THE NAY FAMILY IN UTAH AND THE WEST
The next day on July 22nd, the group traveled 16 miles. One of the lead wagons apparently traveled all day without watering their teams and when the company encamped that night there was “a spirit of contention and acrimony about the detention.” J. C. Little, superintendent of the company “and others endeavored to lay that spirit and was unwilling to do any business until that spirit [of contention] was past [sic] out of the camp.” Apparently, part of the business being conducted that evening was the baptism and confirmation of Mrs. Celestia Hough, Dr. John Hough’s widow. When the contentious business was rightly settled, John Nay performed the ordinances for Mrs. Hough.
Two days later was July 24th, and the emigrating company recorded that “In commemoration of the founding of the settlement of the Saints in the Valley, Old Larson spoke, [and] another echo was followed by a report of small arms.”
The company continued on towards the Salt Lake Valley. One member recorded his delight in seeing “the unlimited vastness of the sunflowers then in bloom.” On August 15, another member of the company, Evan Greene, recorded in his diary that he became ill “with an attack of the liver [and he] could not set up,” so he had young Alonzo Nay drive his team for a while.
As the company continued, Silas Hillman recorded, “when we got past Ft. Laramie, we began to see buffalo in great quantities moving across the plains. We hunted some and killed several and jerked their meat. . . . The Platte [River] was very high at the time for fording, but we made the attempt and crossed and all crossed same [or safe]. . . . We stopped to recruit a few days after leaving the Sweet Water [River], and during that time some of the boys killed some antelope.” On September 8, it was reported that John Nay and a Bro. Tully “went out to dress the buffalo killed last evening and killed another.”
On the morning of October 6, just days prior to their arrival in the Salt Lake Valley, one of John’s oxen was missing. The group hunted until 11 o’clock that morning then moved on and then camped about 3p.m. They were doubtless greatly relieved when “just at night John’s ox came over the mountain.”
A week later on October 11, the company passed over Big Mountain in Emigration Canyon, and the next day, Tuesday, October 12, 1852 they “passed over the Little Mountain and came into the city of the Great Salt Lake.” The long journey-lasting 2 months and 26 days-was finally at an end.
A number from the company, including the Allen Weeks and John Nay families, continued on to the area known today as Lehi, Utah, where most of the group camped for the winter. In November however, Allen Weeks and three other families moved to an area west of Lehi known as Cedar Valley. They spent the winter there, and in the early spring of 1853, other families moved into the valley, which is probably when John and Thirza moved to Cedar Valley as well.
The families erected a fort as protection from Indians. Cedar logs from nearby mountains provided the materials, and the cedar pickets of the fort’s outer walls gave the new town its name, Cedar Fort. Later, a more substantial fort was built with stone walls though it was never completely finished. In a few records of the time the citizens are recorded as living in “Stone City.”
On Sunday, April 3, 1853, Cedar Fort Ward was organized with Allen Weeks as bishop. Membership recorded at that time included John and Thirza Nay and their children: Alonzo, William, Matilda, Laura, John, Brigham, Ormas, and their last child, Angelina. There is conflicting information as to little Angelina Relief’s birth date. We can conclude she was born in Cedar Fort, but records show various dates. We know she was blessed by her father on May 6, 1855 in the Cedar Fort Ward. (See Chapter 9 on Angelina Relief Nay.)
Life in the uninhabited Cedar Valley was not easy. Logs for homes and the fort had to be brought from the nearby mountains. Water had to be directed for irrigation and gardening. And the Indians proved troublesome.
Several weeks after the ward was organized, the entire group moved “to Lehi City by order of Gen. Daniel H. Wells on account of Indian difficulties.” Two months later on June 25, 1853, the branch moved back to their homes. Again, on July 28 problems with the Indians prompted Mayor David Evans to order the group back to Lehi until September 7 when they returned to their homes.
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