Matilda Ellen was one of the great and noble women of the pioneer period.  Life was seldom easy, moving long distances in a covered wagon, establishing new homes, often in primitive conditions, giving birth to children in challenging circumstances and caring for and nurturing her family during frequent absences of her husband.  Yet this was accepted uncomplainingly as to what the times and the gospel required.  In her later years she was finally able to live in a comfortable and stable home, surrounded by many of her family.

A glimpse of her character was obtained in an interview in 1975 with Oliver K. Meservy at Wilford, Idaho.  O. K., as he was known, served for many years as the Yellowstone Stake Clerk and also as Fremont County Probate Judge.  He had known both Lysander and Matilda Ellen intimately.  His comments were that both Lysander and Matilda Ellen were much beloved in the community as examples of service and integrity.  They were kind and loving to all.  Both had strong testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  They were examples of Christian service with a great testimony and love of the Savior. They were devoted to each other.

There is an irony to the end of their lives.  Matilda Ellen died of a stroke at her home in Wilford December 2, 1905 at the age of sixty-seven.  It was on the date of her Golden Wedding Anniversary.  On December 14, 1905, twelve days later, Lysander also left mortality.  As they were joined in the challenges and rigors of pioneer life and laboring for the Kingdom, they were now together for eternity, a commanding example for their posterity.

THE HIRAM DAYTON FAMILY HISTORY by Leland and Alta Dayton.  Published September 1961

Oral Interview with Oliver K. Meservy at Wilford, Idaho 1975.

Dixie Mission Information on LYSANDER DAYTON found in the following source:
Bleak, James Godson.  ANNALS OF THE SOUTHERN UTAH MISSION [1869].  microfilm copy of the original.  MS #1302, LDS Church Archives.  Items in italics are direct quotes from this source.

page 63: In the October 1861 LDS Conference, 300 families were called to settle the Dixie Mission.  Lysander Dayton was among those called.  The list says he was from American Fork, Utah.  His name is still listed on the 1862 city census taken in St George as still being there.
Another source for this 1861 October Conference call is: “Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, October 8, 1861.”
Most of the 300 families left for southern Utah in November of 1861, and most of them arrived in what is now St. George the first few days of December, 1861.

page 74:December 5, 1861 the camp of settlers met and a “Camp Council” was chosen and sustained by vote of the camp.  Lysander Dayton was among the 12 men chosen and sustained to the “Camp Council.”

page 86: January 9, 1862 a meeting was held in which it was proposed that a community building be built.  Lysander Dayton was listed as subscribing $30 towards the building.

page 114: Saturday, November 15, 1862 the Conference of the Southern Mission was held with Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow presiding.  The High Council was organized, and Lysander Dayton was one of those called.

page 117: Lysander Dayton was ordained a High Priest & set apart to the High Council by Orson Pratt.


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