Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Morgan 14 & 15: David Nathan Thomas and Adeline Springthorpe Thomas

After I started working on a post about the David Nathan and Adeline Springthorpe Thomas family, it quickly became clear that it was a much more complex project than I realized.

David Nathan Thomas came to America in 1862 with his four children. His wife Mary Howell had died in their native Wales.

The family records report that he was married to Adeline Springthorpe on September 5, 1862 in Nephi, Juab, Utah, but this is a couple of weeks before the wagon train arrived in Salt Lake City, so either the date or place is incorrect. Or perhaps both! This detail is typical of all the information that we have about the family, so I am searching through records to assemble accurate information on the Thomas family, and have also started working on the Springthorpe family. The Springthorpe family genealogy is even more complicated and convoluted than that of the Thomas family. But I have a number of interesting leads on the family, including a copy of the minute book of the Kingston (Piute County) United Order that a friend sent by email.

It's a fascinating project. But it might take weeks to get to a point where it's worth posting anything. Stay tuned...

The picture of Grass Valley, Piute County, Utah, is from wikipedia. This is the area where the Thomas and Springthorpe families lived for several years before moving to Arizona.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mister Bear

A group of Mormon pioneers had left Utah to go to Tuba, Arizona to settle there. Seth Tanner was riding ahead of the wagon train. They had come through Kanab, Utah, and were now in the Kaibab forest. He was riding a young mule. There were five Navajo Indians watching him.

He could see a cedar limb hanging out in the way where he wanted the wagons to go. He rode his mule close to the limb, put his arm around the limb and took hold of the horn of the saddle and gouged the spurs into the mule. The mule went ahead with all his strength, the limb did not break even after his front legs came up in the air. Tanner then backed the mule up and got a fresh hold on the limb with hand on the saddle horn. Then he gouged the mule again with his spurs, this time the limb broke.

The Navajos exclaimed in astonishment "Aye Yeh"[.] Then the chief got off his horse signaled to the others to do the same, he walked over to Tanner's side, took hold of his strong arms and felt the rippling muscles and said, "Haustien, Shush!"* In English Mr. Bear! Or strong as a bear. His sons were known as Shush Yazzie, or young bears.

Father said that he was known all over the Navajo reservation as Haustien Shush. And the story of his breaking the cedar limb in the Kaibab forest was also known.

*In the three accounts of the story, the Navajo phrase is written as Hosteen Shush, Hostiin Shush, and Haustien Shush.

Story told to Maurice J. Tanner, great grandson of Seth B. Tanner, by Martin D. Bushman, of Snowflake, Arizona in 1973. As found in George S. Tanner, John Tanner and His Family: A History-Biography of John Tanner of Lake George, New York, Born August 15, 1778, Hopkinton, Rhode Island, Died April 13, 1850, at South Cottonwood, Utah. [Salt Lake City]: John Tanner Family Association, 1974.

Picture of Seth Tanner from, attributed to the Grand Canyon National Park Museum Collection. Picture of the Kaibab Forest from

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cameron, Arizona, and Seth Tanner

Anyone who's spent a portion of his or her life driving up or down Highway 89 in Arizona is familiar with the striking bridge over the Little Colorado at Cameron.

But if you are one of my siblings, chances are that you've never stopped to look at the historical marker by the bridge. Here it is for a good, close look.

The text says:
(Originally Tanner's Crossing)

Named for one of Arizona's first U.S. Senators [Ralph Cameron]. A pioneer in development of trails and copper mines in Grand Canyon. Near here was the site of Tanner's Crossing of the Little Colorado River on the Mormon trail from Utah via Lee Ferry [sic] to settlements in Arizona and Mexico.
Who is the "Tanner" in Tanner's Crossing and nearby Tanner Wash?

It was long-time Arizona resident and early pioneer Seth Tanner.

Seth Benjamin Tanner was a son of John Tanner and his third wife Elizabeth Beswick Tanner. Seth came to Arizona at the same time as his nephew Henry Martin Tanner, who is our ancestor.

Seth spent most of his life living in the far reaches of civilization. His great-nephew George S. Tanner wrote the following:
"The name of Seth B. Tanner is somewhat of a legend in northern Arizona. No one knows for certain much about him, but everyone at all familiar with pioneering knows something about him. He has his name on washes, river crossing, a canyon, a trail into the canyon, a rapid, and a miner's prospect tunnel.

"He got along well with the Indians and knew their language well enough to converse with them. It is doubtful if any man among the Little Colorado River pioneers had their complete confidence more than he, and yet there is little of record concerning his work among them.

"Most of the family members have retained a lively and sympathetic interest in the Indians, and a number have established trading posts among them.

"The author knew slightly this kindly giant of the desert, who was never content to settle down, who apparently was as much at home among the Indians as with the whites, who was more interested in digging holes looking for minerals than in following the plow, and who died without an enemy in the world.

"What an interesting story this noncontroversial man could have related if some historian had taken time to get the information before his voice was stilled. But no one did, and most of his descendants know even less about him then [sic] the frustrated researcher, who finds only here and there some reference to him, such as his testimony in defense of Lot Smith who stood almost friendless in the court of his bishop and stake president." (George S. Tanner, John Tanner and His Family, p 306.)
Seth's great-grandson, Ellis Tanner, who runs a trading post in Gallup, New Mexico, shared this information:
“He was sent out to set up small Mormon colonies,” Ellis explains. “Each time he stayed a little longer. Finally, he set up a trading post in Tuba City (Ariz.) and he didn’t leave. The Navajos called him “Hosteen Shush” (Mr. Bear). We had a family reunion out there, in Tuba City, two or three years ago. They’re still using the same irrigation system today that he set up. Tanner Rapids, a tributary to the Grand Canyon, Tanner Wash, all that is named after Seth Tanner.

“My grandfather, Joe Tanner (‘Shush Yazzae’ or Little Bear in Navajo) also became a trader in Tuba City. He was a very good friend of the Chairman of the Navajo Nation. Joe had a large family. Pretty soon we had several trading posts. Between my folks, the grand folks, my brothers, we’ve been all over the reservation with trading posts.

“My father, Rule Levi Tanner was called ‘Duldin,’ in Navajo. It means ‘Little Man Hard to Get Along With.’ He had a big family. There were seven of us boys and one girl. All the boys became traders. There are four left now, three of us still active traders here in Gallup—me, Don at Shush Yaz, Joe at Joe Tanner Arts & Crafts. (Ellis Tanner Trading Post: Ellis and Lynn Tanner, Trader.
Tomorrow I will post the legend of why Seth Tanner came to be known as Big Bear.

[Ed.—Here is the subsequent post, Mister Bear.]

Photo of the bridge from Photo of the marker from For an additional set of photos of the Cameron bridge, see the website Bridgemeister.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Morgan 12 & 13: Jens Christensen and Karen Marie Johannesen Christensen

Some of the next ancestors in the Morgan line are Jens and Karen Marie Johannesen Christensen. However, I will not be posting biographies here for the simple reason that they are also ancestors on the Tanner line and I have already posted a short biography of them and a note about their emigration to the United States.

Their daughter Mary Kjerstine Christensen married Ove Oveson and shared many of his adventures in Ephraim, Utah, and St. Johns, Arizona. They were my grandfather's great-grandparents.

Their adopted son Marinus Christensen married Fanny Thomas. They were my grandmother's grandparents.

Picture of Lonely Dell Ranch at Lee's Ferry from Lee's Ferry is where these pioneers would have crossed the Colorado River into the region of Arizona that would be their home and eventually, their final resting place.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

John Sutton Linton

Reading Amateur Mormon Historian one day, I was surprised by a reference to John S. Linton in a post about the Wolf Creek Branch in the Southern States Mission in 1884. I sent an email to the blog author, Bruce, as follows:
"...about your Wolf Creek Branch post: I never realized that John S. Linton was a missionary in the Southern States. He was the older brother of my great-great grandmother Mary Ann Linton, who became John Morgan's third wife four years after John Linton was serving in the Wolf Creek Branch. It never occurred to me to wonder how Mary Linton, living in Nephi, Utah, got to know John Morgan, and why she would have agreed to become his third wife after seeing how hard polygamy was on her mother. Now I have a pretty good idea."
Bruce sent some additional information in reply:
"Later on in the [Wolf Creek Minute book] is a list of missionaries that served in the South West Tennessee Conference since it formed. John S. Linton is listed as being from Nephi, with an arrival date of Dec 11, 1882, a departure date of Nov 12, 1884, and a simple note "Honorably released". The brevity of the record is disappointing." (Email from Bruce Crow, June 15, 2009.)
The Mary Morgan and John Linton families continued to be close after John Morgan's death, as noted in a prior post on this blog:

Harold Morgan, Part II

For a biography of John Sutton Linton, download the January 2005 Linton Family Newsletter.

Monday, October 19, 2009

History of the Southern States Mission, Part 31: More of the Same

January of 1886 passed with nothing more of interest than the arrival of Elders from Zion. February was also uneventful, save the emigration of a company of Saints for the west, accompanied by some released Elders. The Elders manifested much activity in March by getting into new fields of labor and making new friends. Other Elders arrived in April and filled vacancies caused by returned Elders. During this month much literature was sent out to the Elders and friends who would read. Farther than this the work for the past four months was of little interest.

In May President Morgan visited the Elders in their fields, counseling with them upon their labors. Some of Georgia, South Alabama and West Tennessee were visited and some in Jasper county, Miss., as well, where there was a mobocratic spirit prevailing, but not strong enough to cause alarm. In these meetings the brethren were advised to narrow their fields of labor and to make their work more thorough.

President Morgan, with Elder Robins, visited some of the Saints in Georgia, and the Elders in North Alabama, in June, giving them instructions in their labor. Some of the Elders were forced to go through some ungodly treatment at the hands of men who seemed to have lost respect for their fellowmen. Some of this happened in Greene county, Va., it finally resulting in the arrest of Elder Harper, President of that conference, in July. He was taken to Stanardsville, a distance of ten miles from where he was arrested. During the journey the vile threats of the men who had him in charge, had to be endured. No one could be found to substantiate the charges against him, so he was acquitted. After this it was deemed prudent to withdraw the Elders from that vicinity. In the latter part of July a company of Saints left for Colorado.

In August another company of Saints emigrated to Colorado. Quite a number of baptisms were reported this month, and, contrary to the usual disturbances occuring in this season, no mobocracy was felt any where.

Conference was held with Saints and Elders of East Tennessee on the 4th and 5th of September. On the 11th and 12th the Virginia conference convened. Some Elders of that conference and quite a number of Saints were in attendance, and a good time was had.

The West Virginia Elders and Saints also convened this month. Heretofore Virginia and West Virginia were one conference, but it was decided at this meeting to have two in the future, one in either state, with the Alleghanies [sic] as the dividing line.

On the 26th the North Carolina conference was held at Horse Creek, Mitchell county. President Morgan attended all these and gave valuable instructions at each.

Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 35, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, July 29, 1899, p 276-77.

The picture of Seneca Creek, West Virginia, in the Allghenies is from

As a note of interest, when I googled "Standardsville VA history," the first entry on google was the local Family History Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My, how things have changed in 120 years.

And, as a final note, here is a blog, Appalachian Treks, with some beautiful photographs of the area of the Southern States Mission. It came up in a search for Horse Creek. The link is to the label for Elizabethton, which is where the previous Elders were taken for trial and were released on a five (not five hundred) dollar bond.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Willie Goes into Hiding

A story in the news brought back memories of this incident in the life of William John Glade...
On one occasion Billie Williams and Willie Glade built a dam in the irrigation ditch in City Creek Canyon for a swimming hole. While swimming and enjoying it one day more than the kind we now pay thirty-five cents for, whom should they spy but old Mark Lindsay, the watermaster. No turkish rub, not even a towel were required in those days, and on this occasion they were fortunate if they could snatch their clothes, partially drape themselves and make for the hills before Mark could lay hand on them. To the hills they did go, and after reaching the brow of the hill they thought they could rest and feel secure, but no rest was in sight for those young scamps. One boy chanced to look back, and lo, Mark was at their heels!

Down the hills again the chase was on, but when Billie's home was close, he ran into it. Willie passed by and after the longest last art of the run, bolted into his own home. The folks at home were sewing carpet rags, and fortunately for their chattering they didn't hear Willie come in and sneak upstairs. He being bare-footed added to the security of the circumstance. A large trunk offered itself as a convenient nest for this conscience-pricked chap, and into it he lost no time at hiding. Presently the loud and definite foot of a man was heard on the back porch, and then the penetrating and mature voice of Mark Lindsay was heard to say, "Where's the boy that came in here?" Both grandmother Eliza May and Aunt Bell replied that no one had come in, and that if it was Willie he was looking for, he had been away all afternoon. Mr. Lindsay, like a bolt of thunder, answered that there was a boy in the house who was to be arrested.

Think how this made little sisters feel, who were sitting helping their mothers. Grandmother, however, offered to make a thorough search of the house that her son should be punished for any wrong doing. The sound of footsteps were heard ascending the staircase. Oh, if father had had an inside key for the trunk! Grandmother was now looking carefully through everything upstairs. Now she came closer to the trunk to content herself with a good look at its top, however. She then went downstairs and told Mark that she knew Willie was not in the house. With anger, doubly strengthened because he had failed to capture the boys, Mark Lindsay left the house.

A little sister, who during this time hadn't dared to speak, now told grandmother Eliza that she had seen Willie come in and chase upstairs. On her second search, grandmother Eliza went upstairs and more thoroughly than before moved and looked in everything. She opened the trunk and Willie was brought downstairs, feeling somewhat easier, though, because Mark had left the house. Willie received a scolding he has never forgotten. From this day on Willie deprived himself of many enjoyable times at Lindsay's Gardens because of the great fear he had cultivated for Mr. Lindsay. The sight of old Mark spurred Willie to many good runs his life would otherwise have been deprived of.
Author unknown. Picture of the steamer trunk from The name of the water master was Mark Lindsey and, as the link mentions, his amusement park was named Lindsey Garden.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

History of the Southern States Mission, Part 30: Out of Jail and Catawba Members of the Church

On the 6th of July some of the brethren of the Georgia Conference met at Haywood Valley with the President of the Mission and had an enjoyable time in their council meetings.

The case of the Elders arrested in Carter county was taken up on the 13th by the circuit court for that county. After a number of witnesses had been examined, Judge Newton Hacker delivered a fair and impartial charge to the Grand Jury. In it he said the anti-polygamy law was unconstitutional in part, at least; the rest of it he declared of doubtful propriety. He cautioned the jury to beware how they dealt with the privilege of free speech, which the entire genius of the government was to protect. It was most decidedly a just opinion of such an unconstitutional law, a law that ignored the sacred rights of citizens of a government whose groundwork was designed to protect one person as much as another in free speech.

The attorney for the missionaries, Jacob Montgomery Thornburgh.

An indictment was found against Elder Christensen, but the charge against Elder Garner was ignored. Attorney J.M. Thornburg [sic] prepared a demurrer to the indictment, which was placed on record, but overruled by the judge. The case was continued over till the November term of court. The brethren returned to their fields of labor.

One of the results of this inhuman and unconstitutional prosecution was to make many friends for the Elders and to extend their acquaintance indefinitely. Mr. William Green, a prominent man of East Tennessee, went fifty miles to attend the proceedings and defend the Elders in their distresses. His influence was felt for good among many of the people of the whole country.

President Morgan visited the Elders of East Tennessee in Union county on the 26th. Much good was done there, a branch being organized and the work being more thoroughly grounded. In other parts of Eastern Tennessee the work was reported as progressing very favorably.

About the first of August Elders Christensen and Garner returned home. Soon after this President Morgan visited Elizabethton and had an examination made of the court records; as a result it was found that the clerk of the court had made a mistake in recording the bond the Elders had been released on, and instead of it being $500 it was only $5. This error, of course, only made Elder Christensen liable to the sum of $5 and practically freed him from the clutches of the unjust law.

September passed by with nothing of importance happening. In October, conference was held with the South Carolina Elders. The meetings on this occasion were held in Spartanburg county, near Paris, at the home of a Lamanite brother named Patterson. Two Catawba brethren, Pinckney Head and Alonzo Canty, were called to go to the Cherokees on a mission, the latter living in Clay and Cherokee counties, North Carolina.

[At least one of Alonzo Canty's descendants seemed to be a member of the church, according to a letter to her from Jeff Johnson of the church historical department (1981), as seen in the link for Alonzo Canty. Here is an interesting missionary journal mentioning some of the people in this area. I've wondered about this mission ever since seeing a mention of it from someone in John Morgan's wikipedia entry. See a mention of the missionary efforts in this article about the Catawba tribe and a note in another article that, "In the 1880s, Mormon missionaries visited the nation, and by the 1920s virtually all the Catawba had converted to Mormonism. They remain largely Mormon today."]

The next event of any importance was the conference of the Elders of East Tennessee near Baird's mill. At this meeting much good was done owing to the number of people present. This was in November. The year closed without anything else of note happening. Although not so many baptisms had been performed for that year, still, considering the odds that were against the Elders, a vast amount of good was done. During the year much literature was printed and circulated among the people, a fact worthy of much consideration, as much prejudice was overthrown by it.

Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 34, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, July 22, 1899, p 265-66. Copyright free image of Thornburgh from wikipedia. Image of the Catawba from wikipedia.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Morgan 8 & 9: Garrard Morgan III and Eliza Ann Hamilton Morgan, Part 1

Garrard Morgan III
b. 16 May 1806 Near Carlisle, Nicholas, Kentucky
m. 1 Jan 1833 Greensburg, Decatur, Indiana
d. 10 Apr 1889 Mattoon, Coles, Illinois
Wife: Eliza Ann Hamilton
Father: Garrard Morgan II; Mother: Sarah Sanderson

Eliza Ann Hamilton Morgan
b. 5 Jul 1815 Nicholas County, Kentucky
d. 18 Apr 1901 Middletown, Henry, Indiana
b. 19 Apr 1901 Greensburg, Decatur, Indiana
Husband: Garrard Morgan III
Father: James Hamilton; Mother: Margaret Hamilton

View Larger Map

(A) Carlisle, Kentucky, to (B) Greensburg, Indiana, to (C) Mattoon, Illinois, where Garrard died, to (D) Middletown, Indiana, where Eliza died.

Garrard Morgan III was the son of Garrard Morgan II and Sarah Sanderson. He was probably born at the Morgan farm on Licking Creek (now Licking River) near Carlisle, Nicholas County, Kentucky, on May 16, 1806. He had three older brothers, two younger sisters and a younger brother.

As a child, he lived in one of the areas famous for being the origin and hotbed of the Second Great Awakening, so religious activity would have been a significant part of his earliest memories.

When Garrard was almost eight years old, his father died and was buried in the Old Concord Church cemetery (Presbyterian).

After his father's death, his mother did not remarry and proceeded to raise her seven children, as family tradition relates, with the aid of her extended family in the area.

In 1823, when Garrard III was seventeen years old, the Sarah Morgan family moved to Indiana to join Sarah's two sisters and their families. Only Garrard's oldest brother John remained behind in Kentucky, where he had already made his start in life. Two of his siblings also later returned to live in Kentucky.

The Morgan family settled in brand-new Decatur County. It was formed on New Year's Eve, 1821, and named after recently deceased Commodore Stephen Decatur, military hero for his part in a number of conflicts, including the War of 1812.

Greensburg was the county seat, and the Morgans lived nearby, and a number of their children were born in the area.

On New Year's Day 1833, at the ripe old age of 26, Garrard married seventeen-year-old Eliza Ann Hamilton. Even less is known about her family than about the Morgan family, but they were also evidently from Nicholas County, Kentucky. I see a research note in the genealogy stating, "[E]nclosed is marriage bond of Garrard Morgan and Eliza Ann Hamilton - date Dec. 31, 1832. It is entered in Marriage Bk. A Jan. 1, 1833." It is not clear from the notes whether the marriage record was from Indiana or Kentucky. The same note also gives additional information about Eliza as follows: "I note Eliza A. Hamilton, b. July 2, 1815 to James Hamilton and Margaret (Peggy) Turner on a list..." (What list?) (A.H. Burden to J.L. Tanner, March 9, 1991.)

To be continued...

Picture of Garrard and Eliza Morgan from Richardson's Life and Ministry of John Morgan. Picture of the Decatur County Courthouse from Yes, there is a tree growing from the clock tower.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

History of the Southern States Mission, Part 29: Early 1885

In this month an event occured [sic] in Carter county, Tenn., which will long be remembered by the people of that and the surrounding counties. On the 13th, Elders W.F. Garner and C.F. Christensen, of the North Carolina conference, were arrested on the following warrant:

State of Tenn
Carter Co.
Information having been made to me in writing, on oath, that C.F. Christensen, —— Farmer, —— Garner, —— Gibbs, did on or about the —— day April 1885, and at divers others days in the county and state aforesaid, did wilfully [sic], maliciously, knowingly, and feloniously teach, preach and promulgate the doctrine of polygamy, and that they did induce others, by words and persuasion to adopt or embrace polygamy, and to emigrate to another state or Territory, for the purpose of embracing polygamy. You are therefore commanded in the name of the state to forthwith arrest the said C.F. Christensen, Gibbs, Garner and Farmer and bring them before me or some other justice of said county, to be dealt with as the law directs. Given under my hand this twelfth day of May 1895 [sic; it was a decade earlier].

J.P. for Carter County.

They were taken to Roane Mountain [sic], in Carter county, for examination, having been arrested at night and forced to walk five miles. State Senator John M. Simerley [Simerly], of that county, swore out the warrant and prosecuted in the trial. An effort was made to force the Elders to a trial without counsel, but they were successfully resisted in this imposition, and obtained a postponement until the 18th of the same month. A bail was offered but was refused; the Elders had to suffer imprisonment at Elizabethton in consequence, the bail bond being five hundred dollars each which they were unable to raise.

President Morgan visited the brethren, in company with their attorney on the 17th, and decided to waive the preliminary examination, gave the necessary bail and waited till the July term in court. Messrs. Andrews and Thomburg [Thornburgh], of Knoxville, were engaged as counsel, and went on the bond, releasing the brethren on the 20th from their dismal prison, where they had for associates, thieves, cut-throats and murderers.

The state law by which the Elders were arrested defined, as unlawful, for any person to teach, preach or promulgate to others the doctrines or principles of polygamy; or to induce others to emigrate to another part of the United States for the purpose of practicing it; any one guilty of this should be subject to a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars or to imprisonment and hard labor for not over two years, or the infliction of both penalties.

Upon being released, the brethren once more took up their labors in the counties, and were received kindly by the people.

On the 25th of this month Elders Riley Cragun and F.A. Fraughton were stopping all night near the borders of the Catawba Indian reservation. At night an armed mob came to the house and demanded all the brethren to come out. Elder Cragun made his escape by the back door amid a shower of bullets, one of which struch [sic] him on the forehead, another in his face, neither inflicting a serious wound.

Elder Fraughton did not escape so well. He was caught by the mobocrats and given forty severe lashes. Among those prominent in the mob were John Allen, Fayette Crooks and Robert Cornwall.

The work during the month of June was of little importance. Council meetings were held in Mississippi, one in the southern part of the state and the other in Poutotoc county, where a branch of the church was organized. Elders arrived from Zion and were appointed to the various fields of labor. Baptisms were reported from many parts of the mission.

[Curious that this incident was up next in the history, since it was treated yesterday in Amateur Mormon Historian, including an interesting comment from Bessie, who continues to publish fascinating materials from John Morgan's diary on her blog.]

Latter Day Saints Southern Star, Vol. 1, No. 33, Chattanooga, Tenn. Saturday, July 15, 1899, p 259.

Picture of the Carter County Courthouse from The accompanying text says "Elizabethton, Tennessee Never could really figure out what the little white building is. Poss. the old county jail?" I can't find a date for the courthouse elsewhere.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Linton Family Organization

Rather than duplicating all the excellent work done by the Linton Family Organization, I will simply point interested readers to The organization started out as a project to bring together the descendants of Samuel and Ellen Sutton Linton but as more was learned about the family, the effort expanded to include Samuel Linton's second wife, Eleanor Coolidge Chase Linton, and her family.

Thanks to Colette and many other family members who have put so much effort into the project.