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

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