GEORGE HENRY GALE
George Henry Gale was born 18 January 1873 in Beaver, Beaver Co., Utah, the third child in a family of fourteen, and the first son in that family. At an early age he sensed responsibility when father Gale was not at home.
George felt he should do all he could to help mother with the plans of running the farm and taking the lead in getting the younger boys to help in getting things done as Father wanted them to do while he was away.
He was five years old when the family moved from Beaver to Snowflake, Arizona and sixteen when they moved to the Colonies in Mexico.
Along with Father he worked on the railroad that was being put through the country.
He was active in the church, advancing in the Priesthood and organizations as he grew up.
Our parents were not happy in raising their family there, so decided to make the move back to Gila Valley. Sadie and Hattie were already living in Thatcher, Arizona, and wanted them to settle there. This move was made in January 1894. George had been bedfast quite often with inflammatory rheumatism. His legs were swollen and so full of misery he made most of the trip lying on a bed back in the covered wagon. Father put slats across the wagon box and springs on them to make them more comfortable.
In 1895, the first year we farmed the Richard Layton farm, George got the job of carrying the mail from Solomonville to Bowie, Arizona.
He was equipped with a team and covered hack to make these trips, over rough, un-graded, dirt roads.
He had to have a heavy, long pair of shears with him to trim the fetlocks on the horses' feet. The mud was so sticky it would gather in the hair and form large balls of mud, which had to be cut away for the horses' comfort.
He would drive along, always alone, with no gun or anything to defend himself; always on the lookout for Indians, but was never bothered by them.
One day two men on horses came into the road and ordered him to stop. They wore handkerchiefs, masking their faces, both armed with guns. One kept George covered while the other one took the mailbags from the hack or light wagon. They told him to drive on and not to look back. Of course he was very frightened, knowing nothing else to do, so drove on in and reported the holdup, telling as near as he could the exact location. The officers had to put him in jail. After much questioning they left him there and went to investigate. They found the mail bags where he told them he was robbed, a short distance from the road, cut open, the mail scattered around some distance by the wind and light rain, the horses' tracks and also the men's tracks, but nothing of much value. The shears were held as evidence that he might have used them to open the bags.
The holdup was reported to Father and our family. Such sad news it was; we all cried and prayed together for our dear brother in jail. Father and Mother went to Solomonville where he was being held, to see him, thinking something could be done to get him out soon. Many of the leading men around offered Father financial help if he needed it. Money didn't buy such releases in those days and we never had such a thought, but lawyers, when needed, had to be paid.
Several suspects were arrested and brought in. One of the big factors that helped to identify the right man was to line up several men in one room, and an officer asking them questions. George, being held in an adjoining room so he could hear their words and voices, was to identify the voice of the man who did the talking when he was held up. Each time he heard that certain voice he recognized it, and it was proved that he did know the voice of the robber, who finally confessed.
As a family we knew that George was able to get his release through our much fasting and prayers. I shall always remember those prayers and tears, on his return home. How careful he wanted to be about not coming near us until Father took clean clothes out to him. He had a good bath with something to kill the lice, both on his head and body, and his old clothes were buried. The rejoicing and prayer of thanksgiving for his release and homecoming was really sincere. The big shears were given to him to keep when he left the jail.
We farmed in Thatcher two years, during which time we met for the first time some cousins. Father's sister Elizabeth Gale Kartchner and some of her children living in Snowflake came to visit us and spent some time during the summer with us canning and drying fruit. That was when George first met Elsie, his cousin, who later became his wife. She was such a sweet girl and fit into our family as a dear sister, and we all loved her.
George and Elsie made the trip to the Manti Temple in Utah with a team and wagon, to be married, then on down to Thatcher, Arizona in 1896.
The Indians were always on the lookout to rob or bother travelers. They held George and Elsie up. They were both very frightened. Elsie hid herself back in the covered wagon and covered over with bedding. The Indians held the horses by their bridles and would not turn loose. The team was very high-spirited, and George decided to lash the whip on them. When he did, the horses gave a big jump and were away in quick speed. All the rest of the trip they traveled as fast and long as they could, praying frequently to not be molested again.
There are so many things that could be written about their lives and their large family of eleven children. Five sons gave service in defense of the U.S.A., two of them gave their lives; Hugh on the battlefield and Victor not long after returning home. Seven grandsons have been in the service.
The descendants of this couple are all respectable, honest, hard working, and successful in what they do. They have a faith in the Gospel their parents taught them and are doing their part and living lives that would reflect honor and respect to their father's name.
It is not easy to find a stopping place. George did so much to get the research and genealogy work started as he and I (Mae) were assigned to do by our father for the family organization.
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