John Bartholomew (History)
My father, John Bartholomew, was born in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, because Grandpa Joseph and Grandma Polly were members several years before he was born. Grandma joined first, 1 May, 1832, and Grandpa, 10 August 1841. They were married 1- December 1943 and 2- August 1944. Twin boys were born who died within two days. These little boys were named Joseph and Hyrum for the great Church leaders who had given their lives for their testimonies of the truth of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. John was born 11 September 1845. He came across the plains with his parents, his sister Mary, his two brothers, Joseph and George, in 1852. Twin daughters were born to Grandma and Grandpa in Springville, Utah, 25 July, 1854. There were also two more boys, William and James, born in Springville, Utah. (Mary and Joseph were born in Springville, Pottawottamy County, Iowa.)
When father was sixteen the family moved to Warm Creek, or Fayette, in
I, Julia Ercanbrack, am the seventh child of John Bartholomew and Eliza Roxie Metcalf. When I was six years old I went to Juab, which was at that time, the terminus of the railroad. I went with father in a wagon drawn by horses to get some new furniture, he had sent for. He gave me a celluloid jewelry box, red inside and black outside. It had a lid, which fitted very tightly. I shall never forget how happy this gift made me. I prized it highly and took good care of it, and when I got married and went to make my own home, that beautiful box was one of my prize possessions.
Father often took his family in the wagon to gather sarvice berries and other kinds, such as buffalo berries down on the Sevier River.
I was not very well all my life. I suffered with rheumatism, and under the hands of my good father, I received many blessing through the administration of the Priesthood. At one time he blessed me and I was relieved of a bad toothache.
I remember of many leading authorities of the Church staying with us in our home and of mother's receiving a miraculous healing of an abscess on her neck by the administration of these good men who were our visitors from Slat Lake. Sometimes they came on the train to Juab, and then by horse-drawn buggies or wagons to Fayette. This night when the brethren got to Fayette they were very tired. Father explained that mother had been very sick for several days with this abscess, and she was not able to get a large meal for them. They said they would be happy to take bread and milk if they might only stay for the night. The evening meal was simple. Before they retired for the night, they had prayer and asked mother if she would like them to give her a blessing. She answered in the affirmative. Brother George Q. Cannon gave her a wonderful blessing. She had not slept well for several nights and the pain had made her very weary, but when she awoke the next morning it was late. She had to hurry to get breakfast so the brethren could be on their way. After they were gone, mother thought about her sick neck. She went to dress it and the abscess was gone. There was always a little scuff where the scar was but mother was healed. She called her children around her and told them of the blessing she had received. We all knelt in prayer to thank our Heavenly Father for His blessings to our dear mother.
Father always had prayer in the home with his family-night and morning-with the backs of the chairs to the table until the prayers were said, either by one of the parents or by one of us children.
Father was always square and honest in his dealings; he never took advantage of anyone he dealt with.
I well remember how father would read the Bible to us, although we did not understand much of it at the time. I remember one time how my sister Mary and I got the giggles and father sent me outside until I could stop laughing. But, just as soon as I stepped into the room and looked at Mary, we both burst out tittering again. Father said, "Julia, you aren't ready to come in yet." So I would have to go out again.
Ephraim City was the headquarters of the Sanpete Stake in 1894 and father took us with him to conference in the wagon. We had to stay overnight. We always put up at President Canute Petersen's home. His good wife, Sarah, always wanted us to stay with them, along with many other guests. Our teams were put up at the Tithing Yards. I cannot remember when father was not Bishop, and Stake Conference was always a great event.
The Flat Canyon farm was about seven miles north of Fayette. There father raised hay, grain, fruit, and lots of watermelon and cantaloupe. (We always called them muskmelons.) I have driven the team from the farm to Fayette many times.
Father was road supervisor for many years. Otis tells me that in 1901, when he came to Fayette in October to marry me, he helped my folks haul beets. The roads were very rough. Alma said, "the roads were not bad like this when father was the supervisor. I do not know when father was made supervisor or when his term ended, but evidently, it was before 1901. It seems to me I was about twelve years old when every morning around breakfast time, men would come to be instructed as to where they should go and as to what they should do. They would also discuss where the road was washed out and other things that had happened to cause trouble at different times of the year. That would be around 1893 or 1884. His stretch was the road from Gunnison to Cedar Ridge.
Father never drove an automobile, but he did see some before his death. I believe he rode in one that Uncle Will Bown owned.
Father was very obedient to his calling as bishop. He never neglected his meetings. He always fasted from sun to sun, or from sundown on Saturday to sundown on Sunday. In all my life I never heard my father profane the name of the Lord. He didn't swear; I have never heard his say damn to anything or anybody.
Father was in the legislature when Utah was made a state. That was in 1896.
Father gave his children every advantage of education. In September of 1896, my father took a few household things-bedding, cooking utensils and such in the wagon and took my brother Joseph and I to Provo to put us in the Brigham Young Academy as it was called then. We found an upstairs apartment in a small adobe house just across the street west from the old College building. These buildings stand today. We rented the place from Ernest Partridge who was a music teacher at the Academy. Joseph and I kept house in this place and went to school for two years. Joseph took lessons on the guitar one year before I went to the Academy. I had a mandolin and Brother Partridge gave me lessons for about two years. The second year he developed heart trouble and died.
Father was very slow to answer anyone. When Otis asked if he could marry
me, he really took his time. He was very slow of speech. He always measured
his words, and spoke nothing to hurt any person. In 1901, the train came
to the Gunnison depot. I took the horse and buggy and went to meet Otis
early on the morning of 23 October, 1901. We went right on up to Manti
and were married in the Temple that day.
One of the finest characteristics was of questions asked of him, before answering. I have always said, "If everyone followed the example set by Uncle John, there would not be so many regrets for words spoken that should never have been uttered." He was truly a father to the members of his ward, where he presided for 37 years.Return to top
One lovely day in Mackenau, Illinois, 11 September, 1845, was born to Polly Benson and Joseph Bartholomew, a very small mite of a boy-so small he could not be dressed. His preparation was a raisin on his navel, a small cloth scorched light-brown on his bottom and a little scorched flour sprinkled lightly over his wee body. He was rolled in cotton and placed on a pillow and watched very carefully by his anxious mother. He was named John.
As he grew older, in September of 1852, he left Illinois with his parents starting for Utah. Their team was made up of a cow and an ox. They settled in Springville until the years 1861, when they came on to Fayette in Sanpete County. His father, Joseph, ran a store in Fayette.
Father and his brother logged, hunted and farmed together.
Father grew to be tall and very fine looking, with dark hair and brown eyes. He was 23 years old when on the 11 October, 1868, he married Eliza Roxie Metcalf in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. He built a little log house on the corner of the first block north of Grandpa Joseph Bartholomew's. In about five years they built our rock house, which is still standing. Sarah was born on 8 September, 1876, in the little bedroom of the rock house, as were the rest of us: Alma, Jody, Julia, Mary, Rose, Alice and Henry. John, Roxie, and William were born in the log house. The parlor of the rock house was not finished when the family moved in, but when finished, it became a very beautiful room in which we had many happy times. It was a very lovely home and a good home to all of us.
We lived on the simpler things of life, which made us healthy. Mother was a good housekeeper and always kept everything very clean.
On 7 July, 1877, father was set apart as Bishop of the Fayette Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was faithful to this calling. He was never late to his appointments and never liked others to be late.
When we were young, father read to us from the Bible, which didn't seem very important to us at that time. Mary and I used to go with father to the farm to herd the birds from the grain fields, which, at that time, was a necessary procedure.
We all sang in the choir and helped to support our father in the ward in every way we could. Father loved to dance and attend all of the ward parties. He also liked to tease Sarah Foss. But down through the years he suffered with rheumatism until he became very lame in his knees.
I was often left with father while mother was away caring for the sick. I would walk to the meadows, let the bars down, and bring the cows home. On one occasion it had rained hard and made the corral very soft and slushy. Father was going to drive one cow around the corral, but he slipped and fell down in that awful muck. I laughed and he didn't like my laughing at him just then. He had a good, even disposition.
Mother played a big part in the success of father's life and his calling. How many times mother has said, "Rose, how would you like to bake a cake and go help Sister Hill for a little while?" Mother did so much for the people of Fayette.
None of the children can remember father without his beard. He never cut his whiskers off. He was so nice-looking.
His movements were slow, while mother was just as fast as a person could possibly be and made every movement count. They were a lovely couple. Mother was very much in love with father always. When they were older and father would go away for the day, they would play at getting each others 'last touch.'
In the year of 1909, Fayette Ward gave a party in father's honor and presented him with a gold watch and a cane. At that time he had been serving as bishop for 36 years. He had a heart attack. We were very frightened.
Father loved to fish. He fished in the old Sevier River, besides making many trips to Fish Lake. There were no laws prohibiting one from getting all one wanted, so father would take a barrel with a good portion of Salt along. All of the extra fish would be salted down and upon arrival home, would then be dried for future use.
Father was fond of the Indians. He could speak a little to them, enough to make them understand. He fed their horses and gave the Indians many meals. Mother would always have them sit to the table to eat. They called very often on father because he was the bishop and they learned to respect the bishops everywhere. The bishops all tried to carry out the advice of Brigham Young: "It is better to feed the Indian than to fight him."
Father loved home-dramatics, and wasn't bad at playing on the stage himself. The ward put on some plays that were really good. Ted, Jack, Hugh Reed, -- I don't remember all that were in the play. Father was "Fatsides" or "Jack-in-the-box." I still have the pretty buttons that trimmed his suit. Many of the rehearsals were held in our home, which made it very exciting for us children.
We all enjoyed music. Often in the evening, we would listen to Jim Mellor play his violin. Frank Gee was one of the first in town to have a phonograph. He shared it with everyone by turning it up loud and opening the door so that we could all hear the music. Father liked the violin and the harmonica best of all.
Father always had a good garden. He was very handy at fixing thing around the house. The last years of his life, he helped mother with the washing. This was a wonderful help to mother.
Father was not old when he passed away. But he must have sensed that
his time was running out. He wrote to us (Will and I were living in Fillmore),
urging us to come for a visit. Will felt that he just couldn't leave his
hay but we went, nevertheless, to visit father as he wished. We stayed
a few days and during that time, he followed me around and talked to me
and instructed me as though he couldn't tell me enough. When we got ready
to leave, he clung to us all as though he didn't ever want us to leave
him. We got back to Fillmore for only a day or so, when the woman who
kept the telephone office came to our home at night after we had gone
to sleep. Will got up to answer her knock and I said, "I know what
the news is. Father is dead." That was the very news. We were so
grateful that we had gone to see him when he asked us to come. It always
makes us happy that we took time to visit this wonderful man, my father.