THE NAY FAMILY IN UTAH AND THE WEST

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O

rmus Bates Nay, a twin in the family of John Nay and Thirza Angelina Hale, was born April 25, 1850, in Harris Grove, Iowa. (1) His twin, Ormun P. Nay, died in infancy at the age of one month in Harris Grove, May 25, 1850. (2) On June 2, 1850, Ormus received a blessing by Orson Pratt:

“In the name of the Lord we take thee in our arms and bless thee and we say it is the privilege of thy parents to claim thee by faith that thy life may be long upon the earth and that you may be a mighty instrument in his hands of doing a great work in this generation and we seal this blessing upon thee in the name of Jesus Christ, amen and Amen.” (3)

As a small child he accompanied his parents and family across the plains to the Salt Lake Valley in Utah, arriving in October of 1852. (4) His family was asked to move on to help settle Cedar Fort, Utah, where they lived for about seven years.  His name is found on the Territorial 1856 Utah Census as a six-year-old child in the family of John and Thirza with other family members, including a younger sister, Angeline Relief. (5) Those days may have been full of excitement and adventure for a young boy, as they periodically had to quickly relocate to the nearby town of Lehi to protect themselves from the Indians, although the Indian children often played alongside the white children. (6)

The next time Ormus’ name is found is in the 1860 Census, where he is living in Springville, Utah with his father and two brothers. (7) There is no mention of his mother or younger sister, and his older sisters by this time were married and living in homes of their own.  What happened to Thirza and her daughter Angeline has been a family mystery, with few clues available.  We do know that Angeline died at age ten in 1864 and was buried in St. George, Utah, and the next recorded mention of his mother Thirza is a copy of a letter that she wrote from Monroe, Utah at age 78, so we know she lived a long life. (8,9, Addendum 6)

But for this time, Ormus was living without them. In the Springville ward records, Ormus’ confirmation is recorded as June 9, 1861, and the record states “names as confirmed and baptism not entered down,”(in that particular record) so we assume he was baptized on or near that same date there in the Springville Ward. (10) Later in life Ormus is quoted as saying that his stepmother, Thankful Lucy Pine Nay, was “like an angel to us,” referring to Thirza and John’s children still with John. John remarried sometime in the year 1860. (11)

We will shift scenes for a moment and look at the life of Louisa Ann Earl, the faithful wife of Ormus.  She was born on February 22, 1854 in Salt Lake City, Utah to James Calvin Earl and Mary Elizabeth Parsons. (12) Her parents may have crossed paths with Ormus’ parents in their early married days . . . “. . .in Nauvoo, since he [James Calvin Earl], like John and Angelina Nay, was endowed in the last days of the Nauvoo Temple. (13) [James Earl] also ‘passed through the persecutions of the Saints in Illinois and went into exile with his co-religionists in 1846.’ (14) His path took a different turn however, when after ‘stopping temporarily at Mount Pisgah, Iowa, he enlisted in the Mormon Battalion July 10, 1847, and marched as far as Santa Fe, New Mexico, withthe main body of the battalion; thence he was assigned to the sick detachment under Captain James Brown and spent the winter of 1846-1847 on the Arkansas river and arrived in the Great Salt Lake Valley on July 29, 1847, a few days after the arrival of the pioneers under President Brigham Young.’ (15) After arriving in Salt Lake, James C. Earl married Mary Elizabeth Parsons, an early pioneer saint who had been orphaned while crossing the plains.” (16) (17)

Louisa is listed in the 1860 Federal Census taken in Springville, age five, with two older sisters, Manda, ten, and Tabitha J., seven, a younger sister Mary E., three, and a brother Cyrus H., age one. (18) Louisa is again listed in the 1870 census, this time living in Pine Valley, Washington County, Utah.  She is the oldest child still living at home at age fifteen, with two more brothers added to the family, Sylvester, age seven and Robert, who was born in January of that year, only four months old. (19)

The very next year, Ormus and Louisa Ann Earl were married in Pine Valley, Utah, on the 22nd of September, 1871.  The inscription as transcribed by Wanda C. Nay from the Nay family Bible reads: “This certifies that Ormus Bates Nay of Pine Valley and Louise Ann Earl of Pine Valley state of Utah were united in matrimony according to the ordinance of God and the laws of the state of Utah at Pine Valley on the 22 day of September in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred seventy one by Bishop Wm. Snow-witnesses J. B. Nay and Amanda E. Nay.” (20) A short time after this marriage, Ormus and Amanda moved back north to Cedar Fort, because nine months later, they had their first child, Ormus Calvin Nay, born on June 7th in Cedar Fort, Utah. (21) Their second child, Henry Marley Nay was also born in Cedar Fort on December 19, 1874. (22) During this time of history in the church, it was common for the members to be rebaptized to show a renewal in the faith.  This could be the case for Louisa, for her baptism date is recorded as February 2, 1877 when she was a few weeks shy of twenty-two years. (23)

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