Monday, March 31, 2014

David Nathan Thomas (Part 8)

Nephi & Kanosh, 1862-1878

Throughout the long journey from Liverpool to Florence to Salt Lake City, Adeline continued to help David and his small children. When they arrived in Utah, they married, but the actual date is in question. The history from the DUP files gives the marriage date as September 5 on Adeline’s 27th birthday in Nephi, Utah, which is a nice romantic story—but according to the wagon train record, they did not arrive in Salt Lake City until September 24, 1862. [37] Also, Adeline is not 27, but more likely 36. [38] So the unresolved question is when and where did the marriage take place. Following the doctrine of the LDS church regarding eternal marriage, they were sealed in the Endowment House October 11, 1868.

Margaret recalled that after they rested in Salt Lake City for three days: “…they continued their journey to Nephi, Juab, Utah where Mr. Thomas, her father, was to open a blacksmith shop. This family remained here for some two years.” [39]

There now begins a five-year gap in the knowledge I could find about David and Adeline. Margaret told her granddaughter: 
She, Margaret, worked wherever work could be got. She accumulated some property while there, and was called with her father to go south and live in the United Order, at the town now called Orderville. She did not go with her father, but remained at Nephi, where she became acquainted with Richard Price, a miner of Wales, Utah whom she later married. [40]
On March 8, 1864, Margaret married Richard Price of Wales, Sanpete, Utah. Wales is about twenty-five miles from Nephi through the dangerous Salt Creek Canyon. The Indians in that area had been attacking wagons going through the canyon, and in June 1858 four Danish immigrants had been ambushed and brutally killed by Indians. Hostilities with the Indians were common and tensions were high prior to 1864 and the Black Hawk War, the last major Indian conflict in Utah, erupted in 1865 in Sanpete Valley. And so, I wondered how did Margaret and Richard become acquainted?

Coal had been mined in Wales, Utah since 1859, and many of the early Welsh emigrants who had mining experience were directed to settle in Wales in the Sanpete Valley. Most of the settlers in Wales (Sanpete) were from Carmarthenshire and Glamorgan, especially Merthyr Tydfil so it is possible David Thomas and his family knew some of the Welsh settlers in the “old country.” Richard Price’s father, John, had been branch president and a missionary in the early days of the church in Wales, UK, so perhaps Richard and Margaret were already acquainted before coming to Utah. Another possibility—David had been sent to Nephi as a blacksmith and would need fuel for the fire in his blacksmith shop. The Wales coal was found to be unusually hot and for many years it was recognized as the best of all coal for blacksmiths. The coal was being transported by wagons out of the Sanpete Valley to Salt Lake City and other places in the territory so another possibility is that Margaret met Richard when he delivered coal to the blacksmith, David Thomas, in Nephi.

Under what circumstances Margaret met Richard Price, married him, and moved to Wales I do not know for sure, but family stories are that Margaret never saw her father after her move to Wales. Margaret’s mother had died of complications of tuberculosis and had been sick for quite a while before she died when Margaret was fifteen. For sure, Margaret had had the responsibility for her younger brother and sisters for several years, and it must have difficult for her to have a new step-mother take over those responsibilities. Also, David and Adeline seemed to be committed to living the principles of the United Order. From the stories told about Margaret, I deduced that she was a very independent, fiery “Welshman” who wanted nothing to do with the United Order. I do know that the descendents of Margaret were never told any family stories or history about David and Adeline. It was only “he joined the United Order and moved to Arizona.” This was said as a very dismissive statement, and we didn’t ask any more questions. [41]

To be continued...


[37] Jones, “Trail Excerpt.”

[38] Notes from Helen’s research on Adeline’s birth date. See appendix #2 for information on her birth date and other research on Adeline and other members of Springthorpe family.

[39] Despain, “History of Margaret Thomas Price.”

[40] Despain, “History of Margaret Thomas Price.”

[41] Attributed to my Aunt Amanda Price Paul who was David and Mary’s granddaughter through Margaret. (Aunt Amanda was really my great-aunt but she had no children of her own so she and her husband often visited my family. She would tell stories about her mother, but never about her grandfather.)

The picture of the Nephi area is from Flickr, courtesy of “5of7,” provided under a Creative Commons License.

Rigby, Helen. A History of David Nathan Thomas and his wives, Mary, Adeline & Frances. Utah: n.p., 2011.

No comments:

Post a Comment