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Missionary Journal of Ozro Ozias Crockett (1897-1899)

Commentary by David Romney Crockett (great-grandson)

HTML Edition (1995), First Edition (1982)
(c) Copyright David R. Crockett 1995. All rights reserved.

This book may NOT be copied to another public location on the internet.

Also see his "Life Story", by his wife


  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Apr 1897
  • May 1897
  • Jun 1897
  • Jul 1897
  • Aug 1897
  • Sep 1897 - Oct 1897
  • Nov 1897 - Dec 1897
  • Jan 1898 - Mar 1898
  • Apr 1898 - Jun 1898


    This missionary journal of Ozro Ozias Crockett is typed from the microfilmed copy of his original journal. In reading through this copy that is on file in the Salt Lake Genealogical library, I found that it took much time to read because of faded pages and my unfamiliarity of his handwriting. I found that the parts I did read were very uplifting and I felt a desire to have others read my great-grandfather's journal so I under took the task to go very slowly through the journal and make a typewritten copy.

    An explanation is necessary of the resulting manuscript.

    I kept the spelling errors as they were in the original journal. Grammer errors were also saved so as not to alter Ozro's style of writing.

    When blanks (______) occur, they indicate that words or letters were not readable because of illegiiole hand writing or because of a faded area in the journal. The length of the blanks indicate the probable length of the missing word,

    Three asterisks (* * *) indicate that a sentence or more was not readable.

    Ozro seldom used punctuation and rarely capitalized the first letter of a sentence. I added periods and capitalization of sentences where I felt they belonged, to make the journal easier to read. However, words capitalized in the middle of sentences were kept.

    I have tried to explain many of the things that Ozro mentions in his journal. As you read his journal, by using the foot notes, I hope you may understand better the mission that he experienced. This version takes advantage of the World Wid Web (WWW), with links to more information all over the world. As you clink on the highlighted links, you will get more information about the places, the people, and the terms used in Ozro's journal. Pay special attention to the highlighted footnotes that will add some valuable background information. These footnotes are highlighted the gold star: *

    Ozro Crockett was a dedicated missionary and a great example for anyone who has or will preach the gospel to the world. His personality shines through the pages and even though I never met my Great-grandfather Crockett I feel a deep feeling of love toward him for the sacrifices he made for the people he taught and the family he loved.

    I hope all the members of my family who read this may also feel the same gratitude and love.

    David Romney Crockett
    Great-grand son
    September 25, 1982


    Ozro Ozias Crockett was the son of Alvin Crockett and Mary Sophia Reed. He was born Nov. 29, 1856, at Payson, Utah. His grandfather David Crockett was the son of James Crockett born April 27, 1779, and Elizabeth Brackett born March 1778. David Crockett was born Dec. 30, 1806 at Knox Co. Maine. He married Lydia Young, who was born July 20, 1812 at Knox Co. Me. The above couple were Ozro O's grandparents. They had thirteen children born to the. The eldest Alvin Crockett, Ozro O's father, who was born Oct 19, 1831, Vinal Haven, Knox Co. Maine. His Wife Mary S. Reed was born Sept. 6, 1833 in New Hampshire. She and Alvin Crockett were married June 20, 1852 at Payson Utah.

    They had twelve children born to them, Ozro Ozias being the third child. His grandparents, David and Lydia Y. Crockett, received the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on the Fox Islands, Maine, and with their family emigrated from Maine to Iowa in 1841. They made several moves through Iowa, Illinois and Missouri, suffering the hardships which the Saints encountered. In the Spring of 1848 they moved to Utah with ox teams, arriving there in October of the same year in Salt Lake City. In 1851 the family moved to Payson Utah.

    They endured many hardships in their young married life. In those early pioneer days, she would card wool into roles and spin yarn, card wool into quilt batts, would make her own dyes, color yarn, aniline, indigo, make some color from golden rod, logwood and capras. She would weave the cloth from yarn for clothing for the family and did the sowing and tailoring, sitting up late nights to get her sewing done. She also knit stockings for the family. Ozro O's father made shoes for himself and family, made wooden pegs to nale the soles on with. At times he went to meetings barefoot after he was married for he had no shoes and could not get leather to make them. Many times he went to the canyon in cold weather for wood to burn, when he had no coat to wear, and just grain sacks wrapped on his feet. Previous to his marriage he went to California to dig gold about the time when so many went there for gold, in 1850. Out of some of the gold he dug, he had an engagement ring made for his sweetheart, Mary S. who afterwards became his wife. He was gone from home in California a little over one year.

    When Ozro O's parents first child was born (their daughter Mary S.) they were living in an unfinished house, log room without a door or windows. The roof had willows on, ready to cover with dirt. A heavy rain came down the night the baby was born. It rained on the bed. They caught what they could in buckets and pans. When the rain stopped, the bed was soaked. Ozro O's father built a big fire (it was in the month of June) and put up forked sticks in the house and hung the bedding on them to dry, and Ozro O's mother did not take cold and it did not seem to hurt her.

    From early spring time until late in the fall, when the heavy frost came, Ozro's father did mason work, built adobe houses for people in the town, then all thru the winter he made and mended shoes, and did cooper work, making tubs, buckets, kegs, barrels, churn etc. These made for his family and all the people in the town.

    Ozro O. attended school winters until about the time he was eighteen years of age, working around the home, on the farm, in the hay field and in the canyons, hauling fire wood during the summer and fall months. When a small boy he herded their sheep and cows up at the foot of the mountains east of Logan. In the fall of the year, he would herd the cows in the fields and would glean wheat.

    When he was about sixteen years old, he and his brother Alvin David, who is two years older, went to the canyon for wood, on their way when on Providence Bench just before reaching the dry canyon, the horses became frightened and Ozro O. fell among the horses, got tangled in the lines and was drug about a mile. Finally the horses fell down and he was liberated and his life was saved, but he had received many bad cuts and bruises on his legs and one knee. He was laid up for six weeks, was sat up with a long while nights. He nursed and card for by his mother and became healed and well again.

    When he was about seventeen years of age, he worked for Brigham Young, Jr. of Logan, Utah, and for payment received schooling, board, and clothing. Worked for him one and a half years. While there he did chores, took care of a large garden, lawn, flowers, kept the walks free from weeds, he also white washed the fence around the lot (corner lot) barn and out buildings. While white washing he got lime in his eyes and they got cold in them and became sore and inflamed an never again were they as well and strong as before the lime got in them. At times his eyes would be pretty good then again every now and then he had a bad time with them. He doctored and suffered a great deal and spent a lot of money on them. The effects of the lime did it all and left scars on his left eye caused by ulcers that came on his eye. However he became able to carry on business, bookkeeping, etc. all his life since then.

    At eighteen and a half years of age, he went to Salt Lake City and received his endowments in the Endowment House. When a boy he was ordained a deacon, afterwards a Priest and before his endowments was ordained an Elder. When he was about 17 years, he and his boy friends got together and organized a bible class, had president, counselors and secretary. They would meet together once a week nights, first at dwelling houses and then at a school house. They would read the Bible and church works and discuss them. This association they kept up until 1874 when the Young Men's Mutual Association was organized at Logan, Utah, and Ozro O. was put in Counselor to Bro. Geo. L. Ferrell. When Ozro O. was about 19 years, he acted as ward teacher and did so for several years in Logan. When about 20 years he was sustained as home missionary, having companions and attending meetings Sundays in Logan Wards, and in some of the settlements in Cache Valley.

    In 1878, Ozro O married Ruth Clarkson, of Logan, Utah. They later settled in Preston, Idaho, raising a large family. After nine children were born, Ozro O. was called on his mission to the Eastern States. In October, 1896, he received a from George Reynolds: "Dear Brother: I am directed by the Missionary Committed of the Apostles to inquire if it would be agreeable to you feelings and consistent with your circumstatnces to be called to take a foreign mission. If so, what is the earliest date at which you could be prepared to leave? A prompt reply will be appreciated. Your brother, Geo Reynolds."

    Later, he received his official call from President Wilford Woodruff: "Dear Brother: Your name has been suggested and accepted as a Missionary to Eastern States. The work of the Lord is progressing in the nations, and faithful, energetic Elders are needed in the ministry to promulgate the Everlasting Gospel, openings for doing good appearing in numerous directions. Yourself, with others, having been selected for this mission, should there be no reasonable obstacles to hinder you from going, we would be pleased to have you make your arrangements to start from this City as early a dat as April, 1897. Please let us know, at your earliest convenience, what your feelings are with regard to this call. If you accept it you will receive no further notification, but will be expected to present yourself at the Historian's Office to be set apart on the day previous to that appointed for your departure. Your Brother in the Gospel, Wilford Woodruff. P.S. Please have your Bishop endorse your answer."

    And finally, on March 4, 1897, he received a note from George Reynolds: "Dear Brother: Your favor of 2nd inst. is received. A company of missionaries for the Eastern States will leave this city on April 10th. Kindly report at the Historian's Office the day previous to be set apart. Your Brother, Geo Reynolds."


    Preston, April 1 -- 1897

    I left my home on the 2 P.M. train to fill a mission to the Eastern states. Stoped off at Logan* to visit parents and relatives. Staid in Logan untill the 3rd __ ____dey I boarded the train with my wife & baby Lucille* who is going with me as far as Salt Lake*. Arriving in the City at 1.00 P.M. Went to Bro. M_____mans & we were recieved very good.

    April 4, 5 & 6

    Attended meetings of the Conference April & was set apart [fn1]* by B.H. Roberts to teach the Gospel in the Eastern states. In the evening attended lecture by SJ Carman in the Tabernacle & from there went to S.J. Carman's to stay all night.

    April 8

    Visited. at SJ & LM Carman

    April 9

    Bathed in warm spring and staid the night at Sto_____.

    April 10

    Left Salt Lake at 7 A.M. for the east.

    April 11

    Traveling through Nebraska.

    April 12

    Reached Chicago at 5.45 A.M. Took in Chicago. Found the missionaries.

    April 13

    Left Chicago at 10 A.M.

    April 14

    Reached Washington &c at 11.55 noon. Visited many of the places of interest. Had a very nice time.

    April 16

    Left Washington at twelve O'clock noon. Staid in Philadelphia 3 hours. Met Elder Wilcox. Took in the City as far as we could. Reached head quarters of Eastern States mission at Brooklyn about 9 Oclock P.M. The names of the Elders who were C__ with me are P.P. Willey* from _______, Wm. Camron, G.C. Hanks, R______ Watson, John Hyde. Names of Elders at head quarters A.P. Kesler*, Pres., S J Watts sec & E J Burton.

    April 17

    Elder Watts took us through New York City sight seeing. On reaching home in the evening we met Elders Joseph Wallace & Enoch Carmia who were on their way from their labors in Scranton, Penn. on their way to labor in the Providence* Conference. Pres. Kesler to day gave me a letter of appointment to Labor in the Providence Confrence under the directions of Pres. H H Kinsman. Sisters Smith & Dunford young ladies attending School here (they ______ being in S L C) came to day & straightened up the room and cooked a nice supper there being 12 Elders to eat. In the evening we had some fine singing.

    April 18

    Sunday morning we attended Plymoth Church the one H W Beecher used to be Paster of, now presided over by Dr. Abbot as Pastor. I was disapointed in the appearence of the church also in the Pastor as I had read so much about that church. In the after noon the Elders held meeting. Judge LeGrand Young & Senetor L J C______ being present ocupied the time.

    April 19

    Went to Greenwood Cemetry. Was much struck with the beauty & grandness of it. In the evening we went across the ferry to New York City & walked about 5 miles looked at the beautiful electric lights,

    April 20

    Left New York at 6 P.M. on the steamer Massachusetts in company with Elders Joseph Wallace & Enoch Carnia,

    April 21

    Houses from the 1700's on Benefit St.

    We reached Stonington at 1.30 A.M. and slept on the Boat untill 5.30 A.M. then took in the town a little. Had breakfast & at 7.38 A.M. resumed our journey & reached Providence at 8.55 A.M. Found the Elders who are laboring in Providence at home, The names of whom are H H Kinsman from SLC the Pres of this Confrence, Charles A Welch* of Morgen _______Co, George C Murdock of Beaver City, Beaver Co., Utah, & Jay W. Dunyon, Draper Salt Lake Co., Utah. Put in the day doing the City & hope that I all through sight seeing for a while. I am more favorably impressed with this confrence & the Elders here than any I have yet visited.

    April 22

    Elders Wallace and Carnia was appointed to labor in Chester, Mass. & left for there this morning at 9 A.M. I will remain here for the present, in the evening I accompanied Elder Welch to the house of a Mister Cook, who is a rank Anarchist but is investigating the Gospel, is a very inteligent man. Has a very nice family. They had us eat supper with them after which after which we accompanied Mr Cook & spent the evening with Colonel Bailer who has 2 twice been a U.S. Minister abroad, once to England & once to Germany. He is also an Anarchist & a great journalist & I beleive a great Philosipher. Judge Arnold, the Historian was also present. We found the Colonel to be a great reasoner. The evening untiil about 11 P.M. was spent in discussion of the atributes of Deity & the Gospel & I think a good impression was made on the Company & on the Colonel in perticular who Invited us to call again & bring him some of our litature.

    April 23

    A butiful morning. Am putting in the day in study.

    April 24

    Am reading the Bible one hour each morning. Will take in subjective lessons during the day. In the evening we went to the house of Mrs Wilson who expected to be Baptised that evening but was not feeling well & put it of. We held meeting with them. Br. Kinsman talked a while. We sang, songs & had a good time. Mister Nelson finding out from the Elders labor without purse thence of then who came early & had supper with then 3.00 or 1.00 each.

    April 25

    Sunday held two house meetings, on in the after noon at Bro Denmans &. one in the evening at a Mister Frith.

    April 26

    Studied some during the day & in the evening went with Pres. Kinsman to the house of a Mr. & Mrs. Clark. They are highly Educated people. Mrs Clark is reading our Litature. They treated us to refreshments & we spent a very pleasant evening

    April 27

    received a letter from home & answered the same.

    April 28

    Began the study of faith in connection with my course of reading.

    April 29

    Reading & study the order of the day. In the evening I went with Elder Murdock & visited Mr & Mrs Walch. Mr Walch is intrested in learning about the gospel. We spent a pleasant evening talking of the beauties of the gospel. Walked across the city 3 miles to the Bay. Bro Dunyon & myself expecting to take a boat & go fishing but the good old Irish fisherman who was going to give the use of his boat & learn us how to fish said it was the wrong time of day as the wind was wrong & the tide coming in. So we put it of for some future time & spent a few hours on the beach & climbing some grassy hills. It made me think of home & my chidhood days in faraway Utah. From there we went to Mr. Nelson's. Had a splendid supper. Spent the evening preaching the gospel & enjoyed a good flow of the spirit of the Lord.

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