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Charles Ora Card

By Charles Ora Card

"LDS Biographical Encyclopedia Published 1901"

CARD, Charles Ora, president of the Alberta Stake of Zion, was born Nov 5. 1839, at the confluence of Canasaraga and Sugar creeks, in the township of Ossian, Allegany county, New York, and lived there until he was eight years old. ln 1843 his parents received the gospel, and under the hands of Elder William Hyde he received his child's blessing. He accompanied his parents to Park Centre, St. Joseph county, Michigan, in the fall of 1846, whither his father went to care for his widowed mother and family. There his grandfather, Willlam F. Card, had lodged on his way to Nauvoo, but had sickened and died. After the family had been here one year, they were all taken sick with chills, fever, and ague, and three more of his grandfather's family died, one son and two daughter's. His father being in poor health, concluded to go to his old home in Ossian, New York State, taking his mother and his own family with him. He took this step to regain his health and that of his family, also for the purpose of procuring means to gather with the Church. President Card writes: "During the winter of 1855-56 an uncle of mine, Elder Joseph France, returned from his mission in England and remained with us during the winter. I was baptized by him in Canasaga creek, near Whitney's crossing, township of Burnes, Allegany county, New York, April 12, 1856, and a few days later we were on our way by train to Great Salt Lake valley; we joined the migrating Saints at lowa City, Iowa, where father procured two yoke of oxen and a wagon; with this outfit we accompanied the first two divisions of the hand-cart companies under the guidance of Elders Edmund Elsworth and Daniel D. McArthur, and crossed the State of lowa to Florence: at this point the company was divided, my father traveling with what is known as the first hand-cart company under Elder Edmund Elsworth as captain. Although I was only sixteen years of age I took my turn standing guard with the men. I was also chosen as one of the hunters to aid in securing meat from the vast herds of buffalo that were traversing the plains in those days. I also aided the hand-cart people in crossing the streams, after filling father's wagon with women and children, and then continued our labors by carrrying the remainder across the streams on our backs. For several hundred miles my father and uncle were sick, and the care of two wagons and four yoke of oxen and other camp chores depended upon me. We landed in Salt Lake City in the latter part of September, and I assure the reader that the following October conference was a great treat to me, to behold Prophets and Apostles and sit under their teachings. Soon after this my father moved to Farmington, Davis county, where I was ordained a Seventy and became identified with the 56th quorum of Seventy. I spent my 2Oth birthday (Nov. 5, 1859) building a log cabin in Logan for my father, preparatory to moving there, which we did the following March, 1860, where I resided with my parents, taking an active part with the minute men under Colonel Thos. E. Ricks during the first four years. I attended school in Ogden from December, 1864, until April, 1866, under the kind tutoring of Elder Francis A.Brown and his accomplished wife, Hattie C. From the earliest introduction of the Sabbath Schools in Cache valley, I took an active part as teacher, Ward superintendent, superintendent of the consolidated schools of Logan, after which I acted as first assistant Stake superintendent for about fifteen years. During the winter of 1871 I filled a winter's mission among friends and acquaintances; I also visited New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, with William Hyde of Logan as my companion. I was counselor to the president of the High Priest's quorum in the Cache Stake from 1877 to 1879, and second counselor to William B. Preston from 1879 to 1884, when I was made president of Cache Stake, which position I occupied until August, 1890. From 1873 to 1877 I superintended the erection of the Logan Tabernacle, and from 1877, to 1884 I superintended the construction of the Logan Temple. Thus, for eleven years I was engaged in supervising the erection of these two great edifices. About the 1st of September 1886 I was requested by Pres. John Taylor to explore the British possessions and to report the feasibility of establishing a colony on British soil which I did and reported favorably to him in November the same year. Early in the spring of 1887 I was requested by Pres. John Taylor to permanently locate and take charge of a colony of Saints in southern Alberta and with grip in hand on the 21st of March I took my journey by rail to Helena Montana where I was joined by Pres. Thomas E. Ricks of Rexburg, Idaho, Bishop Thomas X. Smith of the Fourth Ward, Logan, Utah and Elder Niels Monson, of Hyrum: the latter conveying us from there to Lees creek, Alberta. On the 27th of April we located the site of what is now known as the village of Cardston. June 3, 1887, we numbered forty souls; today there are ten wards and two branches with about three thousand inhabitants in the Alberta Stake of Zion. During this period my labors have been directed in various channels. I Introduced the first steam thresher in Cardston and directed the first saw mill; aided to establish the first dairy and grist mill established the first store now known as the Cardston Co. Limited also the Implement Co. Limited. I have also assisted in building four meeting houses in Cardston and one large two-story pubilc school house. During the last two years almost my entire time has been given to the great canal built by our people. I turned the first furrow and have traveled five thousand miles with my own team during its construction. A railroad is nearly completed which will connect us with the outside world. A word for the government: We have located on British soil, lived in Alberta nearly fourteen years and have always received from the government a Just and impartial recognition.
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