Thursday, March 22, 2012

Story of Alpharetta Boice - Adopted Indian Baby

Ute Mother and Papoose 1893

On October 26, 1968, Delila Boice Asay related the following Indian and Pioneer stories to Sharon G. Blackburn.  They have been compiled and typed as near to the exact words as possible that Grandma used for the enjoyment of those who will read them.  All of the stories are written about the actual happenings of relatives and friends of Grandma Asay.

This is a story about Grandma Delila Asay's grandparents, Mary Ann Barzee Boice, and John Boice.  It took place at Spanish Fork, Utah, in 1854, the year that "Uncle Bert" was born.

Mary Ann Barzee Boice
Mary Ann Barzee Boice and John Boice were called to Spanish Fork, Utah, by President Brigham Young to start a settlement there.  Because Grandma Barzee spoke the Indian language she could communicate better and be friends to the Indians.  She had been asked to be an interpreter between the pioneers and Indians.  One day in 1854 a young Indian buck came and said to Grandma Barzee, "My squaw died and I have no one to help me.  You take care of my baby?"  She said that she would have to talk to her husband about this and instructed him to come back at noon for his answer.  Since the Indians often times pulled tricks she was afraid maybe this was a trick.  When he left she went straight to her husband and told him the incident.  He told her to go see Bishop Markham and "We will do just as he says".  The bishop told her to take the baby and she told him that she hesitated to because she already had 5 children and the one baby "Uncle Bert" was just about a month older than this Indian baby.  The bishop said "Take the baby and raise it and someday you will be blessed for doing so."

When the sun was high in the sky at noon, the Indian came back with the baby to hear the answer.  Grandma told him that she would take the baby and for him to go and bring all that his squaw had prepared for the baby.  Of course this was a meager amount of things.  She prepared some warm water on the stove and bathed the baby and scrubbed it clean.  She also cleaned the few clothes that it had.  The family simply fell in love with it.  Grandma nursed both babies and raised them as twins.  The Indian father made regular trips to check on his baby.

After awhile both babies fell ill.  Uncle Bert seemed to respond to the medicine that she was giving them but the baby girl got worse each day.  Finally the baby Indian died and the father said that her mother wanted her to be with her.  The church prepared a funeral for the baby just as though it was one of their own, and they invited all the Indians to come to the funeral.  So many Indians came that there was an overflow crowd.  After the funeral the father disappeared and no one knew where he had gone to.

John Boice

After awhile the Boice family was called by President Brigham Young to go up to Camos, Utah, to make a new settlement.  This is just out from Heber City.  Two families prepared to go to the new settlement.  When they stopped for the night they put the animals to graze.  Next morning they hitched up to leave and found themselves surrounded by Indians.  John told the Chief that they were just friends and didn't come to harm them but the Chief said, "No, you come and fish all the fish from the streams and use up all the Indian food."  John turned to Mary Ann to tell them that they were friends.  When it looked like all was useless one Indian broke from the crowd of Indians and rode right up before the Chief.  He said, "Chief, these people are friends.  They took my baby to raise when my squaw died.  Please let them go free."  He even got on his knees and begged the chief.  The chief decided to let them go but first they had to form a treaty and give the Indians a sack of flour and a beef.

After the Indians rode off, John got on his horse and rode to President Brigham Young in Salt Lake and told him what had happened.  Brigham Young instructed them to come back to Spanish Fork, that it was not yet time for a settlement there and that they didn't want any trouble with the Indians.

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Once while Grandma Asay was in Mesa, Arizona, a lady asked her if she knew alot about Wyoming history.  When Grandma said that she didn't know so awfully much this lady explained that on September 26, 1886, thirteen men from a freight outfit were taking supplies to Salt Lake City.  They camped at the head of Antelope Creek on South Pass.  A freak Wyoming storm came up and during the night all thirteen men were frozen to death and so were some of the oxen.  All the men were burried in one grave.  One of the thirteen men was this lady's grandfather.


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Source:  History 27a 
Grandmother Asay's Book of Remembernce