We got water and traveled seven miles to (Jacob’s) Well, a wonderful hole in the earth, 150 yards across and 100 feet deep. A little water in the bottom which we reached by a trail leading around the outside. We reached the bottom and found a little water. We watered the mules and started for Zuni, twenty-five miles distant where we found some more water, but we did not reach it until Thursday. When five miles from this well we met Brothers Tenney and Stewart who brought good news. I rode back with Brother Tenney to the well for water for his team as they had traveled thirty miles, and should have been watered. Brother Maughn traveled on.
Met with Lamoluna, the chief
Left this camp and traveled twenty-five miles when we found water and nooned. And I saw the beautiful Valley of the Zuni Indians. Went up on a hill where the view was beautiful and returned thanks to God and dedicated this land to him for the gathering of the Saints. Traveled through the main village where the inhabitants have built five story houses in the Mexican style. (The pueblo) Many of the people reside within the walls of this village. Hay and many patches of corn which looked well. They have thousands of sheep. We camped about three miles east of the main village. It was a stormy night and I was very tired.
We left for Fish Springs or as they call it, “Fiscalah”--a distance of twelve miles. Arrived and made camp at 11:00 A.M. We stopped our wagons under a fine pine tree and saw an open and most beautiful valley. Here I again went to the hill--south of us--and gave thanks to our Father in Heaven for his mercies to us and for the goodly land and for the spirit which was upon the Indians, being willing for us to settle among them. We then went and saw Lamoluna, the chief and principal man of the nation, who, when he saw us, took off his hat in reverence for us and thanked the Lord because we had come. Sat down in the sun for some time with his hat off. Then I placed it on his head and said to him: “Praise God. I am but a man like you.” Then He went with us to the springs and was pleased when we told him we would bring the water out onto the city plot and gave his consent for us to do so.
We had several visitors during the day. On Saturday I fixed the level for surveying a water ditch. Brother Maughn and the brethren went and leveled the ditch. I made a sytheswath and hung the grindstone and before noon we found that the water would come right into camp where we desired to build our houses. In the afternoon, ground up our axes and went and cut down a large pine tree for a workbench and hewed one side of it. And here by the side of this hewed log, four of us united in prayer and asked our Father to soften up the hearts of the Lamanites. Several of them came to our camp and they were all happy to see us and this was a
great comfort to us.
President of Zuni Mission
Sunday, September 10
We held meeting at our camp and administered the sacrament for the first time in New Mexico. We organized ourselves and I was received by the brethren and the Lamanites as President of the Zuni Mission. Much explanation was given by Brother Tenney (in Spanish) to the Zuni Indians that were present. An expression of satisfaction with Brothers Tenney and Smith was given for their labors as they had been the instruments in the hands of God in baptizing the first beings in this mission. We also made a record of the same. All of us spoke and expressed our satisfaction in being here. We are determined to be one in our labors and toils together, and to bear with each other in our weaknesses. I joined with the brethren in some prayer and dedicated this land and water and timber and all the elements that surround us to the God of Israel. Brother Tenney prophesied that we shall do a good and great work.
I went with Bother Tenney to Fort Wingate for mail and to get some lumber. We were well received by Mr. Read the merchant. Got some lumber, and he urged us to take sugar and bacon to any amount. We were received by one man who gave us supper and breakfast. He got us a crowbar and a pick and came to me in a king spirit and insisted that I should have some money. He gave me $20.00 and I received it because I felt that he wanted me to have it. On Tuesday, we loaded up with 300 feet of lumber and returned as far as Nutrus, a village of the Zuni. Nathan and I visited them for a short time, returning home on Wednesday. [This Nathan mentioned, is the Brother Nathan Tenney who has been along with L. H. Hatch most of the time on this mission. He and family were the folks to first settle at Woodruff, Arizona. And he is the same Nathan Tenney who lost his life in the cattle feud at St. Johns.] Wrote to President Young and to Governor Axal of New Mexico. We cut timber for house logs and hauled two loads.
Left Zuni Mission to avoid conflict
Brother Tenney talked with Philapena and others of the natives. They are excited about our house plans. On Friday, we went to the village with Baptista and Amelonah to hold a council with the head men of the nation. Held council for six hours. Decision was made that we should leave for a season until they could have a council with the whole nation. They seem to fear that we would get their land and water. I told them we would go and find another location close by and prove that we are friends.
Some of the council wept and wished us to continue to preach to them. We returned home after dark, a