William Carroll Hawkins was the son of Josiah Wilson Hawkins and Pernecia Jane Lee (Adair). He was born at Hanover, Clinton Co., Illinois, on the 4th of November, 1836. He married Henrietta Clementina Catharina Germer who was born 31 May, 1844 in Hamburg, Germany. Her parents were Johann Martin Jochim Theodor Germer and Maria Catharina Elsabe Faasch, who were early converts to the Church. Their children were Pernecia, born 1 Dec, 1860, died 28 Aug, 1863; Mary Matilda, born 26 Dec, 1862; Anna Clementina, born 6 Apr, 1865; Hannah Jane, born 12 Sept, 1867; Gertrude, born 27 Jan, 1869; Catharine (Katie), born 13 Feb, 1872; William Martin, born 21 Dec, 1876; Augusta Hope, born 1 Oct, 1881; Edith Myrtle, born 9 Jan, 1887.
The following was related by Mary Matilda to Lovica Jane Carbine Gruwell.
Grandfather had a little farm near Plain City, Utah. Aunt Mary remembers going to help fight grasshoppers at Plain City. “We drove them along with little switches tied together.” On one occasion when the family had been to Deweyville, Utah, to visit Grand¬father and Grandmother Germer, they returned to find that everything looked strange. And when they reached Plain City, they found that the grasshoppers had eaten every green thing. Grandfather traded his place at Plain City for cows and young stock and moved to Marsh Valley, Idaho. They pioneered in Marsh Valley, buying a squatter’s right for the price of $300. It was unsurveyed land and had two cabins about five rods apart. The place had been claimed by a man with two wives, a wife in each cabin. The floors were of dirt. Later, Grandfather moved one cabin and put it beside the other and got slabs of lumber, turned the bark side down and trimmed the edges and made floors in the two rooms. Aunt Mary says, “I can remember how happy we were with our slab floor.” “The grasshoppers came to Marsh Valley, too. On one occasion, when Grandfather was away from home, a drove of young grasshoppers that didn’t have their wings, came. Grandmother and her small children drove them down into some low land where there was bunch grass, and in the evening when Grandfather came home, they carried hay down there and covered them and set it all afire.” “I remember how glad we were when we saw a cloud of grasshoppers flying overhead and they would continue and not light, because, as sure as they would light, they would eat everything.” (Aunt Mary continued) “Once I said to an Indian woman, ‘You should be glad that the white man came, because they have fed and taken care of the Indians.’ The woman answered, ‘Before the white man came, God sent grasshoppers and we had plenty.’”
After Grandfather moved to Marsh Valley, the country around there was declared Indian Territory and they were afraid of losing their land, but the line was finally placed further north. Later the land was surveyed and Grandfather proved up on his homestead of 160 acres. It was wild hay mostly. They planted wheat, potatoes and vegetables.
But their means came mostly from the sale of butter, eggs, oats and other produce that they sold to freighters en route to Butte, Montana, from Corinne, Utah, until the railroad came through. Later, Grandfather had a hotel and store to serve this trade. The Indians also traded at the store. (Material given in July 1942.)
The following was told to Lovica Jane Gruwell by her mother, Anna Clementina.
My father was a very good provider. He always had a good garden. He was a lover of horses and always fed his team the first thing in the morning, so they could eat while he had breakfast. He was up bright and early, just as soon as he could see, always. We had such a nice home.
“Oh! How I longed for my girlhood home after I went to the Snake River.” (Mother’s eyes filled with tears as she continued) “I never heard frogs croak as they do in Marsh Valley in the evening. There were all kinds of cranes and ducks. There was one bird that always made a sound like ‘pump-e-tump.’ We called them ‘pump-e-tumps.’” Mother said in a low voice, “Oh! The sounds there in the evening just filled your heart,” with a sob in her voice and tears in her eyes.
Grandpa’s sheds for his stock were made of heavy poles, and in the fall when the wheat was thrashed, he would have the thrasher set so the straw would fall on the shed so that on three sides the shed would be under the straw stack. One corner of the shed nearest the center of the stack was warmer in the winter than any other part. And we had one old mother cow that wouldn't let any but her own daughters stay in that part of the shed. She would just drive them out.
We had bins in each corner of the cellar for potatoes, carrots, turnips and beets. Pa would dig a trench as deep as the cabbage plants, and turn the heads down in the trench, big leaves and all, and leave the stocks sticking out. Then he’d cover the roots with straw and dirt. And it would be so sweet and good all winter. The parsnips were left in the ground, and in the spring would be so sweet and nice.
We always had our pork. The hams and shoulders were cured and smoked and buried in the wheat in the granary. He would take grain to the mill and come back with bran and shorts and flour, enough for a year’s supply.
In those days they didn't have indoor bathrooms. Just an outside “privy” and a path. Mother said they had a mean billy goat that would follow them to the “privy” and then escort them back and not too gently. So Grandfather gave Aunt Mary the task of breaking him of his sport. He told her to get a strong club, and when Mr. Billy came at her, to hit him on the horns with the club. Mother said Aunt Mary was pretty gritty and she really gave that goat what was coming to him and spoiled his sport.
Of her father’s early life, Mother said she didn't know very much, except that he tied the little pig’s tails together while the mother was suckling them. And when they were through, each little pig tried to go his own way and the harder they pulled, the tighter the knot. One usually pulled the other’s tail off or his father would have to cut them loose. His father whipped him, but it didn't stop him entirely. It was too much fun to see them pull and squeal.
My father was very intelligent. He had two law suits, one with the railroad over ties that he had cut. The neighbors tried to get him to drop the case. They told him that he would only lose and go in debt but he wouldn't drop the case. He wouldn't hire a lawyer, but pled his own case and he won it. He won the other case the same way.
I certainly worshiped my father in my childhood. I remember one night we were at the table and he was reading. The lamp chimney went to pieces, and one piece hit Pa on his face and made it bleed, and I thought he was going to die. I just cried and cried!
The following from Uncle Joe: “When Mother was a little kid, the Indians came to their place a lot. One young buck came one day and picked up several things around the place. When they tried to take them from him, he would jerk around and away from them so they couldn't. Grandpa was working over in the meadow. Grandma told Aunt Mary to run down and tell Pappy to come up here, this Indian is trying to steal things. Grandma stayed to try to keep him from getting anything. Granddad came by the wagon and picked up the neck yoke and hit the Indian over the head, just one lick, but it almost killed the Indian.
When he was able to get up, he said, “You come my father’s wigwam. He want see you.” (I suppose he said it in Indian, though. Granddad talked the lingo - Joe speaking.) Granddad went, expecting trouble. There was a tomahawk on the ground. He picked it up and was hacking at the tree roots. When the chief came, he said, “My son was bad over at your house. I want you to forgive him. He won’t do it again.” But Granddad had the tomahawk so he was ready for any ending.” (Joe)
The following from Uncle Will Hawkins on the trip to Virginia City, May 30-31, 1951.
Grandfather Hawkins freighted supplies from Corinne, Utah, to Virginia City before the railroad and used to talk about Virginia City and Alder Gulch. One night he felt that he wasn't safe and went up the canyon to make his camp for the night. As he came back, through Virginia City in the morning, he saw men hanging who had been hanged during the night.
Uncle Will said Grandfather was 5’ 11” and at his prime weighed 190 pounds. Also, he played the violin with his left hand.
Mother said he played for dances and danced, too, with his partner holding onto his arm.
While visiting with the Marley family in Marsh Valley, they took me to a reservoir which was built on Hawkins Creek. It is over 900 feet across.
These relatives, who are descendants of Grandfather’s only sister to live to maturity, had a very high regard for Grandfather. They gave me an account of the History of Marsh Valley written by Nathan Samuel Coffin. In it, Mr. Coffin gives the names of those who settled in the valley. The following is part of what he said about Grandfather: “W. C. Hawkins was also an outstanding character. He had no schooling, but was a self-educated man. Working his own way through Ray’s Higher Mathematics.’ In character he was outspoken, had a heart as big as an ox. He helped many a man who needed help.” It was through his leadership that Marsh Center (Hawkins Creek) Reservoir was built, furnishing men in provisions who otherwise could not have remained on the job.
He had considerable business ability. He engaged in the mercantile business and also did contracting.
It was he who, under contract, built the Mink Creek ditch which furnished water for Pocatello. This work was done in 1892 under supervision of Jim Murray of Montana.
When I visited Joan, Uncle Joe’s daughter in Pocatello, I told them about the reservoir and they wanted to see it, so we made a trip to Marsh Valley, and John drove quite a ways up the canyon by the lake above the dam. It was really quite a sight. All the water backed up by the dam.
We also visited the graves in Marsh Valley but the mosquitoes almost ate us up. That wasn't so pleasant. But the cemetery then had a sprinkling system and is quite green and pretty. It was dry when we visited it with Uncle Will and Aunt Gussie and Aunt Mary.
In a visit with Aunt Gussie, she related a few things that she remembered about her father.
She said he was always kind to his father-in-law, her grandfather, and always treated him with respect.
She said that during her father’s last illness, she spent some time with him, and he expressed his appreciation for her kindness. In their conversation, she said they discussed the possibility that he might pass away, and she asked him where he would like to be buried. He said, “Where does your mother want to be buried?” She replied, “She has said that she would like to be buried in Marsh Valley by her children.” And he said, “That is where I would like to be buried, too.” This wasn't too long before he passed away. And Aunt Gussie told his wife what he had said. And she said, “Well, he didn't tell me that.”
So she had him buried in the Pocatello Cemetery. His grave is quite close to the entrance on the end next to town about in the center. He shares a rather tall stone with one of his wife’s children.
Grandfather William Carroll departed this life on the 26 July, 1906.
When I was with Sibyl in Logan, a sister of Gwen Marley Lewis came to visit. Her name was Lydia, and when I first saw her, she looked so much like Mother I wanted to cry. She told me the following story.
She said both Josiah Wilson Hawkins, her grand¬father, and William Carroll Hawkins, her uncle, were on guard at Echo Canyon. Her grandfather cooked for the men and was called “Betsy.”
She said that there was an old gentleman among the men who had no shoes, and there was snow on the ground. William Carroll had a pair of new boots. He took off his boots and gave them to the old gentleman and wrapped his own feet in burlap sacks.
They are both of record in Early Church Files in the Library. It gives the Priesthood Quorum.
A rather amusing incident was told me about our two grandfathers. They both lived around Slaterville, Utah. They were acquaintances, but not friends. One time Grandfather Hawkins had a party and said “Billie” Carbine was not invited. So Grandfather “Billie” dressed in the worst clothes he could find and “crashed” the party.
Aunt Mary related the following to me when I visited her in Salt Lake City. We were discussing those early days, and she said that one day she was waiting on an Indian man in her father’s store and was chatting with him as she put up his supplies. The Indian’s wife was standing by watching. Finally, the Indian woman walked up beside Aunt Mary and said most menacingly, “You talk too much!”
A ROAD SIGN
As I returned from Pocatello on the freeway I noticed a highway marker on a road leading off the freeway down into Marsh Valley where Grandfather pioneered and where Mother spent most of her girlhood. The sign in large letters said HAWKINS ROAD. I was interested and thought others would be.