Tuesday, April 1, 2014

David Nathan Thomas (Part 9)

Nephi & Kanosh, 1862-1878, continued

Margaret thought that David and Adeline stayed in Nephi some two years. David and Adeline’s daughter, Frances Ann, was born on May 4, 1864, in Nephi. Although there is no record of her birth in the early Nephi records, later church records (in St. Johns) list her birthplace as Nephi. [42] According to those same St. Johns records, she was not blessed until 1871 in Kanosh. It may have been that David and Adeline went within a short time after Frances’ birth to Kanosh where the first group in Kanosh was organized as the Corn Creek Branch in 1861. The name was later changed to Kanosh Branch. 

This first Kanosh Branch was in the area known as Lower Corn Creek, also known as Petersburg and Hatton. Here the sedge (salt) grass, a delicacy for foraging animals, grew in abundance. Alfalfa, grains and grass grew well in the alkaline soil, but other crops did not do well there. [43]

“In 1867, upon the advice of Brigham Young, the town site of Kanosh was changed to a location three miles south and east of Petersburg or Hatton. President Young indicated that the land was more fertile near the mouth of the canyon and frost did not come so early in the fall. Water could more easily be stored there for irrigation and the climate was more healthful on the hills.” [44] And so it was that in 1867 the Kanosh Ward was organized in the area known as Upper Corn Creek. It included members from Kanosh proper, Hatton, Cove Fort, Willden’s Fort and the Indian Village.

When the settlers moved to Upper Corn Creek they moved into an area of the Indian’s homes and farms. At first they peacefully co-existed but more settlers moving in began to crowd out the Indians. By 1875 the town population of Kanosh proper had grown to 300 and “…the town leaders persuaded Chief Kanosh to move his tribe up to Rogers Springs. They traded him 20 acres of land and water up there for 20 acres down in town.” [45]

David and his family probably lived at first in the Kanosh Branch of Hatton or Petersburg because LDS church records indicate that their second child was born in Kanosh November 4, 1865, which would have been the Lower Corn Creek Settlement. Upper Corn Creek, site of present-day Kanosh, was established in 1867 and David and Adeline are listed as Kanosh pioneers of 1867. [46] The 1870 census (on July 2) lists David and Adeline as living in Kanosh with seven children—Isaac-19, Sarah A.-16, Mary-12, Frances-6, David J.-4, and Thos (sic) Springthorpe-6, and Theresa Springthorpe. Thos and Theresa were the children of Adeline’s brother, John. John and Theresa and Thomas Springthorpe had immigrated to Utah in 1869 on the ship, Minnesota. It appears that his children were living with their aunt while John was working to earn passage for other members of his family as the 1870 census lists John as working as a miner in Little Cottonwood Canyon which at that time was a silver-mining boomtown. [47]  Jessie, John’s wife, did not immigrate until 1870. [48]

Blacksmith shops were necessary in pioneer days to make farming equipment and to keep it in good working order. In the early days of Kanosh at least four shops were operating. The second blacksmith established in 1870 belonged to David Thomas who located on Lot 6, Block 24. [49] Four blacksmiths seemed to be too many for the small town of Kanosh and eventually, three of the four blacksmiths moved to other communities. About 1878 David and his family moved to the village of Kingston in Circleville. However, more than the economic reason for David and Adeline’s move was the desire to live the principles of the United Order. Kingston, near Circleville, Piute County was a community comprised mostly of members of the King family who wanted to practice the United Order.

[42] “A Record of Births and Deaths in the Nephi Branch,” compiled by Mattie Hiatt from Minute Book “A: of Nephi Branch, at the Nephi Public Library in Nephi, Utah. Also on microfilm at LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Minute Book “A,” Nephi Branch does not have any records for Thomas—no birth dates, no marriage date.

[43] Leavitt Christensen, Birth of Kanosh, 1995. LDS Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[44] DUP Chapters of Millard County, Milestones of Millard, A Century of History of Millard County 1851 to 1951, n.p., 1951, 342-343.

[45] DUP, Milestones of Millard.

[46] DUP, Milestones of Millard, 1951 lists Adeline as a pioneer of 1867; no David Thomas is listed; however, a Daniel Thomas is listed as a pioneer of 1867 and is only other Thomas besides Adeline who is listed, so probably that was a typo. This book also lists the first baby born in Kanosh as being born on Jan 9. 1868, so David and Adeline’s son, David John, who was born in 1865, was probably born in Lower Corn Creek (Hatton or Petersburg). 

[47] 1870 United States Census, Kanosh and for Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah.

[48] Deseret News, “List of Passengers per S.S. ‘Manhattan,’” December 14, 1870, 9.

[49] Leavitt Christensen, Birth of Kanosh; “Map of Kanosh.” also hand-drawn map by Garth Greer. See maps in appendix #3.

The picture of Kanosh Volcano and Meadow Hot Springs is from Flickr, courtesy of Bryant Olsen provided under a Creative Commons license. 

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

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