THE NAY FAMILY IN UTAH AND THE WEST
I am unsure why Hannah gave birth to her third child in Richfield, Utah, which is about 65 miles south of Fountain Green. William Alonzo was born July 8, 1867 and died just four months later, November 13, 1867. A brief biography of Hannah’s parents, William and Emeline Huggins, states that they lived in Fountain Green during this time.(7)
Hannah told of many hardships and harrowing experiences she endured with her small children and aged parents during that war with the Indians. One story the young folks always wanted her to tell was of one night when the Indians were on the rampage and the men had to be on night duty. They dug a hole in the top of the haystack, made the women and children climb up, pull the ladder up after them and lie very quietly in the hole prepared for them. She said the three women didn’t sleep much, but they were safe and were not discovered by the Indians.
She was ever a faithful Latter-day Saint. Through all her trials and hardships she relied on the Lord, always bearing testimony that her prayers were not in vain.(8) The next ten years brought the birth of four more children to the family of Alonzo and Hannah in Fountain Green. Armes Franklin was born on November 18, 1869, Sarah P. on March 4, 1872, Hannah Edna on December 14, 1875 and John Chester, March 3, 1878. Sadly, Armes only lived to the age of nine, as he died in November 1878, and little Sarah was only four when she died July 17, 1876. July 17, 1878, the family traveled to St. George to be sealed as a family.(9)
While the family was in St. George, they also did proxy work at the temple on July 19, 1878. Alonzo served as proxy for William McNee, Jr., while his daughters Harriet and Thirza did work for Betsey Russell, Mary Eccles and Sarah Smith. Alonzo’s father and step-mother, as well as his half-brother John George were also in the temple that day, performing ordinances for the family’s ancestors.
In the History of Sanpete County it is reported nearly every year there was the problem of the grasshoppers destroying crops, July 1867 being an especially bad year for the county. Until 1870, most of the entries dealt with raids and killings by the Indians and then these reports seemed to dwindle in importance. I’m not sure that meant they ceased but surely that they weren’t so prevalent.(10)
The 1880 U.S. Federal census indicates Alonzo and Hannah Ney (Nay) were in Fountain Green with their five children, Emeline, Harriet, Franklin, Edwin, and John C.(11) Later in the year 1880, they moved to Huntington, Emery County, Utah, where Alonzo owned and operated a shingle mill, furnishing shingles for the homes of the residents. In December of that year their first child, Thirza Emeline, was married to John David McIntosh whose home was actually in St. John, Utah, but he was in Huntington on business. The couple stayed in Huntington until October 1881, moving back to St. John, Tooele, Utah, to make their home.(12) I mention this as I believe it played a role in a decision that Alonzo and Hannah were to make in a few years. The years in Huntington brought three more children into the Nay home. Ida May was born September 3, 1883 and died just three days later, George Angus on November 23, 1885, and Lorena on June 18, 1888. Sadness came into the home on May 22, 1883, as their precious little eight year old son, John Chester, passed away. Alonzo and Hannah brought ten souls into this life and by 1888 there were just five still living, four girls and one boy.(13)
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