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Taggart Family Newsletter
Volume XIII Spring 1998

Throughout the Newsletter click on
thumbnail pictures to see full-size versions.

Table of Contents

Complete information on the 1998 Taggart Family Reunion
August 14 -16 in Cody, Wyoming can be found in
the EVENTS section of the Web site.
















[Table of Contents] Volume XIII, Spring 1998

C Taggart George Henry & Jessie M. House Thumb.jpg (4573 bytes)
Original homestead of George Henry and Jessie McNiven Taggart

C Taggart Sidon Canal Thumb.jpg (4152 bytes)
The Sidon Canal where pioneer baptisms were held.

C Taggart Prayer Rock Thumb.jpg (4005 bytes)
Prayer Rock. In the way of the canal, the rock split in answer to pioneer prayers.

C Taggart Sidon Canal Sign Thumb.jpg (3972 bytes)
Sign explaining origin of Big Horn Basin settlers and Sidon Canal.

Photos: Chris Taggart

N.B Click on thumbnail pictures to see full-size versions.

George Henry Taggart from Book Oval Thumb.jpg (2487 bytes)Jesse McNiven From Book Oval Thumb.jpg (2400 bytes)At age fifty, George Henry Taggart, his wife Jessie McNiven Taggart, and their sixteen children left their comfortable home in Morgan, Utah to respond to a call by the LDS Church to help colonize the Big Horn Basin in northern Wyoming. George Henry is a son of George Washington Taggart and Fanny Parks Taggart.

Without financial aid from either the Church or the Federal government, the family of George and Jessie along with many others camped in tents on the parched and rattlesnake-infested sagebrush land while they built cabins and dug a thirty-seven mile long irrigation canal. William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) gave water rights and land to the LDS Church in exchange for their promise to colonize the area, thus fulfilling a dream of Buffalo Bill’s. The saints who settled in the area were helped out financially when the railroad hired them to extend rails into Wyoming. They witnessed a miracle in the building of the canal when through divine intervention a huge boulder was moved out of the canal’s way. Eventually, churches and schools were erected in the valley.

This year’s reunion in Cody, Wyoming will give GWT descendants an opportunity to learn more about this branch of the family. For a history of the settlement of the Big Horn Basin and stories about the George Henry and Jessie McNiven Taggart family’s experiences, please see Scott Taggart’s (George Henry-Fanny) account in the Taggart Family Newsletter, Vol. II, No.2, and Vol. III, Nos.1 and 2.

N.B. The following is the text of the Sidon Canal interpretive sign pictured at left and due to space constraints was not included in the newsletter.

Following Mormon settlement of the Salt Lake Valley beginning in 1847, church leaders envisioned a colonization of the entire inter-mountain region. In following decades, Mormons emigrated from Utah into Idaho, Arizona and Wyoming. Seeking to improve their economic status and following Mormon pioneering tradition, several hundred people in 1900 emigrated from Utah and Idaho to Wyoming's Big Horn Basin where they built a canal and a community.

Under the Carey Act of 1894 states were encouraged to sell arable public land cheaply following reclamation. But private reclamation projects required capital, and some were aborted as investors lost faith. Unlike other privately-financed projects, The Sidon Canal was built without a large amount of capital. Emigrants were organized into the Big Horn Colonization Company, an irrigation cooperative which offered company shares in exchange for labor. Upon arriving in the Basin workers plunged into canal construction, excavating with horse-drawn plows and slip scrapers. Near this point work was blocked by a sandstone boulder known as "Prayer Rock." According to legen, prayer and divine intervention caused the rock to split, allowing construction to continue and stregthening the emigrant faith in the canal project.

The 37-mile long canal was completed in less than two years. It still transports water from a headgate on the Shoshone River near the Big Horn-Park County line to a land segregation of approximately 20,000 acres. Its successful completion serves as an outstanding example of the cooperative effort and spirit of determination exhibited by Mormon pioneers in the American West.


[Table of Contents] Volume XIII, Spring 1998

Blaine & Susanna Taggart W Taggart Marker Only Thumb.jpg (4695 bytes)
Back of the Washington Taggart monument in Nauvoo, Illinois

Photos: Blaine and Susanna Taggart

N.B Click on thumbnail pictures to see full-size versions.

Blaine & Susanna Taggart W Taggart Marker Thumb.jpg (4279 bytes)Through the efforts of Elder Blaine Stratford Taggart (C. Jay-James Henry-George Henry-Fanny), his wife, Sister Susanna Allen Taggart, Steven L. Taggart, our GWT Family Organization Coordinator, and funds from the Taggart Family Organization, a monument has been placed in the Nauvoo cemetery in honor of Washington Taggart, father of George Washington Taggart. Blaine and Susanna are presently serving in the Illinois Peoria Mission with an assignment at the Nauvoo Historical Sites. In Susanna’s words: "What a privilege we have to serve in Historic Nauvoo. There is just no other call we would rather have received. This is such a beautiful, special place where so much Church history took place. Both of us have ancestors who lived here; to walk the same streets is a thrill. We live in the upstairs apartment over the Lyon Drug and Variety store. Conveniently, our present assignment is showing the drug store to visitors, but it has been our privilege to be tour guides in several of the twenty-four sites. We are also involved with the nightly productions shown at the Cultural Hall with Susanna having been named director.

"When we arrived in April 1997, one of the first things we did was visit the Lands and Records Office to see what family information was there. It was a thrill to have Taggart property identified. Both Taggart properties are out north of town where Legacy was filmed. There are no streets there now, just trees and grassy hills. It is truly beautiful.

"Early in the morning on our second day in Nauvoo, we visited the Pioneer Burial Grounds. What a sacred, hallowed spot! Records show the block, plot, lot and grave where Washington Taggart was buried. Upon visiting the pioneer cemetery, however, it was obvious the exact location of Washington’s grave would be hard to pinpoint since there were few markers existing in the block where he had been buried.

"Family records tell us that Washington’s wife, Susannah Law, died in 1845, in Nauvoo, but there is no Nauvoo record of her death or burial. George Washington’s brother, Oliver, had died the same day [or day before] as his father, but records are not clear where Oliver is buried. One source here in Nauvoo shows him next to Washington, but another lists a different lot with no grave number recorded. George Washington’s wife, Harriet Atkins Bruce, also is buried in this cemetery, but there is no location recorded.

"On succeeding trips to the Burial Grounds and after more research, we felt we had located the actual spot where Washington was buried. One day in June when our daughter, Julie Rabe, and family were visiting, using available reference points as well as a compass and long tape measure, we made careful measurements and marked the place. The grandchildren erected a marker and it was a special family outing.

"Feeling that it would be most appropriate if the descendants of Washington Taggart marked his grave, we made inquiry as to whether it might be possible to place a headstone. Obviously no other families had done this because there were no recent markers anywhere in the cemetery.

"We learned we would have to have permission from the brethren in Salt Lake City, therefore a letter with our intent would have to be submitted. Our marker would have to be in keeping with the headstones of the 1840’s era, it couldn’t be larger or of another color; we would have to know the exact location of his burial and substantiate that with records. If we were given the go-ahead, we would be required to submit another letter showing final details: size, lettering, materials to be used, etc. They would need to know exactly what it would look like, front and back, when it was finished.

"Feeling that this project might best be initiated by the Taggart Family Organization, we made contact with Steven Laird Taggart. Steve joined our excitement and drafted the initial letter. That letter appeared on the agenda of a Nauvoo Restoration Inc. director’s meeting in June. In attendance were Elder Boyd K. Packer, Elder V. Dallas Merrell, and area president, Elder Hugh W. Pinnock. They gave their approval for us to proceed. Eagerly we moved forward with Steve making contacts in Utah, and we worked here in Nauvoo.

"Specifications were taken to a monument maker in Warsaw, Illinois. A grey-white granite was selected, the shape being in keeping with the other headstones at the Pioneer Cemetery. Detailed options for lettering were faxed to Utah. The lettering style was selected, and several faxes later, the final engraving information was approved. Another letter with details was submitted to Nauvoo Restoration Inc. Nauvoo Restoration approval was eventually granted, and the stone was ordered.

"Though it took six months to accomplish, what satisfaction we felt on that November day [1997] when a beautiful, lasting memorial was placed in remembrance of our noble grandfather, Washington Taggart!"

We asked Blaine and Susanna to tell us a little about themselves to go with this story: "Blaine and Susanna Taggart have lived in Clearfield, Utah for the past thirty-four years. They have six children and eighteen grandchildren. They owned and operated Clearfield Taco Time until their retirement in November of 1995.

"Blaine is a graduate of the University of Utah. He had recently been a bishop in a married students’ ward in the Weber State University Stake. At the time of their mission call he was a high councilor in the Clearfield Stake. Susanna was serving in the Clearfield Stake Young Women’s Presidency."

In a letter from Susanna to Steve Taggart:

"Our daughter, Ann, and family stayed with us from December 27 [1997] to January 5 [1998]. What a treat! As we've done with all our visitors, we escorted them up to the cemetery which is a couple of miles out of town. From the parking lot the actual cemetery is a walk of a block or so along a narrow road through a wooded area. The day we went everything was beautifully blanketed with new-fallen snow. We all felt the sacred, peaceful beauty of the place.

"Again let me express what a delight working with you has been. We feel that something has really been accomplished here to perpetuate the Taggart name; we’ve been so glad to have been a part of it."

Susanna and Blaine are planning to send Steve a video tape showing Washington’s marker as well as a possible interview with Elder Jones, Nauvoo Restoration Inc. Director, which could be shown at this year’s reunion in Cody.


[Table of Contents] Volume XIII, Spring 1998

Website Home Page Thumb.jpg (6605 bytes)
GWT Website Graphic concept by Steve Berlin & Steve Taggart

One of the goals Steve Taggart (Ted-Henry Milton-Clarissa) had for the Taggart Family Organization was to eventually get our family on the Internet. He attributes a phone call this past year from Steven Lynn Berlin (Lynn-Ida Mae-Sarah Jane-Clarissa) to more than mere coincidence. During the conversation, Steve Taggart learned that Steve Berlin knew about computers, the Internet, and how to design web pages.

We are pleased to announce that the George Washington Taggart Family Organization Web Site is now in operation and can be instantly accessed by millions of people anywhere on earth. In words and pictures the Web site tells the story and celebrates the faith, character and accomplishments of our ancestors as well as our modern Taggart family members. Your active participation will help this new means of communicating reach its potential for strengthening the ties that bind us together. You can check on family events like the reunion, leave a message, read those of others and peruse the site’s growing content, mostly gleaned from our newsletters. Please visit the site and take a little time to explore. Leave a message in the guest book. Be sure to send an email message to the Webmaster so we know how to contact you. Finally, if you can contribute articles or some computer expertise to build the site, please let us know. Whether you live in Richville or Rome you can add to the enjoyment and edification of our family in this way. The address for the Web site is:


[Table of Contents] Volume XIII, Spring 1998
TAGGART FAMILY REPRESENTATIVES We thought you might like to know a little more about your Taggart Family Organization representatives:

Steven Laird Taggart
(Ted-Henry Milton-Clarissa)
Coordinator of GWT Family Organization

Steven L. Taggart Thumb.jpg (2246 bytes)Steve was born in Salt Lake City on March 18, 1940 to Edward Laird (Ted) and Ruth (Perschon) Taggart. He has one brother (deceased) and one sister.

Steve says his life really began when he met Judy Vance. He and Judy were married thirty-six years ago. They have six children, eleven grandchildren, and at least one grandchild on the way. Their children are: McKelle, married to Isaac; Tony, married to Feryeni; Barry, married to Susan; Tim, married to Kori; Casey, married to someone someday; and Maria, married to Steven.

Steve is a man of numerous accomplishments including the following: He is a member of the Board of Directors for National Equipment Corporation, Salt Lake City, a member of the Board of Directors for Utah Federal Credit Union, Salt Lake City, the Chair of the Salt Lake County Career Service Council, a past President of the Utah Association of Civil Service Commissions and Career Service Councils, President of SJ Associates, Inc., Salt Lake City, and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Granger-Hunter Improvement District.

Steve served a mission in Southern Australia. His service in the Church has included being a bishop, stake president, first counselor in a stake presidency, and Sunday school president; serving in bishoprics and stake presidencies for a total of eighteen years. Steve attends the Salt Lake Temple almost every Friday. His hobbies include photography, reading and travel.

Steve says, "I am totally absorbed in and enjoying my assignment and opportunity to work with the Taggart Family." Just how did Steve get involved as Coordinator of the GWT family? He says he literally felt haunted by the spirits of our ancestors, prompting and prodding him to call Spencer Taggart (James-Clarissa) and offer his help in whatever capacity that might be. Spencer had been hoping Steve would call with just such an offer, but was reluctant to press Steve into a position he might not want. The interesting thing is that Steve has enjoyed his involvement with the family so much that his enthusiasm is contagious. Sometimes he has even let his own business affairs take second place to Taggart matters. A lot of time is involved, but recently Steve admitted that if he’d known how much fun he'd have, he’d have called Spencer long ago. 

Christopher J. Taggart
(Hal-Grant-George Henry-Fanny),
Family Membership and Treasurer

The following article was submitted by Chris:

Chris Taggart Thumb.jpg (1882 bytes)"Christopher J. Taggart was born August 22, 1959 to Hal and Phyllis Taggart in Powell, Wyoming. Hal is the son of Grant, who is the sixteenth child of George Henry and Jessie McNiven Taggart. [Chris] has two brothers and two sisters, being the fourth of five children. He graduated from high school which is a big accomplishment for the Basin Saints. He then went on to graduate from BYU and graduate school from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Chris met his wife Elizabeth the first day of school in religion class at BYU, and so he can honestly say the Book of Mormon saved his soul. Chris and Betsy have four children, Matthew, Mark, Catherine, and Mary.

"Chris has been working with his brother, Jeff, in the insurance and securities business for the past twelve years. In that time he has been involved on the local and state level with the Wyoming Association of Life Underwriters serving as President in 1994. He has also been involved in politics on the local level, serving as President of the Cemetery Board, feeling that it is important because people are just dying to get in.

"Chris also served a mission to the Mississippi-Jackson Mission in 1978-1980. He has served in various Church positions, and currently is serving as the first counselor in the bishopric in the Cody Second Ward.

"Okay, that is it."  

Eileen Taggart Robinson
Newsletter Editor

Eileen Taggart Robinson Web Thumb.jpg (2587 bytes)In the past half century I was born to wonderful parents (Spencer & Ila), went to school, married Jeff, had five children (Jenny who married Scott, Mike who married Jalinda, Steve, Ari, and Rina), gained three grandchildren (James, John, and Dan), and then received an inheritance from my father: his job of newsletter editor!

In the past half century I’ve learned that I like daffodils, big oak trees, and summer sunrise on dew coated grass. I like John’s big blue eyes and Jalinda’s brown ones. I like dimples on James, Dan’s laugh, Scott’s voice, and Rina’s smile. I like horse chestnuts, pussy willows, pine cones, sea shells, and red sand.

I know what it’s like to be the mother of a child with epilepsy. I know how it feels to be the mother of a child with cancer. I know how hard it is to say goodbye to a son at the MTC. I know how it feels to be divorced (not from Jeff). I once loved a man who died in my arms.

I know what it’s like to meet a grandchild for the very first time. I like how my daughter grew up to be one of my best friends. I know how it feels to be loved. How it feels to have a prayer answered. I know how it feels to be hugged and even kissed by Patrick Ewing of the New York Knicks. I know what it’s like to live on an island, to sleep with a cat, to sleep in a treehouse, to sleep on a rock on a mountain under a full moon.

I like cardinals, bobwhites, teddy bears, rag dolls, Tom Hanks, sweatshirts, jeans, fireflies, and when Jeff makes me laugh. I like the taste of snowflakes, vinegar and Brussels sprouts, buttermilk and summer squash, and Hershey’s Almond Nuggets. I love the smell of bayberry, peppermint, purple iris, and lemon verbena, the sound of the ocean, the feel of clean sheets.

I love George Washington Taggart, our common ancestor. I love that George loved more than anything else, God, family, and country. I, too, love God, my country, and each of you - my family.  

Jane Poll
(Rhoda-Charles Wallace-Fanny),
Family History Representative

The following article was submitted by Jane:

Jane Poll descreened Web Thumb.jpg (3410 bytes)"Jane Mills Poll was born July 9, 1924, in Ogden, Utah. Her parents were Rhoda Lucinda Taggart and Samuel Mills.The following January her folks moved to Bothwell, Utah and lived on the ten acre farm that Charles Wallace and Mary Taggart had owned. "Her happy childhood was spent there helping with whatever chores were required of her and going to the little red schoolhouse across the road.

"In 1937, the family moved into Brigham City, Utah where it was easier for the family of girls to gain employment. We lived just three blocks from the grist mill George Washington Taggart built there, though we didn’t know it at the time.

"Here Rhoda became ill with bone cancer and the primary responsibility of her care fell upon Jane’s shoulders, the oldest child at home. Rhoda passed away at the age of forty-four on August 21, 1941.

"Jane graduated from Box Elder High School in 1942, and immediately went to work as a clerk-typist at Defense Depot Ogden, Ogden, Utah.

"She married Royal Vine Poll on December 12, 1945, in the Salt Lake Temple. They have had six children, four boys and two girls. They have lived on a farm in South Weber, Utah, where Vine worked at Hill Field and did his farm work and Church work as well.

"They have had three children go on missions and then Vine and Jane went on a mission in 1986-1987 to Charlotte, North Carolina, spending their time in Danville, Virginia. They loved the work.

"Their children all play musical instruments, as well as sing, and their parents spent much of their time attending concerts and ball games. Jane went back to work at Hill Air Force Base until Vine’s heart attack in 1983. The parents have also sung in choirs and Jane has directed them, along with Primary music. All are active in the LDS Church.

"Now I’m alone on the old family homestead in South Weber, and still pursuing my life-long love of genealogy. Family histories are being faithfully written to be passed onto future generations. We have had six children, thirty-four grandchildren, and now seven great-grandchildren, with four more expected before the year’s end.

"I’m grateful for my good health and hope I can always use it to do the things the Lord would want me to do."  

 Glenn B. Goodrich
(Byron-Eliza Ann-Harriet),
Director, Family History Representatives

The following article was submitted by Glenn:

Glenn Goodrich Web Thumb.jpg (3145 bytes)"Glenn B. Goodrich was born in Vernal, Utah, the son of Byron Goodrich, who was the son of George Albert Goodrich and Eliza Ann Taggart. Eliza was the first child of George Washington Taggart and the only child of Harriet Atkins Bruce, his first wife, who died in Nauvoo at the early age of 25 years.

"Glenn is married to Marilyn Beesley, a great-granddaughter of both Ebenezer Beesley and Orson Pratt. They have twelve children and forty-five grandchildren.

"Always active in Church and scouting, Glenn has served as a bishop, high councilor, counselor in a stake presidency, and many assignments with the youth. He is a recipient of the Silver Beaver award in scouting.

"He is in the process of retiring from the Utah Department of Transportation, and looks forward to many hours of chasing family lines.

"He loves hunting, fishing, skiing, camping, boating, and entertaining grandchildren while doing same. He was an active private pilot for twenty years."

 Steven Lynn Berlin
(Lynn-Ida Mae-Sarah Jane-Clarissa),
Taggart Web Site Webmaster

Slb3 Thumb.jpg (2786 bytes)I’m so taken with cousin Eileen’s unique and revealing bio I thought to take a few risks of my own.

I was born to goodly parents in Ogden, Utah, a safe and engaging place for a kid, at the leading edge of the baby boomers. Whatever is good about me you can credit my family who enveloped me in unconditional love. Growing up I had Mom and Dad, two sisters, a dog, and mountains in my backyard for what I thought was my own private playground.

I went to my beloved México, taught the gospel, learned Spanish and got my eyes opened to the wonder of other cultures. Came back, went to school, got married, had two extraordinary children, Todd and Shannon, and had a ball sharing everything with them from how you walk, to the chemistry of blood gases. These great kids and now my four gorgeous grandchildren are the light of my life.

For more than twenty years I ran hospital laboratories and did science. A few years ago, with a hint of entrepreneurial bravado, I changed careers and with my partner Jan, founded a small business. The ensuing experiences have immensely deepened my appreciation for all those true capitalists among us who work without a net, create jobs, meet a payroll, pour all their time and resources into an enterprise and at the end of the day make a profit.

In my sojourn so far on earth I’ve found in myself and others the heights and depths of life—its joys and sorrows, rewards and punishments, accomplishments and lost opportunities, beauty and ugliness, nobility and baseness, loyalty and betrayal, virtue and sin, learning and forgetting, life and death and those opposites: love and indifference. I revel in what is gloriously best about our world and grieve for the unaddressed human suffering here.

As I age several things happen. I grow hair in dreadful places I never expected. I get steadily more interested in history. My connections to family, including those who have come before my time, intensify and deepen. My admiration for their faith and strength and my tolerance of their foibles all increase in proportion to my own maturity and ability to vividly imagine their lives and circumstances. I admire goodness more and acquisitiveness less. I cry in many movies and all funerals.

I love great music, art, ideas, language, historic places, unsung heroes, relatives and pioneers. I know the daily aches from getting divorced, losing my sweet dad and having my sister suddenly leave. At the same time, I know a thousand joys including the fun of finding an ancestor’s name in old records and walking the streets of their Swedish or Dutch or German village with my sisters.

With you I celebrate my Taggart pioneer heritage. My heart brims with appreciation for the goodness, fidelity and bravery of George Washington Taggart and his wives. I’m not sure I’d have had the grit to measure up as well as they did, but I’m sure glad I have their blood in my veins.

Wendy Brimhall Kremin
(Dell-Veda-Harriet Penelope-
Eliza Ann-Harriet),
Family History Representative

The following article was submitted by Wendy:

Wendy Kremin 200% Web Thumb.jpg (2268 bytes)"Hello, to my long, lost cous ins! I was so thrilled to meet Steve Taggart in the Salt Lake Temple one day in December, and find out about the Taggarts. I came from Harriet Atkins Bruce, but have known little about her except when and where she died. Many years ago I was able to see the old ceme- tery in Nauvoo, and felt reverence for her knowing she was buried there. I could imagine the sorrow of her husband and baby daughter as they laid their dear wife and mother to rest. I have grown to love her and was thrilled to learn about her life and see her lovely face on the Web site. It is a great honor for me to be included in this great family organization, and I will do my best to find more information on this faithful grandmother of mine. "I am the youngest of nine children born to Dell and Viola Brimhall. I am married to Calvin Kremin and we have four children: Whitney 15, Cassidy 12, Spencer 10, and Nathan 19 months. Calvin is a Nurse Anesthetist for the US Air Force and he is stationed at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah. I grew up in Salt Lake City, and Cal is from Vernal, so we are happy to be home. We recently returned from a three year tour in Tokyo, Japan. We loved living there. I am so excited to meet more of you, and know that the spirit of Eli jah is real and strong. I'm grateful for the wonder ful heritage that we all share, and can't wait to learn more!"

Jeanette Taggart Holmes
(Bruce-George Henry-Fanny),
Family History Representative

The following article was submitted by Jeanette:

Jeanette Holmes Web Retouched Thumb.jpg (2938 bytes)"Jeanette was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 3, 1923 the second of five children. She attended Lafayette Grammar School which, at that time, was across the street from the present high rise office building of the LDS Church at the corner of State Street and North Temple. The school later became the Missionary Training Center for a few years. The family moved to Price, Utah for a short time and later to Billings, Montana. The family lived in Billings for about six years where they were able to enjoy frequent family visits with their Taggart relatives in Cowley and Cody, Wyoming. "After the death of her father, the family returned to Salt Lake City where she attended high school, graduating a year early. She served as a student officer, as editor of the school newspaper, and as a member of the school debate team which won first place in the Utah State Debate Championships. While attending school, she worked at a variety of different jobs. After high school, she attended the University of Utah. She was awarded three separate scholarships at high school graduation - one in debate, one in journalism, and the third for being selected as the outstanding high school graduate in the Salt Lake County high schools.

"In June 1943, she married her high school-college sweetheart Gordon Holmes, and they moved to Palo Alto, California where he attended Stanford Medical School. She took a job at the medical school and, in addition, worked as a volunteer for the Red Cross. (This was during World War II.) After medical school graduation, they moved to Sacramento, California where he served as a flight surgeon in the Air Force at both Mather Field and at McClellan Field. At the end of the war, they returned to San Francisco where he took a surgical residency at Stanford Medical School and she again took a job at the same school.

"It was at this time that the nations of the world met in world conference at San Francisco to establish the United Nations. Jeanette took the job as Secretary of Hospitality and Entertainment for the United Nations. This was truly a unique opportunity and was a most interesting and significant experience.

"Upon completion of Gordon’s surgical residency, they moved to Berkeley, Ca., where he began his surgical practice. He had two sisters and two brothers living in the area. Two years later, they removed to Lafayette, California, a Berkeley suburb, where they lived for thirty-two years.

"Jeanette has five children, four sons and a daughter, and twelve grandchildren. The children are: James Gordon Holmes, Jr. now of Salt Lake City, Utah, Dr. Jeffrey Taggart Holmes, now of Los Gatos, California, John Taggart Holmes, now of San Diego, California, Dr. Alexander Taggart Holmes, now of Monterey, California, Elizabeth Anne Taggart Holmes, wife of Michael McRae Talley, now of Danville, California.

"Jeanette served for ten years as a Cub Scout leader and four years as a Girl Scout leader. She served also as primary president, relief society president, young women’s president, as a teacher, stake leader, activities chairman, and family history volunteer at the Oakland Family History Library. These positions were in addition to many fund-raising duties for ward building fund drives, welfare dinners, welfare farm assignments, ward and stake welfare canning assignments at the regional Church cannery and many community civic services.

"She also took a correspondence course in interior decorating from the New York School of Interior Design as well as many courses in genealogy and computer science. Today she is still going to school to improve her skills in computer genealogy and regularly attends classes and seminars in the area, including monthly meetings in Silicon Valley sponsored by the Silicon Valley Personal Ancestral File User Group.

"Her hobbies have been gardening, golf, tennis, skiing, knitting, quilting, genealogy, and travel. For the last twenty years, after her family activities, these hobbies have been gradually replaced by her almost total devotion to genealogy and family history research. She teaches genealogy classes, volunteers weekly at the Danville Stake Family History Library, and is a genealogy consultant in her ward, spending many hours helping others (members and many non-members) to do their own personal family searches.

"Her personal library is a testimony to the time and effort she has expended in her own family search. The shelves of binders in her bookcases record the over fifteen thousand ordinances which she submitted and which were cleared for temple work. These were in addition to the many more thousands which she submitted which were found to have been done or submitted by others.

"She has written three short overviews of some of her ancestors, and presently is working to complete the story of her Puritan New England Taggart and Parks family ancestors. Much of her time is spent in documenting information and correcting many of the errors which are found on many of the sources available to researchers. Over the years these errors have been repeated and proliferated in many published books and histories. She has become strongly committed to the motto ‘No more Junk Genealogy.’

"Jeanette states that she has an unwavering testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel as taught in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and she feels a deep gratitude for her staunch and honorable ancestry - for their sterling examples of service, sacrifice, loyalty, commitment, and integrity! One of her favorite quotes (which she found in her family research) was in the History of Windham, New Hampshire, (a center of many of our Scots-Irish ancestors). It read ‘MEN DIE. EXAMPLES AND PRINCIPLES LIVE.’ These six words pretty much sum up her philosophy of life."

‘It is indeed a desirable thing to be well descended, but the glory belongs to our ancestors.’

- Plutarch

 Lawrence C. Taggart
(Leonard-Henry Milton-Clarissa),
Family History Representative

The following article was submitted by Larry:

Larry Taggart Thumb.jpg (2505 bytes)"Henry Milton Taggart was the eleventh child born to George Washington Taggart and Clarissa Marina Rogers, and was born on March 9, 1875. He married Mary Laird in the Salt Lake Temple November 18, 1898, and they had five children: Milton Henry, born August 3, 1899; Edward Laird, born January 20, 1902; Leonard Laird, born December 24, 1905; Renold Laird, born August 7, 1909; and LaVella, born October 27, 1914. LaVella Burt is the last living of these five children. "Leonard (Lynn), who was the third child, married Annie Mason April 15, 1934, in the Salt Lake Temple, and they have one child, Lawrence Cloud (Larry) Taggart.

"Larry married Charlotte Annette Baggett October 23, 1959, in the Salt Lake Temple, and they have two children: Lori Ann, born June 8, 1965, and Bradley Leonard, born May 7, 1968.

"Larry and his family have resided in West Jordan, Utah for the past twenty years. Larry is the family representative for the Henry Milton Taggart line. He has been employed by Salt Lake County Flood Control as a Hydraulics Engineer for the past twenty-four years, and plans to take an early retirement the end of this year. He hopes to have more time to spend on genealogy after that time.

"A list of genealogical information pertaining to Henry Milton Taggart can be sent to you upon request. These are presently on the old legal size format, but will also be available next year on the current 8 1/2" X 11" size format."

Connie Berlin Hazen
(Lynn-Ida Mae-Sarah Jane-Clarissa),
Family History Representative

Connie Hazen C 2 small Thumb.jpg (2547 bytes)Connie has strong emotional and spiritual ties to her ancestors. As a result, family history and genealogy have been an important part of her life since she was a girl. Her enthusiasm for these pursuits is infectious and she has managed to enlist others in the work, thus bringing to them too, the blessings that accompany it. She is proud to be a Taggart for the Taggarts have always been special to her. She felt touched by the spirits of our ancestors when she visited the Taggart home and graves in New Hampshire. She finds the cemetery in Nauvoo where some of the Taggarts are buried, a peaceful, pretty and comforting place even though she can keenly sense the joy, sorrows, travail and toil our family experienced there. She joined the Daughters of the American Revolution under the name of James Taggart. Connie loves doing genealogy work and spends as much time as she can at it. Her current work and greatest expertise is in Dutch genealogy. She has visited ancestral homes in Sweden, Holland, and Germany on several European trips with her sister Lani (now in heaven) and her brother Steven. She has lived in Chicago, North Dakota, and Utah.

Connie is married to Dr. Robert D. Hazen. They live in Bountiful, Utah. Bob is a dentist and Connie is trained as a Registered Nurse. They have four beautiful children and ten darling grandchildren whom they adore. They are presently building a cabin on their lot in Island Park, Idaho so they can have a place where all their family can enjoy being together.


[Table of Contents] Volume XIII, Spring 1998
Appreciation and Family Fund We would like to extend special thanks to Rosemary (Melba-Horace-Jane-Clarissa) and Ray Rawlins for years of help by maintaining a computer mailing list and printing address labels for previous newsletters. The job has now been taken over by our mailing service.

We would also like to thank Spencer Laird Taggart (James-Clarissa) for being willing to keep on in the very important role of Advisor. A tribute to him and his work in helping to preserve our family's history can be found on the Taggart Family Web Site:


We wish to express our sincere appreciation for the financial support you give to us. Your contributions help sustain our newsletter, reunions, genealogical research and other family projects and activities. Please send contributions to:

Chris Taggart, PO Box 2936, Cody, WY 82414.

Following is a list of recent contributors: Dorothy Taggart Dahle Clark, Steven L. and Judy Taggart, Spencer L. and Ila Taggart, Jani Ashment, Charles and Rodonna Bowman, Garry and Karen Graham, Ethel T. Christensen, Joseph and Grace Jensen, Blaine and Susanna Taggart, Winfield and LaRee Scott, Dan and LaNae Wheatley, Timothy and Crystal Hahn, Lee and Paula Roberts, Rusty and Ann Bayles, SimDot, Mary Louise Greever, Steve Berlin, Fern Baldwin, William and Barbara Benac, Barry and Susan Taggart, Shirley Berlin, Thomas and Enid Brown, Floyd and Sharon Mangum, Glenn and Marilyn Goodrich, and Jeff and Eileen Robinson.


[Table of Contents] Volume XIII, Spring 1998
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE GEORGE WASHINGTON TAGGART FAMILY: Bound copies of the Taggart Family Newsletters (1980-1992), edited by Spencer L. Taggart (James-Clarissa), are available for $50 each from Steven L. Taggart, Coordinator, GWT Family Organization (see address on Who Are We? Web page).

Copies of George Washington Taggart’s Mormon Battalion Journal, including four letters written by George to his wife Fanny, and an addendum written by Spencer L. Taggart (James-Clarissa) (first printed in 1978) are available for $10 from Steven L. Taggart, Coordinator, GWT Family Organization.

Copies of a life sketch of George Washington Taggart (1998, soft cover, about 30 pages) written by Eileen Taggart Robinson (Spencer-James-Clarissa) will be available at the reunion in Cody. This story and George Washington Taggart’s Battalion Journal are also available on the Internet on the George Washington Taggart Family Organization Web Site on the Writings page.

For additional information on the Mormon Battalion with references to George Washington Taggart see: The Mormon Battalion, U.S. Army of the West, 1846-1848 by Norma Baldwin Ricketts, paperback, 375 pages, $20+, Utah State University Press, Logan, Utah, 1996


[Table of Contents] Volume XIII, Spring 1998

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Rick & Evelyn McConkie, authors of: George Washington Taggart, Member of the Mormon Battalion, His Life and Times and His Wives, Harriet Atkins Bruce, Fanny Parks, Clarissa Marina Rogers, and Their Ancestors 1711-1901

N.B Click on thumbnail pictures to see full-size versions.

Forrest Rick McConkie (Jennie-Parley-Harriet Maria-Fanny) and his wife Evelyn McConkie have written a book entitled: George Washington Taggart, Member of the Mormon Battalion, His Life and Times and His Wives, Harriet Atkins Bruce, Fanny Parks, Clarissa Marina Rogers, and Their Ancestors 1711-1901. (Published by Jennie’s Family Histories, 1997, 315+ pages.) The first printing is already sold out, but Rick and Evelyn are willing to see what they can do about getting a second printing if enough people are interested. You can contact Rick and Evelyn by email or at PO Box 702094, West Valley, UT 84070. They are taking $20 down payments and think the book would cost between $25 and $30.

We asked Rick and Evelyn to tell the family a little about themselves and the book they have written:


"Rick McConkie, son of Reed Smoot McConkie and Jennie Goodrich McConkie, was born in Roosevelt, Duchesne County, Utah, on September 20, 1949. Rick was raised in Tridell, Utah. He attended high school at Union High and graduated from West High School in Salt Lake. He attended Stevens Henager Business College and LDS Business College. Rick has worked the last thirty years in Materials, Research, Auditing and Information Services for the State of Utah.

"Evelyn Nichols McConkie, daughter of Willard Thomas Nichols and Violet Evelyn Ross, was born on December 16, 1948, and raised in Park City, Summit County, Utah. Evelyn attended Park City High School, Stevens Henager Business College and the University of Utah. She has worked as a legal secretary for the past thirteen years and has extensive background working with a publishing company typing, editing, proofreading, and doing layout. "Rick is currently executive secretary to the stake presidency of their stake. Rick and Evelyn have served as ordinance workers at the Jordan River Temple since August 1991. Rick and Evelyn have been involved with teaching family history at the ward and stake levels on and off for the past ten years.

"We have a desire and goal to publish as many family histories as possible to record our rich legacy for our children and grandchildren. We are very grateful to Rick’s mother, Jennie McConkie, for helping with this quest. We firmly believe that it is through getting to know our ancestors and putting together their histories that our families will be strengthened and the work of our Father in Heaven carried forth.

"George Washington Taggart was a four year endeavor to record in one volume that legacy for our five children and now six grandchildren. We are deeply grateful for all the research that has been done, of which we’ve taken liberal advantage of, and without which we could not have attempted such an effort. We must acknowledge many for their efforts in researching and preserving our rich heritage.

"Our ancestors all remained strong in times when it was difficult and many times dangerous to hold their heads high and admit, ‘Yes I’m a Mormon.’ They each held tight to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when many fell away. They continued on when it would have been easy to simply quit, say I’ve been fooled, I was wrong, or the Prophet has fallen. When life would have been much easier just to turn back and forget it, they held firm in their belief to their death. But more than that they lived and taught what they believed. Their very lives were their testimony. They left a posterity with a grand legacy, and an ancestry to be proud of for what they accomplished with their lives.

"The purpose in compiling this volume is simply to honor their lives and make a record for posterity. Our deepest prayer is that we’ve done their story justice as we know without any doubt, we one day have to account to all our ancestors for the life they gave us.

"The last year became much more than a time of putting this book together. It provided many hours of comfort when times got very difficult due to the senseless murder of our daughter, Jeannette. Sleepless nights turned into book writing and editing sessions. We know that Jeannette is now with this special part of our family."


[Table of Contents] Volume XIII, Spring 1998
TAGGART COUSINS VIEW ORIGINAL FAMILY DOCUMENTS On January 21, 1998, a few of George Washington Taggart’s descendants had the opportunity to meet at the Church Historian’s Office in Salt Lake City to view the original handwritten journal George kept on his travels with the Mormon Battalion, as well as his Day Book, and several letters written by George, his brothers, and mother.

Rick McConkie made the arrangements for the meeting. Descendants from each of George Washington Taggart’s wives were represented in the group as follows: Rick, Steve Taggart, Barry Taggart (Steve-Ted-Henry Milton-Clarissa), Steve Berlin, Connie Hazen, Glenn Goodrich, and Eileen Robinson.

What a thrill and also a sacred experience it was to actually see and carefully handle these precious documents from our family’s history. George’s journal is small enough to fit in a shirt pocket. It is two volumes of folded, lined paper. The journal is handsewn, coverless, and written in pencil.

Each of the letters was folded to create its own envelope and on some could be seen the remains of sealing wax. Seeing the heartrending letters our early Taggart family members wrote to each other in their own handwriting in the 1800’s was truly inspiring. We ended our get-together with a pleasant lunch and much animated talk about family, past and present.


[Table of Contents] Volume XIII, Spring 1998

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Harriet's sampler, bible and porcelain portraits are in the possession of Lela Johnson (Byron-Eliza Ann- Harriet) Photo: Glenn Goodrich

N.B Click on thumbnail pictures to see full-size versions.

Two letters written in the 1840’s by Naamah Carter Young to her brothers and sisters in Peterborough, New Hampshire, mention George Washington Taggart. Naamah (Amy) Carter Young was GWT’s first cousin. Her mother, Elizabeth Law Carter (married to Billings Carter) and GWT’s mother, Susannah Law Taggart (married to Washington Taggart) were sisters.

At the end of a letter addressed to "Dear Sister" from the "Camp of Israel" and dated December 29, 1846, Naamah wrote a postscript: "P.S. Give my love to Mrs. Brus[c]e and tell her that George Taggart is in the mormon Battalion but his wife is here and that Hariet’s Child is well and enjoy very good health."

On December 19, 1847, she wrote in a letter addressed to "Beloved Brothers and Sisters" from "Counsel Bluffs" the following about GWT: "(George Taggart returned last Friday night from the army he is very nigh wore out on account of the hardships he has passed through not haveing enough to eat for many days they had nothin to eat but their horses and mules that give out and could not travel they would kill them and eat them he looks very old I should not known him if I had seen him any where else but at his own house he says that Mrs. Bruce can’t have that Child for he thinks to much of it to send her so far from home he want to know what Hariet and Martha are up to and I move they write hime a long letter and send for it will do him good tell samuel [George’s brother] if he’s there that G. is here so he can write to him and write all the new he can think of, all the Peterborough folks as well"

Naamah’s letter dated December 19, 1847, was written the day after George Washington Taggart arrived in Winter Quarters after having been discharged from the Mormon Battalion. It had been nearly two years since he had seen his wife Fanny and young daughter Eliza Ann.

Of the five hundred Mormon Battalion soldiers, George was one of three hundred and thirty-five who made it to California. After their discharge, he was one of one hundred and eighteen who went to the Valley of the Salt Lake in search of their families. Not finding their families, George and thirty-one others left two days later (October 18, 1847) to travel on to Winter Quarters. These thirty-two men left all their food and supplies with the destitute saints in the Salt Lake Valley except for what they needed to get them to Fort Bridger. But upon finding no flour or supplies to be purchased either at Fort Bridger or Fort Laramie they traveled on to Winter Quarters barely surviving on buffalo, game, and in the end, their worn out horses and mules, arriving on December 18, 1847. (See Norma Ricketts, The Mormon Battalion, U.S. Army of the West, 1846-1847)

In a letter George wrote to his brothers Albert, Samuel, and Henry on April 2, 1848, he described this last part of his journey: "We were five months coming home, or rather to our families, in which time we suffered considerably from heat and thirst, but more particularly from cold and hunger. For our provisions were exhausted at Fort Laramie, and here we could not replenish [them] for two good reasons, the first was we were almost entirely out of money and the next was there were no provisions at the Fort. Therefore we had to depend [word partly blotted out] entirely upon the buffalo for supplies for the remaining part of our journey which was 500 miles, the last 200 miles of which we had to subsist almost entirely upon our worn out mules and horses which you may suppose was not very good meat." (see Taggart Family Newsletter, Vol.IV, No.2, May 1984, p.3-5) As far as we know, Geo-rge received no letters from or information about his wife Fanny to whom he had only been married a few months when he left with the Battalion. Eliza Ann, born to George and his first wife, Harriet Atkins Bruce (who died a little less than two years after arriving in Nauvoo), had been left in Fanny’s care. Eliza was nearly four when George returned and according to Fanny, had forgotten her father. The Mrs. Bruce mentioned in Naamah’s letter could be Eliza Ann’s maternal grandmother or other relative on her mother’s side of the family. Harriet Atkins Bruce seems to be the only one of her family to have joined the LDS Church. The comments in Naamah's letters not only show the Bruce family’s concern for the welfare of young Eliza Ann, but also George’s opinion on the matter. He had just completed a more than 4,000 mile trek, mostly on foot, to return to his wife and daughter.

From the book History of Peterborough, New Hampshire by George Abbot Morison (Rindge, NH: Richard R. Smith, 1954, p.191-192): "Naamah Kendall Jenkins Carter, daughter of Billings and Betsy [Elizabeth] Law Carter, was born in Wilmington, Massachusetts March 20, 1821, moved with her parents to Sharon, New Hampshire and from there to Peterboro. Was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints April 3, 1842. Went to Nau-voo in March 1845 where she married John Sanders Twiss. Brother Twiss died September 10, 1845 and Sister Twiss was married to President Brigham Young January 26, 1846. She moved with the rest of the President's family to Salt Lake Valley in 1848... She is rather small in stature, fair complexion, kindly and affectionate, genial in disposition and devoted to the principles of the Gospel as revealed through Joseph Smith and affirmed by the Lord in the light of her husband Brigham Young."

We are indebted to James Wendell Bayles (Velma-James-Clarissa) and Bill Carter, Jr. of Topeka, Kansas for bringing Naamah’s letters to our attention. Bill is doing research on the Mormon Battalion and upon hearing that Jim had a copy of his great-grandfather’s (GWT’s) Battalion journal, told him he had a typescript of letters he’d made mentioning a George Taggart in the Battalion. Bill Carter is related to Naamah Carter Young through her father, Billings Carter. GWT descendants are related to Naamah through her mother, Elizabeth Law Carter.

Five letters of Naamah C. Young including the two mentioned here can be seen on microfilm in the LDS Church Archives in Salt Lake City. (See Naamah Kendall Jenkins Carter Young, 5 letters / MS 156.)

Naamah is also mentioned in a letter from GWT’s brother Samuel to their brother Albert written on December 14, 1845: "Mother, I suppose, is dead. I haven’t had any letter from there [Nauvoo] but Susan Carter [Mrs. Thomas Nichols, Naamah’s sister] had a letter from Amy [Naamah] last week and said in her letter that Aunt died about afortnit before. I don’t know that she has any other aunt here, so I suppose that it must be Mother." (see Taggart Family Newsletter, Vol.IV, No.1, December 1983, p.10) 


[Table of Contents] Volume XIII, Spring 1998

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Steve Taggart Taggart Lake Thumb.jpg (3085 bytes)

Photos: Steven L. Taggart

N.B Click on thumbnail pictures to see full-size versions.

What is the origin of the name of Taggart Lake, Taggart Glacier, and Taggart Creek in the Grand Teton National Park?

In 1860, W. Rush Taggart accompanied Jim Bridger, Captain William F. Raynolds and the Army Engineers on an expedition into Jackson Hole. The Federal government sought topographical information on the West and in particular was interested in the potential for railroad routes. Also in the group was a geologist named Ferdinand Vandiver Hayden, who in the 1870’s, led several geological survey teams into the Rocky Mountain area to map, survey, and name topographical features. In 1872, one of two glacial lakes at the eastern foot of the Teton Range was named in honor of geologist, W. Rush Taggart. We GWT descendants are curious. Does anyone know if W. Rush Taggart is related to us?


[Table of Contents] Volume XIII, Spring 1998
MICHELLE TAGGART Do any of you know Michelle Taggart of Salem, Oregon, who competed on the US Olympic Snowboarding Team in Nagano, Japan, this year? Please let us know if you know whether she is a GWT descendant.

From an article in the February 6, 1998, issue of USA Today we quote: "Making the USA team is a big change for halfpipe specialist Michelle Taggart. ‘I’ve been in sports my whole life,’ the 27-year-old former Oregon State volleyball player said, ‘and never even watched the Olympics. I never would have considered that this would be an Olympic sport, and I am grateful that I have this opportunity. I began snowboarding never with that in mind. I just snowboarded because I love it. Now that I am here, I really appreciate it.’"


[Table of Contents] Volume XIII, Spring 1998
FROM YOUR LETTERS From Jeanette Taggart Holmes (Bruce-George Henry-Fanny): Thanks to Jeanette for sending the following information from an article on Reuben Law (GWT’s maternal grandfather) found in The National Historical Magazine, Vol. 79, LDS Genealogical Society Library, call no. 973 B2dar, page 84. The article is entitled, "Reminders of Revolutionary Days," by Martha Taylor Howard (Mrs. George Howard). "It was to Sharon, N.H., that my great, great grandfather Reuben Law came once upon a time. He had been one of the Minute Men from Acton, Massachusetts, at the Old North Bridge at Concord on April 19, 1775. When the N.H. Grants were opened for Revolutionary soldiers and others he evidently went to Sharon and took a claim.

"My grandmother, Susan Law Taylor, who was born in 1808 at Acton knew her Revolutionary grandfathers. She used to tell me about them. On the Alarm of the morning of April 19th when the Acton Minute Men gathered on the Common the young wife of Capt. Isaac Davis who commanded them, powdered their wigs so they might look the equals of the Red Coats. At the battle that morning Capt. Davis fell mortally wounded. My ancestor stood next in line and his queue [pigtail of his wig] was shot off. My grandmother used to say with a chuckle that Reuben Law said, ‘It was a close shave.’ I thought that was a bit of New England humor which she put in herself. But in later years when doing some genealogical work at the library of the New England Historic and Genealogical Society within the shadow of the Boston State House, I found the History of Jaffrey, N.H., which contained items about the nearby town of Sharon, and there I found the very, very words which my grandmother used--accredited to Reuben Law, so they must have been authentic.

"Reuben Law’s services in the Revolution are recorded in the Muster Rolls of Massachusetts. He was at Bunker Hill and elsewhere. On January 13, 1777, he married in Acton Alice Piper, daughter of Joseph Piper who also had been a Minute Man at Concord. The Acton Vital Records give the times when some of their children were baptized there. Just when he made the trip to Sharon no one knows. The oldest residents of Sharon in the years gone by who knew him, handed down the tradition that Reuben Law came there in the dead of winter from Acton, bringing his supplies on a hand sled. He made his camp on a large boulder part way up a hill. He employed his time the balance of the winter in felling trees, building a log house and clearing the land. In the spring he returned to Acton and brought his family to the new home. There he lived and labored the balance of his life. He cleared and entirely fenced with stone walls two hundred acres. He was known always as ‘Leftenant Law’."

From Anne Chambers (Alice-Scott-George Henry-Fanny): Anne wrote that a few years ago she received a Xerox sheet showing that the George Washington Taggart family is related to John Adams, 2nd U.S. President, through a son of John Adams named Henry. Anne believes this to be untrue as the first descendant of John and Abigail Adams named Henry, is a grandson of John Quincy Adams. That Henry Adams had no children. She gives the following sources for her information: Nagel, Paul C., Descent From Glory, 4 Generations of the Adams Family, p.2; and Adams, James Truslow, The Adams Family, Boston, Little, Brown & Co., 1930, p.328.

From Rusty Bayles (J. Wendell-Velma-James-Clarissa): In the summer of 1997 Rusty participated as a company captain in a reenactment of a segment of the Martin and Willie Handcart Trek. His group pulled handcarts for about twelve miles from near Independence Rock to Devils Gate, and past Martin’s Cove.

Two of the sons of George Washington and Clarissa Taggart married two of the daughters of Edward Laird, son of James and Mary Laird who were members of the Willie Handcart Company. Rusty shared the following stories about Mary and James Laird with his group on the trek and with us:

"Mary had three prized possessions: a pretty set of baby clothes, a new suit for James, and a new green silk dress. Even though the cart was heavily loaded and burdensome to pull, she never discarded these treasures. At Fort Laramie Mary traded her baby clothes to a Captain’s wife, with a baby, for a quart of sugar. Elizabeth [Mary’s baby] was weaned and lived on sugar and water until the relief wagons arrived. Once in Salt Lake City, the suit was loaned to a man who was leaving on a mission, but it was never returned; the dress was made over into temple aprons.

"James loved his Scottish companions in the Company. One night after securing his own family safely in camp, he went back on the trail a mile where he found Brother Booth, whom he had noticed was missing. Brother Booth was too ill to walk. There were also others with him who were about to give up. Not knowing what to do, James hit on the idea of boxing their ears to arouse their anger and pride. He followed them into camp carrying Brother Booth on his back most of the way. Later, Brother Booth often told how James had saved his life. But James gave the credit to God."

These stories were written by Spencer L. Taggart (James-Clarissa) from information he read in the James Laird Family by Violet Winmill (granddaughter of James Laird).

One more story about James Laird from Violet Winmill’s account: "One of Grandfather’s tasks was to help bury those who died during the nights. One morning Captain Willie said, ‘Brother Laird we have more to lay away this morning.’ Grandfather had never refused before but he was losing strength daily and it frightened him. He was hoping his strength would last until he got his family to safety. Grandfather said, ‘Captain Willie I am afraid to use the shovel this morning.’ The captain handed him a handful of corn saying, ‘eat this and come and help.’ Grandfather was about to eat then he looked at his family. He had often shared his portion of food with them. Grandmother said, ‘Eat that corn James to save your strength as I can never make the trip with baby [Elizabeth] nursing.’ Often after nursing the baby’s mouth would be streaked with blood. Grandfather walked to grandmother, put the corn into her lap. He picked up the shovel and strength came to him that remained during the rest of the journey."


[Table of Contents] Volume XIII, Spring 1998

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This is the fife that George Washington Taggart made and carried with him for 4,000 miles as a member of the Mormon Battalion.
Photo: Glenn B. Goodrich

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Another view of GWT's fife.
Photo: Glenn B. Goodrich

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Edis Taggart
Photo: Steven L. Taggart

N.B Click on thumbnail pictures to see full-size versions.

George Washington Taggart was a talented musician who played the fife, wrote at least one ballad, and made fifes, violins, guitars and other instruments. He played the fife in the Nauvoo Legion Band, including the time the band accompanied the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum Smith when they were brought from Carthage to Nauvoo. He enlisted in the Mormon Battalion as a Musician (Fifer) in Company B, playing a fife he made himself. The musicians would be the first called to rise in the morning to beat an assembly to wake the rest of the soldiers. The last couple of weeks before reaching San Diego were especially difficult for the Battalion as many were without shoes, they were crossing a desert which was hot during the day and freezing at night (January 1846), they were without adequate clothing or food, and at one point they "completed a march of nearly sixty miles in forty-eight hours...without water." (Norma B. Ricketts, The Mormon Battalion, U.S. Army of the West, 1846-1848, p.113.)

George’s son Frederick (Clarissa) said he remembered his father telling how he went without water until his tongue swelled and how he led his mules to preserve them until his feet bled. (Rick McConkie, George Washington Taggart, His Life and Times, p.102.)

George’s Battalion journal ends on January 11, 1847, in mid-sentence. On January 16, Sergeant William Coray of Company B recorded: "The Col. ordered the officer of the day to call up the musicians at one o'clock [a.m.] to beat an assembly and we would move on for water. No feed yet for the mules, and it is a sin the way they are dying off. Part of the command did not get to the camp during the day, such was the extreme suffering of the Mormon Battalion. Three days without water and if the fresh beef had not met us nothing could have saved our lives but the unseen hand of Almighty God...we had passed a large desert the worst place we had encountered since we left the states." (Ricketts, p. 113) George Washington Taggart would have been one of those musicians called to play his fife at 1:00 a.m. with his swollen tongue. He carried this fife more than four thousand miles from the time he left Nauvoo until the time he arrived in Winter Quarters and was reunited with his wife Fanny and daughter Eliza Ann.

George’s fife is still in existence and we are most grateful to Edis Taggart (Frederick-Clarissa) of Lewiston, Utah for very generously donating it to the LDS Church Museum of History and Art in Salt Lake City.


[Table of Contents] Volume XIII, Spring 1998
REPORT ON 1992 AND 1994 TAGGART REUNIONS The following article was submitted by Spencer L. Taggart (James-Clarissa):

"Since 1972, we have had a George Washington Taggart Family Reunion every two years. With the exception of the 25th and 26th reunions, each of these reunions has been fully reported in the Family Newsletter. We will now try to compensate for these omissions by briefly reporting these two reunions.

"The 25th and 26th Reunions were held in the Glen L. Taggart Student Center, Utah State University, Logan, Utah. At both reunions there was a Saturday afternoon program, followed by a dance with live music on Saturday night. Church services were held Sunday morning."

25th Taggart Family Reunion
August 15-16, 1992

Saturday Afternoon Program, Auditorium, 2:00 P.M.

"Spencer L.Taggart (James-Clarissa) conducted the meeting. The opening song was ‘The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning,’ with Juanita Taggart (married to Paul Taggart-Frederick-Clarissa) directing, and Jenny Humble (Eileen-Spencer-James-Clarissa) playing the piano. Rowena Rawlins (Rose Mary-Melba-Horace-Clarissa) played the clarinet, Christopher Lewis (Sheila-Spencer-James-Clarissa) played the violin, and Ryan Lewis (Sheila-Spencer-James-Clarissa) played the trombone. The opening prayer was given by Blain Nelson, married to Pat Hatch Nelson (Beulah-James-Clarissa), Sally Bayles (J. Wendell-Velma-James-Clarissa) sang ‘Un bel di vedremo’ from the opera ‘Madame Butterfly’ by Puccini. She also favored us with a beautiful rendition of ‘How Great Thou Art.’ She was accompanied by Dan Mikat whom she has since married and they now have two children. Sally graduated from BYU. While a student there she had the lead in ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Dan graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in Audio Engineering.

"Ruth Taggart Blair (Lloyd-George Henry-Fanny) gave a moving account of the settlement of the Big Horn Basin and of the participation of her grandparents and their children in this massive undertaking. She told about the Sidon Canal--the settlement’s lifeline--and the prodigious effort needed to build it. She highlighted the trials and triumphs in its construction. Her love and appreciation for those early settlers was beautifully expressed. Ruth and her husband Quin live in Cody and are prominent in business circles. They filled a mission at the LDS Church Visitor’s Center in New York City.

"Joanne McKenna (Fanny-Mary Augusta-ElizaAnn-Harriet) and her son Richard and his wife Wendy and their children, Amanda 12 (ages in 1992), Camilla 10, Mark 8, Brian 5, and Kyle 3, entertained us with a mini concert of harp and piano selections and songs. Joanne is the mother of seven sons and one daughter. Her husband Earl died in 1979. Joanne has mothered all these children through missions and college. She was Utah Mother of the Year in 1989. In 1991-1992 Wendy was the National Representative Mother of Children. Richard was Region Manager for Greyhound at the time of our reunion. He and Wendy, in addition to being married are related as they both go back to Eliza Ann. Wendy is the daughter of Glenn B. (Byron-Eliza Ann-Harriet) and Marilyn Goodrich.

"Steven Laird Taggart (Ted-Henry Milton-Clarissa) talked about his grandfather Henry Milton’s lifelong service to the LDS Church. He served three missions; to the Southern States, to the Eastern States, and to England. He also served as bishop’s counselor, bishop for many years, and finally as patriarch. Henry was blessed with the gift of healing and had many faith-promoting experiences in this regard, including calling a man who had died back to life.

"Rulon (Cleone-Rebecca-George Henry-Fanny) and June Crosby have closed many of our family programs. They are the best. His commentary and their lively music bring us all back to ‘alert’ and soon have us clapping and stomping. Their closings always make us want to hear more.

"The closing prayer was given by Edis Taggart (Frederick-Clarissa)."

Sunday Service, August 16, 1992, Taggart Student Center Auditorium

"Sydney Heiner (Horace-Jane-Clarissa) conducted the meeting. The chorister was Juanita Taggart (married to Paul Taggart (Frederick-Clarissa) and the music was provided by Jenny Humble (Eileen-Spencer-James-Clarissa), piano; Rowena Rawlins (Rose Mary-Melba-Horace-Clarissa), clarinet; Christopher Lewis (Sheila-Spencer-James-Clarissa), violin; and Ryan Lewis (Sheila-Spencer-James-Clarissa), trombone. The opening song was ‘High On a Mountain Top’ and the opening prayer was given by LaRee Taggart Scott (Frederick-Clarissa).

"Descendants of Rhoda Lucinda Taggart Mills, youngest daughter of Charles Wallace (Fanny) and Mary Susannah Seaman Taggart, sang ‘Prayer Perfect.’ The first verse was written by James Whitcomb Riley and the second verse was written by Rhoda. Her verse is a plea to the Lord and was known to her family as ‘Mother’s Song.’ The family requests that Rhoda T. Mills be given author’s credit whenever the second verse of the song is sung.

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Rhoda Lucinda Taggart Mills as a girl.

"Rhoda’s verse: ‘Dear Lord, kind Lord, gracious Lord, I pray, teach me how to love and serve humbly, day by day. Make me pure and meek, and mild. Let Thy will be mine. And as glows a candle flame, let my light so shine. Help me, Lord, to understand, all my fellowmen, that I might, by God’s sweet grace, be understood. Teach me how to do Thy will; ever guide aright, be my beacon’s light.’ "Those who sang were: Kaylyn Welch, Janette W. Peterson, LaNae M. Wheatley, Lucinda Wheatley Woodland, Dorothy M. Bird, Jane M. Poll, Athlene M. Clark, and Michele A. Jessop. Dyan M. Welch was the pianist. Their rendition was a glowing tribute to their mother and grandmother and a supreme inspiration to us all.

Rhoda Taggart Mills Young Woman Oval Thumb.jpg (2181 bytes)
Rhoda Taggart Mills as a young woman.

"Crystal Heer (Valene-Jasper-Charles Wallace-Fanny) sang ‘Oh Divine Redeemer.’ She was accompanied by Beth Hendricks. Crystal has a tremendous voice and sang this classic beautifully.

"The closing song was ‘God Be With You Till We Meet Again’ and the closing prayer was offered by Charles Vade."

The 26th Taggart Family Reunion
August 13-14, 1994

Saturday Afternoon Program, Auditorium, 2:00 P.M.

"Spencer L. Taggart (James-Clarissa) conducted the meeting. The opening prayer was given by Valeria (Val) Hatch Crapo (Beulah-James-Clarissa). The opening song was ‘The Spirit of God Like a Fire Is Burning’ with George Welch (Nettie-George Henry-Fanny) directing and Frank Hinckley (Devere-Jessie-George Henry-Fanny) at the piano.

"Mary Lou Hatch Mellor (Beulah-James-Clarissa) reviewed the rich Taggart heritage and history. She spoke lovingly of her grandfather James and her mother Beulah, who was one of GWT’s younger grandchildren: ‘Beulah also left a rich legacy. It’s a continual . . . link . . . father to son, mother to daughter, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only thing of more importance than being born of goodly paretnts is to be goodly parents. Each life has its own frontiers. I’m thankful for the testimonies our forebears have left for us . . . for the choices they made, the sacrifices they also made, and for the lives they lived.’ Mary Lou is now on a Church mission in California.

"Our second speaker was Lloyd ‘Tag’ Taggart (Lloyd-Lloyd-George Henry-Fanny) who also reviewed our rich Taggart family history, placing emphasis on GWT and Fanny: ‘My challenge to each of us this afternoon is that we become Arborists of the highest nature by 1) dunging the roots, with good traits and positive ideals on our small portion of the great Taggart family tree to strengthen it; 2) by carefully selecting new branches to graft into it that will bring added blessings, strength and positive traits; and 3) by pruning and clipping weaknesses where necessary, to ensure that this great family will grow forever as a mighty ‘Tree of Life.’ Tag filled a mission in the Central States. He has also served as a Marine Corps chaplin.

"The Hinckley Family Singers and the Welch Family Singers joined forces in providing a beautiful and inspirational closing.

"Val R. Christiansen, Vice President for Student Services at USU, accepted on behalf of the university the bronze sculpture of Glen L. Taggart (James-Clarissa), former president of USU. The scuptor was Bradley L. Taggart (Larry-Leonard-Henry Milton-Clarissa). The closing prayer was given by Larry Taggart."

Sunday Service, Auditorium, 10:00 A.M.

"Delwin Pond (Valeria-James-Clarissa) conducted the meeting. The opening prayer was given by Athlene M.Allred Clark (Rhoda-Charles Wallace-Fanny). The opening song was ‘There is a Green Hill Far Away.’ Ryan and Chris Lewis (Sheila-Spencer-James-Clarissa), and Steve Manwaring (Eileen-Spencer-James-Clarissa) sang ‘Joseph Smith’s First Vision.’ Timothy Taggart (Edis-Frederick-Clarissa) gave an excellent talk on the Prophet Joseph Smith. The closing song was ‘God Be With You Till We Meet Again’ and the closing prayer was given by George Welch (married to Dyan Welch-Rhoda-Charles Wallace-Fanny)."

Editor’s Note: At one time my Dad, Spencer L. Taggart (James-Clarissa), thought someone told him they had indexed the bound volume of the Taggart Family Newsletters (1980-1992). If you know anything about this could you please contact Spence at 435-753-2625?


[Table of Contents] Volume XIII, Spring 1998
IMPORTANT TAGGART EVENTS Please share your family's important happenings so we can print them in our newsletter. Thanks to all those who did! And please send whatever else you think would be of interest to print in the newsletter.

Emma Lynn Ahlstrom was born to Dan and Shannon Berlin (Steve-Lynn-Ida Mae-Sarah Jane-Clarissa) Ahlstrom on February 13, 1998. The Ahlstroms live in Sacramento where Dan is a teacher and musician and Shannon attends the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law.

Anne Rachelle Dunn was born to Jon and Christa (Valeria-Beulah-James-Clarissa) Dunn on June 20, 1997.

Madeline Jennifer Webb was born to Brett and Joan (Valeria-Beulah-James-Clarissa) Webb on November 14, 1997.

Kathryn (Katie) Taggart was born to Tim (Steve-Ted-Henry Milton-Clarissa) and Kori Taggart on January 3, 1998.

Daniel Steven Humble was born to Scott and Jenny (Eileen-Spencer-James-Clarissa) Humble on September 14, 1997.

Alysa Shalean Pond was born to Jayson (James-Valeria-James-Clarissa) and Jennifer Pond on June 26, 1997.

Shaleigh Ann Poll was born to Allan (Arnold-Jane-Rhoda-Charles Wallace-Fanny) and Lori Poll on June 27, 1997.

Megan Ella Poll was born to Roy Dale Vine (Charles-Jane-Rhoda-Charles Wallace-Fanny) and Susan Wright Poll on August 25, 1996.

Abigail Kim Olsen was born to Michael Kevin and Sherrie (Charles-Jane-Rhoda-Charles Wallace-Fanny) Olsen on May 25, 1996.

Ashley Danielle Brandley was born to Matthew and Christy Lynn (Arnold-Jane-Rhoda-Charles Wallace-Fanny) on August 17, 1997. Matthew and Christy also have twins (Abigail and Zachary) who were born on August 16, 1995.

Abigail Jayne Karren was born to John (Adelle-Spencer-James-Clarissa) and Michelle Karren on April 10, 1997.

Nathan Steven Johnson was born for Maria (Steve-Ted-Henry Milton-Clarissa) and Steven Johnson on March 13, 1998.

Brianna Wheatley was born to Micah (LaNae-Rhoda-Charles Wallace-Fanny) and Dayna Wheatley on April 30, 1997.

Dan Vernon Pond (James-Valeria-James-Clarissa) is finishing up a Master's Degree in Integrated Systems at Utah State University.

Bradley Leonard Taggart (Larry-Leonard-Henry Milton-Clarissa), married to Kimberly M. Johansen, has two children and lives in Ephraim, Utah. Brad is an Instructor of Art at Snow College and also a sculptor. He sculpted the bronze of President Glen L. Taggart (James-Clarissa) which is displayed in the Taggart Student Center at Utah State University. Brad is currently working on a Masters of Fine Arts and recently had several sculptures on display in the Snow College Gallery.

Mandy May Doney (Judy-James-Valeria-James-Clarissa) married Justin Cleverly on March 27, 1998.

Rachel Bush (Jane-Beulah-James-Clarissa) married Vin Hsieh on June 29, 1997.

Crystalynn Poll (Charles-Jane-Rhoda-Charles Wallace-Fanny) married Keith George McMullin on May 15, 1997.

Charles Evan Poll (Charles-Jane-Rhoda-Charles Wallace-Fanny) is engaged to Susan Holmes. Their wedding is scheduled for April 3, 1998 in the Bountiful Temple.

Bret Mills Poll (Brian-Jane-Rhoda-Charles Wallace-Fanny) married Stephanie St. Jeur on May 9, 1997.

Stephanie Poll (Brian-Jane-Rhoda-Charles Wallace-Fanny) married Anthon Hall on August 1, 1997.

Janalee Poll (Arnold-Jane-Rhoda-Charles Wallace-Fanny) married Troy Coates on November 21, 1997. Janalee's daughter Kastyn was sealed to them at this time.

Kellianne Poll (Arnold-Jane-Rhoda-Charles Wallace-Fanny) was married to Adam Brad Wilson on February 7, 1998.

Melissa Maria Moody (Darlene-Jane-Rhoda-Charles Wallace-Fanny) is engaged to Shawn Kis-ling. They plan to be married on July 1, 1998 in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple.

Jim (Valeria-James-Clarissa) and Ludean Pond serve as officiators in the Logan, Utah Temple. They served a mission in the Philippines San Pablo Mission. They have 8 children and 25 grandchildren.

Rick (Jennie-Parley-Harriet Maria-Fanny) and Evelyn McConkie serve as ordinance workers in the Jordan River Temple.

Ryan David Lewis (Sheila-Spencer-James-Clarissa) is serving a mission in the Philippines San Pablo Mission.

Steven Laird Manwaring (Eileen-Spencer-James-Clarissa) has been called to serve in the San Diego, California Mission.

Velma & Wendell Web Thumb.jpg (3062 bytes)N.B Click on thumbnail picture to see full-size version.

Velma Taggart Bayles (James-Clarissa) passed away on January 14, 1998, at the age of 94. One week later on January 21, 1998, her husband Thomas Wendell Bayles passed away at the age of 97.


Dorothy Taggart Dahle Clark (Jasper Seaman-Charles Wallace-Fanny) died June 5, 1997, in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Glen Laird Taggart (James-Clarissa) died August 10, 1997, in Logan, Utah.

Norene Bright Boyce (Alice-Clarissa) died March 20, 1998 in Logan, Utah.

[Table of Contents]


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