Excerpts taken from histories by Loretta Rowe Burnside and Jennie Allred Brotherson. Both Histories can be found in the History of Mountainville by Melba Hill.
Caratat Conderset Rowe, son of William Niblo Rowe and Candace Branchard Rowe, was born in Perry Township, Delaware County, Indianaon May 11, 1823. The family had migrated from the northeastern states. He often told his grandchildren that his name was Caratat Conderset Nichols John Rowe. The grandchildren thought this was just another joke that their witty and fun-loving grandfather was telling them. But he may have been named for the Marque de Jean Marie Antione Nicholas Caratat Condercet. Caratat was of medium height and had dark brown hair and brown eyes.
It seemed that the Rowes lived near the Latter Day Saint Church headquarters and were acquainted with the early church leaders whom they respected. As a youngster, Caratat heard the gospel from missionaries. It was not until he realized how much the “Mormons” were being persecuted for their faith that Caratat became interested. He was baptized August 12, 1842. As a young man he married Mary Napier, a lovely blue eyed, red haired Scotch lassie who was a “Mormon” convert immigrant.
Mary Napier was born March 30, 1823 in Kilayth, Lanarkshire Scotland. Her parents were Janette Gillis and John Napier. Mary was descended from the royal family of Scotland and of Ireland. Genealogists have traced her lineage back for many generations; on one line to 1700 B.C. She was of the royal line of Judah through King Zedikah according to Church records. Many interesting facts are thus brought out concerning her ancestral lines and their history.
When missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints preached the gospel in Scotland, Mary and her sister Isabella were converted. They were baptized, though it is not known if at the same time. Mary and Isabella were the only ones of their family to come to America. It is not known at this time if Isabella ever came to Utah. Elder Franklin D. Richards was one of the missionaries who preached the gospel to Mary.
Mary’s great faith and the friendships she gained kept her happy. She seemed to enjoy the spiritual gift of Vision of Prophecy. Many times she knew of coming events before they actually occurred.
Shortly after their marriage came the call for enlistments in the Mormon Battalion. Caratat joined with his two cousins, William and Manning Rowe. The Battalion left Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and marched toward the southwest to prevent further trouble between the United States Government and Mexico. The trials and hardships the men endured are well known. A sick detachment of men were sent to Pueblo, Colorado to spend the winter of 1846-47.
During the journey William Rowe became very ill and was unable to walk. The officer in charge thought this poor sick man would die. He advised the company to leave him there and move on. Caratat sat cross-legged on the ground beside his sick cousin. With his musket across his lap, he refused to leave. Finally, the officer in charge gave an order and William was lifted into a wagon. He recovered and was able to endure the journey into Utah.
Bound for Utah with the sick detachment, which included 140 members of the Batallion, were 40 Saints, 29 wagons, one carriage, 100 horses and 300 cattle. This company arrived in Utah just five days after the arrival of the first company of pioneers. (July 29, 1847).
Caratat traveled east to meet his family. He left Salt Lake Valley on August 26, 1847. During the journey his feet were frozen.
While Caratat had been away with the battalion, his wife, Mary, lived with Caratat’s parents in Iowa. Caratat Conderset Rowe, Jr. was born in Iowa on August 10, 1848/49. Candace Blanchard Rowe was born July 24, 1851 while the family was still in Iowa.
The family were members of a wagon train company which left Kanesville, Iowa in 1853 headed by Henry B. Jolley. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on September 15, 1852. Caratat and his family settled in Payson in Utah County.
Here three children were born: William Napier, born 15 September 1853; Jennett Sterling, born 24 August 1855; and a son, Ilinian (called Allen, Lin or Leen) born 12 July 1858.
When the Walker War was raging, Caratat served under the rank of Second Lieutenant. He was a member of Company “B” of the Payson Post of the Nauvoo Legion and also a member of the “Silver Greys”.
In 1860 the family moved to Sanpete County and settled at Mt. Pleasant. On April 23, 1861, a daughter Mary was born.
For several years Caratat and his sons did farming and stock raising in Thistle Valley at Indianola. Here they were active in defense of this summer settlement when Indians were on the war path. Both Caratat and his son “Con” were active in the Blackhawk War. Whenever possible, they tried to remain on friendly terms with the Indians. “Con” learned to speak the Indian language and had many friends among them.
A more detailed description of those early days is given in the history of Indianola from Centennial History of Sanpete County, “These Our Fathers”.
Indianola, originally called Thistle Valley, is located in the northern end of Sanpete County on Highway 89. As the name indicates, it was once the home of a tribe of Indians. They settled in a protected cove in the southeast part of the valley, called “Indian Hollow”. Here their horses and stock could feed throughout the winter among the cedars and in the ravines of the canyon. A large part of the valley consists of grass meadow land. It was for this reason that the early colonists of Fairview and Mt. Pleasant, among them Caratat Conderset Rowe, used this valley and Milburn Valley as summer pasture for their beef and dairy heads, their sheep and pigs.
They constructed small movable buildings called “herd houses” or “dairy houses”. The roofs of these buildings were somewhat in the manner of our sheep wagons of today and were covered with canvas. They could easily be moved about on wheels and follow the herds. In those the “herd boys” lived.
One year a herd of pigs had been brought to Thistle Valley for the summer. When they were being driven back to town, the men who were driving the pigs tgried to make them travel a little faster. As a result they all died from becoming overheated. The particular spot on the road about half way between Indianola and Hilltop is still known as the “Hog Dugway”.
Peter Gottfredsen, Caratat Conderset Rowe, Coderset Rowe Jr., Nathan Staker and his sons, Aaron and Joseph, were some of the herders of these flocks. Peter Gottfredsen in his book, “Indian Depredations in Utah” notes that after the close of the Tintic War in 1856, the Indians were comparatively peaceful until 1863. They again became dissatisfied, thinking that their hunting grounds were being taken from them by the white settlers.
In June 1866, Captain Albert P. Dewey of Colonel Kimball’s command was ordered to establish a key post in Thistle Valley. There were 22 cavalry and 35 infantry, the latter under Captain Jesse West. A few days later, they were attacked by a band of Indians under “Chief Black Hawk”. The battle lasted all day and Charles Brown of Draper was killed. If help had not arrived from Mt. Pleasant, there isno doubt that the Indians would have taken the camp.
The mountain now known as “Blackhawk” was used by Chief Black Hawk and his warriors as a signal point. Just east of this peak, in the Red Cliffs, is an old Indian burial ground. Undoubtedly, the Indians killed during the Blackhawk War were buried there. Many of the older Indians were buried here after they made peace with the whites.
One of the most horrible deeds committed during the Blackhawk War by the Indians was the massacre of the John Given family in the Thistle Valley on the morning of May 26, 1865. John Given, his wife, son and three small daughters were killed instantly. Two men, Charles Brown and Charles Wager Leah, who lived with the Givens, were able to escape and go down the canyon to a small settlement and report what had happened. After the massacre, the Indians gathered up the possessions of the family and killed or crippled the calves, and drove off with between one hundred and two hundred head of horses and cattle into the mountains.
While Caratat was living in Indianola, he built a wagon. The wheels were sawed off log ends reinforced with pieces of iron nailed around the outside edge of the wheels. Later, Caratat, his sons, Con and Allen moved their families to a valley east of the “Round Hills” in Sanpete County. They acquired farming land. The little settlement became known as Mountainville. Caratat was presiding Elder of this branch of the Mt. Pleasant North Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for many years.
An Indian whose name was James Onumph used to come to the home of Mary and Caratat Conderset Rowe quite often when they were living at Mountainville. Once when he was visiting with them, "Indian Jim" as he was called was talking with Grandma Mary. He asked her a question pertaining to a principle of the gospel and Mary was attempting to answer the question. She started to speak then said, "I wish that I could answer your question so that you could understand. I would like to have the language to explain it to you, and to make it clear to you". Then thge Indian said to her "Stand Up". She began to speak. Again he said, "Stand Up". Mary stood up, and began to speak to him. Onumph nodded his head and Onumph again nodded his head. It was plain that he knew what she meant. But no one else in the room could understand, even her sons and daughter-in-law. She spoke in a language which her children did not understand. But James Onumph or "Indian Jim", clearly understood what she said. Grandma Mary Napier Rowe had spoken with the spiritual gift of tongues.