History of Christina Carlile Giles

Written by her grandson, Almon G. Clegg


Christina Carlile Giles daughter of John Carlile and Elizabeth Williamson Carlile was born November 17, 1849 at Greisburg, England. She was the third child of a family of seven, consisting of two boys and five girls. In 1850 before my grandmother was a year old, the family left England and came to America.  It was a continual journey until they reached Council Bluffs. They joined with the Saints and stayed there for two years. Later by ox team they came to the Provo Valley. They next went to Palmyra but because of the Indians they stayed only a short while. From there to Spanish Fork they moved, where they helped to build a fort to protect them from the Indians.


In the summer of 1853 the Walker War broke out, with the Ute Chief Walker leading the Indians. After the first attack the small settlements were broken up and they sought refuge in the larger places, leaving their homes and an their belongings to the Indians. Santaquin and Spring City suffered the most, the latter being burned to the ground. A score of Indians and many whites were killed at this time. One day an Indian came to the Carlile home, where he found Grandmother alone. He drew a large knife and aimed it at her throat. Just then a neighbor came in and yelled and the Indian turned to see who it was and grandmother got away. After scolding the neighbor, Mrs. Wells, he left.


In the year 1856 they faced the possibility of starving to death because they had had two years of crop failure on account of the grasshoppers. It took a lot of faith, but the Lord did bless them enough to see the winter through and their lives preserved.


While they were in Spanish Fork, George, the oldest son 11 years old, went swimming on Sunday with the other boys, while his folks were in meeting. He went under the water and though help was summoned they couldn’t find the body for some length of time.


In the spring of 1858 Mr. Carlile left for Heber Valley to plant crops and to prepare for the family to come later. In July of the same year he returned to Spanish Fork for his family. It had been raining very bard and while they were coming through Provo Canyon their provisions were almost ruined, so they lasted only a short while. So Mr. Carlile went back to get more. While making this trip he was kicked in the chest by a horse of which he never fully recovered, and he died in Heber, September, 1858.


Being fatherless, the older children had to help support the family, and the first winter was very hard, and they suffered greatly. Those spending The first winter in Heber were James Davis, William Davidson, Robert Broadhead, Thomas Rasband, John Crook, Jessie Bond, John Jordan, James and John Carlile, Henry Chatwin, Charles N. Carrol, William Giles and John Lee.


On March 1, 1860, Grandmother, Christina Carlile Giles was baptized in Spring Creek. James Lair baptized her and Charles N. Carrel confirmed her. Although she had to walk there with the clothes frozen on her and sit in the house until they thawed out, she said it was the happiest day in her life, to know she was now a member of the true Church. She was 11 years old at this time.


The next eight years she spent working for others and spinning wool and other things that they had to do in those days. On June 13, 1868,. when 19 years of age, she married William Giles. To them were born thirteen children, six boys and seven girls. Five children died in infancy.


Four years after Christina was married, a goiter appeared on her neck. Every­thing was done to heal it, but to no avail. For twenty—seven years it grew larger and blacker each day. She had to tie a cloth around it to hold it up, for it got so heavy she had to have support for it. She became very ill, and in her own words she tells of how she was healed from this terrible affliction:


“I had been in bed for two or three days when Patriarch Thomas Hicken was ushered into my room. He said he was out milking and was inspired to come over and administer to me. He met John Duke up town and told him of my illness and he came down for the same purpose. After exchanging greetings he said he could not go to bed without giving me a blessing. The following Sunday Fred Giles came in and I asked him if he would take my name and put it on the prayer list in the Prayer Circle, and he said, ‘That is what I care in for.’ After he left I turned over the best I could and dedicated my neck to the Lord. I fell asleep and dreamed I was on the south side of my house and on my right hand side stood my husband. The goiter had disappeared, leaving no sign of its having been there. I awoke with the impression I had only a short time to live, and again I fell asleep to dream the very same dream.


The following morning my son William came in and I asked him if he would be surprised if the goiter on my neck would go away, and in a tone of conviction he said, “Indeed I would.” I told him it already had begun to disappear. Within a week the goiter was gone with all the swelling and pain. It was by the Power of God that I was healed, and it has been a strengthening matter in my life and also in the lives of many others. “


September 16, 1886, she was chosen second counselor to Catherine Foreman who was president of the West Ward Relief Society. On June 12, 1896 she became 1st counselor to Sarah Cummings and served for two years. With Sister Cummings death she was chosen president and acted until six years later when the ward was divided and three wards were formed in Heber. On November 11, 1896 her husband died at the age of fifty two, leaving her with six children to provide for. All her life she has been hospitable, sharing her home with others, and has been called “Aunt Christy” by all who knew her.


She assisted at the births of 184 children. She has twenty—six grandchildren, twenty—one of whom are living, and seventeen great—grandchildren. Grandmother died December 10, 1942, at the age of ninety—three.


(Written by grandson Almon G. Clegg, January: 1, 1932).



(Scanned from original typed document by Almon H. Clegg 12/2/2002)