Saturday, October 15, 2011

Jacob Foutz

Jacob Foutz was born November 20, 1800 in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, the son of John Foutz and Elizabeth Hinkle, who were both natives of the same area.

On July 22, 1822, as a 21-year-old man, young Jacob married Margaret Mann. Margaret was born December 11, 1801 in Thomastown, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, to David Mann and Mary Rock. While still a baby, Margaret was deprived of both parents and was left an orphan; Margaret was raised by strangers.
In 1834, while living in Richland County, Ohio, the Foutz family received a visitor from Elder David Evans of the four-year-old Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Evans taught Jacob and Margaret’s family the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Convinced of the Church’s truthfulness, the Foutz family was baptized a practice becoming increasingly unpopular with the northern Ohio neighbors.  Jacob gained prominence in the area and became known as "the old preacher".
The Foutzes purchased some land on the Crooked River in Missouri. Here an organized branch of the Church had settled in a spot known as Haun’s Mill, named for the mill owned by Brother Jacob Haun. The branch was presided over by the man who had taught the Foutz family the Gospel, Elder David Evans. The Foutzes were anxious to finally establish a permanent home here among their new friends of the faith. 

Map of Haun's Mill

The Foutz family was living at Haun's Mill during the time of the Haun's Mill Massacre.  Miracously, all of the family survived the massacre.  What follows are excerpts from Jacob's wife, Margarets account of the massacre that occurred on October 30, 1838.
I was at home with my little family of five children and could hear the firing of guns. In a moment I knew the mob was upon us. Soon a runner came telling the women and children to hasten into the timber and secret ourselves, which we did without taking anything to keep us warm. And had we been fleeing from the scalping knife of the Indian we would not have made greater haste, and as we went we finally numbered about forty or fifty women and children.
We ran about three miles into the woods and there huddled together, spreading what few blankets and shawls chance only had thrown in our path, upon the ground for the children and here we remained until two o’clock the next morning before we heard anything of the result of the firing at the mill...

It was about seven o’clock in the morning when we arrived at the mill. The first house I came to there were three dead men ...  I hurried on to find my husband. (Jacob Foutz) I found him in an old house covered with rubbish. The mob had taken the bedding and clothing from the houses that were near the mill. My husband was shot in the thigh. I rendered him all the aid that I could but it was evening before I could get him home.
 In the evening Brother Evans got a team and wagon and conveyed my husband to his house, carried him in and placed him on the bed. I then had to attend him alone, without any doctor or anyone to tell me what to do for him. Six days after, I and my husband together, extracted the bullet, it being buried deep in the thick part of the thigh and flattened like a knife.

During the first ten days the mob came every day with blackened faces, more like demons from the infernal pit than like human beings, cursing and swearing that they would kill that damn old Mormon preacher. (Jacob Foutz) And, at times like these when human nature would quail, I have felt the power of God upon me to that degree that I have stood before them fearless and although a woman and alone, these demons in human shape had to succumb, for there was a power they knew not of. During these days of danger I would sometimes have to hide my husband out in the woods and cover him with leaves. And, then again in the house. Thus during my husband’s illness was I harassed by mobocratic violence.”
Haun's Mill Massacre - painting by C.C.A Christensen

The Foutz family moved frequently with the Saints over the next years.  In each place where Jacob lived, he served the Lord.
  • On October 27, 1840, Jacob Foutz was made second councilor to Bishop Matthew Leach in the Freedom Stake of the Church, near Payson, Adams County, Illinois.
  • The Prophet Joseph Smith records that on February 28, 1841, a branch of the Church or stake of Zion was organized in Brown County, western Illinois with Levi Gifford as president, Lodarick as first councilor, and Jacob Foutz as second councilor.
  • Between 1841 and 1842, he served a mission for the Church
  • On October 12, 1842, Jacob Foutz was appointed bishop of the Nauvoo Fifth Ward. 
In 1847, Jacob Foutz led a company of pioneers as a captain of 50 to Utah.  The company departed June 17, 1847 from the outfitting post on the Elkhorn River about 27 miles west of Winter Quarters, Nebraska.  Included in the company was Jacob Foutz (46), Margaret Mann Foutz (45), Nancy Ann Foutz (21), Elizabeth Foutz Hess (20), Catherine Foutz (15), Joseph Lehi Foutz (10), Margaret Foutz (7), and Jacob Foutz, Jr. (3).

Jacob Foutz and Edward described the company in the following letter to Brigham Young.

You can get more information about the pioneer company at the LDS Church History site.

Shortly after arriving in SLC, on November 7, 1847, Bishop Foutz was called as the bishop of the east half of the New Fort Ward, which was one of the five wards in the Great Salt Lake Valley.

Poor of health, Bishop Foutz spent much of his time in bed.  The injuries he suffered at Haun's Mill had never completely healed, and a fever sickness he contracted in Nauvoo lingered as well.

Just a month after the birth of his last child, Bishop Foutz passed away at the age of 47.  Jacob died on February 14, 1848 while he was away from home excavating in gravel.  His fellow workers said that he had a stroke and died suddenly.

Jacob Foutz's final resting place is somewhere in Salt Lake City, but unfortunately, the exact spot is unknown.  He is my 3rd Great Grandfather on the Goodman side of the family.

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