Image provided by: Yamhill County Historical Society; McMinnville, OR
About The daily reporter. (McMinnville, Or.) 1886-1887 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 17, 1887)
The Daily Reportere
D. C. IRELAND A CO. PUBLISHERS.
McMinnville, Or. - - Feb. 17. 1887
A YANKEE SCHOOL TEACH
ER IN UTAH.
Lehigh is a little town a few miles
south of Salt Lake City. I reached it
late one cold Friday afternoou in De
cember, and when I alighted at the
station asked a small boy who was
standing near if he would direct me to
“Hotel! There ain’t no hotel in this
“Where do people go who want to
stop in Lehigh over night?”
“They go to the Bishop’s house over
there. ’ ’
The Bishop’s house! A Mormon
Bishop, and 1 a Yankee school teacher
sent out as a missionary from the Epis
copal church! But there was no help
for it, as I must have shelter for the
night; so I crossed the road and
knocked boldly at the door. It was
opened by the Bishop’s wife, a tall,
thin, careworn woman, who eyed me
“Can I stay here all night?” I asked;
“I have just come to Lohigh on the
“Who be you?”
I told her my name, and added that
I had lived part of my life in Louisiana,
that portion of our country being less
obnoxious to these people than the
“Be you a Gentile?” she inquired,
after another sharp look at me.
“I am not a Jew. that’s certain,” I
said laughingly, “So I suppose I must
be a Gentile.”'
“The Bishop don’t allow Gentiles in
this town. They never set foot here.
But you can
in if you wwjt to.”
I was surprised at the end of her sen
tence, which bore no resemblance to
the beginning, and gladly accepted the
rather equivocal invitation.
The room which I entered was small
and poor, used for parlor, dining-room
and general sitting-room. In the apart
ment beyond I heard the click of a sew
ing-machine and the sound of girl’s
“What d’ye como to Lehigh for?”
Mrs. Evans inquired, still eyeing me
with immense curiosity.
“I came here to open a school,” I
“A school! What sort of a school?”
“A school for all the boys and girls
that want to come.
daughters that you would like to
She ignored the last question and
faced me with her arms akimbo.
“What be you going to charge?”
“Nothing! That’s a queer way to
keep a school. Guess you'll get tired
of it soon euough.”
A long pause lollowed, during which
she seemed to be studying me and
growing more and more perplexed.
At last she shot at me this question:
“Be you a Presbyterian?”
“A Met body?”
She turned around abruptly and
flung open the door of the next room,
where I had heard the sewing machine.
“Girls, come out here. Here’s a
woman, an’ she’s young an’ she’s goin’
to keep a school, an’ you can all go,
an’ she ain't a Presbyterian or a
It is impossible to express the vigor
of her tones as she announced these
separate facts, each one seeming equal
ly surprising to her.
The girls crowded around me—such
a number of them!
“Are all these your daughters?” 1
inquired, though 1 felt that it could
not be possible.
“Oh, no. They are Matilda’s, and
Jane’s, and Loreuy and Martha
“And Who is Matilda, and Jane, and
Lorenv and Martha Ann?”
“The Bishop’s families,” and she set
her teeth hard and turned away from
I found afterward that no first wife
ui a mormon ever speaks ‘bf-thc otuer
women who are “sealed” to her hus
band as his wives.” They are always
I noticed a small organ in the back
room, standing opposite to the sewing
“Do you play?” I asked.
They all shook their heads rather
sadly. 1 learned that tho organ was
to them a great and awful mystery. It
had never been opened sinco it was
brought into the house some months be
fore, taken by the Bishop in part pay
ment of a debt. There was a mau at
the railroad station, they told me, who
could play an organ. Evidently they
felt the greatest admiration for the
man at the station.
In packing my trunk that morning, I
had accidentally left out a little sing
ing-book, and at the last minute tucked
it into my satchel. 1 was thankful
that I hud it within reach. 1 sat down
to the organ and played and sang to
them. As 1 went on from one piece to
another, they grew more open-
mouthed aud wider-eyed.
“How many tunes do you know?”
one of them asked at last.
I laughed as I told them I knew a
“Never counted ’em?”
“No; 1 never counted them.”
The man at the station, they in
formed me, only knew six. It' was
plain that my musical reputation was
already far ahead of that acquired by
the man at the station.
When I went to bed that night the
Bishop had not returned. As I ap
proached the dining-room the next
morning I beard a gruff bass voice
growling. with a ierk on each word.
“Put ner out! put ner out!" 1 naturally
supposed some sort of wild animal had
entered the house, and hesitated an in
stant before opening tho door. “A
Gentile woman—all night—in this
house! A Gentile woman! You put her
PU|! Put hef out!”
I opened the door then and walked
into the little room. The Bishop stood
in the middle of it, in a perfect fury.
“Good morning, sir,” I said, as
pleasantly as I could.
“You're a Gentile woman!” he
growled, in response to my salutation.
“I laid out this town of Lehigh jest
thirty-four years ago. and you're the
first Gentile woman who ever got into
“Well”, I said, as I took a chairand
seated myself comfortably, “that is
quite an interesting circumstance. I’m
sure I’m proud of the honor of being
me nrsc. i appreciate it
“You’ve got to go,” he growled, in
the same jerky tone in which he had
said “Put her out! Put her out!”
“Oh, no,” I said; “I’ve come to
stay. It is all the more necessary for
me to stay if 1 am the only one, but 1
assure you, Bishop Evans, there are
plenty more who will come after me.”
He looked as if he were going to
strike me. I have no doubt but that
he would have done so if he had dared.
But one’s life is safe enough in Utah.
The killing days have gone by, and the
Mormons know it. They are afraid of
our Government interfering when they
shed blood. The Bishop simply glared
with a ferocious look and olinched
hands, then strode out of the house,
giving the door a terrific bang behind
him. Mrs. Evans was nearly frightened
out of her wits.
“There’s a train from Lehigh at 11
o’clock,” she began, when I interrup
ted her. “I didn't come to Lehigh at 5
o’clock Friday afternoon,” I said, “to
leave it on Saturday morning. I have
come to stay, my dear madam, as I
told your husband.”
That day I attempted to find a board
ing-place, the attempt consisting in
walking from house to house, knocking
at the door and asking for a room of
some sort, not being particular as to
size, location or furnishing. The doors
were invariably slammed in my face,
though in many cases the slamming
process was preceded by the question,
which after a while became ludicrous
enough to me, “Be you a Presby
terian?” That I was a Gentile seemed
somehow obvious enough.
Not getting a boarding-house, I
bought a house—a poor little affair of
four rooms—and, though Saturday aft
ernoon was not a very favorable time
u. suiimg up nouaekeepiug, i rtiuT.agba
“Oh, yes," I answered; “they made
to get my trunks, boxes and some pro a good deal of noise.”
visions into it, tiuding that hurried and
She gazed at me in astonishment.
unsatisfactory operation preferable to
• ‘Wasn’t von—scared?'’
returning to the Bishop’s house for tho
“beared! No. 1 never thought of
night, oven if ho had not carried into being scared.’’
execution his threat to “put her out.”
“Why wasn't you?”
Sunday morning brought divers of
“Because 1 was warm aud comfort
his “families” to visit mo in my now able iu bed inside, and they were out
abode—Matilda, Jaue, Loreny and in the cold and snow working hard,
Martha Anu all had their representa and 1 was pretty sure they would get
tives under my roof.
tired after a while.”—Ztoston Tran
“Can you sing us a tune out of your script.
own head?” oue of tho girls asked.
I sang a few linos for her, then said:
“Wouldn’t you like to get a lot of your I
young friends in Lehigh to como and
have a good sing this afternoon? I have
JOHN J. SAX.
plenty of books in a big box, and 1’11
“All tho young folks in Lohigh?”
“Yes; just as many as you can get”
“Oh, my! They’ll all como!”
1 never mentioned the words Sunday-
school, but that is the way I began
oue, the first in all tho thirty-four-years
My day-school grew slowly aud Will chop Feed for $2 per ton
or one-tenth toll.
through bitter opposition. I had fur
nished two of my little rooms with the
appliances sent from the East, and Farmers and others having grain to chop
come to my mill, and attend to any
euough wonder and curiosity was ex can
business in the city to better advantage than
cited by them to keep some of tho chil driving two miles out of town to get their
dren in daily attendance.
JOHN J. SAX.
But their greatest wonder was about
my religion. They became convincod
at last that I was not a Presbyterian,
but what I was remained a mystery.
Ono day a girl said to me in an insinu
ating manner: “Teacher, you ain’t a
Presbyterian or a Methody,’aud I can't
think what you be. Don’t folks have
any religion where you come fromP”
F. Multner, Frop.
1 answered; “Oh, yes, a very beau
tiful religion. I was writing some of it
(Late of the St. Charles.)
this morning on the blackboard,” as
indeed I had done, and I turned the This Hotel has just been refitted and new
board that she might read those words ly refurnished throughout, and will be kept
in a first class style.
The table is supplied with all the market
“Let all bitterness and wrath and affords,
and guests can rely upon good clean
angor and clamor and evil speaking be beds, and oomfortable rooms.
put away from you, with all malice.
Special accomodations for commercial
And be ye kind one to another; even travelers.
as God, for Christ’s sake, has forgiven
God was not an unknown word to
the Mormon children, for they are
taught that every Bishop becomes a
foa in reward for faithful service, and
was not surprised at the girl’s next
question: “Is your God a smarter man
than Brigham Young?” They seemed
profoundly impressed when I read to
them that God made the mountains.
“Brigham Young couldn’t do that,”
was one of the comments.
God make the mountains round here,
teacher? I shouldn’t think He oould
make them if he lives way off in the
States.” One of the boys brought me
several packages of books from the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday,
post office, and confidentially informed
February 22d, 23d and 24th,
some of his playmates that “God was
a real good friend of teacher’s, and Ho
lives in the States, and made all the
mountains in the whole world, and
LIST OF PRIZES.
sent her books through the post office.”
Though all the Mormon fathers and There will be prizes given on the following
mothers were opposed to the school, named
1st and 2d prize for best and 2d best ex
and forbade tho children attending, hibit of Kensington painting.
many of them camo regularly, to my 1st and 2d prize, for best and 2d best ex
surprise. Upon questioning one of the hibit of Kensington embroidery.
1st and 2d prize, for best end 2d best ex
girls, who every day brought her little
hibit of outline work by a child under 14
sister with her, as to how sho dared to years
do so, she answered: “Father hasn’t 1st and 2d best, for best and 2d best ex
hurt me yet, and I know ho won’t hibit of work of any kind by a boy under 14
meddle with little Rachel till he's years of age.
whipped me—and I’d rather have a 1st and 2d prize, for best and 2d t>est ex
of crayon work.
beating than stay home from school.” hibit
There wifi also be a prize given for the
Bishop Evans threatened to disinherit heaviest, lightest and prettiest baby under 1
one of his grandchildren if she persist year of age.
ed in going to the Gentile school. The Following isaliHtof prizes offered: For the
message reached her in the street. She prettiest baby, gold necklace; lightest and
heaviest baby under one year of age, each a
stood still for a moment, looking ?;old
ring; outline work by a child under
thoughtful, then with a sudden toss of ourteen
years, first prize, ear rings, second
the head she said: “Yon tell grandpa prize, wrap book; kensington embroidery,
that he isn’t very rich, and there's 156 first prize, napkin ring, second prize, box
grandchildren besides me, and I’d writing paper; kensington painting, first
rather have an education than my sharo prize, manicure set, second prize, bracket;
crayon work, first prize, paper holder, second
of the property.”
Crize, pitcher; boy's work, first prize, paper
One night the people turned out and older, second prize, inkstand.
stoned my house—I had often won
dered why they didn’t burn it down Parade of* Firemen T iivm I hj af
over my head. 1 certainly thought
that they would demolish it, but I lav
perfectly still until after a while I Doorn will be open at 7 o’clock,
p. m. dally, during the
could hear their speculations as to
whether I was inside, and if so, how I
—All arc invited to Attend—
could sleep through such a commotion.
The next day one of my scholars said Admission 25 Cents.
to m<_: “Didn’t the stones wake you up,
By Order of
C ommittee ,
Feed Chopping Mill
lii Running Order,
The total Hotel,
Dining Station of the 0. G. R. R.
McMinnville Tire Department,
Garrison Opera House,