THE NAY FAMILY IN UTAH AND THE WEST

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June, 1857, proved to be another crisis in the lives of the Latter-day Saints in Utah, which included Alonzo, who was now 21 years old. President James Buchanan sent U.S. Army troops to Utah in an attempt to eliminate their practice of polygamy, among other things. They came through Salt Lake and set up a camp, Camp Floyd, for 5,000 people and 3,000 head of livestock just four miles from the home of John Nay and his family. This was not an amicable situation for the residents of Cedar Fort, and disputes were not uncommon. One such quarrel over grazing rights involving a group of soldiers and a young man from Cedar Fort who was tending a large herd concluded in a court trial. One of the soldiers was charged with attempted murder, and during a break in the trial the young Cedar Fort man shot him. When word of the death of one of their comrades reached Camp Floyd, a group of soldiers bent on revenge set out for Cedar Fort and began setting fire to haystacks and damaging property. It was reported in a local newspaper that Alonzo and another young boy sounded the alarm of warning to alert the residents of the fire.

Alonzo’s life was further complicated by problems in his own family which is addressed in its entirety in the chapter containing the history of John and Thirza Nay. As a result of this, in about 1859 or 1860, John moved part of the family to Springville, Utah. The 1860 U.S. Federal census for that area shows John living with his four sons, John H[yrum], Jos[eph] B[righam], Ormas, and Wm E[dwin]. (2) Also, somewhere in this time frame, his father, John, took another wife, Thankful Lucy Pine Packard, in a polygamist union.

We are unsure of the activities of Alonzo other than an entry in the records of the Endowment House in Salt Lake City for him on February 12, 1858 (3) and then later his marriage in St. John, Tooele County, Utah, to Hannah Potter Huggins on June 9, 1861. (4)

Hannah Potter Huggins was born at Toms River, Ocean County, New Jersey on June 8,1844. She was the third child of a family of six. All except one were born at Toms River. The eldest, a daughter Elizabeth, was born at Varmon, New Jersey. Her parents were William and Emeline Aker Huggins. They were converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Annie E. McIntosh Aljets, a granddaughter, has written the following about Hannah’s early life.

When Hannah was nine years old, she, with her parents, her brother George and sisters Mary, Elizabeth and Amelia, started to cross the plains to Utah. They went first to Arkansas where they waited until their company could be organized and outfitted.

Brother Anthony Ivins was captain of their company, which consisted of 53 wagons and a great deal of merchandise.

Her father drove a 4-horse team all the way. On account of the wagons being so heavily loaded, it was necessary for those who were able to walk a great portion of the way, and I have heard her say she and her brother rode only when they were too weary or had such sore and bleeding feet that walking was impossible. They arrived in Salt Lake City on August 10, 1853, where they remained until October when they went to Springville, Utah. The family then moved to Gunnison, Utah, where they remained but a short time due to the hostility of the Indians. When she was 15 years old, the family moved to Fountain Green, Sanpete County, Utah. “(5)

The first child of Alonzo and Hannah, my great grandmother, Thirza Emeline, was born in Fountain Green, Sanpete County, Utah, March 1, 1862, followed by her sister, Harriet Elizabeth on February 5, 1864.(6) The Black Hawk Indian War commenced April 9, 1865 and for a time the people of Fountain Green were moved to Moroni, 8 miles to the south. In 1866 a fort was built in Fountain Green to protect the people from the Indians and the family moved back, making it their home for many more years. Alonzo was a soldier in the Black Hawk War. (See addendum on the Black Hawk War.)

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