Monday, April 6, 2009

Joseph Argyle

Joseph Argyle was born in England in 1818. His was a tin plate worker making gas meters. On his first day on the job he was boarded at an inn belonging to William Finch. Accidently he went to sleep in the wrong room and was awakened by a scream. The owners daughter, Jane Finch, was trying out a superstition that if she walked backwards and blindfolded to her bed, the first person she saw after removing her blindfold would be her future husband. As luck would have it, it was Jane's bed he had accidently gone to sleep in. Using her hand to find her bed she found instead a tuft of thick curly hair. In this case at least the superstition held true. They were married two months later.

Joseph and his wife joined the LDS Church in 1851 and 1852 respectively. By 1856 the decided to emigrate to Utah. Limited space does not allow me to record all their journey her, but the arrived in Utah in September 1856 in the Edmund Ellsworth handcart company. Later Joseph...
Quoted from the Argyle Family History.
"... fulfilled three missions, one in England, ... and two to the Southern States, laboring in Tennessee, from November 19, 1876, to October 1877, and from November 19, 1878, to December 23, 1879. He received his calls to go on his missions while at the general conference at Salt Lake City, Utah. While in this service, he and his companion saw the work of the Lord progress, baptizing 43 saints, 12 in England and 31 in Tennessee. He saw the power of God in healing the sick. Again from his diary we quote an instance which occurred in Tennessee:
“Sister Sally Moore was so very sick that they did not expect her to live until morning. A young man named Thomas Coleman was sent after the Elders. He was on one side of the river and we Elders on the other. When we received the message we were unable to go as we had an appointment to hold a meeting that evening. We said we would go the next morning. Thomas Coleman assured us that she would be dead by that time. But we told him to tell her that everything would be all right with her. After leaving him we went to a lonely place in a bunch of red cedars and then knelt down and prayed to the Lord in her behalf and asked him to stay the disease that was then preying upon her system. I prayed first and then Brother Sharp. When we arose from our knees, I told Brother Sharp to look at his watch and see the time and I would look at mine and we will see what transpires for I knew that she would be restored, yet neither of us had seen her. The next morning we went over to see Sister Sally Moore. We found on inquiry that she was much better and the change had taken place when we had prayed for her. When we left her the next day she was apparently well.”

There is a journal in the church Archive. However it does not contain many details about his second mission to Tennessee. There is a note that on
"About June 1 [1879] I received an appointment from president John Morgan to preside over the Tennessee conference. After a meeting at mr Bastin’s house he told us he did not want us preaching there anymore. There was a man there who spoke up and said we could use his house."

This is followed by an entry about his wife and children going to England in 1894.See "Argyle, Joseph, Reminiscences and journal, 1870 May-1894 Oct., 63."

Joseph was one of the first missionaries to visit Cane Creek, Tennessee, during his second mission to Tennessee, along with Elder Martin Garn and Edward Stevenson.

Near the end of his mission he was Letter from Parley P Pratt Jr to the Deseret News
"voted in as successor to Brother Parley P Pratt Jr as president of the Tennessee Conference"

Although I am pretty sure he knew many of the people involved in the Massacre, I have been unable to find anything he wrote concerning it. And I'm sure he wasn't thinking that the people of Cane Creek would have their lives altered in this tragic way. Though I wish we could know how he felt about these events.

Joseph spent the last few years of his life as the Patriarch of the Davis Stake until his death on Sep 26 1905.

[I recently found a obituary of Joseph Argyle claiming he was the first missionary to return to Cane Creek after the Massacre. Davis County Clipper 1905-10-06 Patriarch Called]

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