Ferryville, or Point aux poules

By Becky S. Porter

An interesting insight I came across while studying about William P Smith was that in a history written by Nellie G. Quinney. She said that the Smith family had lived in a place called Ferryville near Council Bluffs and had run a ferry there for five years. Also that Grandfather Smith had been the branch president for that little community. There is a place called "Ferry" but "Ferryville" cannot be located. Hezekiah Peck, Maurice Phelps, David Fullmer, Peter Fullmer, William Player, Wheeler Baldwin, William W. Player, Jesse Sampson, John Clarke, and Lucius N. Scovil are mentioned as leaders in this Ferry Branch. There is record of a William Smith presiding as president over a little branch at a place called "Point-a-pool" (as written by an American member of the Church) located close in proximity to "Ferry". With him are mentioned Lucian Woodworth, Peter (??), William (??), and James Newberry (this information was found in the High Priests record 1546-1851 Item #2 p. 4, film #007,794 at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Photostatic copy in my possession).

In a little booklet written by Gai1 George Holmes called "Winter Quarters Revisited", there is a place called "Point aux poules". Quoting from the booklet:

There also were children of French, Spanish and American fur traders who spent most of the year in the Rocky Mountains, and their Indian mothers, living primarily at Traders Point or Point aux poules, east across the Missouri from Bellevue village (map). Point aux poules, where all Indians were obliged to do their buying, regardless of which side of the river they lived on, was substantially larger than Bellevue, with three stores and 'good looking' homes or residences. There was demonstration farming and raising of cattle by government farmers to help make the Indians independent of the traditional bison hunt. In addition to this, the Indians traditionally and historically raised corn in the moist lands near the rivers and creeks. The Mormons had to carefully herd their livestock during the day and keep them in 'high fence' corrals at night to keep them away from the sweet smelling plots of corn which are so tempting especially to cattle. Apparently the boys herding the cattle were not always as alert as they should have been, for at least one steer was given to the Indians to pay for damage done by livestock to the corn.

As to the number of Mormons living there or their names I have not yet found a record. But the interesting connection here is the matter of teaching and helping the Indians. Years later when living in Union Fort, William insisted on building a home outside of the Fort area against leaders' wishes, because he was not afraid of the Indians living in the area. Instead, he was known as a friend and helper (Doctor) whenever the Indians needed assistance as far as setting bones or helping with their sick. Mr. Smith was never harmed or disturbed by the Indians in any way while others were harassed or had things stolen from them.

Also in Grandfather Smith's patriarchal blessing he was told that he would be a teacher to the lineage of Jacob (the Lamanites) and would yet teach them to till the ground and yield its fruit. This is an interesting connection to me in that if he had lived at Point aux poules he would have already had experience with the Indians and would have an understanding of them and their ways and would feel more at ease in assisting them in their times of need without feeling fear.

More research needs to be done in this area and I (Becky S. Porter) will add to this file as facts come to light.

Genealogy Collection provided by:
Becky S. Porter, 2493 S. Hulls Crossing, Preston, Idaho 83263

E-Mail: Roland K. Smith