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Short History of James Ririe and Ann Boyack Ririe
By Isabell Ririe Stallings
(written in 1939)

My father, James Ririe, was born January 24, 1827, near Castle Fraser, Parish of Cluny, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He had six brothers and four sisters and he was next to the youngest.

His father died August 20, 1830, at the age of 52 years. Father was only three years old at his father's death. At the age of five he went to school and at the age of seven he was sent to work during the summer season but went to school in the winter until he was thirteen. After that he continued working on the farm until he was eighteen. At this time he went to work in a mill at the milling of meal.

His mother died May 1, 1845, at the age of fifty six.

Father went to what was called the Free Church of Scotland; he believed it to be nearest the truth. However he was not satisfied with some of it's teachings. Therefore, he earnestly prayed for more light as to religion.

His job at the mill closed down, so he and his brother, George Ririe, went to Edinburgh. They hunted for employment but were unable to find any. What money they took with them was gone and they had to send home for more, but were still unable to find work.

Wandering along the street, Father saw a notice on a wall that a William Gibson was going to lecture on "The Messiah's Personal Reign on Earth." He said he had never heard of the name Latter Day Saints, but once a woman he knew said that her brother in Dundee had taken up with some creatures that called themselves Latter Day Saints. Fortunately Father said he was not prejudiced, but was seeking after truth. He went to the meeting and sat, convinced that every word spoken by the Elder was the truth. The Elder cleared up many passages of scripture that had troubled Father's mind. He attended more of these meetings, but thought he was committing a sin by going to hear a man he knew nothing about, so on Sunday morning he went back to his own church, however he could get no satisfaction in hearing this preacher.

Therefore, Father went back to hear these new Elders. During the week placards were posted about stating the Latter Day Saints would speak on "The Need of Prophets and Apostles in Our Day." They explained this so clearly that Father was convinced. At the close of the meeting Elder Gibson said if anyone wanted to join the new church, which had been restored to the earth or had any questions to ask, to stay after the meeting. All rose to leave; Father and his brother George remained. Elder Gibson answered the questions they asked to their satisfaction. Then Father had an opportunity of talking alone with him and asked him such questions as what will become of my father and forefathers, etc. He answered Father's questions so clearly that he was convinced of the truthfulness of the gospel. In the confirmation prayer, Father was told he would go to another portion of the world to roll on the work there.

On the following Friday he got a position in a very marvelous way, and in a short time he had more convincing proof of the Gospel.

From James Ririe’s autobiography:

“I was so taken up with my new faith that I thought all I had to do was write to my folks and tell them and they would be convinced and happy as I was, but instead they treated it with contempt and I was bitterly disappointed. My brothers and sisters were greatly disappointed in me. One sister came seventy miles to see me, and I explained to her my new religion; but she would not listen. The more they objected and opposed, the more convinced I was for the truthfulness of the Gospel.

“In conversing with people, the Spirit of the Lord rested on me and things I had read came to my defense in defending the Gospel.”

Such men as Orson Spencer, Samuel and Willard Richards and others, gave Father new encouragement. He made the remark, "I think I was never happier up to this time in my life."

Father continued going with the Elders, holding meetings, and getting more people baptized.

Father got a new position and went out as a Traveling Elder. He saved all the money he could to help pay for places to hold meetings and to pay bills that others had left unpaid. He paid several of these. He would work during the day time and go out tracting and preaching the gospel at nights. He rejoiced greatly as one of the greatest opposers of his religion was converted and asked for baptism. Father received some persecution while holding meetings. Some tried to break up their meetings and called him vile names. A mob assembled and he and another Elder had to be taken out the back door to prevent being mobbed. Nevertheless, Father continued traveling and holding meetings and tracting until 1851, then got a position in a comb factory. He didn't get much pay but saved all he could for the time when he could immigrate to America. This being his greatest desire to be with the body of the Saints. He continued working, saving all he could and holding meetings in the evenings with other Elders. After working and saving his money, he finally had enough to pay his way to America. After bidding his friends and relatives farewell, he sailed on March 23, 1853. Father's relatives and friends said that he would surely die if he undertook the trip as he had a very bad cough. Father told them he was going though he did die. However, the cough left him on the ocean and he was never bothered with it after. Father was very sick at times and there was a very bad wind storm. It seemed they would be dashed to pieces. Father prayed earnestly to the Lord for he did not want to be lost at sea. Through it all Father was very calm and received a manifestation that they would all land safely. In a day or two the storm ceased, his sea sickness stopped, and soon they arrived at New Orleans, and sailed up the river to Keokuck (Iowa). They stayed there three days throwing away boxes. Father threw away about 100 pounds of clothing because they could not haul so much across the plains.

About twenty of the company went across the Mississippi to Nauvoo, saw the ruins of the Saint's homes, the ruins of the temple, visited the Nauvoo Mansion, saw Lucy Smith, the prophet's mother and Emma Smith, the prophet's wife and their four sons. This took place about June 1, 1853.

They stopped sixteen days in Missouri getting ready for the final trip. Their provisions were 100# of flour, 10# of bacon, and one ounce and a quarter of tea, a pint of sugar, and a small pail of salt, between twelve persons. One cows milk served thirty six persons, but it died and the people were left without milk. Cattle were often too poor to pull the wagons so were killed and divided among the company for food, this often made them very sick because they were without salt. They each paid 10 pounds which was about $50.00 and were to be furnished with teams, a wagon, and provisions for the journey. Isaac Hight was the presiding agent. The wagon and cattle were to be theirs when they got to Salt Lake City, but all they got when they arrived was $3.50 in vegetables out of the tithing office. Mr. Hight had a sack full of gold when he landed and went to Iron County and built himself a mansion, but he did not live long to enjoy his ill-gotten gain.

It was a long, trying trip across the plains -- not enough to eat and barely clothes enough to wear. At Council Bluffs, Father asked Mr. Hight if he bought 25# of extra flour, if that would be all right. But Mr. Hight said he would not haul it for him.

Father was very sick on the plains and rode in the wagon one half day. He walked the rest of the entire distance.

In the company were Mother's oldest brother (James Boyack) and he and Father became very close friends and lived at Spanish Fork working. It was in the fall of 1853 that they arrived in Utah.

Ann Boyack was born in Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, on May 1, 1831. Mother worked as a clerk in a store in Dundee before coining to the west. So she had quite a bit of good clothing and her company had more food, thus their journey was not as hard as Father's. Mother's company arrived two years after Father's in 1855.

Mother walked the entire distance across the plains with the exception of a swift ride on a pony which was in the company. The younger folks took turns riding; when it was mother's turn she got on and someone hit the pony and scared it so it ran away. When the president of the company heard of it, he certainly scolded the ones who had done it. Said he, "Don't you know she may have been killed by the Indians?"

Mother was one of eleven children besides her mother and father who came together. The brother, James Boyack, was already there. She left her sweetheart behind because he did not belong to the Church and her parents did not want to leave her in Scotland. Three weeks after Mother came here, she and Father were married. Their early married life was one of hardships, living on greens and very little bread. They lived in Springville, then came to North Ogden. Later they moved to West Weber and then to Eden, Utah.

It was through this brother, James Boyack, that Mother met Father. Father told James Boyack that he would marry the first good girl that he met, who would have him, as he had been disappointed in his girlfriend.

I have heard Father tell how Mother took some of her clothes to make a shirt for him to wear.

One time when Mother had three little children, she lived in a little one room hut, away from neighbors. Father had gone to work on an irrigation ditch, miles from home, when an Indian came and demanded that she give him some bread. She baked her bread in a bake kettle hung on an open fire. She had one whole loaf and about a half loaf. Mother gave him the half loaf and he wanted more. She told him she needed the rest for her family. However, he got mad and threatened to kill her if she did not give it to him. He pointed the gun at her and the two oldest children ran to her (Brother Jim and Sister Margaret). Mother told them not to be afraid because their father would soon be there. The Indian swore and cursed but finally left.

At one time Father owned a lot or two, close to where the Penney Store now stands in Ogden. He sold it, or rather traded it, for a cow, and said that he never regretted the trade, as the cow saved us children from starving in the winter. There were no luxuries then. They ground the wheat in a coffee mill for one winter to keep from starving. Father cut his crops with a scythe, then bound it by hand, often going to work barefooted.

I remember when I was very young, the grasshoppers were ever so thick, so Father and Brother David dug deep trenches, then got branches of trees to drive the grasshoppers in. Then he would cover them over with dirt or sometimes scatter straw and burn them. All this seemed sport to me but hard work for Father.

Father kept a few head of sheep that were sheared as a source of clothing. Mother would wash, card, spin, and weave this into cloth to make the older children suits. All washing and sewing had to be done by hand.

They had no luxuries on their tables as we have today. Greens and a few potatoes were their main meals. Nor were there any other luxuries. The floors had no carpets. Their first was a dirt floor, then a board floor scrubbed clean with sand.

Father spent his last days doing temple work for his kindred dead. Mother was practically an invalid for a number of her last years. She was patient and kind in all her troubles. Her brother said of her, "She never had a blemish."

Why did they go through all of these trials and tribulations? They did this for the gospel of Jesus Christ and to make a home and living for their children. They had twelve children, seven sons and five daughters. There are only two left, one son and one daughter. In 1939, there were seventy six grandchildren; 137 great grand children and 29 great great grandchildren or 359 descendants (in 1939).

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