Grandfather John Barfus worked at farming in the old country of
Switzerland. He was born August the tenth eighteen twenty nine, in the
county of Bern Switzerland.
Elizabeth Ashbocher was born Oct 27 1844, as a girl she had to work
hard. The Swiss girls of the poorer familys had to work hard, cutting
the hay with a scythe was part of their portion and they worked hard
all day. Many times grandmother has told me how happy they were in
their work and how the girls always sang at their work. In 1872 she
married John Barfus and later they joined the church. Like Grandfather
Young she was the only one of her family who joined the much despised
Mormons. Grandmothers friends shunned her and Grandfathers chums called
him bitter names. When his working companions learned he had joined the
church, three of them planned to wait for him in the path and kill him
as he came from work. The night arrived and when the three were
preparing to leave for the ambush, a dreadful affliction came to them.
One died instantly and the other two died within the week. Their former
friends wouldn't sell them what they needed so they decided to leave
their happy little home which was suddenly so cold. In spite of all
they endured they knew they were doing right. They borrowed the money
from Mrs.Ashbocker and prepared for their trip. People wouldn't even
buy their furniture or belongings because they were mormons. So
gathering together their three children and Mrs. Ashbocher they sailed
in 1882 for the land of the free, knowing nothing of its customs or
language; knowing not of its people or where they would go. They came,
following trustfully the church they had so late adopted.
They landed in 1882 in New York, their clothes strange. Mother was a
baby of six months. They came on the railroad to Providence, Utah.
There were many people of their own nationality there and they were
among friends. People brought them vegetables and food for the winter.
They had high hopes for future success, but a man named Egly who had
plans for himself only, came down to Providence. He told them if they
would come to Mink Creek he would give them a house and help them get a
start. If they would help him work. Lured by his clever words and
glowing promises they left their friends and followed him to Glencoe.
After he got them there he gave them a dug out with a dirt roof to live
in. He tried to persuade Grandmother to go with him but she refused. He
tried to impress her by telling her the church willed it but she
remained steadfast and she and Grandfather prayed steadily. Winter came
and when he could not force Grandmother to go with him. He took out the
windows of their shanty and tried to force them into submission by
cruelty. At last the oldest child about nine years old, walked in snow
up to her waist five miles to the Bishop, pleading for their salvation.
He moved them to Mink Creek to the only house available. This was a
rickety old shack which let the water in in streams when it rained. Two
old parasols were placed over the children's bed when it rained to
They were at a great disadvantage in Mink Creek. The language was
strange the people and customs like wise. They worked hard but all
their money had to go for their children. They couldn't make enough to
go back to Providence. I suppose the only pleasure they had in those
days was when Mr. Egly was caught staying with the wife of a respected
citizen and a group of men drug him on a rope down a rocky creek bed.
The Bishop then was not above crooked work either. Grandfather wanted
to buy a good cow from him. The agreement was that Grandfather should
pay for her with work. He worked all one summer every day and when he
finally got the cow she was so old and good for nothing she only lived
a short time. Her teeth were even gone. However they loved the church
despite its officers and never ceased hoping for better things. They
were gradually learning the language and knew if they could conquer
that obstacle several of the people who had taken advantage of their
ignorance would be out their victims. That July a little son, was born
to them. Grandmother’s work had only built up a wonderful
health. Three days after the baby's birth, she was out weeding the
garden. Up at the head of the Creek was a farm used to support the
missionarys. Their hard work and faithful religious natures won them an
appointment to this farm. Here the next baby was born, a girl.
Next they took up a place on the west of the mission farm and at last
had the priviledge of building a home of their own. Gradually they
learned the language; they built a home which was comfortable and
roomy. They planted an orchard which is still the pride of that
community and its present owner, and they won the love and respect of
the people. Grandfather had about eight acres of lucerne which he
always cut with a scythe and carried home on his back with a rope to
stack. He scoffed at cutting such a small amount with machinery. He
said such light work merely kept him in trim. Later he and Grandmother
retired at Preston, Idaho, taking the baby girl with them. Grandfather
died in 1913, a staunch Latter Day Saint, despite the suffering his
belief had brought him. Grandmother died last fall October 29, 1930.
Honored by her children, admired and loved by her friends. Her life has
inspired many to better life and more faithful adherence to God.
2005, April 4: Document transcribed by Matthew and Quinn
from a photocopy of a typewritten document. The author is
unknown, but it is apparently one of George and Rosetta Young's
children. Spelling and punctuation are original.