Thursday, August 6, 2015

William Jordan Flake - Brief life sketch

William Jordan Flake and Lucy White Written by Lucy Turley for her Family History page in her Book of Remembrance William Jordan Flake, born in Anson County, North Carolina 3 July 1839. He was three years old when his family moved to Mississippi. Here his folds joined the church and soon moved to Nauvoo. Here William saw his first temple. A youth of eight years he walked the entire distance across the plains to Utah. In 1851 he moved with his family to California. While swimming one day he dove from a stump about 8 feet high and struck the ground in shallow water. His head was knocked back so he could only look upwards. The physician told him that he would never be able to get it down again. He walked around bent over so that he could see going forward. He worked for months on his neck and finally got it straight. He returned to Utah at the time of Johnston’s Army. He settled on a cattle ranch at Beaver. There he married Lucy White in 1858. In 1877, in answer to President Wilford Woodruff’s call, he left with a wagon train and herds of cattle for the Little Colorado region of Arizona. The colonists lived in their wagons that winter and were forced to cut up sacks and canvas for clothing. In the spring William traded cattle for the James Stinson ranch. He was told the ranch was just large enough to support his family but he wanted a Ward of the Church there so invited other Saints to join them. They were very poor for a while but finally were able to bail up. In 1878 Erastus Snow of the Council of the Twelve Apostles visited them and they formed a town called Snowflake. (Name came from combining Erastus Snow and William Flake.) Also organized a Stake and Wards there. When Apache County was created in 1878 Snowflake was temporarily the County Seat and the first term of court was held in the Flake home. Noted for his generosity William Flake furnished thousands of free meals to neighbors, business men, and chuck line riders alike. He established the Thanksgiving-time custom of furnishing free wood and free beef to every widow or needy person in the community. Hale and hearty in his old age he rode the range until a short time before his death at the age of 93.
-Contributed By Laron Kent Billingsley, on FamilySearch

William Jordan Flake- Following the Prophet

From "To the Last Frontier," written by Lucy Hannah White Flake, William Jordan Flake's wife In the winter of 1873 William (Jordan Flake) was asked by Brigham Young, the Great Western Colonizer, to go with a party of twelve men on an exploring trip to Arizona. They had pack horses to carry their bedding and provisions and each one was mounted on a good saddle horse. They crossed the Colorado at Lee's Ferry, traveled south, passed the San Francisco Mountains and into the Upper Verde Valley. They passed through the vicinity of where Flagstaff is now located. They encountered deep snows and extreme cold weather. The snow in one place was so deep it was up to the shoulders of their saddle horses. The men took turns breaking the trail through these drifts. The lead horse would make six jumps then drop behind to catch his breath while the second horse would take six jumps. In this way they traveled all day. When Brigham Young sent the party out, he told them that they would have grass for their horses every night. The men had great confidence in his word and faith in his promises, but on this day it looked impossible for this promise to be realized. About four o'clock in the afternoon they looked down into a valley and there saw a small patch of green grass where the wind had blown the snow away. They headed their poor tired horses for it and that night they had the promised grass. After about two weeks of this intense cold and hardship, the men decided they had had enough of Arizona and started to return. At a certain place Adam Greenwood and William turned off to come to Beaver. Provisions were scarce and as they were only two days from home they gave what they had to the others who still had several days travel ahead of them. By night William and his companion were pretty hungry. Brigham Young had also promised the company that if they would not waste game which was plentiful in those days, that they should have meat when they needed it. They hadn't seen any game for two or three days and were getting hungry for meat. The two men had camped for the night. Had unsaddled their horses, built a campfire and were wondering how they were going twenty-four hours more without food. As they sat there warming and resting their tired limbs Adam said, "Bill, President Young promised us meat when we needed it, didn't he? Well, we need it now, if anyone ever did." "We will get it," my husband answered, confidently, "I never knew of one of Brigham Young's promises to fail." "Well, this is the one time when his promise will fail to the ground," said Adam. The two men were hovered around the fire. The sun was setting. Suddenly they saw at a distance a big white hare standing in the snow. William said, "Well, Adam, there is your meat." Adam remarked, "Bad as I want meat, I wouldn't go that far through this snow after it. If we are to have meat tonight, it will have to come to us." I have heard William tell many times how that big mountain hare came as direct to their fire as an arrow could fly. When it got near enough he hit it with a hard snowball he had made; it gave one jump into the air and was lying there in the snow kicking when he went to it, picked it up and wrung its head off. They had plenty of meat for supper and breakfast. They reached home that night.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Edward Thomas Jordan 1856-1907

Alicia Kay Burk - Linda Kay Flake - Dolores Jordan - George Jordan - Edward Thomas Jordan

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

George Ernest Jordan

Alicia Kay Burk - Linda Kay Flake - Dolores Jordan - George Jordan

"Spike" the umpire

This was a letter written to George Comber for a school project in which his grandfather told him about 
Story written by George Ernest Jordan 
January 6, 1966 

I was born in Pocatello, Idaho April 3, 1898. My mother (Mary Jane Peake) was washing and hanging our clothes, when I decided it was time for me to enter this world. We didn't have a doctor to deliver me, so my mother had a mid wife. Which is a woman who helps women in childbirth. My parents didn't have very much money. We lived across the railroad track near the railroad yards where my father (Edward Thomas Jordan) worked. When I was a small boy just eight years old my father was hurt in the railroad yards and died (July 3, 1907) My mother had a large family, 5 girls and 6 boys. When my father died he didn't leave my mother very much money, so we all had to work so we could live. I sold newspapers on the street corners, shined shoes and I would turn all the money I earned over to my mother to help feed and clothe us so we could go to school. 
I worked ever since I was 10 years old and I did plenty odd jobs. I was a pin setter in a bowling ally, messenger boy for the western union and I used to have a little red wagon the I pulled along the Railroad yard picking up lumps of coal that fell off the railroad cars, as they were switched from one track to another so we could keep warm and cook our meals. We didn't know what gas was at the time. We didn't have electric lights, we would burn kerosene lamp. We didn't have a bathroom like you have now. We had to take our bath in a wash tub (metal) my mother used to wash her clothes in it. Our toilet was outside. We called it a privey or outhouse. We didn't have running water so we had a pump and metal zinc. We had a kitchen stove that would bun wood and coal and had a reservoir that we would get warm water for our baths or heat water in a bucket. There was no such thing a Electric Lights, telephone, radio, television, but we had one of the fist old Edison phonograph, silent movies, opera houses and road shoes, and how we enjoyed them. 
When I got older I worked for the railroad as a call boy (calling freight train crews) then checking cars (car clerk), freight clerk, manifest clerk, E&F timekeeper, etc. When I was 15 years old I was considered one of the best swimmers and high divers around Ogden Utah. I made high dives of 65 feet from the 31st Bridge over Weber River from a moving freight train. Also every Sunday night at Lagoon, a pleasure resort, I did a FIRE DIVE from 35 feet into the swimming area of the lake. For instance we danced the 3 step, 2 step, one step waltz. 
In my life time the following have been invented. Telephones, Electric Lights, automobiles, airplanes, radio, television and motorcycles. 

 George / George (on the right) waiting to get a baseball signed
 George with his 2 youngest children: Bob and Donna / George the baseball umpire (middle)
 George (2nd from left) with siblings Leroy, Edward and Georgina Jordan

Monday, May 4, 2015

Ethel Estelle Ray

Alicia Burk - Linda Kay Flake - Horace Henry Flake - Ethel Estelle Ray

Ethel with great-grandchildren Shawn Peden, Tanya, and Lance Cleveland
Ethel with daughter Veoma and great-grandchildren Lance and Tanya / With son Les and his family

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Osmer Dennis Flake

Alicia Kay Burk - Linda Kay Flake - Horace Henry Flake - Osmer Dennis Flake

Brothers James, Charles, and Osmer Flake

Osmer Dennis Flake by Brian A. Warburton

Osmer “Oz” Dennis Flake was born 6 March 1868 in Beaver, Utah, to William Jordan Flake and Lucy Hannah White. When Oz was nine years old his family attended the dedication of the Saint George, Utah temple and while there his father was asked to move his family to Arizona to build an LDS community. On 31 October 1877 the family began a three month journey to their new home and in the summer of 1878 Oz’s father bought a ranch and began organizing a community. Erastus Snow, a prominent Mormon leader came to survey the area and the name given to the community was created by combining the last names of Snow and Flake, thus becoming Snowflake, Arizona. Oz helped his father raise cattle, but in 1884 his father was sent to prison for unlawful cohabitation (polygamy) and Oz, then 16 years of age, took full responsibility for the ranch at that time. He left home in August 1889 and went to Provo, Utah, to attend Brigham Young Academy, but had to return home the following spring when he ran out of money. On 11 March 1891 Oz married Elsie Abigail Owens and in October of that same year they traveled to Manti, Utah where they were sealed in the Manti temple. After his marriage he worked as a store clerk and on 4 April 1895 he was appointed clerk of the District Court for Navajo County, Arizona.

Oz was called to serve an LDS mission to the Southern States leaving his home, pregnant wife and three small children on 6 December 1897. Upon leaving he said, “To leave my dear wife and children is the greatest sacrifice that I was ever called on to make.”2 After traveling to Salt Lake City to be set apart as a missionary and to receive instructions Oz traveled by train to the Southern States headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee. When he arrived in Chattanooga he was very tired and wanted to rest, but instead he was sent the same night to his area of labor in Mississippi. Once in Mississippi Oz and his companions spent much of their time traveling from house to house preaching the gospel and holding meetings.
Anti-Mormon sentiment was high in Mississippi at that time and Oz often met with persecution and even threats. In one town the Mayor told them not to go door to door because “There was men in this town who would kill us…and they (the city officials) would extend us no protection.”3 But the missionaries also met many who were friendly and treated them well and their meetings were usually well attended. Tensions were high between those who were friendly and those who hated the Mormons. While in Yazoo County, Mississippi the missionaries found many who were interested in listening to them, but one day while they were preparing for an outdoor sermon Oz received word that he was to go meet a committee representing a mob that had been raised to run the missionaries out of the County. The mob threatened to kill Oz and the other missionaries if they did not leave by 2:00 that afternoon. The missionaries agreed and when they left Oz remarked “The people just cried. It was like a funeral all hated to see us go. They offered to defend us with their lives.”4 In 1899 Oz was called to serve as a Conference President, helping to direct missionary efforts in Mississippi. He was informed of his release as a missionary in early 1900 and on 26 February 1900 he began the trip home arriving there on 4 March 1900.
After returning home Oz went to work as a clerk in a store owned by his brothers and was also called to be the Superintendent of the Sunday School. After he returned home his wife, Elsie became seriously ill and by 1908 the doctors didn’t know what to do. The doctors suggested taking her to California, hoping that the better climate would improve her health. In February 1908 they traveled to Los Angeles, California and rented a room for Elsie and her parents. Oz had to return to Arizona to attend to business, but by March 1908 Elsie had sent word that she wanted Oz to come to her and to bring the children. Oz took the children to Los Angeles to find that her condition had gotten much worse and on 25 March 1908 Elsie died. Upon her death Oz recorded that he had been “Priviledged to keep the dearest, best and most dutiful wife it has pleased the Lord to send to earth…we tearfully bow to the will of the Lord.”5
After the death of his wife Oz earned his living by raising and selling horses and cattle and later was employed as a forest ranger. On 4 October 1911 Oz married Ethel Ray in the Salt Lake Temple. He served a short three month mission to the Central States in 1913 and on 7 November 1916 he was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives. He continued his involvement in politics throughout the years and in 1925 he served another six month mission to the southern states. When the Great Depression hit in the 1930’s Oz worked many odd jobs and spent a lot of time performing ordinances at the LDS temple in Mesa, Arizona. In 1942 at the age of 74 Oz was once again called to serve a mission to the Southern States. While on this mission Oz spent much of his time visiting with less active members of the church and also researching his family history. He returned from his mission 12 July 1943. For the rest of his life Oz continued to work on his family history and spent many hours performing ordinances in the temple. He stayed active and healthy most of his life, finally passing away 29 January 1958 in Phoenix, Arizona at the age of eighty-nine.
Osmer as the President of the Mississippi Conference, 1899

 Osmer is sitting behind the front-center man

Osmer / 4 generations: W J Flake, Osmer, Ada, and Larry

See also:

William Jordan Flake - on Wikipedia, plus links to 2 books

Alicia Kay Burk - Linda Kay Flake - Horace Henry Flake - Osmer Dennis Flake - William Jordan Flake

William J. Flake

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
William J. Flake
William J. Flake.jpg
BornWilliam Jordan Flake
July 3, 1839
North Carolina
DiedAugust 10, 1932 (aged 93)
Snowflake Arizona

William Jordan Flake (July 3, 1839 – August 10, 1932)[1][2][3] was a prominent member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who helped settle parts of Arizona, and was imprisoned for polygamy.[4]

Life and career 

Flake was born in North Carolina.[5] He eventually moved to Mississippi with his family, and in the early 1840s they became members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Flake moved to Utah with his parents in 1849 by wagon train. In 1850, his father was killed while examining a colony site in California. His widowed mother took the family and became one of the earliest residents ofSan Bernardino.
In 1858, William Flake married Lucy Hannah White and a year later started a cattle ranch in Beaver, Utah. Flake was called by Church leaders to enter into a plural marriage. He asked his wife to consider the decision, and after much prayer and consideration, she agreed. William Flake and Prudence Kartchner were married in 1868.
In 1877, he was called by LDS Church President Brigham Young to start a settlement in the northern area of what was then the Arizona Territory.[6] William left with a wagon train and herds of cattle for the Little Colorado River region of Arizona and arrived in January 1878. Despite much hardship after spending 13 months on the trail and a winter living in stables and wagons, the settlement survived. In the fall of 1878, Erastus Snow, an LDS Apostle, visited and joined with Flake naming the town Snowflake: "Snow for me and Flake for you." Flake became a rancher and prominent cattleman, noted for his generosity and assistance to his neighbors.
In 1883, Flake was imprisoned in the Yuma Territorial Prison for a short time for unlawful cohabitation, a common charge used to prosecute LDS men under the Edmunds Act. After his release, he was asked which of his wives he was going to give up. He replied, "Neither. I married both in good faith and intended to support both of them." He had served his sentence and could not be retried on the same charges.
In 1959, Flake was posthumously nominated and then inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in the Hall of Great Westerners for his contributions as a colonizer and cattleman.[7]
William Jordan Flake was the father of 15 sons and five daughters and lived to the age of 93, passing away on August 10, 1932 in SnowflakeArizona.


When he died, the flag at the Arizona State Capitol was flown at half staff in honor of his contribution to the settlement of the state.

200-page biography (including many photos) of William Jordan Flake by his descendant Ron Freeman:

W. J. Flake's diary he kept while in prison for polygamy: