Jacob Zollinger Life History Part 4


In 1864 the town site was changed and laid out into blocks as it now is. The lots and farming land were divided by the Bishop­ric and in the same year the people moved and began to build their homes in their own lots. Our lot, through a trade with Ulrich Haderli, was a corner lot which is now oc­cupied by my son, Lawrence D. Zollinger.

By 1864 the mines in Montana were oper­ating. Freighters and miners who came into our erea to buy produce opened up an outlet for our farm products. Flour and salt sold for $1.00 per pound at the mines. Eggs were $2.00 per dozen and wheat $6.00 per bushel. From the sale of our produce we bought a wagon and a span of mules.

We rented some land from Daniel Lau and planted it into wheat. With no spring rains it didn’t germinate and we had to re-plant and water it up. After irrigating this crop five times that season, it froze before it was ripe. We then had another problem to contend with. The grasshoppers and sometimes the crickets ruined our grain crop in 1868, leaving only a small corner of wheat un­touched. That year we had only thirty five bushels of grain which we sold for $5.00 a bushel. These ravenous insects infested our fields for a number of years. We tried in every way possible to destroy them but with no success.

In the ward they had weekly teacher’s meetings where all things pertaining to welfare of the community were discussed.  People were appointed to work on irrigation ditches, build roads, bridges, meeting and school houses and to visit the members of the ­ward. A week later they reported their labors after which their new assignments were made.  That is the way the communities were built up by a system of cooperation through which they learned how to live and share with another. In expressing himself in regard to working for the welfare of others, my grandfather said, “I was so busy with community affairs that I never knew the time when I could work for myself.”


The people had no tools to work with and were too poor to buy them. My mother gave me five dollars for a pick which the blacksmith, Fred Theurer, made out of a steel rim of a wagon wheel. This pick was in constant use. When anyone laid it down, another would pick it up and go to work. The 6 mile canal south of Millville was dug with a pick and shovel and was finally finished with the aid of ox teams.  I also helped on the Busenbark ditch west of Providence.

Construction Work


I took a leading interest in building this Canal. It brought water from the Logan River up over the hill into River Heights, then in a south east direction towards Providence. The most expensive part of this canal was the section along the hill side, the soil being a clay sand-shale formation which would not hold water when highly saturated and giving us trouble with the canal bank washing out.  As water master I would walk along this canal several times a day to see that everything was alright. One night I dreamed that the ditch washed out. I awoke, jumped on my pony and hurried to the canal, to find it going out. I ran to the head gate and shut off the water and saved the ditch from a costly break.


We hauled the rocks for the walls from the canyon and the east bench. The rock for the corner stones andthe window frames came from Hyrum. I hauled the lime rock, which was burned for the lime, from Spring Creek Canyon east of Providence. I had a difficult time finding two just the right size and

strength. They were hewn by hand by Jacob Fuhriman Sr. Henry Bullock was the carpenter and the masonary work was done by James H. Brown.


A two story rock building

A large group of us worked on it all summer and had scarcely finished it when school started. I was also one of the first trustees on the school board and had to visit the parents of the children to get the means to pay the teachers.


I helped to build the Tabernacle and the Logan Temple. Wheeling up rock in a wheel­barrow to the second story day after day was hard work. The stone used in building the temple was hauled from Green Canyon, north­east of Logan in Franklin, Idaho. Bishop Fred Theurer and I were among those who hauled the rock with a span of mules. One of my mules was named “Coyote”, he had only one ear.


The following information was taken from the book, The History of a Valley, page 172

” When the transcontinental railroad reached the borders of Utah in 1868, Cache Valley Citizens obtained employment in the construction of the Union Pacific line from Echo, Utah to Promontory and the Central Pacific from Ogden to Corinne and west around the great Salt Lake. These projects provided employment for an esti­mated 5000 persons largely Mormons under contract agreement with Brigham Young who let sub contracts to bishops from Cache Valley on the north to Utah Valley on the south. The pay ranged from three to six dollars per day for men and ten dollars a day for a man and team,”

I worked for the Central Pacific with a team of mules moving dirt to shape the road bed for the laying of ties a few months in the fall of 1868, returning home just before Christmas. That winter I hauled ties out to the railroad. I hauled one load to Corine Utah for which I received 15 cents each. I had a knack for cutting railroad ties. The trees were cut down and cut into lengths and hewn flat on two sides, then pulled by mules to the road for loading. I cut 50 ties in one day. Others cutting 35 or less would watch me to learn how to do it. One observer seeing he was no match for me said, “He can cut more ties than Joe Campbell can saw.”

The Railroad

The summer of 1869 I went to work for the Union Pacific Railroad with a group of men from Hyrum, Utah. We loaded our mule teams and wagons on the train at Corrine, Utah.  I and McBride worked our teams together on the plow building the road bed for the track between Echo, Utah and Fort Bridger, Wyoming. At a 4th of July celebration at Fort Bridger, I had my first and last taste of “Four Roses.” We finished our work there on October 15th and took our outfits and started home, I had two lively teams of mules on my wagon. We followed the Weber River in­to Ogden Valley and then took a course up over the mountain and down Avon Canyon into Cache Valley, using long ropes to let our wagons down in places too steep to drive. Without a trail or road signs to guide us we made it home in good shape.

Emilee’s notes:

Click here for a map of the Providence-Logan area showing the Upper Blacksmith Fork Canal.


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