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PIONEER HISTORY OF
James Joseph Meikle ( 1839 – 1924) &
1st wife Harriet L. Peacock and 2nd wife Lavina Noble Aiken
NOTE: Wives histories, prior to marriage, are in separate history files
Harriet Louisa Peacock Meikle (1836 – 1915) & Lavina Noble Aiken Meikle (1839 – 1900)
Files of: Erma P. Gordon Anderson (additions by Joe Anderson: A great grandson)
James Joseph Meikle
Born: 6 Jul 1839, Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Baptized: 6 Jul 1848
Death: 3 May 1924, Smithfield, Cache, Utah
23 March 1856 DEPARTED: Liverpool, England,
aboard ship “Enoch Train”.
30 April 1856 ARRIVED: Boston, Massachusetts; 2 May 1856
DEPART: Boston, Massachusetts, via train
Mid May 1856 ARRIVED: Iowa City, Iowa
11 June, 1856 DEPART: Iowa City, Iowa,
with 2nd Handcart Company
26 Sept. 1856 ARRIVDE: Salt Lake City, Utah,
Passengers aboard Ship “Encoh Train” and with Daniel D. McArthur 2nd Handcart Company
MEIKLE, Margaret <1799> 57 Glasgow, Scotland, Widow (mother)
MEIKLE, William <1826> 30 Glasgow, Scotland, Weaver (step-son)
MEIKLE, Isabella <1837> 19 Glasgow, Scotland, Spinster (daughter)
MEIKLE, James <1839> 17 Glasgow, Scotland, Carpenter (son)
Wife: Harriet Louisa Peacock on 3 Jan 1864, at Smithfield, Cache Co., Utah
Born: 10 Nov 1836 at Watford, Hertfordshire, England
Died: 25 Mar 1915 Smithfield, Cache, Utah
LDS Emigration: Harriet Louisa Peacock
4 Jun 1863: Port of Departure: London, England
aboard the ship “Amazon”
18 Jul 1863, Port of Arrival: New York, New York
21 July 1863. Departed New York
31 July 1863 Arrived Florence, Nebraska
6 to 14 Aug. 1863 Departed Florence, Nebraska
3 to 15 Oct 1863 Arrived Salt Lake City, Utah
Wife: Lavina Noble Aiken on 17 Oct 1872 in Salt Lake City, Utah
Born: 13 Mar 1839 Irchester, Northampton, England
Died: 25 Nov 1900 Smithfield, Cache, Utah
LDS Emigration: Lavina Noble
11 May 1860: Port of Departure:Liverpool, England
aboard the ship “William Tapscott”
16 Jun 1860: Port of Arrival: New York, New York
23 July 1860: Departure Florence, Nebraska
3 October 1860: Arrival in Salt Lake Valley
Lavinia’s first husband was Benjamin Burke Aiken. They were married 6 Nov 1861 and later divorced
HISTORY OF James Joseph Meikle
From the files of: Erma P. Gordon Anderson (additions by Joe Anderson)
James Joseph Meikle was born: 5 Jul 1839 at Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He was the youngest of
three children of William Meikle and Margaret Jessie Jackson. His father William Meikle (b: 19 July
1798) at Hamilton, Scotland, and mother Margaret Jessie Jackson (b: 19 Jul 1798), at Cumberslang,
Scotland and they were married 22 Jun 1834.
William, James father, had been married before, to Marian Cochran, and had had a family of five
children: Elizabeth, William, Clifford, Jane and Gilbert.
His first wife died during 1833 and by banns* posted June 15 and June 22, 1834, he married Margaret J.
William Meikle and Margaret J. Jackson Meikle, had three children:
Robert, born 15 April 1835 at Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Isabella, born 6 April 1837 at Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland
James Joseph, born 5 July 1839 at Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland
James father, William, worked in the knitting mills in Glasgow, and the family moved to Glasgow.
(Hamilton is a suburb of Glasgow)
The family had joined the LDS Church and was considering the “Come to Zion” call of President
Brigham Young. However, father, William Meikle died 22 June 1853 and was buried at Parkhead
Cemetery on Gallow Gate Road, Lanankshire, Scotland; before it was possible for them to emigrate.
James Joseph’s brother, Robert, was the first to emigrate and departed home in 1854
[Meikle, Robert, 1854, NA, Old England, Ship roster on microfilm(s) 200177 25690]
Vessel Rig Registry Tons Master
Ship U.S. 917
45 Liv. 3-5-54 N.O. 4-26-54 52
During 1855-56 Margaret Jessie Jackson
Meikle (age 58) along with her step son William
(age 32), daughter Isabella (age 19) and son
James Joseph (age 17); decided to emigrate,
with others, to Salt Lake City, Utah.
They made their way from Glasgow, Scotland
to Liverpool, England. (a distance of about 210
There, along with 500+ other LDS members,
they began their journey to Utah. This group
became the 1st and 2nd Handcart Company’s.
23 March 1856 DEPARTE: Liverpool, England, aboard ship “Enoch Train”.
30 April 1856 ARRIVE: Boston, Massachusetts;
2 May 1856 DEPART: Boston, Massachusetts, via train
Mid May 1856 ARRIVED: Iowa City, Iowa
11 June, 1856 DEPART: Iowa City, Iowa, with 2nd Handcart Company
26 Sept. 1856 ARRIVDE: Salt Lake City, Utah,
Passengers aboard Encoh Train and members of Daniel D. McArthur 2nd Handcart Company Include:
MEIKLE, Margaret <1799> 57 Glasgow, Scotland Widow
MEIKLE, William <1826> 30 Glasgow, Scotland Weaver (step-son)
MEIKLE, Isabella <1837> 19 Glasgow, Scotland Spinster (daughter)
MEIKLE, James <1839> 17 Glasgow, Scotland Carpenter (son)
SEE History for his mother, Margaret Jessie Jackson Meikle, for more info about journey from Scotland
to Utah : Margaret Jesse Jackson (1798 – 18870 and William Meikle (1798 – 1853)
Grandpa (James Jos. Meikle) said they were rationed to a pint of flour per day. He and his Mother and ½
Brother William and Sister, Isabella, were in the Company. They arrived and made it through the
mountains before the bad weather came that caused the Martin Handcart Company so much trouble
On Friday 26 Sept 1856: The first two companies of immigrating Saints, which crossed the plains with
handcarts, arrived at Salt Lake City, in charge of Captain Edmund Ellsworth and Daniel D. McArthur.
They were met and welcomed by the First Presidency of the church, a small Brass Band, and a company
of Lancers, and a large concourse of citizens. Captain Ellsworth's Company had left Iowa City June 9th
and McArthur’s June 11th. When they started the Companies included 497 souls, with 100 handcarts, 5
wagons, 24 Oxen, 4 Mules, and 25 tents.
My Grandfather (James Joseph Meikle) and his ½ brother, William, pulled the handcart all the way
across the plains. Grandfather (James J.) was 17 and his brother William 30 years of age. Often they
would get their mother (Margaret J. Jackson Meikle) and sometimes their sister (Isabella Meikle) to sit
on the handcart for a while and let them pull them
ARRIVE IN SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH Friday 26 Sept 1856
Robert, James J. brother, had arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah during 1854 and had since been working
for the William Jennings Hide Tanning Company, managed by John R. Winder. Robert worked hard
and was highly respected as an employee, learned the business thoroughly. It is assumed that both Robert
and James J. worked at the tannery between 1857 and 1860.
Smithfield, Utah was settled by Latter-day Saints in 1859, about
the same time that the city of Logan was founded. The first
settlers were Seth Langton and Robert and John Thornley.
Others followed and the saints who settled on Summit Creek,
the original name for Smithfield, were organized as a Branch of
the Church in 1859, with John G. Smith (in whose honor the
settlement was named) as Presiding Elder. A town site was
surveyed in 1860. I can't find out exactly when Grandpa (James
Jos. Meikle) went to Smithfield, but he was among the first few.
It was probably either late 1859 or early 1860.
By the end of 1859 Cache Valley contained six small
settlements, Wellsville, Providence, Mendon, Logan, Smithfield,
and Richmond. The total population of about one hundred fifty
families. These small towns scattered over twenty miles, were
too sparsely populated to have resisted an Indian attack if they had chosen to go on the war path.
Fortunately no conflict took place that year. These Pioneers of Cache Valley held possession of the
country only to share it the following year when more settlers came to the region. Smithfield grew from
thirteen families in 1859 to sixty eight in 1860
At first the people in Smithfield lived in wagons, dugouts or houses failing to follow Brigham Young's
advice to build in fort lines. However, the loss of two lives in July of 1860, because of conflict with the
Indians, brought a change and the people built their homes for style, similar to the other towns in the
valley, building 68 houses on both sides of Summit Creek with the houses side by side forming a square
and the corrals on the outside. They lived this way until 1864.
NORTHERN UTAH 1860
James Joseph Meikle and his brother, Robert, and their mother, Margaret Jessie Jackson Meilke, went to
Cache County with the first group of people sent to colonize the area. A Brother Peter Maughan was the
leader of the Company. They helped build the fort and prepared to fight the Indians..
Robert’s biography from Smithfied Hist. Soc.In 1860 Robert Meikle, his mother and James came to
Smithfield and built a home on 176 West, First North Street, Smithfield, Utah (that location became the
permanent home of Robert Meikle and his mother. His brother James lived at 193 West First North
Street., Smithfield, Utah.
Robert and James procured some farm land and began a side line in the tanning business, but seeing the
possibilities of such a business, they moved zealously into it; soon supplying large quantities of good
leather for Cache Valley, and later, quantities to send to Ogden and Brigham City shoe makers, harness
makers and saddlers, in the Ogden area.
During 1860 ames Joseph Meikle and his brother Robert Meikle owned and operated a tannery which
they operated for many years. They operated the tannery and took up several parcels of land in the
farming areas west and north of Smithfield. James only took up about half of the land allowed each one
and some of the land he chose was very poor soil and in a very poor area, which showed that he knew
little about farming. James lived in Smithfield the rest of his life.
The United States census enumerator, gathering statistics for the census year of 1860, found in Cache
Valley (5 small towns) 527 Dwellings with 510 Families-making a total population of 2,605 persons in the
valley. Of these 1,655 were native born, including 833 born in the Utah territory. Of the other natives
Americans 159 were born in Illinois, 111 Born in New York, 90 in Iowa, 67 in Missouri, 53 on Ohio, 41 in
Pennsylvania, 25 in Kentucky, and 24 in Indiana, with smaller numbers from other states. Of the foreign
born population 450 came from England, 149 from Scotland, 100 from Denmark, 97 from Wales, 29 from
bland ?, 22 from the Isle of Man, 19 from Switzerland, 11 from Norway, 9 from the Isle of Jersey, 9 from
Sweden, 8 from Italy, 6 from Germany, smaller numbers from other countries.
Of the ones listing their occupations they were 328 farmers, 144 labors, 28 servants, 11 farm labors, 5
shoe makers, 3 tanners (the three tanners included James and Robert Meikle). 3 carpenters, 2
blacksmiths, 2 millers, 2 mill wrights, 1 machinsts, 1 butcher, 1 plaster, 1 chair maker, 1 distiller, 1
herder, 1 cooper, and 1 cabinet maker. The men out numbered the women 1,312 to 1, 293.
A news clipping of some years later described the tanning operation thus: “It was a two story building 25
by 62' that contained two lime and 12 tan vats, two soak pools, bait, boiler, leach, sink, and a 14 inch
turbine wheel running machinery for pumping and grinding bark, with 30 cords of bark used yearly and
200 sides, calf, kip and hides valued a $6,000”. Tanners were important as they had to make leather for
both harnesses and shoes
1860 Minute Men
Though the pioneers found Cache Valley "swarming with Indians" no overwhelming dangers confronted
them. This was because Peter Maughan followed wise council of Brigham Young and because the Cache
Valley pioneers dealt wisely and justly with the red men. The Mormon President regarded the Indians as
"children of God" descendants from the tribe of Israel. He exercised great caution in dealing with the
indians, holding conferences with them, and making gifts to them. To President Orson Hyde and the
bishops in Sanpete and Sevier, he wrote in 1865 that "it is cheaper to feed the Indians than to fight
them." In, spite of this beneficent policy, serious Indian wars, occurred in many parts of Utah. Cache
Valley was more fortunate because of the wisdom and justice of Peter Maughan, who followed his
leader’s advice in dealing with the Indians and because of the alertness of the Pioneers and the fine work
of the minute men. Though the Indians of Cache Valley resented the invasion of their hunting grounds by
the pioneers, they did not unite to oppose the intruders. When they did approach the settlements with
possible warlike intent, they found the settlers prepared to defend themselves and found the minute men
armed and ready.
Many of the Indians were friends with the white man and manifested their good will in many ways.
Others stole horses and cattle in retaliation for the occupation of their lands, while a few Indians
attempted to destroy the Pioneers. This division of opinion and purpose on the part of the Indians
prevented an Indian War of major proportions and made it possible for the settlers to live in the area so
long as they were constantly alert to the possible Indian attacks. The pioneers guarded their fort style
settlements constantly whenever the Indians menaced them. They formed military forces for protection.
Undoubtedly this pioneer alertness saved serious loss of life. James Jos. Meikle was one of these minute
men and fought in some of the Indian troubles around Franklin. In one of the accounts of Smithfield
History tells: “On June 14 1860 a Cache Valley Militia was organized every man supplied him self with
his own arms and ammunition. Smithfield as well as the other towns had its portion of Minute Men, each
man took his turn. Whenever danger threatened a settlement, men would hastily mount their horses and
ride to help those needing it. Their were about 50 men under the command of Thomas Ricks. In January
1893 they fought a decisive battle of Bear River.”
On April 29 1860 the people of Logan organized a company of Minute Men with the best horses and men
in the place to be ready at a minute’s warning if necessary. Thomas Ricks was chosen captain. In, June
the settlers of the Valley enlarged the Military organization. Choosing Ezra T. Benson colonel of the
Cache Valley Militia and Thomas E Ricks major in command of a body of mounted men known as the
Minute Men. They were organized into companies each consisting of five "tens". Each "tens" consisting
of a second Lieutenant, Sergeant, nine Privates and a Teamster, for hauling the baggage and provisions
of the ten.
The first serious clash with the Indians occurred at Smithfield, July 23, 1860.The indians sought to free
one of their number who had been captured for stealing horses, and was detained under guard in one of
the houses. As he tried to escape, one of the guards shot him and a conflict ensued. John Reed and Ira
Merrill fell before the Indian attack and two red men also lost their lives. Logan averted an Indian attack
and the next day because of the vigilance of the Minute Men. In the winter of 1863, the Indians stole a
little Thurston girl near Mendon. She was never recovered.
During the Winter of 1860-61, there were sixty eight houses built in the Fort Line, among the Families,
Robert and James Meikle and their families lived on the north side, they occupied the fort during 1861-63
Wholesome entertainment was a need and they organized a dramatic company, organized by Robert L.
Fishburn (Lavina Noble Aiken Meikle’s brother-in law) in the fall of 1862. Some interesting plays were
presented, among which were, Rent Day, Ben Bolt, and Rough Diamond. Among the actors were James
Meikle, Thomas Smith (who is Emily Ellen Peacock’s husband), Calvin Cragun, and etc.
Between 4 Jun 1863 and 3 to 15 Oct 1863, Harriet Louisa Peacock was in the process of emigrating to
SLC. Utah and on to Smithfield, Cache Co., Utah.
SEE Harriet Louisa Peacock History.
The affair at Franklin was one of the last serious encounters with the Indians, though they remained
troublesome for years to come. In fact, the power of the Indians was largely broken in 1863 when Colonel
Conner and 400 U.S. troops from Fort Douglas fought a battle at the junction of Battle Creek and Bear
River, some 12 miles north of Franklin, and killed 368 Indians including 90 women and children. Though
the settlers sorrowed that some peaceful Indians and women and children had been killed, they rejoiced
in the victory because it broke the spirit and power of the Indians, and enabled the settlers to occupy new
and choice locations hither to unsafe." This victory in 1863 gave the settlers the opportunity to leave their
crowed quarters in 1864 and move out upon their city lots and farm lands. Though the settlers were alert
during these years of Indian difficulty, they lost many horses and cattle. Voluntarily they gave much flour
and many head of cattle to the Indians to keep the peace.
On September 14, 1864 the settlers of Franklin narrowly escaped disaster. Some hundreds of Indians
camping north of town, procured liquor from two of the settlers, and became menacing. A drunken
Indian tried to ride his horse over a white woman. To save her life one of the settlers shot the Indian and
then escaped. The Red Men then seized one of the white men, Robert Hull, and threatened to kill him
unless the offending settler was given to the Indians as compensation for the wounds suffered by the
drunken red skin. While Bishop Hatch pleaded with the Indians not to kill the captive, messengers rode
that night to the other towns for assistance.
The next morning 300 Minute Men arrive from Logan and other places under the command of Major
Thomas Ricks, accompanied by Bishop Peter Maughan. The white hostage was released as Peter
Maughan held a conference with Chief Washakie. The Indian chief told the Mormon leader that the
whiskey sold by two Franklin settlers caused the trouble. Peter Maughan agreed to give the Indians two
yoke of oxen. His wisdom dealing with the Indians justly, illustrates how effective the great pioneer leader
proved to be in preventing serious outbreaks. When he died, many Indians attended his funeral and
sorrowed at the passing of their friend. One of the Indians said "Our father has gone and he never had
two tongues". Grandpa (James Josrph Meikle) was one of these Minute Men at Franklin.
"The Utah Legislature passed an act creating the city of Smithfield in January, 1864, and George Barber
became the 1st Mayor, and James Joseph Meikle, Chief of Police with six assistants. These officers served
without compensation, serving to better their fellowmen in their community for a term of 10 years."
James J. Meikle MARRIED Harriet L. Peacock on 3 Jan 1864 in Smithfied, Cache Co., Utah
On 14 Jan 1865 and they were Sealed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah
James Joseph & Harriet’s eight (8) children are:
1- James Jackson Meikle- Born 24 Sept 1864, Married 23 Feb 1888 to Marinda Tidwel,
Died 28 Sep 1929
2- Thomas William Meikle- Born 8 July 1866, Died 27 Oct 1867
3- Robert Gilbert Meikle- Born 5 June 1868, Married 1894 to Annie Sophia Mack,
Died 2 Oct 1939
4- Alfred William Meikle-Born 30 Jan 1870, Married 23 Feb 1893 to Amelia Allen,
Died 21 June 1911.
5- Isabell Merrion Meikle-Born 22 Jan 1872, Married 29 Dec 1898 to Foster J. Gordon,
Died 11 Sep 1939
6- Samuel-Born 20 Mar 1874, Died 29 Dec 1874
7- Joseph Arthur Meikle- Born 10 Jan 1877, Married 10 May 1899 to Temperance Allen,
Died 1 Feb 1960
8- Harriette Louisa Meikle-Born 28 Jun 1879, Married 27 Feb 1901 to Samuel A Gordon ,
Died 8 Mar 1943
Elections were held May 20 1868 for the purpose of electing municipal officers, James Joseph Meikle, as
Fortified by grants of power, the cities organized their governments. Smithfield, in 1869, passed
ordinances to prohibit disturbing the peace, fast riding in the streets and around public meetings and
scuffling with the Indians. Ordinances to preserve the public peace were passed as were ordinances to
provide poll tax labor on the city streets, acts to open streets, construct sidewalks, build bridges, permit
ferries to be privately operated within city limits. Numerous acts fixing crimes and punishments and
ordinances preventing operation of immoral establishments were enacted in the various cities. Licenses
were issued to do all kinds of business under council regulations.
During the elections of 1870, Samuel Roskelly was elected Mayor. Robert Meikle (Born: 1836) was
elected councilman. James Joseph Meikle ( Born: 1839) was elected Chief of Police and also one of the
NOTE: Uncle James Jackson Meikle, (Born: 1864, son of James J. Meikle) held the office of Mayor from
1905-1909 also he served as councilman for many years
The Maximum number of acres might be secured for such town was determined by the number of
inhabitations in each locality. Thus the federal government prepared the way for the pioneers of Cache
Valley to secure legal title to their lots. Smithfield secured its land in 1871 and disposed of it to the actual
possessors at one dollar and fifty cents an acre for each lot, and their farm land at one dollar and fifty
cents per acre. The settlers living within the precincts obtained their town site land from the probate
James Meikle took a second wife. On 17 Oct 1872 MARRIED Lavinia Noble (Aiken) in Salt Lake City,
Utah. Lavinia was born 23 Mar 1839 in Hartford, England
She was a daughter of William Goodwin Noble and Mary Ann Harper, Pioneers in 1862.
Between 11 May 1860 and 3 Oct 1860 Lavina Noble was in the process of immigrating to SLC. Utah and
on to Smithfield, Cache Co., Utah. Refer to her biography – SEE Lavina Noble Aiken History
James & Lavinia’s six(6) children are:
1- Lavina Priscilla Meikle- Born 25 Sept 1873 Married 30 Oct 1898 to James Kirby,
Died 31 May 1942
2- Katy Violett Meikle- Born 16 Aug 1875, Married 15 June 1904 to Wickliff Ewing,
Died 3 Aug 1968
3- Margaret Jessey Meikle- Born 17 Jan 1877, Died 4 May 1877
4- Zilpha Meikle- Born 3 June 1879 Married 12 Jan 1899 to Lindsay Lightfoot,
Died 28 May 1963
5- Mamie Rebecca Meikle- Born 7 April 1882 Married 5 Jun 1902 to Carl Neilson, Died
6- Birdie Meikle- Born 11 Sept 1884 Married 11 Sep 1902 to Frank Covey, Died 13 May 1902
Considerable political difficulties occurred between Mormons, local non-Mormon citizens and the
Federal government over the issue of polygamy. Federal legislation against the Mormons began in 1862
with the passage of the Anti-Bigamy Act. The law was poorly written and its enforcement almost
impossible. The Mormon institution was not, however, threatened until the 1880's, although other federal
legislation struck at Mormon political rights in Utah Territory.
1875 Robert’s biography from Smithfied Hist. Soc.
Robert and James Joseph Meikle formed a company and in 1875 enlarged the dipping vat capacity, so as
to increase bark and lime capacity; increased the water heating capacity by installing a larger water
boiler, installed a new fourteen inch turbin wheel stirring bark and lime; bark use increased to fifteen
cords daily. Output of leather 3000 sides, valued at $6000 highest monthly output. Robert Meikle
retained the position of manager of Meikle Brothers Tannery Company until his death Sept. 1, 1890.
The Edmunds Act of March 22, 1882, more exactly defined polygamy, set fines and punishments and de-
franchised and declared ineligible for public office practicing polygamists of both sexes. To enforce the
latter provision there was set up the Utah Commission, a body of five men, bipartisan and presidentially
appointed. It was hoped by the lawmakers the denial of political power to the polygamist element in
Mormon society would so weaken the political and social position of the group that polygamy would be
abandoned. The Commission administered election laws and became the dominant administrative force
in Utah politics from 1882 to 1896. But the work of disfranchising polygamists only solidified Mormon
In 1882 prosecutions began and increased intensity. In 1885 all the polygamous Mormons were trying to
avoid being arrested they were sent away on missions and a special hiding place was made in their homes,
Grandpa (James Joseph Meikle) was on the underground, for quite a while until grandma (Harriet L.
Peacock Meikle) finally lost her patience and said she was not going to fool with it any longer. Grandpa
then evidently, did not hide any more but I don't think he was ever arrested.
James Joseph Meikle [grandfather] was a missionary to England and Scotland 1882-1883. He was in
Scotland on his mission the same time as President David O. McKay. He was president of Birmingham
Conference, in England
He left both families to get along while he was gone. He went first to Glasgow where on 25 June, 1882. He
became President of the Hetherwell Branch. President David McKay was President of the Glasgow
Conference. On 3 May, 1883, he was appointed to the Birmingham Conference in Britain as President of
the Conference, which position he held until his release. He returned home on the ship, Wisconsin, 27
While he was in Glasgow he looked up some of his half brothers and sisters and visited with them and
their families. There is no report of whether any of them ever joined the Church, but they were very
happy to see James and to hear of their stepmother and the other members of James' family.
James daughter (Isabella M Meikle Gordon) has told us of how her father (James Joseph Meikle) used to
hide from the sheriff when he came looking for him for being a polygamist. Finally, one day, his wife,
Harriet refused to hide him anymore and told the sheriff where they could find him. They caught
Grandfather (James J Meikle) and after he agreed to appear in court in Ogden, Utah, on the day
appointed, let him stay out of prison. My mother (Isabella M. Meikle) and one of her brothers and two of
the girls from the other family had to come to Ogden to be witnesses at his trial. They had a great outing
and were paid $3.00 a day for the two days they had to be here in Ogden. Grandfather was given the
ultimatum to choose one of his wives and live with her. However, he was not put in jail nor did they do
anything to him. He chose to live with my grandmother, Harriet L. Peacock, his first wife, but he took
care of his other wife (Lavina Noble Aiken Meikle) and family and provided for them. He also saw them
In 1886 the crusading Marshal, Fred T. Dubois, was elected delegate to congress from the Utah Idaho
Territory. The position of the Idaho anti-Mormons was fully consolidated. The Utah Commission,
influential in launching the judicial crusade, now encouraged Congress to adopt sterner measures against
the Mormons. Dubois was there to help. Congress complied with the Edmunds-Tucker Act of March,
The Edmunds-Tucker Act abolished woman suffrage, the Perpetual Emigration Fund Company and the
Nauvoo Legion, dissolved the Church as a corporation, cheated the larger holdings of Church property,
established a test-oath for voters which practically excluded Mormons from voting, suspended territorial
school laws and constituted polygamy a continuous offense under the title of "Unlawful Cohabitation".
To the Church and the Saints, the execution of this law became a most severe trial.
1889: Margaret Jessie Jackson Meilke, James Joseph and Robert’s mother, died 22 Feb 1889 at
Smithfield, Cache, Utah
President Wilford Woodruff, acting to save the Church through the Manifesto, relieved Church members
of further obligation to sustain the principle and declared his intention to abide by the law of the land
and publicly advised all Latter-day Saints to do likewise.
The Manifesto, published in the Deseret News on September 25, 1890, and in the Logan Journal two days
later, was approved as the position of the Church by the General Conference October 6, 1890. At Stake
Conference in the Valley and in the press, the Manifesto was discussed and supported by the people.
Territorial Supreme Court Judge, Charles A. Zane, accepted the statement as final, although other
officials, for the most part, continued to wrangle.
Amnesty for the Mormons came by Presidential proclamation, January 4, 1893, upon petition of the
Mormons (December 1, 1891) and recommendation of the Utah Commission (September 1892). The Saints
exalted in the era of peace that now dawned on them.
James Joseph Meilkie’s wife, Lavinia Noble, died 25 November, 1900
SMITHFIELD, CACHE CO. UTAH
James Joseph Meikle wife Harriet Louisa Peacock Meikle and their children
BACK ROW: Alfred William, Harriet Louisa, Joseph Arthur, Isabella Marion
FRONT ROW: James Jackson, Harriet Louisa Peacock, James Joseph Meikle, Robert Gilbert
We celebrated Grandma (Harriet L. Peacock Meikle) and Grandpa’s (James Joseph Meikle) golden
wedding anniversary in 1914. We celebrated it on New Years Day so more of the family could be there.
The real wedding day was Jan 3 1864. 1915
James Joseph Meikle was ordained a Patriarch in the Benson Stake of Zion 17 January, 1915 by Apostle
A. W. Ivans, assisted by Patriarch Hyrum G. Smith. This position he held until his death in 1924.
Grandma (Harriet L. Peacock Meikle) had a green thumb and always had beautiful flowers around her
house, she loved flowers. She didn't like to set and read and so did very little of it, but grandpa (James Joseph
Meikle) loved to read and did a lot of it. He had quite a number of books, some small with very small print,
and little old fashioned binding that you see on so many of the early books.
Grandma's health was more precarious for a long time than I as a child could realize. I know she slept in
the north room so she could get plenty of fresh air to sleep. She couldn't stand to be any place where it
was the least bit stuffy. She left London, England because of the climate, and her lungs, she was advised
to get out if she wanted to live. She didn't have TB so it was probably a tendency toward asthma,
although I can't remember hearing her wheeze.1t seemed as long as she had plenty of fresh air she was
alright. She had a determined nature and quite small, she seemed not to be ill much of the time, and also
seemed to get along fine in the Smithfield climate. She died of pneumonia, but she was only ill a couple of
days before. She probably was not feeling to well for some time. She seemed to be making arrangements
about her things. She had a big cupboard full of beautiful dishes. I had given her a cup and saucer for her
birthday one year and when I was there one day she returned it to me, so that someone else would not get
it, when she was gone. It seems it was some time before she died, so she must have not been feeling too
James Joseph Meilke’s wife Harriet L. Peacock Meikle died 15 Mar 1915
James Joseph Meikle: At his 80th birthday celebration it was stated that he was the father of 13 children,
67 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.
The Smithfield Sentinel, a weekly town newspaper, carried this new item the week of 5 July, 1919: "One
of the leading social events of the past week was the James Meikle Family Reunion held in the First Ward
Meeting House basement on Saturday evening, July 5th in honor of the eightieth birthday of James
Meikle. It was noted for being one of the most social entertainments and enjoyed by all who were
He [Grandpa James Joseph Meikle] always attended conference as far back as I can remember, and he
new personally most of the General Authorities very well. He seemed to know B.H.Roberts very well. He
spoke of him often and had most of his books, One time I borrowed one of his books and took it home to
read, when I finished it I returned it to Grandpa. It is almost too bad that I didn't keep it at the time and
just return it if he needed it, but I didn't think to do this.
I believe that grandpa knew that he was getting near the end of his time, as it approached he gave me the
things that I have mentioned, and told me that he wanted me to have them. He also told me to keep his
record book, as I was doing all the writing in it. and when he died to turn it in to the Church Historian
Office. I did darning the summer before I went east in 1924.
James Joseph Meikle died 3 May 1924 at Smithfield, Utah.
He was buried in Smithfield.
He was almost 85 years old and, at his death, he still had coal black wavy hair.
He died in May of 1924 and when I (Edith M. Gordon Rosengren) went to Salt Lake City that summer, I
took the record book down and turned it in to the Church Historian.
Emigrated to Utah in 1856 (Aboard Enoch Train and member of 2nd
Member of Lieut. General James Ferguson's detachment of Mormon Battalion;
Minute Man in Cache Valley under Major Thomas E. Ricks
He was a member of the Pony Express and among the first riders from Salt Lake City to Skull Valley
James Joseph Meikle was a missionary to England and Scotland 1882-1883
He was in Scotland on his mission the same time as President McKay.
He was president of Birmingham Conference, in England.
Chairman of the Old Folks Committee of Benson Stake
President High Priests' Quorum of Smithfield , Utah
Ordained, 8 Apr 1922, as Patriarch of the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS in Cache Valley.
Member of the University Land Board for two years
Commissioner of Cache County 4 Years
Mayor of Smithfield from 1905-1909.
Captain of Police, 14 Years
Water Commissioner for seven years,
He would drive his horse and buggy from Smithfield to Logan, about seven miles, nearly every day to do
Temple work in the last years of his life.
He was a great lover of homes and he had a beautiful home with large pine trees around it.
He gave me (Foster LeRoy Gordon) my Patriarchal Blessing on 8 April 1922, in South Jordan, Utah.
I was 14 years old.
As his granddaughter (Beth Gordon Lawrence) I remember him as a very fine man who had a lot of
interesting stories to tell.
Granddaughter, Edith M. Gordon Rosengren, recalled “We loved to sit on his knee and listen to him tell
of his experiences with the Indians and of his trip across the plains.”
“Patriarch Meikle, Cache Valley Pioneer is Dead," Deseret News, 6 May 1924, 7.
I have not been able to get a good copy of this article, obituary
PASSES ON TO
James Meikle, Parriarch, pioneer
and worthy citizen of Smithfield, died
at his home from ailments incident
to old age on Saturday, May 3, 1924.
at 10:45 p.m. at the age of nearly
He was the son of William and Margaret
Jackson Meikle, born at Edinburgh,
Scotland, July 5, 1839. He
embraced the L.D.S. doctrine in his
native land at the age of nine. His
father died soon after. He emigrated
to Utah in the year 1856 in connection
with his mother. His brother Robert
came the year before. He crossed
the plains in the John McCarthy
company, and landed in Salt Lake in
the fall of 1856. James and Robert
Meikle, worked in the “Jennings Tannery,
at Salt Lake City until they
came to Smithfield in the spring of
1860. Here they built a tannery and
engaged in this business as well as
farming for a number of years. In
a church capacity he was patriarch
for about ten years prior to his death.
He was presiding teacher in the High
Priest Quorum for many years, as
well as many other positions in the
ward. He also held many political positions
among them being Chief of
Police, which position he held for ten
years in the early history of Smithfield.
He was also a City Councilman
For four years. In the County he was
??water board ?? commissioner, elected
by the Republican party and held
the office for four years. He also
served as land commissioner for
about six years. During pioneer days
he took a prominent part in the build
ing up of Smithfield, and was active
in the Indian war service. At the time
of his death, he was the vice com
mander of the Indian War Veterans.
He is the father of a large and
respected family. He married his first
wife, Harriet L. Peacock, January 3, 1864,
from which marriage are the
following children: James J. Meikle,
of Smithfield; William, who died in infancy;
R.G. Meikle of Cache, Idaho;
Alfred W., who died in infancy;
Isabelle M. Gordon, of Smithfield;
Joseph A. Meikle of Smithfield, and
Mrs. Harriett L. Gordon of Cornish,
Utah. By his second wife, Lovinia
Noble, were born the following daughters;
Mrs Lovinia Kirby of Lincoln,
Idaho; Mrs. Kate Ewing, Smithfield;
Mrs. Zilphia Lightfoot, Seattle,
Wash., Mrs. Mamie Nilson of Smithfield,
Mrs. Birdie Coved of Oxnard,
Funeral services will be held in the
First Ward Chapel tomorrow after-
noon, May 7, at 2 p.m.
JIM MEIKLE’S CHAIR
While there is a chair left vacant
in the home with passing of
James Meikle, there is another which
is a reminder of his presence. It is
located in the office of the Smithfield
Sentinel. For years, yes many years
this chair has been occupied practically
every day by Mr. Meikle. The
ctizens of Smithfield long since termed
it, “Jim Meikle’s Chair”. Mr.
Meikle was a great reader and would
daily come to this office, and in the
winter time, pull his chair up to the
Stove and scan the many papers
which we received from other cities.
With Mr. Meikle in his chair, we
have held many interesting conversations
with him, upon many subjects,
but being young in years ourself we
always had much enjoyment – in
listening to his pioneer experiences, and
Mr. Meikle was at all times ready to
talk on this subject. He possessed a
wonderful memory and was always
exacting in mentioning dates and
But Mr. Meikle has not occupied
this chair much during the past winter,
owing to his ill health, and the
chair will be occupied by many others,
but it will long linger in our memory
as “Jim Meikle’s Chair”.
Extracted from: UTAH SINCE STATEHOOD HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL
ILLUSTRATED VOLUME IV CHICAGO-SALT LAKE: THE S. J. CLARKE PUBLISHING
submitted by Joy Fisher (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Copyright. All rights reserved: http://www.usgwarchives.org/copyright.htm
JAMES MEIKLE: is a retired rancher living at Smithfield, Cache Co, Utah
He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, July 5, 1839, a son of William and Margaret (Jackson) Meikle. The
father died in Scotland and the mother came with her family to Utah in 1856, settling at Salt Lake City.
She made the trip across the plains with the first handcart Companies (2nd
) during 1856 and for four
years remained a resident of Salt Lake City, after which she removed to Smith-field (1860), being among
the first residents in this section. Here James Meikle and his brother established the first tannery and
continued in that business until 1889, when the brother, Robert, passed away. James Meikle then turned
his attention to farming and carefully developed his fields as the years passed. He remained active in
agricultural pursuits until a recent date, when he retired from business and his sons now conduct the
On the 3d of January, 1864, Mr. Meikle was married to Miss Harriet Louise Peacock, a daughter of
William and Phillis (Hyam) Peacock, who were natives of Herefordshire, England, and came to Utah in
1863, settling at Smithfield. Mr. and Mrs. Meikle became the parents of nine children, seven of whom are
yet living. Mr. Meikle's second wife was Lavina Noble, a daughter of William and Mary Ann Noble, and
they had six children, five of whom survive.
In 1882 Mr. Meikle went to Scotland on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
and remained abroad for two years, spending one year in Birmingham, England, having charge of the
conference. He has been actively identified with Utah for a period of sixty-three years and has therefore
been a witness of practically the entire growth and development of the State. He has contributed much to
the improvement of Smithfield and has been called upon to fill a number of public offices.
He served for fourteen years as chief of police of Smithfield and for two terms was a member of the city
council. He is an Indian war veteran, having participated in the Indian troubles in northern Utah and
southern Idaho and he is vice commander of the Indian War Veterans of Cache County at the present
time. He has been prominently identified with the building of canals and roads and with various other
public activities which have been of great benefit to the community and to the state at large. Mr. Meikle
has now reached the advanced age of eighty years, having come as a youth of seventeen to Utah, and
through the intervening period he has continuously remained a resident of this State save when filling a
mission in Great Britain.
1880 United States Census
Rella- Marital Birth- Father’s Mother’s
Name tion Status Gender Race Age place Occupation Birthplace Birthplace
----------------- --------- ------ --------- ----- ---- ---------- -------------- ----------- ------------
James MEIKLE Self M Male W 45 SCOT Farms SCOT SCOT
Harriet MEIKLE Wife M Female W 45 ENG Keep House ENG ENG
James MEIKLE Son S Male W 15 UT Wk-Farm SCOT ENG
Robert G. MEIKLE Son S Male W 13 UT Wk-Farm SCOT ENG
Alfred W. MEIKLE Son S Male W 11 UT SCOT ENG
Isabella MEIKLE Dau S Female W 8 UT SCOT ENG
Joseph MEIKLE Son S Male W 3 UT SCOT ENG
Harriet MEIKLE Dau S Female W 11Mo UT SCOT ENG
Source Information: Census Place: Smithfield, Cache, Utah
Family History Library Film: 1255336
NA Film Number: T9-1336
Page Number: 205B
1900 James Meikle, "United States Census"
Name:James MeikleTitles and Terms:Sr.Event Place:ED 84 Smithfield Precinct Smithfield City, Cache,
Utah, United StatesBirth Date:Jul 1837Birthplace:ScotlandRelationship to Head of Household:HeadFather's
Birthplace:ScotlandMother's Birthplace:ScotlandRace:WhiteGender:MaleMarital Status:MarriedYears
Married:38Marriage Year (Estimated):1862Immigration Year:1850
Household Gender Age Birthplace
Head James Meikle M 63 Scotland
Wife Addie Meikle F 64 England
Daughter Hattie Meikle F 21 Utah
Son Joseph Meikle M 22 Utah
Daughter-in-law Tempe Meikle F 23 Utah
Granddaughter Margaret Meikle F 0 Utah
Page:4Sheet Letter:BFamily Number:75Reference ID:72GS Film number:1241682Digital Folder
1910 James Meikel, "United States Census"
name:James Meikel birthplace:Scotland relationship to head of household:Self
residence:Smithfield, Cache, Utah marital status:Married race :White gender:Male
father's birthplace:Scotland mother's birthplace:Scotland
Household Gender Age Birthplace
Self James Meikel M 70y Scotland
Wife Harriet Meikel F 72y England
1920 "United States Census"
James Joseph Meikle living with son Joseph A. Meikle
Your tombstone stands neglected and alone.
The name and date are chiseled out on polished, marbled stone.
It reaches out to all who care. It is too late to mourn.
You did not know that I exist. You died and I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you in flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our heart contracts and beats a pulse entirely not our own.
Dear Ancestor, the place you filled so many years ago.
Spreads out among the ones you left who would have loved you so.
I wonder as you lived and loved, I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot and come to visit you.
Find A Grave
James Joseph Meikle
Burial: Smithfield City Cemetery , Smithfield, Cache County, Utah, USA, Plot: A_161_4
AFFIDAVIT CONCERNING SERVICE IN INDIAN WARS
Agency Commissioner of Indian War Records
Caption James Meikle
Title Indian War affidavits
Source Container Box 2 Folder 17
Source Relation Series 2217 | Commissioner of Indian War Records | Indian War affidavits | James Meikle
Date-Original 1907; 1908; 1909
Date-Digital 2007 Type Text Format Image/jpeg
Conversion Specifications Digitized by Genealogical Society of Utah; Redlake Digital Camera TIFF 96 PPI
8 bit Indexed color into JPEG using Adobe Photoshop CS2.
Rights Management Digital Image 2007 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used by agreement by
the Utah State Archives which is the custodian of the original records from the Commissioner of Indian War
Holding.Institution Utah State Archives
Finding Aid http://archives.utah.gov/research/inventories/2217.html
Abstract Legislation in 1909 created a Board of Commissioners of Indian War Records to ascertain
the names of the persons who were members of any organization performing military duties during Indian wars
against the Indians during territorial years.
Subject Indians of North America--Utah--Wars - Veterans--Utah Military pensions--Utah
Town Marshal: http://www.smithfieldcity.org/index.php?module=ibcms&fxn=police.officers
This photo incorrectly identifies Robert Meikle and James
Joseph Meikle. The photo has been included in some family
biographies. James Joseph Meikle was a town Marshal about
1870, but this IS NOT a photo of Meikle brothers.
PHOTO FROM 1915
At this site, James J. Meikle is listed as a Marshal. He is about #14 in the list.
The Smithfield City Police Department has been in operation since 2001. However, before that
Smithfield has had a long legacy of men serving in law enforcement. In 1868, Thomas G. Winn was
elected as the first marshal of Smithfield. From then until 1971 Smithfield law enforcement was handled
by a marshal and a night watchman. The following are the most complete lists of the men who have
served as the Smithfield Marshal and as the Night Watchmen that is available.
Marshalls Include: James J. Meikle