THE NAY FAMILY IN UTAH AND THE WEST

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“On July 2, 1888, John W. Turner, Sheriff, Utah County, sent a character reference for Ormus Nay to the Board of Pardons.  Turner said, ‘Under any other circumstances I would be loth [sic]  to say anything favorable for any person committing the crime, which this person did, but from the facts in the case I feel it a duty to myself as well as to Mr. Nay to make the following statement, all of which is from my personal knowledge.’ Turner was one of the arresting officers.

“He said he had known the Nay family from the time they came to Utah Territory, and this was the first stigma attached to any member of the family.  He had known the family since Nay’s boyhood.  Turner said, ‘I know that is was through the influence of two who were sent there with him that he was caused to commit this almost unpardonable sin.’Also, Nay ‘has an estimable wife’ and four children who especially needed a father’s counsel at that time in their lives.  Turner adds that Nay had ‘suffered fearfully’ from being crippled, ‘double more than his associates;’ however the main consideration should be for his suffering wife and children.

“On Dec 21, 1888, J.B. Hume, Special Officer of Wells, Fargo & Co., wrote to the Board of Pardons that he had been visited by the wife of Orrin Nay [sic], accompanied by Miss Van Sickle of Carson with letters from ‘reputable and prominent citizens of the state of Nevada and Utah,’ and he concluded that ‘in the six years which Nay has served, and in connection with his impaired health and disabled condition, resulting from wounds received at the time of his arrest, the ends of justice have been satisfied and that executive clemency will be fitly bestowed if his petition for a pardon is regard with favor.’

“On Dec. 24, 1888, R.R. Bigelow, [District Judge of Elko County] wrote to the Board of Pardons that he favored granting the request for pardon of Ney [sic]. He said, ‘There must be something good about him or they [his family] would not have clung to him as they have.’

“On Jan. 7, 1889, Andrew F. Gregerson wrote to the Governor and Board of Pardons, from Silver Reef, Utah, that he had know Ormas [sic] Nay from a boy.  Nay had worked for and with him for a long time, and Gregerson knew him to be ‘honorable and straightforward in all his dealings.’  He believed Nay was ‘influenced and misled or he would not done as he did. . .’

“On Jan. 8, 1890, a petition for pardon of Ormus B. Nay, signed by 11 people (evidently in Carson City) was submitted to the Board of Pardons.  They said, ‘For seven years his wife has battled for the bare necessities of life for herself and four little children without the aid and assistance of her husband.  Your petitioners have personal knowledge of how diligently and laboriously she has endured all those seven long years to keep the wolf from the door, and by what an unceasing effort she has accomplished that end.’

“On June 7, 1890, Sol Sprague, Notary Public and land agent in Monroe, Utah, wrote a character reference for Ormus B. Nay to the Board of Pardons.  He believed Nay had been sufficiently punished, and he promised to provide steady employment, suitable to his condition, if he were pardoned.” (34)

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