THE NAY FAMILY IN UTAH AND THE WEST

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Chapter 5

LAURA ANN NAY

by Scott Bowen
great great grandson

L

aura Ann Nay, fourth child of John Nay and Thirza Angelina Hale was born March 20, 1843 in Peterborough, Hillsborough, New Hampshire.  She came with her family to Nauvoo, Illinois, then to Harris Grove, Iowa, where her father was a bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Then at age 9 they followed the Mormon migration to Utah.  They traveled with the Allen Weeks’ Company, which arrived in Utah in 1852.  The family settled in Cedar Valley, Utah.  Life must have been hard in this dry rocky country.

Sarah Woolsey, in her book “Early Days In Cedar Valley,” tells how the Indians were causing problems and the families had to flee to Lehi from time to time.  Indian families lived right next to the town.  The Indian children played with the white children.  The squaws begged from house to house.  The white settlers followed the policy of Brigham Young: it is better to feed the Indian than to fight them. (p. 7)

Woolsey also mentions that when the Walker War broke out in the spring of 1853, all the settlers of Cedar Valley moved to Lehi in order to be safe against Indian depredations.  This move took place April 27, 1853, and the settlers remained in Lehi until June 25, 1853 when they returned to their homes in Cedar Valley.  The settlers evacuated Cedar Valley a second time July 28, 1853 as the Indian hostilities continued.  Some of them lived in dugouts on the banks of the Jordan River.  They moved back to their homes September 7, 1853.  They moved again in 1857 when Johnston’s Army came.  When the army established their permanent camp and the threat of war passed, most of the settlers came back.  But this time, some of the Nays moved to Springville.

The 1860 census shows the Nay family without a mother living in Springville.  By this time Laura Ann was married to Charles Wesley Warren, and they had two children.  While living in Springville, the Nay family (according to family tradition) was called to the Dixie Mission. They, John Nay, his wife Thankful and some of the children, moved to Pine Valley, Washington County, Utah in 1862.  (Pioneer indexes Washington County Utah 1852-1870 by Wesley W. Craig and Roberta Blake Barnum)

Charles Wesley was the son of Zenos Conger Warren, who died in Michigan, and Sarah Grace Sweet.  He along with his mother, brother, Amos S. Warren, sister, Mary Warren, step father, Daniel Wood, and half brother, Wellington Wood, came west with the Aaron Johnson Company.  On the 18th of September 1850, they were among the first to arrive on the future site of Springville.(1)  Charles was 32 years old when he and Laura married February 12, 1858.  Laura would have been 15.(2)

The following story about a brother Warren of Springville, whom many believe to be Charles Wesley Warren, was told by John D. Lee in his diary:

Brother Warren was considered something of a “Jack Mormon” in that he did not always attend to his church duties regularly, and did not always accept counsel without question.  One night when the visiting teachers came to his home, Brother Warren had just arrived from a hard day’s work tired and discouraged, and was just sitting down at supper.  The visitors noticed that the family proceeded to eat.

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