From all I can gather, William Lindsay was the straightest of arrows, a saint. In an attempt to keep his experiences accessible, I'm dedicating a few years of research into William Lindsay and putting it on this blog. Please sign the guestbook. I'd love for this to be a gathering place for discussion on the man and his family.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Indian War Veteran

Many years following William Lindsay's involvement in the Utah Blackhawk Indian War, 1865-1867, he and other veterans united to form the Indian War Association around the year 1900. This organization was involved in organizing campfire reunions, advocacy efforts for war pensions, honoring deceased soldiers and other civic events. William Lindsay was involved in the formation of the Indian War Association in Heber on March 18, 1900.

Deseret News. 3/20/1900
Along about the year 1900 an Association of the Indian War Veteran's was formed & I had become a member & later an officer in the Association & Campfires were held yearly in some of the towns where veterans lived & all veterans in the State were invited to come & spend 4 days & have a jolly time And besides that each Post was expected to have a gathering in their own town & have a Program a Banquet & a Grand Ball once each year & we sure had many right social gatherings & enjoyable times I was Adjutant & Quartermaster for many years & attended campfires in several Utah county towns At some of those campfires the subject of trying to get some enumeration for our services during the Indian wars in Utah was discussed & it was decided that each veteran pay one dollar each year into a fund to be used to pay a committee to go to Washington with a petition asking Congress to pass a bill allowing each man who could prove his services in the Indian wars of Utah a pension. But for years they could not get anything done. Finally about 1916 Mr. Howell our Representative & Reed Smoot our Senator were appealed to & Howell introduced a bill giving a pension to all who could prove 90 days continuous service which passed the House & came up to the Senate. Here Smoot amended the bill to read 30 days instead of 90 & got the bill passed & Pres. Wilson signed it March 4th 1917 The amount of the Pension was $20.00 per month for Veterans & $12.00 for their widows. So I with others received a Pension from that time on. Then in the Congress of 1916 & 1917 Representative Leatherwood introduced a bill asking that the amount of The Indian war pension be increased to $50.00 for men over 75 years of age & $30.00 for widows it passed the house & Smoot took hold of it & got it passed in the Senate & Pres. Coolidge signed it & so I am enjoying the benefits but a majority of of those who did service passed away before these Pension laws were passed & some who are still living but had failed to get their names on the Muster Rolls at the time of service & cannot prove 30 days service by living witnesses are left out. Of course at the time this service was rendered we had no idea of getting any remuneration whatever. What we did we were almost compelled to do to protect ourselves & our cattle & horses & we had to furnish our own firearms & ammunition. I sold the first steer I ever owned to buy a gun at that time.

Pg 324
October 1914 we had a very nice fair where all farm products & stock were shown & a large number of people were in attendance. James Price one of my old Pioneer friends got hurt by his team getting frightened & throwing him out of his buggy & he died the next day. He was a very good man & well respected by everybody. I attend his funeral at Charleston & was one of the speakers at the services. All the Indian war Veterans also attended as he was one of our comrades. We usually carried a large U.S. Flag & marched from the home to the place of service when it was possible. There was an old comrade of the Blackhawk writing a book telling of the battles with the Indians during that & the other Indian wars in Utah. He wrote to me asking me to give him what information I could with regard to our troubles with the Indians at that time so of course I complied with his request & sent him all particulars as near as I could & which he printed in his book (*Note: pg 250-251 "History of Indian Depradations of Utah" by Peter Gottfredson). We used to hold an election of Officers every 2 years of the Posts of the Indian War Association at which I was reelected Adjutant & Quartermaster for a great many years & untill we gave it up entirely. I still hold all the books & records of the different companies with the names of every man enrolled The office they held if any & the services they are credited with So of course when the pension bill was finally passed in 1917 nearly all the men or widows of men who took any part in the Blackhawk war came to me for what information they required to establish their claim to a pension & many came to try to prove claims that had no evidence whatever. There were some however who had done service who were not on the roll.

Pg 313
In the winter of 1916 & 1917 a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Mr Howell allowing a pension of $20.00 per month to all those whose names appeared on the Muster Rolls as having served 90 day in the Blackhawk Indian war. The bill passed in the House & came up to the Senate & Senator made an amendment to read 30 days instead of 90 days & in that form it passed the Senate & the House concurred in the amendment & President Wilson signed it March 4th 1917 & I with a number of others have been recipients of that bill up until April 1927 when Leatherwood & Smoot got the pension raised to $50.00 by consent of both houses of Congress & the signature of President Coolidge all of which I am very thankful for.


In March 1917 a bill was passed by both houses of Congress & signed by Pres. Wilson awarding a pension of $20.00 per month to all those who were enrolled in the Territorial Militia & served 30 days in the Blackhawk Indian war of 1866 but only those whose names appeared on a certain roll were acknowledged & it took quite a while to get a decision as to which was the official roll. I had been acting as Adjutant & Quartermaster of of the Indian War Veterans Association for some years before & had much to do in establishing claims of different individuals

Heber J. Grant and Reed Smoot, between 1918-1920
Source: Library of Congress

My claim was among those to whom the pension was granted but it was in Dec. 1918 when we received our first payment However we received at that time $240.00 for back pay to the time the bill was passed. We are indebted to Senator Smoot more than any other man for the passage of that pension bill. It has proven a great help to many aged Veterans & Widows who got $12.00 per month under that bill.

Pgs 340, 343

In 1909, William Lindsay ensured that he was officially recognized as a veteran, fulfilling the requirements of the affadavit by getting two witness signatures of two former soldiers that served with him, John Crook and Noah Mayho. This affadavit is on file at the Utah State Historical Archives, and a copy is provided below.

This affadavit was part of the process to ensure government pension. In the Salt Lake Herald 2/22/1918, veterans are named that were accepted to receive the $10 monthly pension. [
In 1919, William Lindsay "won" a pension of $20 a month. The accounts written in his journal show that the veteran's did considerable advocacy in order to "win" those pensions.

Salt Lake Herald, 1/29/1919

Campfire Reunions

On the 9th of August 1911 The Blackhawk war veterans camp fire was began here & held forth in the Stake Tabernacle I with several others had canvassed the town to find places for the older ones to sleep that did not care to camp out They had a grand 4 days celebration Programs every day & dances at night. There were 50 wagons in the yard & we the people of Heber furnished hay for the teams & wood for their campfires which were all in the Court house & Stake house grounds & there was 100 persons lodged in the homes besides. They sure had a grand time & I as one of the commitee did not begrudge the trouble & time we spent in trying to make a pleasant time for them. And they went home feeling they had been royally treated.

Pg 320

That fall (1913) we had the Blackhawk War Veterans here again to hold a Campfire & of course I had to spend some time getting ready for the event. My special job was to find lodgings for the aged & infirm ones. I secured beds for 50 persons & 2 others were also securing beds in the other wards I was solicitor in the lst ward. Many came with teams & camped in the Public square these were furnished feed or pasture for their teams & wood to make their fires. The Stake house was used for Programs. And again they had a splendid time all the aged were well cared for & there was many kinds of Amusements, Picture shows, Merry go rounds & Dances all free to Veterans & widows. A good kind friendly spirit prevailed & we had good Programs of speeches songs & recitations & everybody seemed to enjoy themselves as they had done here two years before. And our visitors went off expressing their praises of the Veterans & good people of Heber.

Pg 326

William Lindsay was on many committees involved with Indian War Association which coordinate the many activities and events including campfire reunions for Indian War veterans.
Salt Lake Herald, 8/16/1913.

In March 1914 The Veteran's held our usual party in the Amusement hall in Heber & had a fine program banquet & dance. As usual I called the roll only about 50 responded or were known to be alive out of 275 at the time of the enrollment in May 1866 There was a fine Ball at night all except Veterans & widows were charged 50 cents per couple & we generally sold from 150 to 200 numbers & in this way we increased our Bank account from year to year. Of course we had to pay the orchestra & some $15 for the Hall. But from year to year our numbers decreased & those left got old & feeble till only 10 were left in the county & we could not get the young sons & daughters interested So we decided to disband we had on hand at that time $163.00 that was in 1926. We voted unanimously to give $100.00 to the War Memorial Hill at Midway & the balance $63.00 to the Seminary building in Heber that had been built in 1925 & was in debt. I used to plant small U.S. flags on all the veterans graves in Heber every Decoration day for years & we took up the flags & saved them from year to year.

Pg 329

In August 1915 I attended the Indian War Veteran's Camp fire at Spanish Fork where we had a very nice time I went & came on the train. The Heber train left here at 2 P:M & I got to Spanish Fork about 7 P.M. Found a large crowd already there. I slept in a tent the first night next day had a fine Program. Among other things the subject of using every means possible to get the State & also the nation to acknowledge our claim as entitled to some remuneration for our services in the Indian was strongly urged. And it was decided to get the State to acknowledge us first. This we did & the Legislature voted some $3000.00 to be paid to Veterans & widows of Veterans an equal sum as far as it would go. So we got $20.00 each from the State. This I think had the effect to give us a better chance when our application for a pension came before Congress in 1917 ...

At these Campfires reports were usually made of the death of Veterans especially the officers of the organizations. At this time we reported the death of James B. Hamilton our Commander & that 16 of us attended the funeral at Midway in a body carrying our Flag & taking part in the services. Also that Robert Broadhead another of our war Veterans had passed away in March 1915 & whose funeral we also attended as usual & took part in the exercises Bro. Broadhead was one of the very first men to plow in this valley & for many years was one of our very prominent citizens & successful farmers, & a splendid neighbor. Soon after Commander Hamilton's death we met & elected James D. Shanks to take place. Those who had served in the Blackhawk war were all getting aged & several were passing away every year & we very often had to make changes in our officers on that account It was only a few years till J.D. Shanks died & Mark Jeffs took his position & he only lived a short time after & quite a number of the veterans had also passed to the other side. So early in 1927 we decided to disband as an organization.

Pg 334

Knowing William Lindsay's involvement in the Indian War Association, it was exciting, but not to surprising to find a photo of him among other veterans in the George Edward Anderson collection from the BYU Special Collections Library.

C.I.W.V. Officers and Officers' sons and daughters
Courtesy, L.Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library,
Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602. A zoomed in shot of William Lindsay.

William Lindsay remained involved in the Indian War association through 1927 when it was finally disbanded. George Edward Anderson's 1927 shot of the Indian War reunion in Heber is also available through BYU's special collections library. The photo may be one of the last of such a gathering. I can't seem to find William Lindsay in the photo, but I can't imagine he would have missed it. Can anyone help me know if this would be his son William Howie Lindsay?

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