THE NAY FAMILY IN UTAH AND THE WEST
MATILDA ELLEN NAY DAYTON
by Lowell Dayton
I am honored to write this chapter on the life of my great grandmother Matilda Ellen Nay Dayton. My profound regret is that I did not begin the research on her life many years ago while those who knew her in person were still living. Those resources are now gone. My oldest living relative, a grand daughter in-law, age 94 has no recollection of Matilda Ellen. I have had interviews with various living family members hoping to obtain some information or memory, but to no avail.
Historical records and journals at the Daughters of The Utah Pioneers Museum at Salt Lake City as well as the LDS History Department and the Family History Center yielded very little information or data which was not already available through current family records.
One source which might have provided some accurate and insightful information was a journal kept by Hiram Dayton from his conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Parkman, Ohio during the Kirtland period. The journal was handed down to his son Lysander who made the last entries and then to Charles Henry Dayton and Augustus Dayton at Wilford, Idaho. In June 1976 the Teton Dam burst a few miles east of Wilford, Idaho. A fifty foot wall of water emerged from the mouth of the narrow canyon at the eastern edge of Wilford, sweeping almost everything in its path to destruction. One of the casualties was the Hiram Dayton Journal, irretrievably lost, to the great sorrow of the Dayton family. Any valuable information in the book concerning Matilda Ellen was destroyed.
The information in this chapter on Matilda Ellen Nay Dayton will be relatively short because of the paucity of information available about her life. There is considerably more available about her husband Lysander Dayton. Because her life and shared experiences with her husband might give some insight to her, I am extrapolating to some degree from his history, which in part will help to portray her life as well. Most of this information comes from extant family records and my own recollection from what I have heard in the distant past concerning her. This is far from being as complete as we would desire.
In preparing this, I have painted a picture of her in my mind. I see her as a beautiful woman, loving, kind, charitable, generous, patient, resourceful, a loyal and believing daughter of God. I eagerly anticipate our meeting on the other side.
Mapleton, Utah 2002
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