Wardell, Martin D., [Court Testimony], Salt Lake Herald, 15 Nov. 1889, 8.
- Related Companies
- William H. Dame Freight Train (1862)
Am a builder and contractor. Am sixty-seven years of age, and was born in England. Was a member of the church at one time. I joined it in 1847, and came here in 1862. I have resided here since that time. I was superintendent of the carpenter work for the church at one time. I went through the Endowment house twice. I took an oath respecting the government of the United States, polygamy and the martyred prophets. They were to the effect that we should avenge the blood of Joseph Smith on this nation from the president down. In another room we took an oath never to reveal any of the secrets—that is where they put the lock upon us. I did not take any oath in reference to obeying the priesthood. I backed out there. I saw the death penalty inflicted in 1862—a man named Green was the victim. It was in Captain W. [William] H. Dame's company, and occurred this side of Green River.
Mr. Young—We object to this. There is a grand jury in session. Let them investigate the case.
The Judge—Well, I suppose it might go there as well.
Witness—Among those who were present were W. D. Williams, who at one time worked in Walker's store; Mark Surridge, Joseph Collett, Dave McBride, a man named Blackburn, John W. Young, of Iron county; George Snyder, and others—including my son George, who lives at Peoa. Green had two teams in the train—three wagons loaded with merchandise. One man was traveling with Green. It was between 8 and 9 o clock at night when the punishment was inflicted. Just before the crime was committed I saw eleven men dressed in buckskin—like mountaineers. Dame came to me and forbid us to go out of the camp, for fear there might be trouble. Green was pulled out of the wagon and his throat cut, and one man took a belt off his person which had $5,000 in it. We protested, and when we objected we were told that we had better keep our mouths shut or we would be left for the wolves. The man who was with Green was out herding, and when he came back he asked about Green. He received the reply that he had apostatized and gone to hell. I am sure it was John W. Young—a man with sandy whiskers. The team was taken to the tithing office in this city.
Mr. Young asked that this testimony be stricken out, but the judge overruled the motion.
Mr. Young insisted that the evidence had no connection with the case at bar. It was entirely irrelevant.
Mr. Dickson—The gentleman evidently does not want to see it. We wish to show that the penalty, as he understood it, was not a meaningless void; that the endowment house penalty had been enforced. Why the witness had not gone before the grand jury we all understand—there was a long time here when it would not have been safe for him to have done it.
The motion to strike out was overruled.
To Mr. Young—I am certain that the names of Joseph and Hyrum Smith and the government of the United States were mentioned in the oath. The murder that I mentioned took place before I went through the endowment house, I saw the man pulled out of the wagon. We commenced to talk about the matter and kick up a fuss. Green told me some time before he was killed that he had the money upon him. He had been here before and had a family here, I believe. I only know that he had the money, because he told me about it. We had no idea at that time that these men were Danites. Bill Hickman was there at the time of the occurrence, and later he admitted to me that he was among the men who were present. I remained in the church about five years after that. W. [William] H. Dame, who was the captain of the company, was associated with John D. Lee in the Mountain Meadow massacre. I do not know what became of the body of Green; it was taken away by the men who killed him. He had just got into bed when he was called out of the wagon. [James] Sanders, who used to keep a green grocery store on Market row, was among those who saw the killing. Joseph Pollock was also there, and my son, who is now in Peoa. I do not know whether Green ever had his endowments or not. Such a murder might have occurred, whether the men were Mormons or not.
Mr. Young renewed his motion to strike out, but was again overruled, the judge remarking that there was reason to believe that the murder grew out of the fact that Green had been at one time connected with the church. The proper way to conduct this examination was to take such evidence as was introduced. The testimony of one man might not establish anything, but that of several combined might.