Helaman Pratt Correspondence 1890
General * Merchandise
Teton Basin Supply Co.,
Live * Stock, * Farm * Implements, * Etc., * Etc.
Kaintuck P.O. , Bingham Co, Idaho Jany 15, 1890
My Dear Brother Helaman
I rec’d your welcome letter (not dated) some days ago; was very glad to again hear from you, and to learn of the good progress you are making, I suppose if your stock keep on increasing in proportion to what they have done, that it is only a matter of a few short years until we will hear of your being surnamed the “Great Cattle King” of Mexico. I am glad you are able to make such a good showing, and trust you will continue to prosper both temporally and spiritually.
I ordered your sub. to the news renewed some time ago, and will order the Popular Monthly. I send your order off to Barclay by this mail. You say you requested a statement of your a/c if you did so it has entirely escaped my memory; I should have sent you one long ago, but owing to my having been so extreemly busy this season, my acts have been allowed to get behind, and although it is now winter I am still too busy to touch them. I will make you out a complete statement and send in my next letter which I trust will be satisfactory. We are having a good heavy winter plenty of snow all through the country, which means plenty of water next season. We have about 18 inches of snow in the level at present, and have had some cold weather, but we stand it well and are getting along nicely.
We are not yet moved into our new house but will complete it this weak and move next, and will be quite comfortable. Our little store was broken into on Dec. 2nd and robbed of $100.00 to $150.00. ___ we were out with the constable from searching for a week, but could get nothing definate, although we are satisfied who the guilty parties are. We have moved the store into a larger room of our new house for the winter. Expect to put up a store next season. Our stock are looking well and I think we have enough hay to make us safe for the remainder of the winter. From presence appearances we will have a nice increase from our heifers next season.
We have been snowed in since before Christmas and have had no communication with the outside world during that time. I expect a man will start tomorrow on snow shoes for Rexburg for mail.
We hold our regular meetings each Sunday and although they are not largely attended we enjoy them very much, we have no meeting house yet, but meet from house to house in turn. There are quite a number of our people in the valley, but they are so and the snow so deep that it is impossible for many to attend meetings. I must close for this time as it is late and I am cold and sleepy. We are all well, and all join in sending love to yourself & family.
Yours M.W. Pratt
Salt Lake City
April 16, 1890
Since the change in our municipal affair there is a general desire to locate our corners. I have the new city surveyor up here four times and according to the deed (viz. beginning 8 rods west & 12 ½ rods north from the north west corner of plat etc) This throws my lines all out of kilter but that could or can be esily overcome buy the city issuing a corrected deed which is now a common thing. But here is the trouble with me; I have applied to the city for some of the land adjoining me north & south & I made these applications & each petition was emphatically denied; Since our lines are out so far the city will place our corners where we designate within the enclosure.
Now here is what I would like if you feel willing to do it is this that you give me a quit claim deed for the few feet between the cellar & the fence; for there is not enough for anybody or thing only to widden my narrow strip. The gentile out fit now in authority are going to make it hot for us all. Or, I will make your this offer for the land outside of the original enclosure north & south, if your wish to give me quit claim deed for that I will contest it & if you get it divided it equally between us.
Thone have left a deed signed at Ben Driggs In office subject to your order.
As long as we controlled the city. I should never have made this proposition for the land outside, but as it now stand I do not see any material wrong in it.
I saw Mame Thone & Lyn yesterday. Mame has been sick about two months, just getting around the house. Lyn’s eyes are no better. Alma is an object pity if not sorrow. Lehi has gone down on the Gevier above Deseret to superinted that big co-op farm.
The last person has been removed who held office under our people.
A lot of ___ ___ Joe Raleighs & old saloon toughs are now guarding the public peace & as a result the saloon men does not fear them very much. We had a very long hard winter. I received a long letter from Dan Leg who says they have it severe there too. Much stock have died & some men have suffered heavily.
Susie is now doing her own work. I have been very sick nearly all winter & wound up with the grip for the last 8 weeks & last night my throat broke & feel much better but very weak. Our children are all first rate & doing well & they often speak of your young folks.
Our kindest love to yourself & family
I remain your etc.
Please answere soon & oblege—
If you cant make this out please let us know — & we will interpet it for you.
Cliff ranch Office
May 4, 1890
My Dear Brother, Mathoni,
I have just recived a letter from H. C. Jacobs in which he claimes there is some eror in the deed of the land I sold to him, and states that the City is willing to give a correct deed for the amt. of land he holds the title for, any where with in the enclosure. I have written him, that the deed if corrected should be made to cover exactly the same land which I bought and which was sold to him, and not change the corners or lines in the deed.
He also makes the proposition to give him a quit clame deed for the reminder of the land with the enclosure and he will contest it and if he succeeds he will give me a clear tittle for one half. Now I have written him to make me a cash offer through you for a quit clame deed to all I have enclosed there, and if the amt is large enough that you could sign a deed for me immediately and then he would be free to contest or not as he pleased. I being so far away prefered to sell my clame rather than be mixed up in a contest suit. Now I do not care to give a quite clame deed for less then ($1000.00) one thousand dollars, and I shall leave it to you judgment wheather it would be worth more nor not.
As I have not named any price to Chariton you are entirely free to use your own judgement as to the value. If you think it well to give the quit clame deed on the propoosition he has made. And there is no serious objection you might make this proposition to him that have that laying south of his house and between his land and the fence on the east and I to have the peace north of him Now Bro. Mathoni I do not want to do anything in this matter which would be considered wrong or in opposition to the wishes of the priesthood, but if after you have felt around a little it is thought all o.k. to secure the title to that much land from the hands of the outsiders I am sure in law we have a very valued clame. If Chariton does not accept eather of these proposition, and every thing elce is all right you are at liberty to make the best terms possible with some able attorney to secure a title for me, he to receive in payment for his services and all costs a part of the land or if he fails to secure a title to receive nothing for his services. If you attend to this matter for me and suceed you should recive pay for your trouble.
And he will not pay cash all well and good. Subject to the following, which offering to boath the above.
1st. That there is no serious objections raised by the servants of God after consulting them on the mater.
2nd. That if he will not pay cash you are to consult with some able attorney as to what part or share of the land he would want for services. And costs to secure me a clear title and if no clear title secured he (the attorney) receive nothing for his services and costs.
3rd. That if an attorney will undertake it on better terms than Chariton offers that before closing with him (the attorney) you give Chariton the first chance on the same terms.
4th. That if you yourself well and wish to take the land on the best terms for me that eather Chariton or an attorney may offer you are at liberty to communicate with me and you can have the first chance of all.
Kaintuck P.O. Idaho Sept 7, 1890
My Dear Brother Helaman:-
After a long period of forced neglect in writing you, I again undertake to drop you a few lines to let you know we have not forgotten you. It has seemed near to impossible during the last few months for me to take time to write anything but very urgent business letters and many of these have had to go sadly neglected for a time. My time has never been so much in demand in my life as of late.
I have had so much to attend to in connection with our store, freighting, buying, selling, looking after matters in the ranch, and attending to the duties of my calling &c, &c, and have been unable to obtain help that was of service in these matters, that it has seemed when I came to a place where I could “chop off” for the night, that I was wholy unfit for anything but rest and sleep. I have often upbraided myself for neglecting to write to you, but have always seen more leasure ahead.
I was in Salt Lake in July and saw Chariton and had a talk over land matters, he had consulted able attorneys and discovered that he was under no obligation to you and had decided to fight to fight the land matter upon his own ground. But I reminded him very forcibly of his verbal agreement with me to pay a nominal sum for the use of the land so as not to have your claim suffer any harm. I told him that if he prepared to ignore that verbal agreement he could, go ahead in his own right without question for us from a legal stand point, but if he acknowledged that agreement and prepare to stand by it, that would compel him to admit your claim. He finally said he did not prefer to go back upon the agreement, if it could be proven to his satisfaction that your claim could avail you anything, otherwise he would go in his own name. I had Ben consult LeGrand Young and give him all the points regarding the matter and he said without question Chariton would do well to cling to you in the matter and satisfy you. I was compelled to leave the city before this interview with LeGrand and there for have not seen A.C. Jacobs since, but Ben has it in hand and I will try my best to bring things to some kind of a focus when I go down in October.
You spoke of expecting some rint from the place I will explain how this comes to be neglected;-
Chariton said he would pay just enough to keep your claim good, and only for that purpose, as he understood in buying the place that he got everything as you lift it. But before papers were drawn up the city had decided to sell nothing more to private individuals but would put all the land they had up at auction and I knew you would not want to invest the amt the land would have sold at then so I thought there was no good of doing anything more about it, but the city set this and all the other public land in the Canyon aside as a public park and so Chariton was left alone in peaceble posession then came this other matter, having been so far away it was impossible for me to watch things as closely as I could have done had I been in the city.
Now regarding our brother Alma:- he was much enthused with an idea of a drive running north from main street to ensign peak, and infact had transformed the entire country immediately north of the city into a grand park, some of his ideas were very grand, beautiful, and with proper backing quite practicable, others had the tinge of extreme impracticability. He was so untiring night and day working up his great scheme the it was quite evident to myself and some other who had an opportunity of understanding his condition best, that his mind was becoming unbalanced, after ___ that this was the case we sought advice and did all we could to get his mind from his hobby and succeeded so far, that for a time all were inclined to be hopeful for his coming around all right; but in a short time he became worse than ever, and it was found necessary to send him to the asylum, there were hopes for a time that careful treatment would bring him around all right, but he got worse instead of better and there is now no hope as I understand it that he will ever be right again in this life. And I scarcely think he could endure life now after what he has passed through even should he be restored to sanity Perhaps you have not noticed an item in the papers concerning some of his action;-a razor was left lying for a moment in the room where he was by one of the attendants, and while his back was turned for a moment. Alma grasped the razor and completely severed the had of a chinaman patient. Moroni L called to see him one day and it was my intention to call, but Moroni advised me not to do it, saying he never wished to see him again in this life. Alma has recently written some good sensible litters litters to different ones, but as soon as he had completed a letter he would have a raving streek again Poor boy his lot seems cast in thorney places in this life, but when we know all we will no doubt see the wisdom of Him who doeth all things well.
I will now say a few words regarding ourselves at home;- we are all well and doing as well as we could expect in our new home. Mother has been with us since the early part of July, and are delightful climate has done her much good, she has enjoyed the visit much and will return on the 30th inst. Nell also spent some six weeks in our valley with Apollas & wife.
Our stock are doing splendidly, we our harvest loses came whim spring comes but we got through very well compared with many of our neighbors. We are doing a nice business in the little store – fully as well as we could expect. We have put no crops in yet, but have are large canal in a fair way for completion, and expect to considerable grass & Lucerne and some grain next season.
Regarding the purchase of Holsteins I an not posted as to rates from the different points and there fore cannot judge from which point it would be most profitable to ship, but I am satisfied from what I have learned that you could buy in Salt Lake at fully as good if not better figures than east. I enclose you copy of Pedigree of stallion for sale by N.V. Jones. Price $1000.00 I haven’t seen the horse but he is said to be very fine. How we would all enjoy a good visit with you and the folks, mother often asks me will Hela ever return to Salt Lake?
Now Dear Brother good bye and God bless you and yours and help us all to perform the duties of life.
Sept 29th, 1890
Mr. H. Pratt
My friend Mr. C. Mills leaves here today to see what arrangements he can make with you folks deal in land. In talking over the matter I gave him to understand that you were in a position to make a purchase of the kind & he understands through me that you are the person to help him in the matter; Mr. Mills is a very particular friend of mine & what you can do to assist him will be highly appreciated by
Your sincerely Jas. De L. Galvin
Oct. 5, 90
Dear Brother Thatcher
On the 3 of this month I received a note from Bro. F. Spencer stating that Ex. Gov. Terrasas was then at Pacheco and had with him a Mr. Charles Hartes an engineer for the purpose of renewing the lines and establishing the corners of the San Miguel property, and the Jones and Fuera land, also that the Ex Gov. claimed the Carralis basin and in the absence of Bro Macdonald the Bre at Pacheco wished me to come up and talk with Senor Terrasas and see what really was the object of their visit. He also stated that Mr. M.C. Mills, the engineer who is running the boundary lines was to be in Pacheco to meet Senor Terrasas, and that all thought it critical time in regard to the lines of our lands being properly represented”
I accordingly dropped my corn hauling saddled a horse and went immediately, after my arrival on conversing with the Ex Gov, and his engineer I learned they were engaged in running the west line of the San Miguel property, Having began at the south west corner and running north measuring the ground as they went by triangulation and cutting a wide swath of timber the entire distance (15 leagues) thus clearing the entire rout of all timber and leaving an ___ ___ ___ ____ behind them and that the Gov had bought the Jones and Fuera land and expected to run the boundary lines of that property in the same way, and it was the opinion of the engineer that the lines of the Jones and Fuera lands would reach for enough west to include Corralis. After showing them a tracing of Brs. Mae, survey (which I have) and explaining where the north west corner of the Jones and Fuera and was, I think they changed their ideas, yesterday morning I accompanied the Gov and party to see where the west line of the San Miguel ran, you will remember that the west line of that property is the east boundary of the Corralis purchased I found that the line they were running would cross Hop valley about ½ or ¾ of a mile east of where Bro Mae had placed his Monument but as the south line of the Jones and Fuera land had not been run, the exact spot where the two lines will intersect was not yet know, (they being the point where the corner monument will be errected)
The engineer and party go today to the south west corner of the San Ditgo to begin running west from there in the same way, measuring by triangulation, and clearing the timber, and I think these lines will be run with a variation of the nedle of 12 degrees, and as Bro Macdonalds lines were run on a nedle line with out variety you will see at once there will be a wide difference in the lines by the time they reach the west end, and there is most likely to be equally as much difference in triangulatary the distance and in Bro Macdonalds chaining.
Mr. Hartes how ever has promised before continuing his work of running the lines of the Jones and Fuera lands farther west than to establish the corner of San Miguel to come to my house and see the monument established by Bro Macdonald at the north west corner of said lands, If we can hold them to that corner, we will be all right, but if not our last purchases of the Campo Bros. including Cave Valley Bro Williams and my property will be completely changed.
We therefore shall do all in our power to hold fast to that corner. But I fear we are lame in that as well as in all our other corners in this country on account of having failure (as far as I am aware) to have them verified by the compitent judge, I hope I am not right in this matter.
Now with these uncertain question of corners to meet and that there might be no changes north, and also to secure the timber which we have so long wanted I proposed to the Ex Gov. to sell us the Jones and Fuera lands. He replied that he wished to retain the east end for grazing purposes but that he would sell us the west part covering ½ league west of the north of San Diago Canyon for 1200.00 a sitio it having cost him $1100.00. I told him if he would give me two months in which to raise the money I was pretty sure I could do it, and that I could all most assure him that the money would be raised he replyed that I could have two or even three months in which to close the purchase and if I succeeded all well and good and if not there would be no harm done.
Now I feel very anxious on this matter and if you wish to buy for yourself or for the company I ill buy for you or if not I shall do the best I can to raise the money from other parties and secure it. Please answer immediately on this point
Bros A Farnsworth & Macdonald arranged with the Ex Gov. yesterday to take 100 head of his mares for five years and range them on the San Miguel just above the Corrales purchased for ½ the increase. Colts to be divided at the end of each year.
I learn from a talk I had with Mr. C. M. Mills last evening that Senor Garcia is now in England negotiating the lands south of here to an English syndacete, and he, Mr Mills is very anxious to know if we wish to buy any of those lands.
This is my opinion that zone one containing 220 sitios could be bought for $1000.00 a sitio if the right ____ could be reached. The Campo lands north of my ranch and west of Juarez have been sold by Mr Huler to a party in Chihuahua, a friend if this party was at my place last week with Mr Galvin, to see what the chances to sell to us would be, and I promised to call and see the parties and get his figures &c, when I went to Chihuahua next month, Just one other item and then I will close this lengthy letter. I think if it has not already been done that it is of the utmost inheritance to have all our corners and lines well defined and have them veryfied by the proper judges.
Hoping to soon see you in this country again and againe offering you such shelter and fare as our humble home can provide.
I remain your
Bro H. Pratt
(Envelope with no postmark, Written above H. Pratt is “Clarles Hartes
Engineer for Louis Terrases: and in the bottom left hand corner is “Presenting Mr. C. M. Mills and across on the right end of the envelope is written Mr. C. M. Mills, Banes _____ Chihuahua. On the flap there is some writing that I can not read)
Mr. H. Pratt
Colonia Juarez Oct. 5, 90
J.W. Young Esq
Salt Lake City
I have bought _____ ______ seven sitios of timber land which lye south west and with in 1.2 miles of Colonia Juarez, our wagon road to and from the saw mill at Colonia Pacheco runs directly through these timber lands, and this is the nearest and best body of timber there is to Juarez.
I just learned today that you had the contract to build the R.Y. from Demming south to Casas Grandes, and it occurred to me that you might wish to buy this tract of timber to supply the road with ties timbers &c.
I will state that this is the timber which Bros. Snow, and M. Thatcher have so much desired, and I have today written to Bro. Thatcher to know if he or the Mexican Colonization Company wish to buy it, that if they do they can have the first chance.
If they do not wish it, I have this proposition to make you.
Namely that you can have those lands for fifteen hundred dollars a sitio you perhaps will be so that you can comunicate with Bro Thatcher and ascertain if he wants them or not and if not he can give you his judgement as to what these lands are worth &c.
I take the liberty to write to you in this manner because I see the necessity of securing these lands and time will not admit of my waiting a reply from Bro Thatcher before I begin to feel around for the money to pay for them as I must and will (if it is possible) raise the money. If you are interested in this matter and can assertain that Bro Thatcher does no t want them. Please comunicate with me at once, as delayes are dangerous in all deals with the Mexicans.
P.S. the Corners are well defined and the titles ( torn off)
—–Office of —–
Secretary Brigham Young college
Logan, Utah October 23, 1890
Colonia Juarez Chihuahua Mexico
On returning from a missionary and exploration trip into Snake River Valley – Teton Basin Idaho and into a portion of the latter located in Wyoming I found your esteened and important communications of the 8th inst which had probably remained here some days. I was very glad to hear from you once more and I preceded without delay to reply to the important points of your communication. Brother Macdonald was to have been at Demming in the 16 inst and I calculate that he has about reached Juarez by now, and will doubtless learn at once as to what was done by Ex Gov Ters. Respecting the establishment of Corners. I am very much in hopes that you prevailed upon him to recognized those already fixed by Brother Macdonald, yourself and others. Much has been said about their permission and authorized establishment but as we have understood from the beginning it could not be lawfully accomplished without notification and presence of all parties intersted in person or by representative. Knowing the influence of the Ex Gov: we have felt that it was of little use to try to force him in the matter and to presume that Brother Macdonald has awaited the action now taken by him (the Ex Gov). and I am in hopes that the conclusions reached may be satisfactory to all concerned. Brother Macdonald being familiar with surveys from the beginning, and being Agent for the Company will with the assistance of yourself and others doubtless do all in his power to protect our rights; Avoiding of ___ if possible any conflict with others and especially with the Ex Gov:
I shall anxiously await further word from yourself and Bro Macdonald on this important matter. ____ with the latter also by this mail. Now respecting the offer of sale at 1200.00 per sitio Mex silver of a part of that Jones and Fuera land I understand it to be a part of that 14 ½ sitios ____ . Part of the Valley of San Diego, Pachaco and west. If purchased by us it would be better to take the whole I think. Half league from north of Canyon west would I fear not only cover all the water in the Canyon but also that of all the springs north as well as much of the valuable timber at and about Pachaco; which with the valuable grazing lands of the valley out would be the only possible inducement for us to purchase. We should certain have from the mouth of the canyon that. It would never do to leave any of the timber to be purchased hereafter at a higher rate or afford others opportunity to compete in timber business. Again the boundaries mentioned would compel us as now to have our road over his property. A thing that we should avoid if we can.
I would much prefer to raise the money for the whole piece if the law will sell in that shape within the three months he names; although when you consider the rise of ____ which forces New York exchange down from 35 @37 ½ to about 12 ½ @15 premium you will readily see that his profit in case of sale far exceeds the sum he mentioned to you “e e” $100.00 per sitio.
Money here is more stringent than I have known for years and commands corresponding high rate interest; If however the whole 14 ½ Sitios can be had with good title delivered at the price mentioned, and you can let me know the best possible times as to payments rate of interest &c; or if all is required paid down on delivery and acceptance of deeds I will try and think I can raise the money in reasonable time. If he will not sell all, I would want all the timber lands and right of way for roads if any; but think the price should be less most of the country as you know bring ____ and much of it unfit even for range because of lack of water.
Now respecting the property lying south of Corallis. If Mr. Mills is prepared to make price on the 220 sitios named and the figures are right and perfect title can be had not subject to other “better claimants” or “change of corners after purchase I think we can meet him on terms that will prove satisfactory all round through we might not be able to pay the whole amount down but a fair percenta with approved bond for rest.
Brother Macdonald was instructed to look into that and other land matters concessions and &c. I wish you would meet him, ___ this letter and confer together and with one fully about all these things, and also respect fullness prospects regarding taxation on lands stock and improvement &c. I have just heard through Bro _____ that duties have been imposed on cattle exports that will act as a bar to sending them into the U.S. How is this?
Please carefully consider the Gov. proposition about that timber land and if it covers all the timber, which in you views as to probably demand for lumber and as to wheather we should try and get it even leaving out the valley pasture which is most valuable for grazing & the water which is important.
Should the establishment of corners as finally settled change much from the present, we will have to do what we can all round to have it work justly to all as far as possible.
With kindest regards esteem and love I am as ever. Your friend and brother in the Gospel.
P.S. If absolutely necessary I might go down there early in December next.
Juarez, Nov 13, 1890
Prest. M. Thatcher
Your of the 23 ult reached me in due time, and I was much pleased to hear from you again. Bro. Eyering has just written you regarding what was done by the Engineres of Ex Gov. Terrrzas. I start from here tomorrow for Chihuahua and in ________ to get Senor Terrazas to sell all of the Jones and Fuero land lying south of hear, and if he will not sell all (which is very doubtful) I will do all I can to _____ the east boundry as far in to the valley as possible.
Enclosed you will find a letter from J. W. Campbell refering to this matter.
He has also written you about future pospects for sale of lumber &c, &c. In regard to what he has said about you, himself and I making the purchase I have to say if you are buying as an individual, then I would like to get in his sugestions. I have some money I could use in the purchase. But if your buying for the company I do not wish to interfear with anything you may wish in the matter.
If you wish it pleas send me word to whome the deeds shood be made.
I think if you buy, it would be well (if you can) to come down and see that the deeds are all o.k. I will write you the result of what is done with Ex. Gov. Terrazas.