Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The Quilt Walk Story
As told to Eleanor Guymon Bruhn in 1916 by her Grandmother Emily Hodgest Lowder daughter-in-law to Jessie Louder, 1st counselor to Jens Nielson, and one of the men who participated in the quilt walk. Emily was one of the early settlers of Panguitch.
The winter of 1864 was most severe. The crops had not matured, the wheat was frozen and could not be made into bread. The only way it could be eaten was when it was boiled. Every one was hungry. The men fished and killed some small game but this was a dangerous chance. The nearest flour mills were in Gunnison 115miles to the north and Parowan 40 miles west. Seven men decided to go to Parowan and try to get flour. The seven men were Alex Matheson, William Talbot, Thomas Richards, Jesse Louder John Butler, Thomas Adair, and John Paul Smith. They had two yoke of oxen and a light wagon but they had to abandon both at the head of Bear Valley and proceed on foot. The only progress that could be made over this frozen, crusted snow was to lay a quilt down, walk to the end of it relay it and walk again. Lay down another and walk again. In this way they reached Parowan.
Alex Matheson records this story “At one time we were about to give up, but we had a little prayer circle and ask God for guidance. We decided if we had faith as big as a mustard seed we could make it and bring flour to our starving families. So we began our quilt laying in prayerful earnest. In this way we made our way over the deep crusted snow to Parowan. The return trip was harder with the weight of the flour but we finally made it to our wagon and oxen and on home, with thankfulness to the Lord for his goodness. The whole settlement welcomed us. Because we had been gone longer than expected. There had been prayers for us and tears which changed to rejoicing and cheers.”