Helen Mar Kimball Whitney records the life of Heber C. Kimball, who discusses his involvement with Freemasonry.

Mar 15, 1881
Helen Mar Kimball Whitney
2nd Hand

Helen Mar Whitney, "Life Incidents," The Woman's Exponent vol. 9, no. 20 (March 15, 1881): 154

Helen Mar Kimball Whitney
Lote Lawson, Christopher Columbus, Jarvies Gillies, Hyrum Smith, Roswell Murray, James A. Garfield, Vilate Kimball, Ezra Wilmoth, Nathaniel Campbell, Helen Mar Kimball Whitney, Joseph Smith, Jr., Susannah Murray, Charles Spaulding Kimball, Enos Gillies, Eliza Kimball, Samuel Gillies, Heber C. Kimball
Reading Public






My father begins his own life by saying: "I was born June 14, 1801, in the town of Sheldon, Franklin Co., Vermont, about forty miles from Montreal, ten miles from the shores of Lake Champlain, and ten miles from St. Albans, the county town, living between the Masisko and Black rivers."

"Judge Chase, with whom my father was brought up, called to see my parents soon after I was born, and he proposed to name nie Heber Chase, which they did."

"About the time of the great eclipse in 1806, I commenced going to school, and continued most of the time until about the age of fourteen. I recollect the eclipse well, as my father was about to start on a journey, but obliged to wait on account of the darkness.

"In February, 1811 when my father moved his family from Sheldon to West Bloomfield, a distance of about five hundred miles, I remember when we reached St. Albans my father bought each of his boys a liat, which was the first hat I ever had. We traveled on Lake Champlain on the ice; the wind being very high, my hat was blown off and lost.

"When fourteen years of age my father took me into his shop, and began to teach me the blacksmith trade. When nineteen, he having lost his property, and not taking the care for my welfare which he formerly did, I was left to seek a place of refuge of my own.

"At this time I saw some days of sorrow; my heart was troubled, and I suffered much in consequence of fear, bashfulness, and timidity, I found myself cast abroad upon the world, without a friend to console my grief; in those heart-aching hours. I suffered much for the want of food and the comforts of life, and many times went two, or three days without food to eat, being bashful and not daring to ask for it.

"After I had spent several weeks in the manner before stated, my oldest brother, Charles, hearing of my condition, offered to teach me the potter's trade. I immediately accepted the offer, and continued with him until I was twenty-one.

"I was enrolled with my brother Charles in an independent horse company of the New York militia, under Captain Sawyer, who lived in East Bloomfield, With him and his successor I trained. fourteen years; one year more would have entitled me to exemption from further military duty. I was never brought before a court martial, or found delinquent in my duty.

"While living with my brother he moved into the town of Mendon, Monroe Co.(six miles north of Bloomfield, towards the city of Rochester) where he again established pottery. After I had finished learning my trade I worked for six months with my brother for wages

"Nov.17, 1822, I married Vilate Murray, the youngest daughter of Roswell and Susannah Murray, born in Florida, Montgomery Co New York, June 1, 1806. She was their fourth child, and had lived with her parents in Victor, Ontario Co."

I am here reminded of the following incident, which has in it a touch of romance, and though it is not written in my father's history, is one that I have heard related in the family since childhood.

One warm day in summer, as my father was riding through the little town of Victor, being very thirsty, he stopped before a house where a gentleman was at work in the front yard, and asked him for a drink of cold water; and as he went to the well to draw a fresh bucket, he called his daughter Vilate to fetch a glass, which he filled and sent by her to the young stranger, who it seems understood her name to be Milatie. Not long after this he again had occasion to go to Victor, and as he came in sight of this cottage, he suddenly became thirsty, and seeing the same gentleman, he rode up to the gate and asked him for a drink of water. After drawing a fresh bucket, he (my grandfather) was about to hand it himself when he said: "If you please, I'd rather Milatie would bring it to me;" so he called her and sent the water by her. She was the youngest and the pet of the family, who generally called her Latie; of course, this circumstance afforded a great deal of fun and amusement for her sister and brothers.

Some of our family have been East and visited the old homesteads in Mendon and Victor, which still look natural. Of course, the scenes around there had a peculiar charm for them; they remembered the story of the well, which they visited, and drank from the "old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket, the moss-covered bucket that hung in the well."

My father continues: "Immediately after I was married I purchased the situation of my brother Charles, and went into business for myself at the potter's trade, which I carried on in the summer season, and worked at blacksmithing in the winter. I also chopped cordwood and cleared land occasionally. I continued in the pottery business upwards of ten years, and in the meantime I made a purchase of five and a half acres of land, and built a fine house, woodhouse, barn, and other outhouses, planted fruit trees, and had situated myself so as to live comfortably."

"February, 1824, my mother died of consumption in the town of West Bloomfield. In the spring of 1825 my father came to Mendon and lived with me; he soon took sick and died of consumption about a year after my mother's death. My oldest brother, Charles B., and his wife, whose maiden name was Judith Marvin, died in the year 1826 or 7, and were buried in Mendon by the side of my father. The record of my father's family fell into the hands of my sister Eliza, to whom I have written for an account, but have not yet been able to obtain it.

"In 1823 I received the three first degrees of Masonry, namely, entered apprentice, fellow craft, and master mason in the lodge at Victor Flats, Ontario Co., five miles east of where I was living, Lote Lawson acting as the Master of the Lodge, Ezra Wilmoth, Jarvies Gillies, Enos Gillies, Samuel Gillies, and Nathaniel Campbell (a brother-in-law of mine) were present at my initiation, with perhaps fifty others, whom I could mention, if necessary. In 1824 myself and five others sent a petition to the chapter at Canandaigua, the County Seat of Ontario County, to receive the degrees up to the Royal Arch Mason our petition was accepted, but just previous to the time that we were to receive those degrees, the Morgan affair broke out, and the Masonic Hall in Canandaigus, where the chapter met, was burned by the Anti-Masons, and all the records consumed. There are thousands of Masons that lived in those days who are well aware of the persecution and unjust proceedings which were heaped upon them by the Anti Masons; not as many as three of us could meet together, unless in secret, without being mobbed.

"I have been driven from my houses and possessions, with many of my brethren belonging to that fraternity, five times, by mobs led by some of their leading men. Hyrum Smith received the three first degrees of Masonry in Ontario County, New York. Joseph and Hyrum Smith were Master Masons, yet they were massacred through the instrumentality of some of the leading men of that fraternity through the Stals, and not one soul of them has ever stepped forth to administer help to me or my brethren belonging to the Masonic institution, or to render us assistance, although bound under the strongest obligations to be true and faithful to each other in every case and under every circumstance, the commission of crime excepted.

"I have been as true as an angel from the heavens to the covenants I made in the Lodge at Victor. No man was admitted into a Lodge in those days except he bore good moral character and was a man of steady habits; and a member would be suspended for getting drunk, or any other immoral conduct. I wish that all men were Masons and would live up to their profession; then the world would be in a much better state than it is now."

The great blessings now enjoyed by the Latter-day Saints in these valleys can be better appreciated when we recall some of the earlier scenes when poverty and sufferings were the common lot of all. The generation of today knows little or nothing concerning the history of those who first stood forth in the defense of the truths which were taught by Joseph Smith, the founder of this great and marvelous work which has caused such a commotion, not only in America but throughout every nation and this being the fiftieth year, it seems a fitting time to review their history, and let the world know that they were Americans, and were born and reared in the midst of the Green Mountains, and were true representatives of the men and women of '76, and that that spirit of independence has not died out, but is still burning in the hearts of their children, and the thousand and one trials which our enemies have caused us to pass through have only fanned the flame, Long and hard have they fought to hold us under their heel, but all of their struggles have been in vain. It is true we have been whipped, but we have never been conquered; in the midst of what seemed the most dangerous and critical times, "our spirits were the most buoyant; we were strangers to fear, and injustice and oppression can never break nor subdue that spirit. This pure mountain air which we have so long enjoyed has increased that love of freedom, which is our rightful inheritance, and Americans are paying themselves rather a poor compliment when traducing the characters of men and women, who so nearly resemble their own Puritan fathers and mothers; but in spite of all their efforts truth will prevail.

Surely it was the Spirit of the Almighty that inspired Columbus to seek out the new world, and filled the hearts of the Pilgrims with an unquenchable desire for liberty, a boon that was denied them in their fatherland. Nothing could daunt their spirits, but placing their trust in Him, they undertook the perilous voyage across the great deep, in search of a home, where they might enjoy freedom and religious liberty without molestation; and their children were filled with the same valor and love for the glorious cause of liberty, which was their battle cry, and under the sacred banner of freedom they fought in defense of their rights, which they have risked so much to gain. It was the same spirit, which animated and inspired the hearts of the Latter-day Saints when they left their homes in the winter to undertake a journey over the trackless wastes to these Rocky Mountains, to obtain freedom from tyranny and oppression, where they could enjoy the rights bequeathed to them by these same fathers and mothers of our common country, and added to this is our glorious religion, the pure Gospel of Christ, revealed through Joseph, the Prophet of God, by which, instead of bringing us into bondage, every soul is made free.

To be Continued.

The inauguration of President Garfield, was the most elaborate of the kind.

Citations in Mormonr Qnas
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