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Aroet Lucius Little Hale

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Aroet Lucius Little Hale

 

 The birth of Aroet was a great joy to his parents, Jonathan and Olive

Hale. Their first child, Sarah, died the same day she was born, 22 August

1826. This first son arrived on 18 May 1828 in Dover, Strafford, New

Hampshire. Jonathan and Olive were operating the “Stage House” at this

time. One year later, Jonathan moved with his wife and baby back to the old

hometown of Bradford, Mass., where they lived for two years. In March 1831,

the family moved again to Dover.

It was here in Dover that the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

came to this family. Jonathan and Olive were baptized in June 1834. In

1835, Jonathan left for Kirtland to meet the Prophet Joseph. After this visit,

and two short missions, Jonathan converted all his business interests into cash

and a traveling outfit and prepared to move his family to Kirtland, Ohio. The

journey took 24 days, and they arrived on the 10th of July 1835.

Due to the persecution of the Saints, the great migration to Far West,

Missouri began. The Hale family left on 6 July 1838, camping in Green

County, Ohio for one month gathering supplies for the journey. There were

many hardships along the 870-mile journey, and it was a happy day when they

arrived at Far West on 2 October 1838.

The family suffered the many hardships, trials and persecutions of the

Far West period of Church history. With the other Saints, the Hale family

left 5 February 1839 and journeyed to Quincy, Illinois. They spent two

winters here and this was the first opportunity for Aroet and his sister Rachel

to attend school. The family had lost almost all they owned in the

persecutions at Far West. They were in Quincy, replacing their wagon, cattle,

etc. so they would be well equipped to move on, which they knew they must.

In the spring of 1841 the family relocated to Nauvoo.

As the Saints enjoyed the peace and prosperity of Nauvoo, the Nauvoo

Legion was organized. Aroet was listed on the roster as the drummer. He was

then a husky lad of 16. These were days occupied with building the temple

and enjoying a brief respite from harassment by mobbers. Unfortunately this

was not to be a permanent home for the Saints. The persecution began again

as the Saints rushed to complete the temple to receive their ordinances before

they were again told to, “Move on!”

Before leaving Nauvoo, Apostle Heber C. Kimball and Bishop Hale

arranged for Aroet, then nearly 18 years of age, to go to the Nauvoo Temple

to be ordained an Elder and receive his endowments. Then at the request of

Apostle Kimball, Bishop Hale allowed Aroet to accompany the Kimball

company as a teamster, while the Bishop remained to help the people secure

outfits and traveling equipment. Aroet remained with this company until they

reached Garden Grove and Mt. Pisgah where temporary settlements were

established. He was assigned the task of assisting in the construction of

temporary buildings at Garden Grove. He worked at this job until the 16th

of June when he was instructed to return to Nauvoo and assist his father with

his company of Saints. Bishop Hale had already left Nauvoo, and they met

on the trail. Aroet then remained with his father’s company until they reached

Council Bluffs.

War had been declared between the United States and Mexico, and

President James Polk issued a request to the Church members to support the

United States by forming a Mormon Battalion. On July 13, four companies

of the Battalion were raised. Aroet stepped forward and volunteered to go

with the Battalion as drummer, but Apostle Kimball, a close personal friend

of the family, gave this counsel to Aroet, “Aroet you have been away from

your Father and Mother five months now in the Camp of Israel as teamster.

Your dear father is on crutches with a broken leg, with no help but your

mother and her little ones. You are needed here.”

This proved to be prophetic counsel. On August 27, Olive gave birth

to her last child, and on September 5, 1846, Bishop Jonathan H. Hale died.

Just four days later Olive joined her husband. On September 15, little Olive

Susan who was two and one-half years, died and was followed by baby Clarissa

the next day. Thus, father, mother and two daughters all died within 14 days.

They were all buried together at Council Bluffs, Iowa, in an unmarked grave.

Before he died, Jonathan bade his family “Goodby,” and left his

blessing. He said, “Stand by the Faith and continue on with Brother Brigham

and Brother Heber to the Rocky Mountains. It is God’s work and we must

not fail. Do not be persuaded to turn back, even though our relatives insist

upon it. Go with the Church and God will bless and preserve you.” Olive

admonished the children to follow the counsel of their father as her last

request. The four remaining children were grief-stricken that four of their

family members had been taken so quickly. They were now alone and

homeless, “with the desolate plains and the wild Rocky Mountains ahead of

us, and hostile enemies and our burning home back of us.”

Aroet, being the oldest of the four remaining children, shouldered the

responsibility of seeing that they followed the instructions of their parents and

remained with the Saints. They traveled with Apostle Kimball to the valley,

arriving in the Fall of 1848. Apostle Kimball continued to be their friend and

counselor through the years.

When Apostle Kimball helped President Young assign the building lots,

he gave Aroet his assigned lot and with a twinkle in his eye, said he would be

a neighbor to the Thomas Whittle family. Obviously he had noted the

meeting and courtship of Olive and Aroet as they made their journey

westward.

Aroet and Olive Whittle were married the 15th of September 1849. His

first year of married life was simply another year of life - filled with hard work,

anxiety and fighting Indians. His home had been established in the house

which he and his brothers had built following their arrival in the Salt Lake

Valley. He, along with his wife Olive and his 13-year-old brother Alma,

constituted his family.

In March of 1849, a revival of the old Nauvoo Legion took form in the

Salt Lake Valley with the organization of a militia. Typical of Aroet’s spirit,

he volunteered and was made a member, at first playing the snare drum but

very soon becoming one of the “minutemen.” These were men who could and

would respond for action on a minute’s notice when emergencies arose. They

did arise, and plenty of them! He gave service for about six years during

which time he was commissioned first as “Orderly-Sergeant” and then as

“Battalion Adjutant.” He took part in practically all the skirmishes with the

Indians.

In February 1850, serious trouble was precipitated, and 100

“minutemen” properly mounted, were dispatched to Provo. Aroet’s journal

reads: “We arrived in Provo on February 6 with snow a foot deep; weather

very cold. We found the Indians fortified in an old bed of the Provo River.

They had felled cottonwoods along the bank and piled up snow, leaving port

holes through which to shoot. We fought for two days with little effect. Then

General Daniel H. Wells arrived with more men and cannons. A grand charge

was made February 10th. Several Indians were killed and some were

wounded. Some of our men were wounded, one killed. The Indians were

completely routed; many fled across the river, wading in the icy water up to

their necks. They were led by Chief Walker and Big Elk. We took quite a

number prisoners, and marched them to Salt Lake City. Some of the children

were taken by families of the citizens. The rest were allowed to return to their

tribe in the Spring.” Chief Walker proved to be a continual presence in the

history of the early settlement of this area until his death in 1855.

Aroet was promoted to the office of Second Lieutenant of Company ‘A’

by Brigham Young, Governor, to take effect 10 June 1854. He later received

a commission as First Lieutenant and paymaster in the same Company. In

recognition of the valued services which Aroet had rendered, he was assigned

by President Young a grant of 160 acres of land in Tooele County, on what

was then called Willow Creek, now Grantsville. He moved his family there in

the early Fall of 1854. At this time he and Olive had three children. Alma

was still with them and remained with them until his marriage. They built a

two-room house that Fall and immediately began fencing and tilling the land.

At the April Conference of the Church in 1855, Aroet was called with

32 other men on a special mission to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he remained

for one year. This was a mission to fight the Indians, keep the stage line open,

and build a fortified station for the protection of the United States mail as

well as the emigrants who were passing through that country in ever increasing

numbers. This was a Church assignment by President Young who made it a

religious duty, and appointed William Bringhurst as president of the

“mission.” (An interesting sidelight to this is that a small part of this building

still remains in Las Vegas as the “Old Las Vegas Fort.” A display inside the

museum relates the history, and refers to Aroet. A monument has been

erected near the fort, to honor these pioneers. 1997) The men were promised

by Brigham Young “in the name of the Lord our God, if you will go and

perform this mission, and will be humble and prayerful and obey counsel, that

you shall all return home safely to your families.” They all lived to see this

promise fulfilled.

This mission was a demonstration of the faith and devotion of this

couple, as Olive was expecting their fourth child. Alma, age 19, was left in

charge of the family and the farm. The baby was born 29 November 1855.

The following words were penned by Olive to her husband, “I have one of the

finest boys to show you when you come. I had the best time I ever had, but

had no help until Alma got his sweetheart to come, and they took care of me

and everything. I received the $10 and the 6 lbs. of dried grapes you sent

home. I got them when the baby was two days old. It was the only delicacy

I had.”

In January 1856 Aroet wrote that he was overjoyed at hearing that he

had become the father of “another fine boy.” Apparently Aroet’s brother

Solomon had given his dog, Ring, to Aroet to accompany him on his mission

as Aroet mentions in his letter that Ring is a good watchdog. The desolate

nature and location of the mission brought many hardships. At home there

were also many hardships because of drought and illness. Letters were

exchanged between husband and wife and their love and loneliness for each

other expressed.

On April 12, 1856, Aroet was permitted to return home for a visit, after

an absence of one year. He never returned to the “mission” however, for it

was shortly thereafter terminated and all the men were called home. Upon his

return, Aroet divided evenly his 160-acre farm with Alma. Aroet helped Alma

build a two-room log house on his part of the farm, and Alma with his new

bride moved to their own home.

In July 1857, news of the approaching invasion of Utah by the US

Army under General Johnston caused Brigham Young to begin extensive

preparations in anticipation of serious trouble, as had been their previous

experience. They mobilized and put into action about 6000 men. Aroet and

Alma were among those called to form a cavalry contingent from the

Grantsville district. They gave service in Echo Canyon and at Fort Bridger,

principally in hampering the movements of the Army in an effort to prevent

it from entering the Valley. This was in the Fall and Winter of 1857-8. The

army suffered such great losses at the hands of the militia, that their supplies

and wagons were almost depleted. They had to spend the winter at Fort

Bridger. However, on June 26, 1858, General Johnston led his Army into the

Valley, only to find the Mormons had completely evacuated the city. (Aroet

and Alma had taken their families south to Springville, while the main body

of the Church assembled at Provo, five miles northward.) The army was not

in the position to be a threat and marched harmlessly through the city and

eventually settled 36 miles south of Salt Lake City at Camp Floyd, where they

remained until recalled by President Lincoln in 1861.

Even after returning from the south, Aroet and others were in

dangerous skirmishes with the Indians in Skull Valley. It was not until July

1, 1858 that Aroet, Alma and Solomon were released from military duty and

permitted to devote themselves to their own very neglected interests.

On March 15, 1857, Aroet entered into polygamy with Louisa Phippen.

The ceremony was performed by President Brigham Young in the Lion House.

She gave birth to a daughter, Esther Louise, November 1858, in Coalville,

Utah. The following year she obtained a divorce, keeping the child with her.

Aroet and Alma operated the first mercantile establishment in

Grantsville, which later became the “Grantsville Co-op,” and they owned and

operated the first saw mill and the first molasses mill in that part of the

country. Aroet extended his business interests still further to include part

ownership in a flour mill, a tannery, and a woolen mill. In all three, he was

a director.

Sad misfortune came with the death of his beloved and devoted wife

Olive, on 14 September 1860. This left him with six motherless children. In

due time he sought a mother for his children, and was rewarded in marriage

on 24 December 1861, to Louisa Cooke. She became a devoted and much

loved mother to Olive’s children. There were eight children born to this

union.

On March 18, 1865, under advice from the church authorities, and, as

was the practice of that time, he entered plural marriage with Charlotte Cooke,

sister of Louisa. They were blessed with nine children.

His public-spirited nature was found to always be an impelling force

back of his movements. In public life he is known to have held at least the

following positions of responsibility: a member of City Council of Grantsville,

Justice of the Peace, President of the 19th Quorum of Seventies, Counselor

to President Thomas Clark of Grantsville, High Counselor in the Tooele

Stake, and Patriarch. He also rendered service as missionary and was very

active and generous with his time and his means in organizing and carrying

on the work of the Hale Family Temple Workers Organization.

On numerous occasions over the years, Apostle Wilford Woodruff

would drive his team and buggy from his home in Salt Lake City out to

Grantsville to visit with his friend, Aroet, and hunt ducks with him in that

vicinity.

Aroet was called as a special missionary for the Church to St. Thomas

and St. Joseph, Nevada. At that time, this was called “The Muddy” Mission.

This call came at the October Conference of the Church, 1868. Aroet was

accompanied on this mission by his wife Charlotte. He was a counselor to the

Bishop of the St. Joseph Ward from March 1869 to March 1870.

In 1886 Aroet was called by the Church to go with twelve other men

and establish a colony in the uninhabited mountain territory which came to

be known as Star Valley, Wyoming. He, with his son Lucius, homesteaded

160 acres of land, acquired some town property, built roads, bridges, fences,

irrigation ditches, and constructed a two-room log house. He was joined

shortly by his wife, Charlotte and her children, who made their home there.

He lived here about two years, then returned to his home in Grantsville, to his

wife Louisa and her children. Thereafter, his time was pretty much divided

between Grantsville and Star Valley, in which latter place his eldest son,

Lucius, and others had settled.

Aroet’s heart was turned to the sacred work performed in the temples.

It was in particular a concern for, and interest in their dead ancestry, that

motivated Aroet and his brothers Alma and Solomon, in perfecting the Hale

Family Temple Workers Organization. These three men pushed forward with

such zeal that their accomplishments in the Logan Temple far exceeded the

work ever performed by any other family group up to the close of their activity

there. Aroet always looked forward with intense anticipation to these winter

gatherings where he would meet his two devoted brothers and members of

their respective families.

In the late fall of 1894 he accepted a call from Apostle Francis M.

Lyman to accompany him to Oakley, Idaho to hold a Stake Conference and

attend to other Church business. He remained there the rest of the year with

his son, Solomon E. Hale, who was one of the pioneer settlers in that country.

From his cradle to his grave, Aroet’s life was intertwined with the

movements and activities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,

which as he grew to manhood, pretty much directed his major undertakings.

It was therefore, very fitting that a life of such service and devotion should

conclude its final years in dignity and benediction. He was accordingly

ordained a Patriarch on 18 September 1906, at the conclusion of 24 years of

service as a member of the Tooele Stake High Council.

The remaining five years of his life were spent principally at Grantsville

in the quiet atmosphere of his home and surrounded by members of his family

and his many friends, and sacredly performing the duties of Patriarch.

He and his wife Louisa were in the midst of planning a grand

celebration of their 50 years of marriage in 1911, when she was taken ill with

pneumonia, and died. His heart was heavy and his grief never left him.

The prophetic words of a Patriarchal Blessing conferred early in life

upon the head of Aroet L. Hale, came with impressive potency to the mind of

this good man at this particular time: “Thou shalt live to a good old age, yea,

eighty and three years.” After he had successfully passed his 83rd milestone,

Aroet felt that his “days were numbered” and he began closing the affairs of

his estate and making preparations to go. In December he was taken ill, and

he retired to his bed with the words, “My time has come.” Indeed it had come,

and in peace and with a smile he joined his dear ones “over there” on 13

December 1911, at the age of 83 years, six months and 25 days. He was the

father of 24 children. His wife Charlotte, survived him eight and one half

years and died at her home in Afton, Wyoming, 1 July 1920.

Aroet was truly a pioneer character of the distinctive quality of the time

and of the people. He possessed a rugged individualism with the bravery of

a lion, yet gentle and kind. When there was work to be done, he was there.

When there was fighting to be done, he was also there. He was always among

the volunteers, never among the conscripted. He was the protector of the

weak and defenseless, a friend of the poor and oppressed. He was a patriot of

human liberties, a soldier of righteousness. He possessed sublime courage,

with a dependability that never failed, and an industry which motivated his

useful and busy life to the end of his days. His hospitable home was ever open

to the weary traveler as well as to the hungry and afflicted. He was endowed

with a jovial nature, which made him very companionable and the life of the

crowd.

Source: Excerpts from Bishop Jonathan H. Hale of Nauvoo, by Heber Q Hale 1937

 

 

 

 

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Compiled by Barbara Winward Seager July 1997

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