Back Up Next

Michael Standley

an Autobiography as told at the age of 84

[Michael is a brother of Cyrene Standley]

My father, Alexander Scobey Standley, was born May 12, 1800, at New Brunswick, New Jersey. He was put out to work as soon as he was old enough to earn his clothes, therefore he never had a days schooling in his life. When he was 18 he went with his father to Portage County, Ohio. He obtained a book called "The Young Man's Companion," which contained the rules for reading, writing, arithmetic and grammar. With the aid of this book he educated himself sufficiently that he was chosen to teach the district school.

He obtained a small piece of land and in the summer spent his time clearing and fencing it, and in the winter taught school. He was also elected Justice of the peace of that precinct.

He built the log house and was married to Philinda Upson, March 10, 1829. Their first child, Eliza, was born April 13, 1830 and died May 10, 1830.

In the spring of 1830 a Mormon missionary came into the neighborhood. Father and mother went to their first meeting. Mother had serious reflections over Eliza’s death and was prepared to accept the gospel at the first meeting and rejoiced over every word of his sermon. Father took it the other way and felt it was his duty to put it down, but soon found that the Elder had truth on his side. They were baptized March 10, 1837. Soon afterward he was an Elder and accompanied the missionary to preach to his family.

His father [Richard Standley] objected to it while his mother [Elizabeth Stoltz] held back to have her husband joined first. His father came into the house one day and said that he had got the Bible for instructions. After opening the Bible and reading the very first verse chosen, they noticed his face changed very intensely. His wife asked him what was the matter. He pointed to the verse, which said, "If you vow a vow to the Lord keep your vow." She said, "What have you been with making a vow to the Lord?" He answered, "I have covenanted with the Lord that if he will keep you from joining the Mormons I would quit my drinking and become a sober man." She said, "I will do my part if you will do yours. Anyway, I will not join the Mormons without your consent." His family were all fasting and praying for him to see the light. He and his wife attended several meetings where there were manifestations of miracles, healings, and gift of tongues. He said he would not hold back any longer, she might go ahead and be baptized. She asked him to go along too. He finally consented and they went together and were baptized. Joseph Smith placed his hands on father’s head, while Joseph Smith Sr. gave father his patriarchal blessing.

On September 10 the whole family left for Far West, Missouri. Arriving there on the third of October, at about the time the Saints were driven out of Missouri. They had much difficulty in not finding a house to put his family in, they remained in the wagon while he took his gun and went to defend his brethren from the mob. They procured some kind of a house in Springfield, Illinois, where they spent the winter. It was through exposure that their fourth child, Martha, died of whooping cough. He went through the persecutions of the Saints until he landed in Nauvoo.

In the fall of 1843, he was called on a mission. In getting out winter wood for his family he met with an accident and was pronounced dead or dying by those who carried him into the house. Through the blessings of the Lord, by administration of the priesthood, and the faith and prayers of his family, he was partially restored. He then made a covenant with the Lord that if he would spare him and give him strength to see his family established with the Saints in the valleys of the mountains, he would ask for no more. Therefore he set himself about doing his part. He sold his farm in Ohio, mostly on future payments. He returned to Ohio in 1845 accepting as pay anything useful in outfitting his family across the plains.

In the spring of 1846, he started with what is known as the Miller Company. They went to some distance and in consequence of the battalion, which was taken out at that time, they located for the winter in Nebraska and returned to Council Bluffs next spring for the very scanty rations. They settled near Kanesville at what was known as Miller's hollow or Potowatomy.

Here he struggled for a livelihood and to render what assistance he could to others who had means enough to go to the Valley. In helping to fit out one company they lacked one animal of having enough and father offered one cow. When they asked if he could spare it he said, "Oh, I could use it alright, I have a large family with only two cows but we will manage alright with one." Elder Orson Hyde said, "Brother Stanley, you shall be blessed in time and in all eternity." This was in the spring of 1848. With the help of two boys he raised a large crop of corn, and as this was the year before the Gold Rush to California, the price of corn went up enormously. He sold his corn and bought 20 cows and calves and in a short time had the family well fitted with the necessities of life and assisted others in fitting out for the journey. At this place on May 7 1849 I, the 11th child, was born, the only one born under the covenant, and blessed by Richard Spencer, February 24, 1850.

In 1852 he yoked up his cows and young steers and with them crossed the plains. When he arrived there he was true to his word and ask for nothing more. When he came to Utah he supposed the people would be living the United Order, therefore, just before his death in 1854 he wrote an article to Bishop Hunter, the presiding Bishop of the church, heading it "Preparatory for Death". I request you take charge of my property in behalf of my family. But there was no United Order here. He appointed my oldest brother, Franklin, to take charge of his property under the direction of his ward bishop. My father died February 20, 1856. He reached the Valley in October, spent the winter in Weber. In the spring he settled in Bountiful. June 20, 1855, Isaac Morley came to our place and gave us all our blessings, so you see I received my blessing when I was only six years old. It was about this time that the neighbor’s boy and I were going to have a fight. The first thing he uttered an oath and I thought it called upon the Lord to help them, so I wanted no more to do with it. I thought I could whip the boy alone but not the Lord too. I was baptized in the millpond, May 10, 1857, by Jude Allen and confirmed at the water's edge by Daniel Carter.

We still had the canals and a small flock of sheep, which we looked after but never allowed to interfere with the rule that we should each day have our lessons, which father always held to so we would not be handicapped as he knew he had been and mother kept to it after his death.

Mother and the girls had to make the living taking care of the dairy and the wool. I remember seeing mother at the loom three sisters at the spinning wheel and the quilt wheel in the kitchen at the same time. I did my part and taking care of the sheep, bringing the cows and feeding the calves. The basin we measured the calf milk in held just a quart and we gave each calf it three times full in a wooden trough. I also fed pet lambs.

Cupid worked double shift about 1856. My brother Henry and sisters Cyrene and Philinda were married and Franklin followed the next spring, and by all of them going to their own homes, although our family increased, the members of the home decreased to just two sisters and myself. Franklin was still overseeing that everything was all right up to the time of death in February of 1859.

It was considered unsafe for mother and we three children on our ranch, 2 miles from any house, during those troublesome times with the Indians; therefore we moved on to a little farm nearer the settlement. There we turned our stock on the bench. This did very well in the spring but later it did not suit the cows so well and very often they would leave the hills and go down to the old ranch by the river. This gave my pony and me a steady job, for if I went to the river first they would surely be in the hills. Not having a good saddle it was sometimes almost too much for me and I couldn't get them until the next day. This ruined my health and caused the hump on my back that I still carry.

Up the Jordan about 2 miles from where it empties into the Salt Lake the river forks; the west or main fork runs practically straight north, the East branch winds and twists around taking in 150 or 200 acres before it empties into the mainstream. During the high water in the spring, considerable of these pieces of land are covered with water causing cane, bulrushes, crazy grass, duck grass, etc. to pretty well cover the island. The finest of this grass makes a course of quality of hay, while the rushes make a good windbreak and bedding for the cattle. Our cows and young stock generally did well on this island after the hay was taken off until the first of February. Our house was a log building 16 x 20 feet with an adobe lean to all across the back. Moving this and all our sheds and hiring men to cut and haul the hay, all proved quite an expense on running our dairy. Mother tried it for two summers. In March, 1860 my sister Sarah, married George Pace. Mother rented the cows, sheep and island to him and his brother for three or four years and Lydia and I were sent to school.

About the first of June 9, 1861 mother was called to Weber for sickness in the family there. Those days then mail was supposed to be tri-weekly that is they went over one week and tried to get back the next. Lydia and I were alone and mother was gone a long time with no work. When mother came home she brought Ellen and her three children with her. The baby had been born soon after mother reached there and the husband, Jefferson Osborne, and died a few hours afterward. All this seemed more than Ellen could stand in her weakened condition. She felt she would not live long and requested mother to care for her children. She followed her husband in a week or so and the baby a boy went also a few months later. Mother went to a cousin, Sydney Kent, who often advised and helped her, to see about what to do about some property that should belong to the little girls so they could have it to help raise and educate them. They obtained a small bunch of young growing stock and he agreed to take care of them on shares, thinking that it would be better than turning them immediately into cash. In the fall of 1863 there came a snowfall of 6 to 8 feet all over Summit County were Kent’s place was. The stock were bunched in small groups all over the country keeping the snow pack close around them while they gnawed the hair off each other and finally died before the owners could get to them. There were a few head close around the home place that were saved. In the summer of 1865 he returned all of what was left of them without keeping any for all his trouble.

Mother and I soon found that our cows were not the only ones that would not stay in the hills after the grass got dry, and sometimes found 15 or 20 head in our corn patch. We also had trouble with our irrigation water. I was only a boy and after I would walk 2 miles to turn it into our ditch, someone would turn it off before it would get to our place, and after they had done this several times our turn would be over without ever getting it on the garden at all. Mother appealed to the ward teachers and they advised her to sue the one who had been taking the water, which she did but never got anything out of it.

In the fall of 1862, the Pace brothers reported to her that her cows and their calves had been in a cornfield which was ripe and the whole herd had foundered. Four of hers were so bad they died. In the spring of 1863, my brother Henry ran the farm but that did not turn out well either. The next summer I worked for Alan Findlay, plowing with three steers and an ox, sometimes harrowing with a pair of ponies.

In the spring of 1865, Lydia married Wallace Birmingham and went to Richmond to live. Mother and Henry not agreeing very well, he left the place and returned to us what few cows were left. Mother hired a young man for the summer. He got discouraged and left. About harvest time she hired a German immigrant for a short time. Our wheat field had patches of large sunflowers here and there in it. This German was a poor lad with a cradle. He broke the cradle and with other difficulties only worked a few days and quit. Our wheat was about to go into the ground when Henry and George Pace came and finished it for us. About this time father David Osborne came and stopped overnight to see how his granddaughters were getting along. In the midst of her difficulties mother was free to express yourself to her visitor. He proposed marriage to her and although she had refused him some time before, thinking he was not a man she could get along with, she now thought he would be interested in the two little girls who were his grandchildren as well as hers and it might be better that way. So, although he had married a Danish woman sometime before, it was agreed upon and they were married when he and his other wife came down to October conference.

Mother had sold enough sheep to buy a wagon, having had much trouble with the old one we had crossed the plains with. She then rented the best (about 50 head of ewes) to a man living down south. We never saw them again, but we heard that they all died in the hard winter of 1865 / 66.

When mother disposed of her hay Camp Douglas being a new government fort was wanting two or 300 tons a day. A certain man contracted to furnish it with no laws in the contract as to the quality of the hay. This was good luck for us once. We were able to dispose of our poor quality hay as it was for part store pay and part cash. It was stacked about three blocks east of the Salt Lake Theatre. I think we had about 12 or 15 loads. As we were last loads, I remember that we had quite a late start that morning. Henry with a horse team shoved one ahead while I followed with the ox team. When he got there they had finished the stack and for the present were not going to start another, but if he would deliver it at the camp they would buy it. He had to wait for me or I would not know what to do about it. While he was waiting he got a chance to sell his load right there in town, but I had to take mine to the camp. It was quite late and the oxen were tired and it was a warm afternoon but I must hurry on or be in the night. As we began to climb the hill, the oxen begin to puff and lull, sticking out their tongues and going very slow. It was just sun down when I pulled into camp. The stockyard gates were closed and no one there to receive the hay. I must stop overnight. I had not taken time to eat my lunch, so I ate it for my supper. The only bedding I had was a piece of old quilt I had brought to pad the rack as I went back, so I had to get along with that and my coat. I chained the oxen to the back of the load and slept under the wagon. I was not very comfortable and before morning I was glad this was our last load. Morning finally came and after they had their breakfast the hay was unloaded and I had their receipt and now had to go about 11 miles back home for breakfast. With an ox team that took about half a day and it seemed a late breakfast to me. Our grain was thrashed and disposed of. We expected to use it for our bread and for feed but now we could sell it for cash, so by the time father Osborne came after us we had enough orders at Eldredge’s store and cash to fit us up for the winter and save enough to help build mother's house and buy her a stove. When we reached Hiram, I went right to work for a father Osborne. The Hyrum people were building a rock meetinghouse so the next morning he and I went after a load of rock and after he satisfied himself that I get and what team he sent me alone. The next day we dug potatoes. He had a hired man working for him but could not talk to him because the man was Danish. The next day this man and I went after a load of wood. He would not try to talk to me and to work all day and not talk was more than I thought I could stand. That was my commencement to talking the Danish language. He laughed at me and tried to answer by motioning. It was not long before I made him understand what I said when but a year rolled by before he would try to talk to me. I assisted father Osborne with thrashing. Along early in November came a heavy snowstorm and our stock was scattered through the open fields. As no one else knew all of them I had to hunt them and was two or three days finding them. The sun on the snow was so bright that I got a bad case of snow blindness, which proved quite serious and my left eye never did regain its clear vision. With all this extra stock father Osborne had to buy hay and got several tons from the tithing office.

Along about Christmas I enrolled in the home guard. Being very young I had little to do the first winter except drill occasionally, but after that I was fitted up with gun, pistol, blankets, ammunition and 10 days rations and everything ready for the first minutes warning.

Father's Osborne's house was two log houses 14 x 16 feet standing ends together about 10 feet apart. The back or east part of the middle space, being closed up and the whole thing being roofed off together with a dirt roof. The only doors were on to the middle part facing each other. The North room had been used for a granary and storage. In preparation for our coming the bins had been moved out and this must do for a house for mother until next spring when we would build another. Early that spring father Osborne moved the stove into the middle part so they could both cook on it and save expense. I should say something about him, for he was a good father to me, as well as his own children and the two granddaughters that came to live with us. He and his family, wife, son and five daughters started to cross the plains in 1852. They had not gone far when his wife took sick and died. The rest of the family came onto the Valley. The two oldest girls, May and Elizabeth, married soon after arriving. He was a true Latter Day Saint. Not so much push however and foregoing ahead as some. Rather careless in his ways and too lenient with his family, letting them have their own way, and not insisting on people who owed him either money or work paying what they owed. He and his second wife lived together for nine years and were never able to enjoy half an hour's talk together. You will wonder how that could be so I shall explain. I think it was the year 1857, shortly after mother refused to marry him, that a young Scandinavian Hans Neilson wanted to marry the oldest girl still at home. The father told him that he could not spare her unless he could find a wife for him. And said that he knew a Danish women who had just come over. She was neat, clean, smart and quick. He would go with father Osborne and if she suited, would help make the arrangements. They went and Hans explained the entire situation to the lady and they were married. She learned to understand English but could not speak it, while it seemed much harder for him to learn Danish and he never could understand it. She liked to dance and he thought it was the hardest work he ever did, so after we went to live with them father Osborne would come into our room and ask if I didn't want to dance out a ticket. I would take her and she would enjoy yourself and we were very good friends.

Mothers house was so split logs and while they can make a very good house of properly built, it wasn't done just right and although I never heard her complain I knew she was not satisfied with what she got for money. It was put up behind the other two are forming a tee. We had sent a mule team back to the states to help immigrants get to Utah, as was the custom of all the communities at that time and mother had given the driver what she thought was money enough to get the kind of stove she wanted and a molasses mill. When they came back the stove was the smallest Charter Oak stove we had ever seen a new and the mill looked more like a toy than anything useful, but the stove was moved into mothers house with the rest of her things in the mail was used to furnish us with Molasses as well as to make some for others.

George Peterson, the man who had worked for father, borrowed an ox team and wagon to go after willows where he and I had gone before up Blacksmith Fork, not far from Melville. It had been easy to cross in the fall and winter, but now in the spring the water was high. Brush up on each side hindered him from seeking ahead as he rode on the rear axle. When they came to the river the oxen plunged in and were swept down the river until they came to a bend where there was no brush and climbed out with the front wheels stopping on the bank. The hind part with him on it had turned over when the coupling pin came out. The man was no swimmer and down the river he went until he reached some willows or brush and climbed out. The rest of the wagon was in the river and could not be seen so he took the oxen and the front wheels home and reported. We went back and hunted for the rest of the wagon but it was not found until the water went down in June. About this time there was a call for workers to put a telegraph line through Cache Valley and I worked on that until they were through the canyon into Wellsville then I gave my place to another man.

When Hyrum was settled the farming land was laid off with 10 or 20 acres in the piece. The men worked to get out a canal from Paradise Canyon and I work with them. At this time father Osborne went to visit his daughter who had lived over toward Brigham. He was a basket maker and it took the best oak timber to make the splits for them. None of that timber grew in the cache Valley Mountains so they had to go to Ogden or Weber canyons for it. While he was over on that side of the mountains he decided to order a supply. It went to Ogden Valley and hired a man to get it out.

It was soon after this that I was informed that he was going to marry another immigrant lady from Denmark. The second wife and he could now ask and answer some questions, she had talked to this lady and just said yes and no all it was necessary for her to say to him. The two ladies had become very good friends and decided it would be very nice to live in the same house in the company for each other. She arranged it all and the marriage took place. It didn't turn out quite as ideal as they had contemplated as the two women were of decidedly different tempers and dispositions.

About the middle of September 1867 Hans Nielsen had to deliver two loads of lumber at Willow Creek. Father Osborne said I should take in the two mules he and the mares and haul one of those loads for him and would then be within a few miles of that basket lumber he had ordered. No arrangements were made then I was told to take some bedding and provisions for about 2 1/2 days. We got an early start but one of us lost the burr of an ox on our wagon and we had to go back about 3 miles to find it. That made it so late that we only got to Willow Creek that night. Next morning I went on to Ogden but there was no oak timber. I was not used to driving four horses and the Canyon Road was a poor place to practice but there was nothing else to do unless I went home without the timber, so I went on and reached Huntsville a little afternoon. The man was not at home and I had to wait until evening to see him. He said he had one load out at a certain place and would get the other in the morning. He took his boy with him and they returned with about half a load about 11 o'clock. We loaded one onto my wagon and he took the other to the top of the mountain on my way home. He said, "We will load this all on your wagon you can take it all from here." I wanted him to go with me to the mouth of the Canyon as I was not used to four horses and was afraid I might have trouble going downhill. He was sure I should get along all right and he was anxious to go back and have dinner. I looked at the load and it didn't seem very large so I would try it. I got downhill alright until I got nearly to Ogden where there was a place rather steep with rocks on both sides. In going down through I got my lines tangled a little and ran on to one side of the road over a rock and broke the bolster in two, right by the kingbolt. Nothing else to do but unload and borrow an auger somewhere and make another from a piece of basket timber. I went about a half a mile and found an auger of the right size and with it and my axe I made a rough looking bolster that I thought would take me home. By the time I was ready to go on it was night and I had to camp and my provisions were gone. Nevertheless, I stayed all night and by the time I reached father Osborne's daughters place I was glad to get some dinner. The horses and mules were glad to get some hay. It was so late in the afternoon that I could not get home at night so they said I had better stay until morning. It is it was almost night when I got home next day making five days I had been gone. Mother and father Osborne were considerably worried and mother said if she had known where I was driving a four horse team alone she would have footed it down there, and he was provoked to only get one load of timber when he had ordered two.

In the early spring of 1867, the Bishop got a call to send all the tithing wheat. I was one of the six men called to haul it down. We got hay for our horses at the tithing office on the way down. When I got back there was a meeting called to decide about canals. The Wellsville people said Hyrum and Paradise took so much water from the canal that there was not enough for all three places so after arguing it back and forth they decided to dig a canal from Blacksmith Fork as there was plenty of water there. Hyrum and Wellsville contracted to build the canal and I worked with them.

When I first came to Cache Valley the only road into Bear Lake Valley went around by Soda Springs or Mink Creek. The leading brethern of both places decided to make a road through Logan Canyon. Consequently there was a call made for men to work on the road, every town to furnish men according to its size. I was among the first company chosen. After finishing my term I went home and it was molasses making time again. We only work the short time that season as father Osborne got disgusted with the slowness of the small mill and sold or traded it for four acres of land below the ditch.

About the first of November, I had an invitation to go to Salt Lake and get my endowments. I accepted them to my mother along and her granddaughter Lydia. Afterward we went over to Silver Creek to visit my sister Sarah and while mother visited there I went over to Coalville and bought a ton of coal for four dollars. This being the year the railroad came in, things were quite flush and I sold the coal in Salt Lake for $20. I came across a man who wanted to send some freight to Brigham City. I took about a ton up there for him and receive $10 in store pay for doing it. Mother bought a coal oil lamp. This was the first lamp mother ever had in her house.

The Bishop and the leading brothers of the ward thought we should have a dramatic association and I was invited to join. I was also a member of the Sunday school and my work in that line commenced.

One fall the flying grasshoppers visited our valley. They came from the southwest over the mountain and darkened the sun like a cloud. They settled on our farms and gardens, devouring all the green vegetation and filling the country with their eggs. The next spring they mowed down in the tender young wheat. By a united effort a little grain was saved in some acres. We organized into Corporation Company, a sort of United Order affair. And as they mowed down the week we planted corn, squash and beans. This crop for flourished fine. The common early frost held off until it was ripened and gathered. What a wonderful manifestation that our prayers were heard and answered.

We constructed a road through Blacksmith Fork Canyon and operated a toll road. We had two sawmills in that Canyon, one steam and one water powered. We constructed and operated a cheese factory in the Canyon 20 miles up. We built a cooperative merchandise store in the village of Hyrum. The grasshopper war lasted two or three years. Our meeting house and other public buildings began to take on a different appearance. Our village grew and became a cooperative city. I was selected by the mayor to be one of the first police force.

When the Utah Northern Railway Road was commenced the perpetual emigration fund published notice that they would take Utah Northern stock dollar for dollar for any indebtedness. I put in our little crop and traded around to secure two teams. Brother Christian Binrup and family had been emigrated by the perpetual emigration fund and he was becoming uneasy because he couldn't get it paid back as fast as he would like. I went to him and said that if he would look after my crop while I was gone to work for the Utah Northern Railroad and harvest it for me I would pay him in Utah Northern stock and he could get the debt paid off. We carried out this plan and he was as happy as a robin in the Cherry tree.

At the time Brigham Young Jr. was overseeing the affairs in Cache stake, he organized a corps of the home missionaries to travel around this valley and I was one of those called to this position and worked at that for two or three years. I also held admittance tickets to the school of the prophets, a branch of it being organized in Logan, which lasted about three years. About the first of September Sydney Kent came through the valley and stopped to visit us. He asked about the property we hand and suggested that I come up to Lewiston and try to get a homestead near as he had done. A couple of weeks or so later I went to Franklin to see about a job on the railroad, which was expanding on the north. I went around by Lewiston and called to see if Sydney had anything for me to locate on. He said the best of the available land was university land, which you could settle on and when it came in to market you have the first chance to buy it. One could file on a homestead near and get some of the university land and work the whole thing and buy the university land when it came into market. So I found and filed onto 80 acres and on the banks of Bear River and held some university land joining it on the east so that the entire place formed a half section extending one mile east from the river. Mother had decided that she could not live longer as the wife of David Osborne and would come with me. We arranged for disposal or transportation of the property bought with her money that she brought with her, and began to fix up a place on the homestead.

Hyrum Hall who had married Lydia Osborne, wanted to get something in the Lewiston country also, so he took an 80 acre tract next to mine and we were to build a shack on the line so it would do for both until we could get more. He helped me move part of our stuff and worked with me that summer, but he didn't seem to have his heart in it to fix anything permanent. We put in a crop and had to be one of us there all the time until we got the fences fixed. As soon as our joint crop was harvested, back he went to Hyrum and sold his relinquishment to Sydney Kent and lost his homestead.

I made a trip for some of our stuff and brought Leonard Osborne back with me. We had a sort of shed but no place suitable for mother. Finally we got it fixed so she could be fairly comfortable and brought her up with her other granddaughter, Sarah Osborne. She still lived with us until Alva Wilson of Hiram persuaded her to marry him and go back there to live. This was in December, 1876 and afterward we kept a hired boy about 13 or 14 to be a chore boy and company for mother as I was away so much.

Early in life the first time I read my patriarchal blessing with some understanding I conceived the idea of that I was maturing for a great responsibility. That I was responsible, not only for the little learning of the principles of the gospel but also for seeing that they were lived up to by myself and others, particularly by the members of my family, if I had one. I studied my own religion also that of other denominations so as to be able to teach the difference and show where I was right and the others wrong. So as time went on and I was ordained to various orders of the priesthood my responsibility grew. President Taylor advised us to draw ourselves together and try not to be so scattered. I was married February 27, 1879 to Naomi Kemp of Lewiston who had been born at East Rushton, England.

Brothers Abraham Cannon and Colin Woodruff came through the country organizing Seventies Quorums and preaching the living of the higher order of the priesthood. With a number of other young men I was ordained a Seventy and told to prepare ourselves for missions. So I began to try to get a place for my family to be closer to town if I should be away. I had always believed in the principle referred to as the higher order of the priesthood. The last day of December 1885, I married Maryett Rice, the widow of Solomon Harris who had three boys. From that time on either she or I was on the underground most of the time. In November 1886 I lost the side of my right eye by a flying nail. My left eye already been seriously impaired by snow blindness, I was very much handicapped in all my labors and entirely ended my and activities in the Seventies Quorum. The idea have never going on a mission ended. About this time the university land came into market and I had to either buy or give it up. So a mortgage was put on it which we were unable to remove until 1903 when we sold the farm to W. H. Lewis in behalf of the Lewiston sugar company.

My oldest son John M. Standley went into a sort of partnership and rented a stock and dairy ranch in the northeast corner of Portage, Utah. We operated this range for years always keeping a lookout for something we could obtain for a suitable home. We each took various trips around the country but did not find what we wanted. We finally obtained a half section in hand soul ballet in northern Box Elder County and purchased a home in the 12th Ward at Logan. My condition and health was not suitable for me to remain on the ranch in winter. I came home and worked in the Temple and went back to work in the spring until 1926 when I retired and gave my entire time to Temple work, being ordained a high priest November 1, 1908.

My second wife Maryett died May 28, 1924. June 27, 1927 my sight had failed until I could not recognize anyone by sight, but I continued working in the Temple until November 2, 1929 when I retired entirely having officiated for 2072 names. In 1931 Lucy Wilson and Miss Christiansen, the daughter of Sarah Wilson who mother raised, came to see me. When they found my condition they were very sympathetic and about a week after sent a real nice radio for a surprise as a present. I surely enjoyed it, listening to services each Sunday. I surely appreciated the radio and thoughts.

I feel that with the help of my wives, considering our conditions and circumstances, we have done the best we could in rearing, educating and maintaining our family of nine boys and nine girls. In doing so, my occupations have been farming, stock raising, marrying, lumbering, railroading, and merchandising, soldiering and freighting. As a pioneer I passed through three grasshopper and cricket wars of three years each, I helped make the first three canals in Hyrum, the Lewiston Canal, Trenton, Dayton and Mink creek canals, the Southern Idaho reservoir project at Holbrook, Idaho. In making the first road through Logan Canyon connecting cache Valley in Bear Lake, the first road through blacksmith fork between the same two places, the first two railroads in Utah, in putting up the first telegraph between Brigham and Franklin. I was three years a Minuteman, one of the first police in Hyrum. In my church activities I was a member of the first Sunday school in Hyrum, labored as a deacon seven years, a Ward teacher 40 years, as a home missionary three years, and attended the school of the prophets three years. I have assisted in building six meetinghouses and a tabernacle, in the erection of seven temples and did work for 2072 souls. I acted as president of the Genealogical Society of the 12th Ward in Logan. I was a high priest 24 years and a member of the elder’s quorum 16 years the Seventies quorum 24 years and in all of these callings I've endeavored to perform the activities of these quorums and keep the spirit of it burning within my bosom. In conclusion I say, may the Lord bless our posterity and keep them in the faith of the gospel and honoring the priesthood. In these last few years of my affliction I have been well cared for by my loving wife Naomi A. Kemp Standley.

Michael Standley passed away March 12, 1934 and was buried with the rest of his family in the Lewiston Cemetery at Lewiston Utah. Naomi followed him in December of 1942.

Back Up Next