THE NAY FAMILY IN UTAH AND THE WEST
An incident during this period is recorded in the branch records involving Bishop Nay and a Brother Wimmer. While few details are given, it seems Bro. Wimmer took exception with something John said or did, and the leadership of the branch tried to settle the matter. A Church court was called. and when Bro. Wimmer was so informed, he was reported to have said that “for his part he calculated to stay at home and mind his own business and let them [the branch] take care of theirs.” The record says he was “so high about it he said they might settle it or do what they had a mind to with it his mind would be the same.” Wimmer further stated that he had “been mobed [sic] out of Mo [Missouri] by the Gentiles but Br Nay had mobed [sic] him wors [sic] than he ever was mobed before.” Wimmer was summarily “cut off” from Church membership for “treating with contempt the Orthority [sic] set over him,” and this action was voted unanimously by the Branch leadership.
By the spring 1852, a call came from church leaders in Utah, urging all saints still in the Council Bluffs area to make every effort to emigrate to the Salt Lake Valley that summer. In March 1852, Apostle Ezra Taft Benson wrote from Council Bluffs to Brigham Young in Salt Lake City regarding the preparation of the Saints. John Nay’s Harris Grove Branch is mentioned in the letter as being well prepared for the trek to the Salt Lake Valley. Part of the letter reads:
I embrace the present opportunity of forwarding to you, a brief report of the situation of the saints in this vicinity in regards to their prospects of emigration. A general meeting of the captains of emigrating companies was held at the Pigeon Tabernacle on Saturday and Sunday on the 6th and 7th inst. The weather was somewhat unfavorable, yet we had a crowded congregation and all seemed eager to go to the valley this season. The captains came forward to the stand and in answer to their names and gave a condensed report of the condition of their respective branches. I have room only for a few of the reports, but you gather from these some idea of our prospects…8th: Harris Grove Branch, John Nay captain, 167 souls, 22 wagons, and will have 10 new ones for sale, 14 horses, 35 yoke of oxen, 62 cows, and 73 young cattle. This branch will be able to go without exception and with a good outfit. Forty branches were represented at this meeting and I have given you the reports of eight. The remaining 32 will favorably compare with the above. I know you pray for me and the faithful in Pottowattamie [the Indian territory of southwest Iowa where Harris Grove and Council Bluffs were located], or else I would not have been so prospered …
On Friday, July 16, 1852, an emigrating company led by Allen Weeks was organized about five miles outside of Council Bluffs by Apostles Franklin D. Richards and Erastus Snow. John and Thirza and their seven children were assigned to the ’3rd Ten’ of the company. Records show their party included 9 people, 3 drivers, 1 wagon, 4 oxen, and 2 cows. The next day, Saturday, the company “laid by this day that the women could wash, bake and clean out the wagons . . . and see who was over loaded. Nine o’clock p.m. Dr. John Hough died and was buried the same night.” Dr. Hough had been ill with diarrhea for a week prior to this.
By Tuesday, July 20th, the company arrived at the Loup Fork ferry nine miles west of Genola, Nebraska where they camped for the night. By 10 a.m. the next morning (July 21st) the “company commenced crossing the Loup Fork ferry and at about 8 o’clock p.m. the company was all across and in camp about 3/4 of a mile from the ferry. Everything passed off smoothly without any serious accident.”
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