Monthly Archives: September 2016

Excerpt From the Aroet Book

  |  in NewsComments Off

“Utah, after nearly forty years of receiving emigrants and raising two generations of its own, was getting crowded. Most of the agricultural lands had been homesteaded. The colonies established in southern Utah and Arizona were full. . . . The LDS Church was on the lookout for new lands offering economic opportunities for the upcoming generation.” (SV 111). In August 1878, Apostles Brigham Young (son of President Young), Moses Thatcher, and Charles C. Rich, along with others, visited Star Valley, Wyoming Territory, to explore the idea of establishing it as an area for settlement (SV 115). The Valley was “one of the very finest and most beautiful” they had ever seen in the West. (SV114) By 1880, with encouragement from Brigham Young to colonize the area, twenty-one Saints moved to the Valley.

With the issuance of the Edmunds Act of 1882 polygamy was declared a felony; however, it wasn’t until about 1885 that enforcement of th eAct became intense. According to Aroet (3rd journal), by 1885 “hundreds of our Brethren that was living in polygamy was arrested and throde in prison.” Not only were husbands and fathers arrested, but many women were held in contempt of court and jailed for not testifying against their husbands. The enforcement of this federal legislation was leading the Church toward economic and political destruction. President Wilford Woodruff’s revelation that let do the issuance of the Manifesto (1890) eventually ended the legal confrontation, but until that time Aroet was determined to protect his family by making one of the most difficult decisions of his life.

Aroet left Grantsville in February 1886, and after visiting with some of his older children who had settled in the southern part of Idaho, he made a pair of snowshoes and went to St. Charles, Idaho. He was anxious to visit with his son A. Lucius (Aroet Lucius Hale, Jr.), who had been called in 1868 by President Young to help pioneer and colonize the Bear Lake Valley. Aware that his father was looking for a safe haven for one of his polygamous families, Lucius suggested that the sate of Wyoming, and specifically Star Valley, was a welcomed area to settle. Wyoming was relatively free from federal marshals, who were attempting to arrest and imprison all polygamous practicing families. Unlike governors of other states and territories, Governor Moonlight encouraged polygamous families to settle in Wyoming and even offered protection from the marshals who were anxious to continue their pursuits.

Upon arrival in St. Charles, Aroet and A Lucius snowshoed through the mountain pass to Star Valley. Aroet found the valley to be everything his son had said it would be and agreed that it would be an ideal place to bring Charlotte and their children.

Aroet and A. Lucius set to work to assist Henry M. Harmon in surveying the land that would become the town of Aton. A long rope was measured by a carpenter’s square and bearings were taken from the noonday sun and North Star, guided by reference to the Almanac. When an official survey was made several years later, it was found that the original survey was a mere four to five feet out.

As original settlers, bot Aroet and A. Lucius had the option of homesteading their selecte property sites. They proceedd to plow and fence their 160 acres, plant prain and potatoes, dig ditches, and build their first small but adequate homes. A. Lucius then moved his wife, Eliza Ann, and their five sons to their new home before the end of the summer.

By the fall of 1886, Aroet had traveled to Grantsville and returned to Afton in covered wagons with his wife Charlotte and their seven children. One week after arriving in Afton, it began to snow. They didn’t see th ground again for six months, but even after endureing the severe winter months and living under primitive conditions, Charlotte said Star Valley was “the most beautiful place she had seen since she left England.”She was asked years later if she’d like to return to Grantsville, but she considered Star Valley her home and had no intention of leaving.

By the close of 1888 there were about 40 families making their permanent home in the valley. In addition to the severe winters, these initial settlers faced additional challenges. The nearest realroad was fifty miles away. The road out of the valley followed creek beds in places, while meandering over high hills an through steep canyons in others. The snow depth during a typical winter was recorded to have fallen from two and one-half to six feet deep, literally snowing everything in. Sometimes in winter, it was necessary to haul supplies into the valley by men on snowshoes. Under these conditions, it was no small undertaking to pioneer this country.

About the year 1888 or 1889, Aroet returned to Grantsville, having been reassured that his son A. Lucius would lend support to Charlotte and the children as needed. From this point on, Aroet frequently traveled between Afton and Grantsville to see to the needs of both families.

["Early Days of Star Valley, Star Valley Independent, C. Watt Brandon, March 15, 1951]

Pictures are of the Star Valley, Wyoming Temple and A. Lucius Hale, son of Aroet Lucius Little Hale. The Temple is located on the original homestead of A. Lucius Hale family.

Progress Report on the Aroet Lucius Little Hale Book

  |  in NewsComments Off

The “Aroet” book has been a labor of love and has taken a vast amount of time, work, and patience. All participants on the project are family volunteers who have collectively dedicated thousands of hours to complete this work. Aroet was a magnanimous person who accomplished many noteworthy things in his lifetime. His journals and letters are extensive, and his life affected many others. The basic manuscript is nearing completion and is beginning the editing process.

The book committee began meeting monthly to make decisions about the manuscript, including how many pages to work toward (this effects the final cost of printing each copy), what voice to use, which family members to include in this book, how to publish the current descendancy charts, the general layout and design, and several other details. One of the decisions we made together was to use Aroet’s words and perspective as much as possible–to let Aroet tell the story. When we decided that, all other details seemed to fall in to place and the project has flowed smoothly ever since.

We have been fortunate to have several talented and dedicated family contributors on this project. Lee and Debbie Hale, David S. and Christine Hale, Phil and Barbara Hale, David N. and NiCole Hale, and Donna Akers have been meeting regularly to sync their work on the project. Their talent and love for our common ancestor is fantastic, and shows in their work. What a distinct blessing it is to have their help!

The committee has collected photos, journals (and transcriptions), letters, and previous life sketches of ancestors–many of these items were given to the committee by Hale Family members at large. Additional information for the project came by visiting with older family members who preserved family histories, some information came from organizations such as Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, and a few pieces of information came miraculously as members became acquainted, through unlikely circumstances, with cousins they had never known before but had information that helped fill in the gaps. One project of the committee was to create an extensive timeline spreadsheet representing decades of collecting and organizing information from these sources for the Aroet book project. This detailed timeline for Aroet’s life has helped us sort through redundancies and errors in previously written histories and helped guide the organization and writing of the Aroet book.

Photos collected by the committee have created many hours of work in themselves. Committee members have spent many hours sorting through these photos in search of the best ones to include and restoring old faded memories to a crisp, clean image for printing. They will be added to the manuscript during the final formatting as soon as the written portion has reached its final editing.

In addition to a manuscript of Aroet’s life, the committee has been collecting life sketches of each of Aroet’s wives and children, and editing them to fit in the limited pages of our book. It is remarkable how much these wonderful ancestors accomplished through tenacity, hard work, and a generous dose of family love and good humor. As committee members have collected known histories and searched for missing ones, it has been surprising to find that some of the children have absolutely no known life sketches in print. Sadly, unless you (yes, YOU, dear reader) have something to contribute, a few of Aroet’s children will have little more than their vital statistics in their life sketch. These children include:
Olive Amelia Hale, born 1852
Esther Louisa Hale, born 1858
Robert Gee Hale (adopted son), born 1866
Leonard Wilford Hale, born 1869
Sarah Almina Hale, born 1874
Frank Boynton Hale, born 1877

It is our testimony that as we have worked on this project, we have had assistance from the other side of the veil. Aroet’s life and experiences have much to teach us as we face our own lives, and we are anxious to create a wonderful book that each of us can learn from and share with our children–to teach, to inspire, and to encourage both ourselves and the next generation.

If you have additional documents or pictures to share, now is the last call for those items. Please bring them to the temple meeting or scan a copy and send it to either NiCole or Lee. Please use these addresses for such contributions: editor@halefam.org or president@halefam.org

Hale Family Temple Day Changed

  |  in NewsComments Off

February 27, 1889 The Hale Family Organization established its beginning. The purpose was to do as much Genealogy and Temple work as possible. Our ancestors set up an organizational structure to help our kindred dead by starting a fund to defray the costs of the work. The organization and the fund still exist today. The month of February was the month chosen for everyone to assemble in Logan to do as much of the work as possible that had been collected during the year. Everyone met at the Alma Helaman Hale home to distribute the work and to enjoy the family reunion. Most of them stayed with Alma and Sarah or other family in the area. There were several reasons for choosing February for this gathering. First, most of the families were involved in farming or related industries that were not as busy in the winter months. Second, February was the birth month of our patriarch Jonathan Harriman Hale.

For many years now, the Hale Family Organization has tried to carry on this tradition by celebrating the last Saturday in February in the Logan Temple with a family meal and Endowment Session. The Logan Temple has traditionally closed for repairs and cleaning the first week in January, but has now found that it needs to change their schedule to close for maintenance at the end of February, affecting our traditional temple date.

We must now adopt a new date for our tradition and we want input from family members as to that change. This year we will be having the Hale Family Temple day on the 10th of September. In making this change, many things were considered by the HF Organization Board. The obvious ones were winter weather and travel, busy summer schedules for families, and LDS church events such as General Conference. Hale celebratory dates were also considered: February is Jonathan’s birthday, July is Olive’s birthday, and September is their wedding month.

Thanks to all of the family members who sent in their feelings about the temple date change. It was very positive and unanimous that the September date becomes permanent and would be a better date than the winter month of February. The September date as been arranged with the Logan Temple and we invite all our family who can come.

  • Recent Posts

    • September 4, 2016
      Excerpt From the Aroet Book
      “Utah, after nearly forty years of receiving emigrants and raising two generations of its own,...
      Read More »
    • September 4, 2016
      Progress Report on the Aroet Lucius Little Hale Book
      The “Aroet” book has been a labor of love and has taken a vast amount...
      Read More »
    • September 4, 2016
      Hale Family Temple Day Changed
      February 27, 1889 The Hale Family Organization established its beginning. The purpose was to do...
      Read More »