ahead, and new hay was stacked on the old as Pres. Holmes had predicted. Henry said it seemed to him there was very little difference in the amount of old hay in the stack at the time.

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About annlaemmlenlewis

I am member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I am currently serving as a Missionary in the Washington Yakima Mission. Welcome to my personal blog, Ann's Words, and my Mission blog, Our Yakima Mission. If you are interested in family history stories and histories, you can find those posted in Ann's Stories. Thanks for looking in!
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