January 19, 2010

Sevy Children: (Parents George Washington Sevey, Phoebe Butler and Margaret Nebraska Imlay)

Children on the Trek: Ruben Warren (son by his first wife, Phoebe Butler), George Francis who was a year old when they left for San Juan (child of Margaret).

Ruben Warren Sevy evidently did not stay in San Juan County, but only came long enough to help the Sevy's with their trip there.  He was born 10 Dec. 1863 in New Harmony.  He learned early on that he must help his father with the farm and chores.  In March of 1871 when he was about 8, his father was called by Brigham Young to help settle Panquitch. 

He was about 15 when he went with his father to SE Utah.  He was likely one of the teenagers who herded the livestock (Yorganson, Hearts Afire p. 152) . They helped explore the country and build roads from Hole-in-the-Rock to Bluff.  In 1882 he married Elizabeth Spencer in the St. George temple, that winter they attended grade school together. They had 12 children, seven of whom lived to maturity.  He served as sherrif of Garfield county. (More information on pp. 68-71)  He died 29 Sept. 1941.

Memories by George Francis Sevey (1878-1954) The following was written by George Francis in his later years:
My Father, George Washington Sevey, had three wives: Phoebe Melinda Butler, Margaret Nebraska Imlay, and Martha Ann Thomas. He had a ranch at Panguitch Lake, Garfield County, Utah, where he took my mother, Margaret, every summer to milk cows and make butter and cheese. I was born there at Panguitch Lake on the August 26, 1878.

When I was less than a year old, I went with my parents to San Juan on the Colorado River, where they went to settle up that place and we were the very first people to enter San Juan. (This trip was the famous one that took the colonists into that country through the "Hole in the Rock").

Sevey continues: Father, being bishop of Panguitch did not remain long. However, he was one of the men to pioneer that country. Mother was his second wife and I well remember when I was six years old how father was harassed continuously by the U.S. Marshals because of polygamy, and had to remain in hiding most of the time. There were many trying times those days for our parents, and many went to prison for polygamy. Some men put off their plural wives, but many would not, and rather than do so, my father took his third wife and went into Old Mexico in 1885, leaving mother in Panguitch and "Aunt" Phoebe, too.

Life on a Pioneer Ranch
Mother would go on the ranch every summer and make butter and cheese to sell and support herself and me, her only living child at that time. I always went out and gathered the cows, tended the calves, and helped her as I could. Times were hard for us, father being away so much. I attended school each winter and progressed quite rapidly, so that by the time I was nine I passed the 5th grade. In the fall of 1887, father returned under disguise and took us to Mexico. We arrived at Colonial Juarez on the first day of January 1888.
Again times were very hard at first while we were getting our new home started. Father built a little two room shack on the ranch and moved us up there soon after mother’s baby, Minerva, was born November 14, 1888. Father had a large herd of sheep in Utah from which he received revenue and he, being bishop in Juarez and a real pioneer, led out in community and public affairs, helping to build Juarez and other colonies.
After our first crop we never wanted for plenty of good food and clothing. It was while living in this little home that I had a real exciting experience. It was in the summer of 1889 when I was eleven years old. Father and Mother were at the corral, milking. It was about a half hour after dark and the front door was open. I was sitting in a chair about the enter of the room, facing the door, holding the baby on my lap and a boy friend, who was visiting with me, was sitting on the floor. Suddenly, the dog came pounding into the house and ran under the bed, yelping, frightened nearly to death, his hair all bristled. A large mountain lion came and put both front feet inside the door. The lights seemed to frighten him, for he remained in that position. My friend jumped up on the bed, very frightened, and I laid the baby on the bed and got my father’s old 45-70 rifle, but when I turned, the lion had gone. I held the gun on my lap until the folks came in from the corral. We told them what had happened, but they just laughed. However, the next morning the lion’s tracks were very plain in the yard, and the men tracked him into the canyon for three or four miles.

Excellent information in Sevy family book

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