John Jaques

John Jaques

Among the people Alfred Cordon knew in his lifetime was John Jaques. John was converted to the church in England, 1845 around the time Alfred was serving a mission in Vermont. When Alfred returned to England 1848 for his second mission, John Jaques was involved in missionary work as well. John loved to write poetry and started writing for the The Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star publication in England. He wrote the words for the hymns “Softly Beams the Sacred Dawning” and “O Say What is Truth?“. John went on to join the Saints in Zion and was part of the Martin Handcart Company in 1856. He was later an Assistant Church Historian and was part of the committee who organized the Genealogical Society of Utah which later became the Family History Department of the church.

John Jaques

Alfred Cordon mentions his name a few times in his journal, his first reference to him was in March 1850, “I staid with brother Jacques for the night, he treated me verry kindly and gave me when I left the sum of 5/”. It was in July of 1850 Alfred and Elder Toone set him apart as a traveling missionary for the area. Elder Jaques traveled with Alfred throughout the conference over the next few months and got to know each other well. When Alfred left the mission in September of 1850 to return to his family John gave him a poem. Alfred recorded the composition in his journal.

Almighty Father of the human race
Who sits enthroned in glorious majesty
Yet takest peculiar delight in
The workmanship of thy hands; that looketh
Down to smile upon and bless the sons of Man,
and favour thy obedient Children
Listen, O Listen to my souls desire,
From thy high court above answer my prayer
I crave for my brother Alfred Cordon
O Lord, thou knowest his faithfulness and
Strong desire to fulfill all righteousness.
His sterling virtue, firm integrity
And constant watchfulness. How cheerful
His ready mind follows the council of
The Holy Priesthood, and obeys its call, My Father,
He has right nobly fulfilled his mission
And cheered the hearts of thine afflicted sons
Many through him have heard and felt and loved
The truth, and now rejoice in liberty.
Throughout all ages they will call him blest,
And thank the Providence that shaped his course.
For manfully he bore to them the word And spirit of Life.
He has proved himself A messenger of Peace,
an herald of Salvation, a bearer of glad tidings
To a benighted people.
In tearful gratitude Now he is leaving us we say–
Adieu God speed thee brother,
Haste to the bosom Of the Church,
thy wife, and family;
The prayers and blessings of ten thousand
Saints are thine. Farewell!
Great Father of our Spirits
Bear him safe o’er the wide world of waters.
To his mountain home.
Preserve him from all
Dangers by sea or land.
Give the rude winds
And the foaming waves charge concerning him
That he may again embrace his loved ones
In the sweet Valleys of the fertile West.
And shake hands with the nobles of Israel
In the heights of Zion.
May his good wife live long to his glory
And bring him many children to give
Honour and support to him in his declining years.
May their lives be devoted to the Public good,
May they be ambassadors to the nations;
May strangers point and Say,
These were born in Zion.
O let the choicest blessings of high heaven
Descend upon his head,
Stretch out thy hand
Watch over him for good,
Bless him out of Zion Thy holy habitation.
Prosper him In all things he shall set his hand unto
Establish him in the high mountains of Ephraim.
May his inheritance become
Verry fruitful, and his posterity
Be multiplied, may his flocks and herds
And all his possessions greatly increase
Stir up his pure mind
To a remembrance of the Warwickshire Saints,
when he reaches the Hills of Zion
That he may plead for their deliverance
From Gentile bondage.
In holy places And within the more sacred walls of thy Temple,
may he petition thy throne on Their behalf.
Yet more my Father,
May he overcome the evils of the World,
and escape the evils of deceivers,
Deliver him from the snares of Satan,
Shield him from the venomous dart of wicked Men and devils.
Comfort him on his long dreary journey,
Bear high his spirit, far exceed his hopes,
And fond anticipations.
Illuminate His soul and fill his mind with perfect peace.
Guide his feet in all righteousness,
Lead him In the bright ways of everlasting truth,
May he grow in knowledge and thy favour
And swiftly run the great race before him.
May his sun no more go down, nor his
Light within him be darkness, and may he drink
Still more deeply from the pure fountain of
Intelligence and wisdom.
And may his Continual course rise upwards to the Gods.
May his name never be blotted from Heavens Archives
But through all eternity may it be
Had in honourable remembrance.
In thy Kingdom Crown him with a royal diadem
Of Unfolding Glory and Celestial worth;
Grant him to wave a righteous sceptre
Of untold splendour and sanctified Millions.
Grant all things in the name of Jesus Christ,
Amen and Amen

John Jacques, Coventry, England September, 1850

Alfred Cordon’s journal entries end around this time and we don’t have any of his writings about his journey home to join his family. Luckily John Jaques makes mention of hearing about Alfred Cordon’s safe arrival to St. Louis, he wrote,

Received a letter from Sister Betsey McGregor containing twelve postage stamps, also stating that her brother, John, was doing a good business at St. Louis, U .S .A. They had also heard from Elder Alfred Cordon from St. Louis stating that he had arrived there safe as far as his person was concerned, but he had been on the railway in two collisions, but himself and his luggage escaped scot free. Whilst on the steamboat before that time, being very tired, he fell asleep and some one, taking advantage of him, contrived to rob him of sixty-five sovereigns, partly his own and partly belonging to other families. The Saints at St. Louis gave him sufficient to help him to Council Bluffs.

Rebecca Eleanor Collins

Rebecca Eleanor Collins

Alfred Cordon was married multiple times during his lifetime. He married Emma Parker in England, Emily Pridmore and Mary Ann Voss here in Utah. He technically married a four wife in 1852 by the name of Rebecca Collins.

In Salt Lake City at the endowment house, Heber C Kimball married Rebecca to her late husband Michael Fannon for time and eternity and to Alfred Cordon for time only. This was on February 7, 1852. Rebecca then passed away on April 19, 1852, just 6 months after arriving to the valley from England.SisterFannon-DeathNotice1852

Rebecca was born on the 9th of March 1800 in Eversham, Worcester, England. She married Michael Fannon on the 19th of July 1824 at St. Mary-Le-Bone, Middlesex, England. I don’t believe they had any children as Michael died in 1846 while living in Birmingham, England.

This is where Alfred Cordon met Sister Fannon. He mentions her a few times in his journals, in 1849, as a place he would stop to get a good meal and a place to sleep while in the area. She was 17 years older then him and took care of him while he was on his mission. You can read the references to her in his typescript journal on pages 254, 256, 281, 294,306, 337, 348 and 354.

After her husbands death we know she sailed for America arriving in New Orleans in March 1851. Alfred Cordon had just returned home from his mission and was with his family in Kanesville (Council Bluff) preparing to trek to the Salt Lake Valley. We can assume Rebecca joined him at some point as the next mention of her is in the endowment house record of their marriage in Feb, 1852.

Alfred Cordon Headstone

Alfred Cordon Headstone

I am sure many of you have visited Alfred Cordon’s headstone in Willard Utah. It is really easy to spot as it is one of the larger monuments in the cemetery. Even from google maps you can see the headstone with the four markers around it.

For those of you who can’t visit the cemetery, I have made a 3D scan of the headstone which allows you to rotate and see all four sides as well as zoom in and read any markings. Go ahead and give it a spin.

Cordon- Flash1-edit
by thorsted
on Sketchfab

Alfred Cordon Probate

Alfred Cordon Probate

Alfred Cordon passed away suddenly in March of 1871. He was quite prominent in the community and involved in all that went on in the small town of Willard. I recently stopped by the Utah State Archives here in downtown Salt Lake City and was able to get a copy of Alfred Cordon’s probate record from the Box Elder county books. His estate was valued at over $8,000! That must have been a large amount for the time. Click the picture below to see the full Probate.

*Correction, I was able to find the appraisal mentioned in this Probate. I have added it to the the document. or you can download the appraisal separately here.

Probate

Missionary Letters

Missionary Letters

Along with the new early Missionary Databased just released the Church History Library also has a collection of early First Presidency missionary calls and recommendations from 1877-1918. Many are letters written back to the first presidency accepting their call to serve a mission. There are many letters in the collection from Alfred Cordon descendants. Here are a few:

Omer S. Cordon served Northern States Mission from 1906-1908
FamilySearch KWCY-GYH Missionary Database Entry

Alfred J. Cordon second letter served Eastern States Mission from 1904-1906
FamilySearch KWZ7-QV8 Missionary Database Entry

Alfred Cordon served British Mission from 1901-1903
FamilySearch KWJG-924 Passport Application Missionary Database Entry

Ralph Purl Cordon served Southern States Mission from 1906-1907
FamilySearch KWC1-55D Missionary Database Entry

George Albert Cordon Jr. served Eastern States Mission from 1915-1917
FamilySearch KWZZ-XWXMissionary Database Entry

Charles Alfred Cordon served Central States Mission from 1912 –
FamilySearch KWCY-9BC Missionary Database Entry

Alfred James Cordon served Central States Mission from 1907-1909
FamilySearch KWVH-BXR Missionary Database Entry

New Missionary Database

New Missionary Database

Today a new Missionary Database from the Church History Library will be announced during Rootstech in Salt Lake City. This new database contains information about all the early missionaries sent out to the world from 1830 to 1930.

You can search the new database on the Church History Library’s website.
https://history.lds.org/missionary

Early Missionary Database

Of course our favorite early missionary Alfred Cordon is in the Database and if full of useful information as well as links to original documents. Take a look! https://history.lds.org/missionary/individual/alfred-cordon-1817

Lorenzo Snow Letter 1859

Lorenzo Snow Letter 1859

Lorenzo Snow penned a letter to Brigham Young on August 1, 1859 regarding his visit to Willow Creek. Lorenzo Snow gave the congregation some instruction from the Prophet and then asked them to express any feelings and to vote for a Bishop. “Alfred Cordon was unanimously voted in as their Bishop and President without a single expression of opposition…I never saw a better spirit prevail at a meeting.”

The members of the Willow Creek Ward, which shortly afterward became the Willard Ward, obviously had great respect for Alfred Cordon and his ability to preside over their congregation.

Lorenzo Snow Letter to Brigham Young 1859

Lorenzo Snow Letter to Brigham Young 1859

Alfred Cordon in Nauvoo

Alfred Cordon in Nauvoo

Nauvoo TempleWe know Alfred Cordon and family spent some time in Nauvoo. They arrived April 23, 1843 on the steamboat “Maid of Iowa”. It was here Alfred, Emma and young Edwin Parker met the Prophet Joseph Smith and was able to get a little acre of land north of the temple site. Alfred built a small home on his property, but his time in Nauvoo was cut short as he was called on a mission in May of 1844.

I was able to visit Nauvoo recently and enjoyed exploring this small town and trying to imagine the Cordon family here. As we visited the different buildings that have been restored, I ran across this framed picture on the wall in the Family Living Center building.Nauvoo-Potters

If you click on the image, you can see it is a list of the individuals who were Nauvoo Potters at the time. Alfred is 4th on the list. You can have a seat on the benches there are listen to a missionary do his best to teach you about how pottery was made and used during that time.

Overall it was a fun visit. Stay tuned and I will post a follow up to this with more details about the Cordon’s home location and other details about his life there.

Nauvoo Neighbor

Potter Association Advertisement

See my Pioneer Ancestors

See my Pioneer Ancestors

This week I received an email from FamilySearch. In honor of Pioneer Day on the 24th of July you can now have FamilySearch take a look through your ancestors and identify those who are listed in the Overland Trails Database over at the Church History Library. Alfred Cordon is listed first! Give it a try!

Pioneer Ancestors

Pioneer Ancestors

 

 

Alfred Cordon Company

Alfred Cordon Company

The Frontier Guardian

The Frontier Guardian
Frontier Guardian March 1851

Frontier Guardian March 1851

In the March 7, 1851 issue of The Frontier Guardian published in Kanesville, Iowa, Elder Alfred Cordon is recorded as sending in a letter reporting on the Saints making preparations for an early emigration.

Alfred also speaks of his missionary efforts, Wiskeyology & education.

You can read the whole newspaper article here.