Monday, April 7, 2014

David Nathan Thomas (Part 10)

Part 1 (Introduction and Index)

Kingston 1878-1881

In the early 1870s Thomas Rice King and members of his family had considerable control of land, businesses and influential positions in east Millard County.
This rankled some of their neighbors and after Mormon Apostle Lorenzo Snow publicly accused Thomas King of diverting waters of Chalk Creek in Fillmore for his own rather than the public use, Brigham Young issued a call for Thomas and Matilda to go to Circleville in Piute County and begin a branch of the Mormon United Order in that area. In the fall of 1876, Thomas (Edwin King) called his family—five sons and a daughter, all married and with families of their own—to a meeting and proposed that they take President Young’s advice and establish a family United Order in Circle Valley. [50]
In December of 1876 the first official meeting of the order was held and they agreed to meet in Circle Valley (Piute County) the next May to establish a more permanent organization. They named their community Kingston—later known as Old Kingston to distinguish it from the present town of Kingston. [51] They built the village of Kingston on a plot east of Circleville. [52] The homes were built in the same style which formed a fort around the ten-acre block. These first log houses had dirt floors and roofs. A communal kitchen and dining hall about seventy feet long stood in the center with a large vegetable garden close by. Later there was an inner row of homes built with sawed lumber. There was also a central building for church and other meetings, and other buildings used for a blacksmith shop, tannery, tailoring, carpentry, and other needs. [53]

Other families followed the Kings and sometime in the early spring of 1878 David Thomas brought his family over the arduous 100 miles of mountains and rain-swollen streams from Kanosh to Kingston. Volney King who kept a Daily Journal of Kingston United Order recorded on May 1, 1878, that D. Thomas (along with several others) was rebaptized and reconfirmed by Wm. King as part of their entering into the United Order of Kingston. [54]

This decision to follow the King families and join the United Order was not a hasty one. David and Adeline along with others from Kanosh had been contemplating for some time a move to an area where they could more fully live the principles of the United Order. In Kanosh, a cooperative sheep operation along with a cooperative cattle operation had been attempted, but there were those who wanted to do more. Volney King recorded on August 13, 1877, a summary of the letter handed by Bro. Hickerson to his Bishop Culbert King. This was a letter written by Brigham Young in response to an earlier inquiry by members of the Corn Creek Branch, Kanosh, and Meadow Creek detailing plans to move to Arizona or New Mexico where they could successfully live the principles of the United Order. Culbert King invited them to join the King families in Kingston and Brigham Young encouraged them to join the Kingston group rather than move further away from the settlements of Utah. [55]

More families joined the original King families and in the 1880 census twenty-six families were listed as living in Kingston. As the census enumerator moved through the households, he listed those households in Circleville, then those 26 families in Kingston, and then back to Circleville so the two communities must have been closely connected—almost as one community. [56] John Springthorpe and his wife Jessie, also Theresa, a daughter, are in the home next to David Thomas and Adeline and their children, Frances and David.

Before the move to Kingston, Adeline’s sister, Frances, had immigrated to Utah. [57] She joined her sister Adeline Thomas in Kanosh, and in 1871 she married David Thomas as his third wife. Frances did not live in Kingston. According to the June 1880 census she was living in Kanosh in the home next to Isaac Thomas who was now married to Amanda Woolsey and had three small children. Living with Frances were two sons, John R. Hewitt, 16 and James Hewitt, 18 who were her children from her marriage to Richard Hewitt who died in 1865 in England. Apparently Frances died soon after the census was taken because no further data has been discovered about her and family stories place her death in 1879.

For unknown reasons, in the 1880 census David and Adeline and Frances and David John were listed with last name of Davids —thus, Thomas Davids, Adeline Davids, Frances Davids, and David John Davids. [58] David’s two children, Mary and Isaac, who had moved to Kanosh with him and Adeline, had married and established homes in Kanosh. Earlier, in 1872 his daughter, Sarah, had married William Dyches from Wales, Sanpete, Utah and lived in Wales. So, only the younger children, Frances and David John, moved with their parents to Kingston. Just three years later in 1881, David again made preparations to move his family—this time in answer to a mission call from church leaders. 

[50] Linda King Newell, A History of Piute County,”A New Order of Things,” 1999, Utah State Historical Society, Piute County Commission, 123-124. Accessed at LDS Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[51] Newell, A History of Piute County, 127.

[52] Heber Dee Whittaker, A History Tour of Circleville stating in 1864, People, Place and Events Surrounding the James Jr. and Mary Ann Arthur Whittaker Family, LDS Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. (Map of Circleville and Kingston in appendix #3.)

[53] Heber Dee Whittaker, A History Tour of Circleville, “Exodus III (The Move to Kingston).” 5. (Illustration of Kingston in Appendix #3.)

[54] Volney King, “The Daily Journal of Kingston United Order, 1877-1883,” May 1, 1878, LDS Church Archives, LR4463 22. A less complete copy is at the Utah State Historical Society.

[55] King, “The Daily Journal of Kingston United Order,” August 13, 1877.

[56] “List of Households in Kingston, 1880, extrapolated from “1880 Federal Census,” (In Appendix #2.)

[57] Frances Springthorpe probably did not immigrate until after 1869 as I could not locate her name on the Mormon Immigration Index which stops at 1869 when the railroad to Utah was completed. Her son, James Richard Hewitt, states in the 1900 Federal Census that he immigrated in 1869.

[58] US Federal Census, Circleville, 1880 on It may have been that the census taker did not understand their Welsh accent or it could have been an attempt to avoid persecution for polygamy as some men in Kingston were jailed for being polygamists or it could have been the English custom of stating one’s last name first.

Picture of Piute County, Utah, from Wikipedia.

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

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