A pioneer of 1847, George Washington Adair was born March 18, 1818 at West Carthage, Lincoln County, Tennessee. His father, Thomas Jefferson Adair, was born 25 October 1771 in North Charleston, Lawrence County, South Carolina. His Mother was Rebecca Brown born 3 November 1776, Nashville, Davidson Co., Tennessee.
George's family moved considerable during his childhood as they lived in Indiana, Tennessee and Alabama during the next seventeen years. During his early life in Alabama he was an overseer on a plantation for some time. This was during the slavery days. During this time he, with other men, would go from place to place to cradle grain. He was a great man with a grain cradle as grandfather was both tall and strong. Several men would go into a grain patch to cut it down, one man would stand several yards ahead, then the rest would follow. Each would cut a swath and so on and thus the grain was cut with other men behind to bind the grain. If a man could catch up and crowd the first man out then he would have to step back. They would all try to see who could crowd the other out. Grandfather took head swath on many occasions, as he was one of the best cradlers. A cradle is a frame attached to a scythe for laying grain evenly as it was cut. All the grain had to be cut that way.
George moved to Nauvoo after the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith (June 27, 1844) but before the saints left that city. The great body of the saints left Nauvoo in February and April 1846. George was in General McIntosh's company as guard to the city of Nauvoo. General McIntosh was not a member of the church.
He married Miriam Billingsly 6 May 1846. Came to Salt Lake in October 1847 and lived in Sugarhouse.
They later moved to Minersville, Utah and then about 1864 he moved to Beaver, Utah. While at Beaver he did a great deal of farming. He had a piece of land on the North Creek and raised beautiful wheat. Then the black crickets came and we fought them for several days with every chick of us big enough to wield a brush had to help. Ditches were dug and water run into them and the crickets were herded into the ditches, thrashing out with all our strength. Most of the wheat was saved.
George was an excellent woodchopper and rail-splitter, he split rails in the south and did lots of wood chopping of cordwood and saw logs. He cut lots of cordwood for soldiers' camps and mining camps to run the smelters.
Cove Fort was built while they lived in Beaver and George worked on the Fort. He sent his oldest son to work on the St. George Temple. Their move to Orderville, Kane County, Utah started in July 1878, arriving on July 20. The people persuaded them to remain until after the 24 of July celebration instead of going on to Arizona, where they had intended to go, and they stayed on and joined the United Order, turning into the Order all he had, cows, team and wagon, household belongings, etc. Edwin and I drove the cows while moving.
The stock raising industry was where my father was placed in the Order and each of us was placed where we would do the most good. Father was also a good stonemason and could also make shoes.
Orderville is located in what was then called Long Valley, and is four miles south of Glendale and two miles north of Mt. Carmel, Kane County, Utah. Orderville was laid out on February 20, 1875 and building began. They built lumber shanties in the form of a square fort with a large dining hall in the center where every one ate together as one large family. Their religious and social gatherings were also held here.
At first there were one hundred and eighty persons and they were those who were willing and eager to enter this form of life. It was not long before this group increased to five hundred and forty six persons by 1877. The people in the Order fostered all kinds of industry thus making the community self-supporting. They had farms, orchards, dairies, stockyards, sheepherds, blacksmiths, carpenters, shoe shops, bakeries, sawmill, gristmill, molasses mill, bucket factory, tannery, woolen factory and a copper shop. My brother, Jedediah was a blacksmith.
Father and mother and their oldest daughter Emaline, and also Ruhamah went to Salt Lake to the Jubilee in 1897. One day he was with some of the pioneer men and since every thing was free to the pioneers, they wanted to get a drink in a saloon. They each called for what they wanted, some wine, some beer, but when it came to father he ordered a glass of buttermilk. He was the only one that didn't drink on that occasion.
It was a busy time in the order and at one time when father was chopping logs at the saw mill where the crowd was telling how they chopped logs. One big fellow was telling how he and his companion would pitch in and cut the tree down so fast then would sit on the log and rest. This bothered father so he said, "By Gum, I chop a tree down and chop it up before I sit down to rest." Father was a great hand to say "By Gum" but that was the worst swear word he ever used, the crowd had a good laugh.
When I was sixteen years of age and father sent me to House Rock (the other side of the forest near Grand Canyon) in charge of a herd of sheep. Father, Isaac Losee and I moved the herd out there. The frost would fall every day until noon while we were crossing the Kaibab Mountain. Old settlers said it was the coldest winter they'd ever known. We stayed through the winter and went home in the spring.
When father was seventy years old and I was twenty-six, we were chopping logs at a sawmill. Father said to me, "Do you want to chop alone, or do you want to chop with me?" I thought if I helped father a little it would not be so hard for him and would not hurt me so I answered, "I think I'll chop with you, if it is alright.
We went out and started on a big tree, he on one side and I on the other side. It made me puff and blow just to keep up with him, let alone get ahead of him. Before long he said, "Well my chips are in," and I was not near the center where it was considered "the chips are in."
Father helped guard against the Indians in the early days in Utah and could have received a pension if a record of his time had been kept and presented, but no record was kept.
Father was an alternate in the High Council in the Kanab Stake and filled many positions in the church. He was a great lover of Brigham Young.
The St. George Temple was dedicated in 1877 and that year father and his brothers went there to do work for their dead and to have their own sealings done. There was much misunderstanding by members regarding this work in the early days of the church and many mistakes were made.
It seemed that they understood that they could not be sealed to their own father because he had not been a member of the church. So while I was on a mission in the St. George Temple in 1912 my sister Emaline sent me the records and I had all of father's brothers and sisters sealed to their own father and mother.
Father died from the effect of a fall. He was riding on a two-wheel cart and fell backward striking his head. The stroke did not come until one month after the accident. Death came August 28, 1897 just a month after returning from the fiftieth anniversary of the arrival of the saints into the Salt Lake Valley. He was seventy-nine years old.
At father's funeral, Charles Negus Carroll, one of those who spoke said, "We can say with truth, there lays an honest man." What greater tribute can be paid any man?
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Some grammar, punctuation, and spellings were modernized by David Calvin Andrus (George's g. g. g. grandson) November 2001, while converting the narrative to electronic format from a typescript Sharon Adair Andrus made in the 1970s.