|Vol. 3, No. 1 - July 2006
Joseph F. Buchanan
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[Chapter 16 of "Visions From Time"]
For John his greatest love and greatest concern was for his family, but his responsibilities for the town were also great. When the town was first established John was called to be the Presiding Elder of the Oak Creek Branch of the Deseret Ward. In this position he would serve as the religious leader of the community. All meetings and school was at first held in private, many were held in John's homes.
In the summer of 1869, the citizens went back to Deseret where they dismantled the log school house. They took the logs back to Oak City and reassembled the building. This building served as a Church,, school, and public meeting house until it burned down on January 1, 1871, as an act of arson. Until the new building was completed, meetings were again held in the Lovell home. 125
John served as the Presiding Elder until February 2, 1871, when he was released. John Lyman was called to preside. He acted without counselors, so John and the other leading brethren helped in conducting the affairs of the branch. From October 11, 1875, to 13 November 1875, Brother Lyman was called on a mission to Great Britain. John Lovell again took charge of the Branch. In 1877 the branch became a ward. Platt D. Lyman was sustained as the Bishop and John was sustained as his first counselor. 126 John took his religious responsibilities seriously. He was a man of great spiritual strength.
One of the spiritual gifts of John Lovell was the gift of healing. Many were the faith-promoting incidents attesting to his power through the priesthood. He was often called to administer to the sick for many miles around. The son of George and Martha Turner Lovell was just a small boy and became critically ill. He had been sick for a few weeks. He grew worse and worse instead of better. Finally his mother called for John to come. When he arrived and saw the baby he cried, "Oh my Martha, he's gone, there is no use in bothering him, he's gone." Martha said, "I would still like to have him administered too. Will you please do it for me?" John anointed the baby's head with the holy oil and before he had finished with the sealing prayer and had taken his hands from his head they could see that the boy was breathing again. He improved greatly that night and continued to recover. He lived to be an old man, the father of nine children. 127
In 1877 John and several others from Oak City traveled to Salt Lake City to attend general conference. It took three and half days to travel the distance, camping at night. The nights were cold but the days were warm and comfortable for traveling. The group left Oak City on September 30 and arrived in Salt Lake on October 3. Salt Lake always seemed like such a big bustling city after living in rural Millard County. They spent a week attending conference, visiting with friends and doing some much needed shopping they started for home on October 9 and arrived home on October 12 at 8:00 in the evening. 128
In the fall of 1879, Platt Lyman was called to go with a group of settlers to settle in San Juan County Utah. This expedition has become known in history as the Hole in the Wall Expedition. On October 21 the company started from Oak City. John went with them for the first few days to help care for the stock. Then he returned to Oak City. Before leaving, Brother Lyman sold his house and lot to George Lovell for a span of mules and harness and $100.00 in money. 129 John Lovell and George Finlinson took charge of the ward until the fall of 1880 when a new bishopric was called. John then served on the organizational committee of the new Mutual Improvement Association. 130
Besides being a religious leader John also was a community leader. In 1872 disagreement over water rights led to the formation of a three-man committee made of John, C.N. Jensen and Ole Jensen. These men were to draw up a set of laws involving land and water rights. These laws were voted on unanimously by the community. 131 John also was a board member of a cooperative sheep herd which had been started in Oak City in 1869.
The United Order was being practiced in many communities in central Utah. On May 3, 1874, the order was established in the Oak Creek Branch. John Lovell was sustained as the farming superintendent. In that capacity, he had to appoint various men to plow, plant and irrigate the community farm. On June 14, "Elder John Lovell said he wanted all the brethren to keep watering where they left off and as a favor to keep from grumbling at Brother Lyman and Brother Finlinson." 132
Sorghum cane, corn, and peas were grown on the community farm. The major crop was molasses. Two molasses mills were built and Peter Anderson and George Lovell were assigned with the help of Joseph Lovell to establish these mills and then supervise the grinding of the cane and the making of the molasses. Members of the Order received a portion of the molasses crops in proportion to the time they had given to the United Order effort. A fat beef was butchered each week and distributed among the members of the Order. The other crops from the community farm was divided among the members and the surplus was traded at the co-op store for other goods. This co-op store was managed by Peter Andersen. The United Order only lasted a short time then the decision was made to abandon the effort.
While they were practicing the Order, everyone had to help care for the community farm. John Edmund. Lovell the youngest son of John and Anna went to school two months in the winter, then helped to care for the vegetables, the cane and molasses making. He was also given the job of herding livestock in the western range. During this time John and his sister Ann lived with Elizabeth Smith Lovell. He did chores for her and she provided a good home for him.
On the same day as the United Order was established the Oak Creek Relief Society was organized. Sister Caroline E. Lyman was selected as President. Anna Lovell was First Counselor and Charity Prows was the Second Counselor. Martha Lyman served as Secretary and Elizabeth Smith Lovell was the Treasurer. 133
In 1877 instructions were received from Church headquarters that the Relief Society should gather grain, beans and peas. Anna offered a corner of her husband's new granary as a place to store these things. This granary had originally been built by the Green family in 1865, when they ranched on Oak Creek. In 1876 John bought the building dismantled it and moved it to his property, where it was reassembled to store fall grain. During the summer, dances were held in this building. When fall came John would board up the windows and build bins to store the grain.
For John, Elizabeth and Anna service to their family, their Church, their fellow man and their community were all important. It was through this service that they found true joy.
Other than that, I am working some on the web site and would like any contributions any of you may have for that and for this newsletter. I started this out to help inform the family and keep family history in the forefront, mainly for my own immediate family, but for you all as well, and am willing to keep it up, though I could use some help on writing articles and in doing some research.
The more I read and study these histories, the more I come to appreciate the great people who are our ancestors and especially the great sacrifices they went through for the sake of the Gospel - as they sought the blessings of the Lord for their families - and for their posterity.
- Joseph Buchanan
The video is $15.00 and the DVD is $20.00, the are both the life history of John Lovell just in the different formats. We had these professionally done and they are wonderful. We are really proud of them. The photo CD includes almost all of the first two generations of descendents of John plus more, On that CD the photos are arranged by folders, one for each of his three first children then one for Anderson children. They are $5.00. These can be ordered from Colleen Lundquist. Box 496 Ririe, Idaho 83443, e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org, phone is 208-538-7282.