KUHRE, William Dobbie (1863)
|William Dobbie Kuhre|
|Full name||William Kuhre|
|Place of birth||Ephraim, Utah|
|Place of death|| unknown
Some Recollections of the Livingston Family in Utah
- by William Dobbie Kuhre - Published in “Archibald Livingston - Descendants & Ancestry” – 1980
- William was the adopted son of John Dobbie and Ellen Livingston (daughter of “Granny” Christina Livingston)
My first recollection of Grandmother Christina Campbell Livingston was about the years 1870 to 1872 when I was living with her at the northeast corner of 9th East and 2nd South Street, Salt Lake City. Ellen Livingston Dobbie was her youngest child. Ellen and her husband appear to have been away at times, and I was left with “Gran”, as she was familiarly called.
Gran had an unmarried son, James Livingston (b 30 Aug 1828) living with her. He was employed at a lumber yard located on the west side of State Street between First and Second South Streets. I recall hearing the name Maxwell or Maxfield being spoken of as the owners of the yard or who controlled it. This was the only employment he had while I was there. Later he became too ill to work and finally passed away Sept 23, 1874.
The home was a one room log house that faced the west with a door in the center and a window on either side. The chimney was on the south end. A door in the east side opened into a small lumber lean-to used largely as a place for fuel, tools, etc. The house stood about thirty feet from the west property line and several rods from the south line. Trees at the north and rear were mostly peach trees. A clump of cottonwoods grew at the curb line west of the house. In the shade of these trees Gran and Uncle Jimmy would sit during the afternoon. The arm chair in which she always sat Ellen Dobbie kept until her death and I have had it in my possession during all the succeeding years until a few years ago when I turned it over to Thomas W. Livingston shortly before his death. I told him that some of the family should treasure it as a valued heirloom.
Gran always wore a cap or “mutch”, I think she called it. It had a row of lace or some kind of “frill” around the outer edge bordering the face. I have, and doubtless other members of the family have also, a picture of her showing this.
I recall the time when, with some congenial company present, John Boddie or some other would sing a song, the chorus of which ran something like this. “Brannan on the moor. Brannan on the moor. Bold and undaunted stood a young Brannan on the moor.” And Uncle Jimmy would proudly proclaim, “That’s me, that’s me.”
Early one morning the word came, I do not know by whom, that Gran had now lived to see the fifth generation, for there had just been born to the oldest daughter of James Campbell Livingston, Jeanette, who was the wife of Orson Despain, their first child, a son. The family was excited over this, considering it to be quite a notable distinction. Orson Despain lived on 2nd South Street, but farther to the east than Gran.
I recall the time that James C. Livingston was suffering from the effects of the blast that injured his right arm and hand. The family will know, of course, but I understand that the accident occurred while he was working on the Union Pacific Railroad. I heard him say that now pieces of wood were coming out of the injured member.
I heard Gran tell of the time when he was brought home after the accident. He was suffering great pain and in those days means of alleviation were not readily available. In his distress he was indulging in language quite unusual for him to use. Gran said, “Oh Jimmy, I dinna like to hear you swear like that. He looked at her a moment and replied, “Gran, don’t you know that I can pray to God and He will give me five minutes to swear any time.”
He remarked one day after the arm had been amputated that he was receiving so much literature setting forth the merits of artificial limbs, that it almost made him feel that it ought to be an advantage to lose a limb in order to get one of the artificial ones. I think he bought a hand and an arm, but seldom used the hand. He had a hook on the end of the arm and it was a much more formidable means of defense than the hand would have been.
Personally, I feel that I owe a debt of gratitude to James C. Livingston. After the death of John Dobbie in November 1879, when the responsibility of helping to provide for my foster mother and sister devolved upon me, Brother Livingston gave me employment at the Temple Quarrie, where I remained until July, 1881, when I came to Sandy. Upon my leaving the quarry, he took my hand and said, “Willie, wherever you go, always remember that you are a Latter-day Saint.” And I have tried to remember. I may add that my leaving the quarry and getting a position in Sandy was by reason of his influence and good offices.
I should say here also, that I feel a deep debt of gratitude to James C., Charles, and William Livingston; to Aunt Ellen Watts of Smithfield, and to Isabelle Aiken of Spring City, all of whom signed a deed at their own volition, transferring all their right as heirs of John and Ellen Livingston Dobbie, to the little home in the tenth ward. This was at the death of Ellen L. Dobbie. They both died without making any will or deed to me, but the Livingston family knew that it was the intention of John and Ellen to leave the home to me, and so immediate steps were taken at her death in 1884, to relinquish any claim they might have.
On evening Gran prepared for me a bowl of bread and milk, but instead of using fresh or sweet milk she poured buttermilk over the bread. Now if there was anything that I did not like it was buttermilk, and so I refused to eat it. She declared that I should have nothing until I did eat it, saying “He’s ower nice gabbed ony way.” She sat the dish aside and I went without supper. But fortune favored me, for during the night a piece of the chinking from the wall fell into the bowl thus spoiling the contents entirely, so that the bread and milk had to be thrown out. However, were it not for that, she declared she would have made me eat it.
It was said of her that when the emigrant train with which she came to the valley emerged from Emigration Canyon, that she had a good look at the scene before here and said, “And is this Zion? Why I can see nothing but sun flowers and sage brush.”
At another time she went to the Tithing office and upon looking around at the meager display and then poking around with her cane, she said, “And is this the Lord’s storehouse? I can see naething but a wheen empty boxes and barrels.”
I have several times heard Gran tell the following story - One morning, just about dawn, she arose and stepped out to the front of the cottage. As she looked toward the left, where on the corner stood a clump of trees, she saw distinctly the face of a man within a halo or circle of light, the face having pleasant expression. As she gazed at his usual sight the head made a bow or obeisance to here three times (in her words, “played so”, suiting the action of the nod or bow to the word) and then faded from view. She felt somewhat frightened and went back to the house. A short time later the same morning, a man on horseback dashed up to the door and inquired if she had seen anything of a little child who was lost and for whom search was being made. She replied in the negative. The man was just turning away when Gran thought of the face she had seen a short time before and instantly seeming to connect in some manner the face with the missing child, she called to the man who reined up his horse and looked back. Gran told him to go down to that clump of trees and see if anything was there. She followed him to the place indicated and lo and behold, there lay the child fast asleep and uninjured. Gran said the child had some sort of a cloak of covering and as she lay there the white frost was visible on a portion of it. I never heard any further particulars nor as to who the child was.
I have heard it said that in early days in the Territory of Utah, that the Saints were not permitted to read the Bible because of an order of the Church forbidding it. This was circulated by enemies of the Mormon people. In fact in a little sectarian church in Ephraim on the occasion of my first visit there in 1885, I heard the preacher make that statement. Any of our older people could surely give the lie to that. On one occasion Gran sent me to the store that stood just a little west of the 11th Ward chapel and there I bought a Bible, paying 60 cents for it. The book is still in my possession, it having come to our home when Gran came to live with her daughter, Ellen Livingston Dobbie at 343 Sixth East, where she lived until her death.
Charles Livingston’s two little girls used to come frequently to see Gran and to bring her something for her personal comfort. Mentally I can see the two little girls as they came around the corner of the house carrying a bucket. Nor can I ever forget the joy that was mine when at one time at Charles Livingston’s home his wife opened the cupboard and gave me a bunch of grapes.
Gran used to be very much concerned about the welfare of Charles Livingston while he was on the police force or directing the prison labor on the streets, for fear that injury would come to him; especially after, on one occasion when he came home with his clothes badly torn from an encounter with some toughs, news of which had come to Gran’s ears.
When Gran was living with her daughter, Ellen Dobbie, it was customary to have an annual gathering or party on her birthday which occurred on February 14th. There was a spread of good things to eat, the tables would be cleared away and then would follow singing and dancing for a while; games also, especially do I recall the game of “forfeits”. When I have hears the song “Auld Lang Syne” in later years I have called to mind that Scotch group at those birthday parties, dancing around in a circle and singing that song as only the Scotch can sing it, coming down on the floor with a stamp of the foot with the word “wacht” in the line. “A richt good Willie Wacht.”
William Livingston, after his marriage to Lilly Dick built a home to the east of the corner where Gran lived while in the 11th Ward. They first, however, lived in the little adobe house at 343 Sixth East that was afterward bought by John Dobbie. Here I recall seeing Lily standing in the doorway and holding the baby up with the pride of a mother over her first born and asking me if he was not a beautiful baby. This was William D. Livingston. On one occasion after John Dobbie had bought this place and built two more rooms, the two youngsters, Will and Arch, came to the house before we had arisen on one New Years morning to be “First footen”, according to the old Scotch custom.
I recall that Lily Dick worked at the home of Archibald Livingston on South Temple Street, on the south side of the street between 2nd and 3rd West Streets. The house stood there for many years afterward. To the west of it was a house owned by Mrs. Arch Livingston’s, Margaret Staines. They used to tease Lily Dick about William Livingston when he was courting her, and one such occasion I recall seeing her burst into tears in her embarrassment.
When William Livingston and family moved to Fountain Green in the early eighties, the home passed to the ownership of Thomas W. Livingston, who later moved to Spring City, Utah. This was a son of James C. Livingston. When William Livingston moved to Fountain Green, he and the two boys Will and Arch, with the load of furniture and household goods, stayed with us in Sandy the first night out. It was afer dark when they reached Sandy, they were off the right road and the two boys were so tired they were asleep before a bed could be made ready. Lily went down on the train. Ellen Dobbie made a visit to the family at Fountain Green and I made several visits in the near years following, that have always been a very pleasing recollection. At the funeral of William Livingston I was called upon to and did offer the prayer of dedication at the grave. I had gone to Mount Pleasant on the train and came over in a buggy with Robert Livingston, arriving after the services had begun in the ward chapel.
I had very little or rather few contacts with Archibald Livingston, as he was at the saw mills in Big Cottonwood Canyon, though with John and Ellen Dobbie I was at “mill F” in the early seventies for three summers. I do recall the wonder and joy that filled my heart, when on one Fourh of July he called me to the house where he then lived, at the corner of 7th East and 4th South Streets and gave me a whole bunch of fire crackers.
I have thus tried to recall some of the very simple and ordinary incidents that impressed themselves on my memory in my contacts with his family. That which I have written above has always been bright and clear in my memory, and I have had occasion to refer to some of the incidents to public addresses, especially at funeral services. When I think of the devotion of this family to the Church of Christ, the loyalty shown to its leaders and the firm adherence to its principles in the face of difficulties, I think of the one word to represent these splendid men and women, these pioneers, and that is INTEGRITY.
Notes on William Dobbie Kuhre
- Lived in Sandy Ward, East Jordan Stake
- Father: Martin Pedersen Kuhre
- Mother: Hansine Katrine Jenson; Born January 21, 1863, Ephraim, Sanpete County, Utah
- Born January 21, 1863, Ephraim, Sanpete County, Utah
- Baptized: February 24, 1876, Salt Lake City Utah by Samuel H. B. Smith
- Ordained a Patriarch: October 3, 1919, Salt Lake City by President Rudger Clawson
William Dobbie presented a petition to add Kuhre to his name:
LEGISLATURE - House, January 27 - Mr. Woolley presented a petition from William Dobbie, asking that his name be changed to WILLIAM DOBBIE KUHRE, the latter being the name of petitioner’s father who was killed by Indians in 1865, and Dobbie that of a relative who had adopted him as his son; referred to committee on Judiciary. (Journal History, 1886, January 27, page 4)
W. D. Kuhre - Son of Martin Pedersen Kuhre and Hansine K. Jenson, was born January 21 1863, in Ephraim, Sanpete County, Utah; both his parents being killed by Indians at Ephraim, October 17, 1865; he was adopted and raised by John Dobbie, of Manti. The Dobbie family shortly afterwards removed to Salt Lake City, taking the child with them. Mr. Kuhre removed to Sandy in 1881, and has resided there ever since. In 1888 he married Alice A. Brown, of West Jordan. They have six children. He was selected second counselor to Bishop James Jensen in 1892; and upon the division of the Salt Lake Stake he was called to the office of Bishop, and was set apart January 21, 1900, on his 37th birthday. (Jenson’s Bio. Encyc. P. 195) The ‘IMPROVEMENT ERA’ published in Volume 16 pp. 846-867.
The following links have some very interesting historical information relating to William Dobie Kuhre.
- Sandy Utah Historic District - Kuhre Mansion, 1887
- Utah State History - Ephraim Indian Massacre Monument
- The Keepapitchinin - The Mountain of the Lord's House
- Utah House Journal - William Dobbie's petition to change name to William Dobbie Kuhre
- The Hansen House Bed & Breakfast
- Saga of the Sanpitch - An Indian Summer Tragedy (starting on page 9)