Life History of Daniel Davis Wade
By Helen Cazier Norton
Mention of the name of Daniel Davis Wade, my mother’s father, calls to my mind the picture of a large, elderly man with a twinkle in his blue eyes, and a fierce determination to still do everything he was in the habit of liking to do in spite of having to get around with a cane. Contrary to many young people’s attitude about having their elderly people around, all we children eagerly awaited his arrival to visit us, and were truly sorry when he left.
His Wade ancestors settled on the East Coast in early colonial times, mostly in the New York-New Jersey area. His grandparents, Moses and Sally Maria Bundy Wade, joined the Latter-day Saint church in New York, and came west with it. When the call came for 500 volunteers for the Mormon Battalion, Moses(who had received some training to be a doctor)volunteered along with his only son, Edward Davis Wade. Edward’s health had always been frail, so his father and mother decided it was best for his father to be at his side to make sure of his well-being.
Edward D. was in California when gold was discovered at Sutter’s Fort. Afterward, upon his arrival in Utah, he used some of the gold he brought with him to have a wedding ring made for his bride, Belinda Hickenlooper. A year later, on January 31, 1852, Edward D. married Mary Ellen Page, daughter of Daniel and Mary Socwell Page, in Salt Lake City.
Grandfather Daniel Davis Wade was their first child. He was born at Pleasant View, Weber County, Utah, on March 7, 1854. His 8 brothers and sisters were: Henry, Marry, Minerva, Lucy, Ruth, Jedidiah, George, and Isaac. Ruth and Isaac died very young. Lucy lived to be a young lady. A great deal of the time Mary Ellen raised her family in southern Utah to be near her parents at Parowan.
Daniel was evidently as rough and ready as the best of them. From the twinkle that remained in his eyes all his life, it is easy to believe that for sport as a young man, he used to perch himself atop the heavy gate at the mouth of the corral. When he gave the signal someone would open the gate. As the horses rushed by underneath, he would drop down onto one of them, and have himself a ride.
Mac Wade says that their family stories include one about Daniel en route to visit his mother at Parowan. One of his two horses died. It being so many miles away from help, Daniel tied back his one lone horse, so that it could pull the most of the load. Then he took up the position on the other side of the tongue and together, they made it someplace where he could obtain another horse.
He engaged in freighting to the far out settlements in Idaho and Montana. It was on one such trip that he participated in what has been said to be the last Indian battle of the old West. On July 20, 1878, their outfit loaded flour and general merchandise at Oneida, Idaho, which was then the end of the railroad. Out past Arco, they were attacked by Indians on August 11th. An account of the battle will be given at another time.
Daniel and a chum(whose name may have been Spence r)arranged for his sweetheart, Annie Ferrin, and her girl chum, to travel to Salmon. They had a double wedding in the hotel there on December 20, 1882. Later, they obtained property at Fort Lemhi. They had 12 children: Edna, Samuel, Mabel, Myrtle, Bertha, Lila, Justus, Leo, Edgar, Lucy, and Joseph. As his family was growing up, they went back and forth a lot between their home at the Fort Lemhi place, and his properties here in Northern Weber County. After his father’s death, he bought his father’s property for a brief time. At one time, he bought the old pioneer home of Bishop Wallace which stood for so many years next to the North Ogden church. There was also the Seamon place in Pleasant View, and one on Monroe in Ogden where Annie moved when her health began to fail. She died there of dropsy, on January 5, 1918, and was buried in North Ogden.
At one time he teamed together, with a bunker named Bigelow, to purchase 640 acres north of Plain City, which they called “The Big Sage.” The Willard Reservoir comes to the edge of it now. He persuaded his nephew, Will Wade, to join him at Big Sage. Will’s father, Edward W. Wade, was the first manager of the Utah Power and Light Company at Ogden. Will had been working for his father. The house that Will built was located where the present Willard Bay pumphouse now stands. They cleared the land of the sagebrush, and put it into full production. Daniel and Annie had a home at Plain City for the family. They later sold it to Jess Singleton. They always had a small home nearby for his mother wherever they lived, in Plain City, Pleasant View, or wherever. Mac Wade says, “Wherever Uncle Dan lived, he always did a lot of building. He always saw to it that he had a big red barn.”
Years ago, he went in partners with Will Wade, Orson Hickenlooper, and Charles Packham, on a threshing machine. During the season, they made a lot of friends in the north end of Weber County, and at Willard as they went about doing threshing for people. For years afterwards, the relatives remember, when Uncle Dan came to the Wade Reunion in his Apperson car (with the jackrabbit emblem on the front) or his Case on his Studebaker, he would stop at friends’ farms in Willard, and pick up a load of watermelons for the Reunion.
Later, he bought two ranches at Black’s Fork, about forty miles north of Fort Bridge, Wyoming. Their post office was Robertson. From there, they had a big ranch at Randolph, Utah. When the bottom dropped out of the cattle market in 1925, Banker Bigelow foreclosed. Daniel got a start on the place at Mala. out of the deal. He sold that place to a Mr. Soreness, and went out of the ranching business.
From everyone we have met who ever knew Dan Wade, we hear the same reports, such as,”We never knew a man who gloried in his health and strength work, work, work more than Dan Wade did.” Mac Wade said, “Uncle Dan would eat his noon meal promptly, then go out and change the water or some other chore while the rest of the men were finishing eating.” They say he was always a good provider. Mabel Cotta Ellis confirmed what we have heard many times that Annie Ferried Wade was a very good cook, and always had a big crew of ranch hands to cook for. She said the Wade’s everyday food was always about the same as the holiday food she was used to at home.
After Daniel contracted “milk leg”, and one leg shrank up shorter than the other, he spent a lot of time at Lava Hot Springs. Even on his crutches, he dug a drain canal out from hay land on his ranch southwest of Mala., Idaho. He used to stay with Will and Emma Wade(Mac’s parents) real often. They marveled when he got around on his crutches to hoe every weed out of their large garden. He was there one fall while the peaches were on. He helped Emma peel and can bushel after bushel of peaches to distribute among the relatives in Idaho, who were out of the fruit zone. While they were doing it, they had the radio on to listen to the World Series.
He always entered into the sport of fishing with as much enthusiasm as he did his excellent marksmanship, and all the other activities he enjoyed through the years. He always kept the hotel at Lava supplied with as many fish as they could use. His eldest daughter, Edna, often told that when she was a girl at Fort Lemhi, he would come from the fields with salmon hanging from the hams of work horses. It just took him a few minutes to spear them at the ripples. They salted them down for winter.
When our family lived at Orange Blossom, Stanislaus County, California, he came in one day with eyes aglow. He had seen salmon at the ripples. He kept us well supplied. When he used to visit us at St. Anthony, Idaho, my mother would send me with him when he went fishing so that I could at least run for help if he should lose his footing in the treacherous Snake River(as he had done previously on several occasions). When my father, Joseph Smith Cazier, was riding the range for the Cattlemen’s Association at the foot of the Tetons, he woke one night to find car lights shining down on his remote camp at Coyote Meadows. Grandpa Dan had hired 2 men at Lava Hot Springs, to take him up there so he could fish. The fact that it was entered only by a small trail had not prevented them from getting to it by car. He would fish as long as the daylight lasted, then take a chance on finding his way back to camp in the dark.
In the Spring of 1935, he was visiting his daughter, Mabel Barnett, at Salmon. He came in from fishing with severe pains in his stomach. His daughter, Lila Terry, came up and finally moved him to her home at Hagerman, Idaho. He died there of stomach cancer on June 23, 1935. They brought him back to Utah to be buried in the North Ogden cemetery.
The above history was written in 1978, and it gives no indication of his church activity.