Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » In His Own Words: Arnold Goodliffe, 1907

In His Own Words: Arnold Goodliffe, 1907

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 25, 2011

Fairview, Wyo., Jan. 24. – This morning Clark Ames died at the residence of his son, Oliver. Mr. Ames was born in the state of New York, in 1832, came to Utah in 1849, settling in Salt Lake valley. He has since resided in Sevier, Boxelder, and Cache counties, Utah; and in Gentile valley, Idaho. He leaves 11 grown children and a host of grandchildren to perpetuate his good name.

Deseret Evening News, 28 January 1907

Snowville, Utah, Feb. 17, 1907.

Reading … of the death of Clark Ames, at Fairview, Wyoming brought to my mind an episode in my life, when I landed in Salt Lake City, Utah, with which Clark Ames had much to do. It is as follows: In September, 1855, I arrived with a company of emigrants, in Salt Lake City (being only 18 years old and had left everything for the Gospel sake). This was the year the grasshoppers were so bad, bread scarce, and famine staring the people in the face – I had been very sick nigh unto death and was yet quite pale and weak – I mention these facts to illustrate and show what an act of benevolence it was to do as Clark Ames did, at that time.

We landed on Emigrant Square. As I had no relatives, no friends, not even an acquaintance to meet me, I was left alone on the square not knowing what to do or where to go, only that I had come for the Gospel sake and God would protect and provide for me.

A man came up to me and said, “My boy, if you would like to come and live with me, you can. I haven’t much to do [and I learned after arriving at his home he really had no need of me]; have breadstuff enough to last me about four months, and you are welcome as long as that lasts. You can do the chores.” “Chores,” said I, “what are chores?” I had never heard of such a thing before. He explained, and then said, “My name is Clark Ames, and I live in Kaysville.”

I agreed to go with him. During our journey we fell to talking on the Gospel. I told him that when I was confirmed a member of the Church, June, 1853, in Nottingham, England, by Elder Chas. Smith, late of St. George, Utah, I was promised among many other blessings, that I should never want for bread. Bro. Ames exclaimed, “Then you are just the boy I want to live with.”

When near his home we met James Burrup, who said, “Hello, Clark, I see you have brought home a poor emigrant boy. Well, I obeyed counsel last year and laid up 40 bushels of wheat and I will let you have 20 bushels of it for forty dollars, because you have taken that boy in.”

Bro. Ames turned to me, and said, “What shall we do, Bro. Goodliffe?”

I replied, “Well, if you have the money you had better take it,” which we did.

The next day, Bro. Ames took the wheat to the mill to be ground. While there, the miller said, “Clark, I hear you have taken in a poor emigrant boy and, there,” pointing to two sacks, “is a hundred pounds of flour and a hundred pounds of shorts which you can have for ten dollars, because you have taken in that poor boy.” Bro. Ames paid for and took the flour and shorts and made me custodian, for he declared had it not been for taking me in, he never would have got such a supply of bread stuff.

During that never-to-be-forgotten year of famine, we relieved the wants of many from our store, and the Lord blessed it so that we had plenty of bread until our barley was ripe the following season.

Thus was the word of the Lord fulfilled as uttered by his servant Charles Smith. I am now nearly 70 years of age, and ere long expect to go the way of all flesh, but I wish to bear my testimony that I have never lacked for bread, and that the word of the Lord, through His servants, has been fulfilled upon my head in this, as well as in many other instances.

Arnold Goodliffe


On Monday of this week [9 June] at 5 o’clock, Patriarch Arnold Goodliffe of Snowville passed peacefully into the other life after suffering for seven years, the major part of the time being practically helpless with paralysis.

In the passing of Bishop Goodliffe, one of the best known characters in Box Elder county is removed from life’s activities and a good man has gone to rest. …

Bishop Arnold Goodliffe was born in the year 1837, in Rutlandshire, England. At the age of 16 years, he joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and came to America in 1855 in the company which suffered so severely with cholera. He located at Salt Lake City and lived there for a few years then went to Franklin, Idaho, with the first settlers and assisted in starting that place. He moved from there to Bloomington, Bear Lake county, then back to Logan from where he went to Malad and then to Curlew to preside as bishop. He was a man who could be trusted with anything and the trust would never be betrayed. He lived to do good to others and in doing that blessed himself and endeared himself to those with whom he was associated to the extent that the entire ward of Snowville regarded him as a father which he truly was to them. Arnold Goodliffe was one of the noble men of the earth and his works will forever stand as a monument to his name.

Box Elder News, 12 June 1913



  1. For the tree is known by his fruit.

    Comment by Ellen — January 25, 2011 @ 7:00 am

  2. Only a Mormon could name a place Gentile Valley :-)

    (if you care, it’s the stretch of land between Malad and Soda Springs, Idaho)

    If all obituaries were as faith promoting as Bishop Goodliffe’s, I’d read that section of the paper every day.

    Comment by Clark — January 25, 2011 @ 9:24 am

  3. Thanks, Ardis. Love stories about good people doing good things.

    Comment by Martin — January 25, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

  4. Back in the 60s there was a baseball player (for the Dodgers, the Orioles, the Athletics and others) named Jim Gentile. The name was pronounced “genteel” and he wasn’t from Idaho. : )

    Comment by Mark B. — January 25, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

  5. This is a great addition to our story repertoire. Thank you.

    Comment by Coffinberry — January 26, 2011 @ 7:47 am

  6. For those just dying to know, though, here’s a note about the naming of Gentile Valley:

    Cache Valley, or the valley of Bear River, called also Gentile Valley to distinguish it from the Mormon settlement of Bear Lake, has been pronounced the garden-spot of Oneida county.

    That’s from H.H. Bancroft’s History of Washington, Idaho, and Montana–1845-1889, p. 558, fn 19.

    Comment by Mark B. — January 26, 2011 @ 8:29 am

  7. The Ames family was very closely related to the early history of the church. Clark Ames was the son of Ira and Charity Carter Ames, who joined the church in 1832. Charity was the sister of Jared Carter, a notable missionary in the early church, who together with his brother Simeon, preached the gospel to the Tanner family, as portrayed in a recent movie that you can see on BYUTV.

    When my English convert ancestor Philip Pugsley reached Salt Lake City, he found employment with Ira Ames at his tannery, and a few years later Philip married Ira’s widowed daughter Clarissa as his second wife.

    I just have a note or two about Clark Ames in my family history, relating to a mission he served, so what a nice story this is, to expand a few facts and dates into a real, kindly remembered person.

    Comment by Researcher — January 26, 2011 @ 9:27 am

  8. Thanks again Ardis for finding such good faith-promoting history!

    Since my own great-grandparents are buried in the Fairview Wyoming cemetery, I went looking for Clark Ames grave listing, and sure enough it was there !

    Allison in Atlanta
    A Star Valley native

    Comment by Allison in Atlanta — January 26, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

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