Moroni Benson

25 Jul 1833 - 28 Jan 1917

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Moroni Benson

25 Jul 1833 - 28 Jan 1917
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I am now in my 80th year, writing these records without glasses. I was born December 13, 1799, in Onondaga County, New York, in the town of Disitis [probably Fabius]. I was the son of Benjamin Benson and Keziah Messenger Benson. When I was 17 years old, my father moved to the state of Indiana, Clark
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Life Information

Moroni Benson

Nasceu:
Morreu:

Hyrum City Cemetery

2-98 North 500 East
Hyrum, Cache, Utah
United States
Copista

finnsh

April 8, 2013
Fotógrafo

koand

April 7, 2013

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Alva Benson Life Sketch

Colaborador: finnsh Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

I am now in my 80th year, writing these records without glasses. I was born December 13, 1799, in Onondaga County, New York, in the town of Disitis [probably Fabius]. I was the son of Benjamin Benson and Keziah Messenger Benson. When I was 17 years old, my father moved to the state of Indiana, Clarks County. I married Cynthia Vail, the daughter of Gamaliel and Lucy Manning Vail, in Clarks County, Indiana. I moved to Rockville, Jackson County, Indiana, the same year (1821) with my father's family, where we built a sawmill on White River for a man by the name of Fishly. We next moved to Gold Roundtown on Ele River, Hendrix County, Indiana, in 1825. In 1829 we moved to Clinton County, Indiana, 30 miles north, where I bought 140 acres of land, and in the year 1832 I joined the Mormon Church. I was baptized February 14, 1832, by Samuel Dwelling and confirmed by Uriah Curtis to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints. I was ordained a Priest by John Lewis May 6, 1832. Cynthia’s father and mother and all of his family were baptized during that winter (1832). We sold our land, and my father and brother, Jerome, moved to Jackson County, Missouri. We arrived there about the 17th of November. I built a house on public lands and lived there one year. Then we were driven out of that county by a mob because we were Mormons and were not of their faith. Then my father with his family and seven other families moved to Lafayette County and stopped on Pigeon Bear Creek. We stayed there two winters and built a sawmill and grist mill for John MacGeothen. We then moved to Clay County, where the main body of the Church was. I repaired a grist mill and then rented it. In 1836, we moved to Berch Creek, Platt County, and built another sawmill for Mr. Levenworth. I then rented it and sawed lumber for the fort; then I moved to Callwell [Caldwell] County, Far West in 1836; and in that same year, the Missouri mob made a raid against us, the Church of Jesus Christ, and orders were given to extinguish the Church and have it driven from the state. They made us give over all our state and personal property. In November the mob marshaled us and took all our arms from us and ordered us to Commerce. Some days the weather would not permit us to travel. There was a man by the name of David Dalcome who hired me to build a 40-foot tread wheel that winter in Clay County; and in the spring, there was another man by the name of Casle who hired me to build him a sawmill and furnished me a house to live in and protection from the mob, which I gladly accepted. In September, 1839, I started for Illinois, McLain County, Clarksville, where my wife's brother and I stayed for over five years and built and repaired sawmills. In May, 1846, I started with my family and two other families, the widow Vail, Martha Vail, and her four children, also my sister, Polly Bartholomew and her husband, Joseph, to go with the Church of Jesus Christ to the west. When we stopped in Kanesville, Iowa, we were there for five years. We had a small farm and worked down on the Missouri River at a mill site, where we made an outfit for a journey to the Rocky Mountains. We started in the year 1852 in company with wagons. We crossed the Missouri River on the 4th of July, 1852. We traveled for three months and reached the Valley of Salt Lake in 1852. We settled at Springville and lived there for one year. Then we were called to go to Iron County, Utah, for the purpose of strengthening that village against the Indians. In the spring of 1859, I moved back to Springville and lived there one summer. In the spring of 1860, we moved to Cache Valley. My son, Moroni, Ira Allen and his son, Andrew Allen, came to Cache Valley on the first day of April, 1860. We met Apostle Ezra Taft Benson at the point of the mountain. We asked him what the privileges were in the valley; and he said, "Find the best place you can." On the third of April, we opened camp near Wellsville on Little Bear Creek. We stayed there about a week and looked over the south end of the valley, trying to find where we could take water ditches out that would water a great scope of farming land. The ditch would be nine miles long. At this time, there were about 12 or 15 families gathered. We then started the place now called Hyrum. We then began surveying our little farms consisting of about 20 acres. (Signed) Alvah Benson

The Life of Moroni Benson

Colaborador: finnsh Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

The following is a short sketch of the life and labors of Moroni Benson as told to A.A. Savage in July 1916: I was born at Independence, Jackson County, Missouri on July 25, 1833. During my childhood days the Saints were passing through their trials in Missouri. Many times my mother took me in her arms and hid in the brush to escape the mobs. We lived in Lafayette County, Clay County and Caldwell County, after being driven from Jackson County. While living in Clay County, my father built a sawmill and sawed all the lumber for the first fort built by the government at Leavenworth, Kansas. In 1839 all the Saints were called to settle in Caldwell County, so they could all be together as a protection against the mobs. In answer to this call a large company of us were traveling together. When we arrived at Haun’s Mill, part of the company stopped for the night while the rest of us went on to Far West. The next morning a terrible massacre took place and we would have been in it had we stayed at the mill. When the Saints were driven from Missouri and settled in Nauvoo, we went to Sparksville, McCain County, Illinois, where my mother’s brother lived. He was well to do and gave us help, which we greatly needed after being robbed of so much. We lived here seven years and here I was baptized into the church in 1841, by David Juddy. I can remember seeing Joseph and Hyrum Smith, when I was a small boy, playing marbles on the public square at Far West. I saw Joseph Smith when he was arrested and taken to Liberty Jail. When the people were driven out of Nauvoo we went with them and settled in Council Bluffs. During the winter of 1846 and 1847, when I was just past 13 years of age, I pounded all the corn we had for hominy and corn bread, on a hominy block, and I had to carry all the wood we burned about a mile and a half of my back through deep snow, with shoes on that had holes in them bigger than the remaining pieces of leather. I also had to chop down elm trees for the cattle to browse on to keep them from starving to death. During the summer I did the farming because I was the oldest one home, all the rest being off working. After living at Council Bluffs five years, we came to Utah, arriving in Springville September 23, 1852, and went from there to Payson to live during the winter and the following summer. In the summer of 1853, the Walker Indian War broke out and I was mustered into service July 19, and served over three months as a guard. That fall we were called to settle in Iron County by Brigham Young. We left Payson on November 11, 1858 and when we reached Iron County, we settled on the site of Cedar City and built a fort a half-mile square for protection against the Indians. I was shot in the leg with an arrow while standing guard one night outside the fort. I went back to Springville in 1858 and farmed the following summer. In the spring of 1859, I with others came to Cache Valley and after exploring the entire valley, we selected the site of Hyrum to locate on. That summer I helped build the canal that waters the city and all the land southeast of town. Father Ira Allen, Andrew Allen and myself laid out the canal with a spirit level. The canal was nine miles long and was built in about four weeks. During the winter of 1860 and 1861 I helped build the first meeting house, and did such other work as we could. I also helped build the first house that was built in Hyrum, and it was a hard winter with lots of snow. In the summer of 1861, I went back to Florence for immigrants; was married to Martha Phillips April 6, 1862. In 1866 and 1867, I served as a guard in the Black Hawk Indian war. In 1867 I married Elizabeth Stanley Osborn. I helped build the first road in Blacksmith Fork Canyon and other roads all through the mountains to mill sites. I worked six weeks in rock on the Central Pacific railroad west of Corrine, and six weeks on the Utah Central Railroad between Salt Lake City and Ogden. I saw Brigham Young drive the last spike when the railroad was finished. I cut ties for the Utah northern Railroad when it was building into Cache Valley. During later years I worked for the United Order Company for around 15 years around the sawmills and for 25 years had charge of the toll road in Blacksmith Fork Canyon, which was also owned by that company. I have passed through many hardships in my days; you don’t see any of them nowadays. I have went into the mountains and camped for days at a time and worked in the timber barefooted. My feet would be so sore in the mornings from being cut up on the sharp rock that I could hardly walk. Down in Iron County I have walked through prickly pears barefoot while hunting oxen. I had to do it because shoes could not be bought. I have only killed two bears in my day, but one of them was the largest grizzly ever killed in these mountains. I have taken part in all the early development of this town and tried to make it a good place to live in, and now it is to be left to you young fellows to keep it going. On April 6, 1912, Mr. And Mrs. Benson, surrounded by their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, relatives and friends, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. Moroni Benson passed away on January 28, 1917, at Hyrum, Utah and is buried there. He was survived by two wives, twelve children (two having preceded him in death), all of whom were present at the funeral except one. He has fifty grand children and twelve great grand children. He was loved and respected by all who knew him.

Memories Moroni Benson and Martha Phillips Benson

Colaborador: finnsh Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

The following remembrance was told by Zora Nebeker Morgan during the period of February through July, 1992, and was compiled by Yvonne M. Prince, Catherine P. Miles and Jacquee P. Ferrin. (Moroni and Martha Benson were Zora's Grandparents). Grandpa Benson called Grandma Benson “Kate”. Grandmother came across the plains by handcart. As they walked across the plains, they would sing “Come, Come Ye Saints” to keep their spirits up. They would dig sego lilies and eat them to keep from starving to death. Grandpa Benson traveled with another company ahead of the handcart company Grandma was with. After he arrived in Salt Lake City, he returned to help the handcart company Grandma was with. In those days many times the parents chose the girl they wanted their son to marry, and this was the case with Grandma Benson. They were married when Grandma Benson worked in the sawmill. They raised seven daughters and three sons—a fourth son died in childhood. The daughters’ names were Jane, Margaret, Laura, Ellie, Effie, Cynthia (my mother), and Caddie. The sons’ names were Alva, Orson, Milton, and James (who died as a child). Grandpa Benson also served as a janitor in the school house for years. I remember as a little girl playing in their yard. Grandpa used to raise chickens, and he used to hide part of the eggs to pay for the feed. Grandma used to wonder why the chickens didn’t lay more eggs! He would give each of us children an egg to go buy candy with. You could buy as much candy with one egg as you can a whole dollar now. Grandpa Nebeker (my father) had a home next to Grandpa Benson where they lived nine months of the year. The school had several rooms and several teachers. Frank and Pete were just little boys and weren’t in school yet. Grandpa Benson had a red beard and was about Evera Morgan’s stature. Grandma Benson was a wonderful lady, so sweet and kind. We all loved her. She was real pretty and had the most beautiful white hair. She was an immaculate housekeeper and a good cook. We loved going to her place. After Grandma Benson had Cynthia (my mother) she got milk leg (phlebitis) which put her in bed. An old Indian squaw came and took a part of a sheet and put fresh cow manure all over the sheet and wrapped Grandma Benson’s leg from the top of her thigh to the foot. She was cured, but Grandma Benson said the cure was worse than the disease.

Hurt Hand

Colaborador: finnsh Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

Utah Journal, 29 April 1881, page 3 "On last Wednesday morning a middle aged man named Moroni Benson, while running the lath mill of the U. O. [United Order Co.] in Hyrum, brought his left hand in contact with the saw in such a way as to injure it very severely. The palm was sawn across near where the fingers join it, and the fingers badly hurt. The patient was brought to Logan immediately to D. B. Lamorenux, who found it necessary to amputate, close to the palm, the first and fourth fingers. there is reason to fear permanent injury to the second finger, but it was not deemed necessary to amputate it."

Disastrous Runaway

Colaborador: finnsh Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

Utah Journal, 25 Dec. 1889, page 8 "Moroni Benson was driving homeward on Saturday evening from the hay field, riding on a hay rake. Opposite the U.O.M. & B. Co's., shop a man driving a buggy ran into the rake. Benson was thrown from his seat, one wheel was broken from the rake and one of Benson's legs was caught and fastened in an angle made by the shaft, cross bar, and an iron brace uniting them. He was held firmly and dragged head downward for nearly two blocks, the horse running at top speed. Finally it ran on to the sidewalk, being headed in that direction by Mr. Albert Shorten, who tried to stop it. Here the remaining wheel struck a gate and tore it from its hinges. A short distance further on, it struck a post and at this point, so severe was the shock that the horse became disengaged from the rake. Mr. Shorten ran to the assistance of Benson, whom he found in the position above described, his leg imprisoned, and his head on the ground underneath the axle of the rake. He was entirely unconscious when rescued, although but a moment before he had screamed twice when being dragged. Mr. Shorten procured a vehicle and took him home. Dr. Parkinson was sent for and found that Benson's body and head were badly bruised, and that his spine and brain had suffered severe concussion. There were also several scalp wounds, but for a wonder, no bones were broken. He had a very narrow escape from death."

Life Sketch of Moroni Benson - Hyrum Newspaper

Colaborador: finnsh Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

Week of January 29, 1917 The following is a short sketch of the life and labors of Moroni Benson as he related it to the undersigned last July 1916. “I was born at Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, July 25, 1833. During my childhood days the saints were passing through their trials in Missouri. Many times my mother took me in her arms and hid in the brush to escape the mobs. We lived in Lafayette Co, Clay Co. and Caldwell Co. after being driven from Jackson Co. While living in Clay Co. my father built a sawmill and sawed all the lumber for the first fort built by the government at Leavenworth Kansas. In 1839 all the saints were called to settle in Caldwell Co., so they could all be together as a protection against the mobs. In answer to this call a large company of us were traveling together. When we arrived at Haun’s Mill, part of the company stopped for the night while the rest of us went on to Far West. The next morning a terrible massacre took place and we would have been in it had we stayed at the mill. When the saints were driven from Missouri and settled in Nauvoo, we went to Sparksville, McClain Co., Illinois, where my mother’s brother lived. He was well to do and gave us help, which we greatly needed, after being robbed of so much. We lived here seven years and here I was baptized into the Church in 1841 by David Jeddy. I can remember of seeing Joseph and Hyrum Smith when I was a small boy playing marbles on the public square at Far West. I saw Joseph Smith when he was arrested and taken to Liberty jail. When the people were driven out of Nauvoo we went with them and lived in Council Bluffs. During the winter of 1846 and 1847, when I was just past 13 year of age, I pounded all the corn we had for hominy and corn bread on a hominy block, and I had to carry all the wood we burned about a mile and a half on my back, through the deep snow, with shoes on that had holes in them bigger than the remaining pieces of leather. I also had to chop down elms for the cattle to browse on to keep them from starving to death. During the summer I did the farming, because I was the oldest one home, all the rest being off working. After living at Council Bluffs five years we came to Utah, arriving in Springville September 23, 1852, and went from there to Payson to live during the winter and the following summer. In the summer of 1853, the Walker Indian war broke out and I was mustered into service July 19 and served over three months as a guard. That fall we were called to settle in Iron County, by Brigham Young. We left Payson Nov 11, 1853 and when we reached Iron Co.; we settled on the site of Cedar City and built a fort a half-mile square for protection against the Indians. I was shot in the leg with an arrow while standing guard one night outside the fort. I went back to Springville in 1858 and farmed the following summer. In the spring of 1860 I, with others, came to Cache Valley and after exploring the entire valley we selected the site of Hyrum to locate on. That summer I helped build the canal that waters the city and all the land south east of town. Father Ira Allen, Andrew Allen, and myself laid out the canal with a spirit level. The canal was nine miles long and was built in about four weeks. During the winter of 1860 and 1861, I helped build the first meetinghouse and did such works as we could. I also helped build the first house that was built in Hyrum, and it was a hard winter with a lot of snow. In the summer of 1861 I went back to Florence [Kansas] for emigrants; was married to Martha Phillips April 6, 1862. In 1866 and 1867 I served as a guard in the Black Hawk Indian War. I helped build the first road in Blacksmith Fork Canyon and other roads all through the mountains to mill sites. I worked six weeks on the Utah Central Railroad west of Corrine and six weeks on the Utah Central Railroad between Salt Lake [City] and Ogden. I saw Brigham Young drive the last spike when the road was finished. I cut ties for the Utah Northern Railroad when it was building into Cache Valley. During later years I worked for the United Order Company for fifteen years around the sawmills, and for twenty-five years had charge of the toll road in Blacksmith Fork Canyon, also owned by that company. I have passed through many hardships in my days; you don’t see any of them now-days. I have went into the canyons and camped for days at a time and worked in the timber bare-footed. My feet would be so sore in the mornings from being cut on the sharp bark that I could hardly walk. Down in Iron Co., I have walked through prickly pears barefooted, while hunting oxen. I had to do it because shoes could not be bought. I only killed two bears in my day, but one was the largest grizzly ever killed in the mountains. I have taken part in all of the early development of this town [Hyrum] and tried to make it a good place to live in, and now it is to be left to you young fellows to keep it a going.” Besides his two wives, Moroni Benson is survived by twelve children, all of whom were present at the funeral except one. He has fifty grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.

Benson's Mill/ Benson's Settlement in Pottawattamie County, Iowa

Colaborador: finnsh Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

Benson's Mill Location This settlement was called many different things throughout its history: Benson’s Mill, Bullock’s Mill, and Benson’s Settlement. Its longitude and latitude are 41°24'8"N 95°50'12"W (1). It is located “…two miles north, one mile east of Crescent, Iowa atop a ridge north of gravel road in vicinity of 1846-1853 LDS communities of Hazel Grove and Big Pigeon” (2). Members of the church who resided here are thought to be a part of the Big Pigeon Branch. Benson’s Settlement was “…centered around Jerome Benson’s mill (the settlement was also known as ‘Benson’s Mill’); close to Big Pigeon, but separate. After the mill was purchased by B.K. Bullock in 1850, it was called ‘Bullock’s Mill’ (not to be confused with Bullock’s Grove)” (3). Bullock’s Mill was one and a half miles from Henry A. Terry’s farm in Farmersville (4). Benson’s Settlement was located on Big Pigeon Creek about eight miles north of Kanesville. Today it’s a part of Crescent City, Iowa. Benson’s Tabernacle was a “public building in the Benson Settlement; monthly meetings of the seventies were held on the third Sunday in the building, beginning Sunday, 17 November 1850” (5). “One early report said the Kanesville Tabernacle was too small for the crowd attending the December 24-27, 1847 Church conference at which Brigham Young was first sustained President in the Pigeon Creek Tabernacle” (which is most likely the Benson Tabernacle) (6). History “MILL FOR SALE THE well known GRIST MILL belonging to JEROME M. BENSON, situated on “Big Pigeon”, about eight miles north of this place offered for sale on the most reasonable terms. There are two runs of burrs and a bolt of manufacturing flour of the best kind, now in successful operation. This mill has all the grinding it can do by day and by night, and there is also a fine chance for erecting a Saw Mill on the same bank. Connected with the mill is a fine little farm about thirty acres under good fence. If anyone wishes a great bargain, please call upon the subscriber on the premises. JEROME M. BENSON Kanesville, March 21—2m” (7). “NOTICE. THE undersigned have this day purchased the Grist Mill and Saw Mill formerly owned by Jerome M. Benson, and intend to put the same in complete repair, and will endeavor to accommodate customers as well as at any other establishment of the kind of this county. A.K. Williams B.K. Bullock Kanesvill, Jan. 22, 1851” (8). “The Conference at the Tabernacle near Benson’s Mill, held on Saturday and Sunday, [May] 5th and 6th [1849] inst., was well attended. Though it was stormy on Saturday, and lowering on Sunday morning, a very great number of persons ventured out. Most excellent discourses were delivered by Elders Smith, Benson, and Joseph Young. The saints were greatly edified and comforted. Joy and gladness beamed in almost all countenances” (9) Marriages Jesse Williams Fox married Eliza Jerusha Gibbs on June 2, 1849 (10). Residents Jerome Messenger Benson, 40; Mary Rhodes Benson, 39; Eveline Benson, 15; Louisa Keziah Benson, 10; Amelia Benson, 5; Jerome Messenger Benson, 2. Although it is unknown which company the Benson family was a part of as they traveled west to Salt Lake, records do indicate that they left for and arrived in Utah in 1851 (11). Jesse Williams Fox, 30; Eliza Jerusha Gibbs, 19. Jesse and Eliza were members of the Samuel Gully/Orson Spencer Company. They departed from Kanesville on May 28, 1849 and on September 22-25, 1849; they arrived in the Valley (12). Alva Benson, 52; Cynthia Vail Benson, 51; David Benson, 31; Elsa Ann Curtis, 26; Lucy Benson Wilson, 21; Moroni Benson, 19; Polly Elvira Benson, 13; Cynthia Elizabeth Benson, 11; Phoebe Keziah Benson,1. Alva Benson and his family traveled west with the Uriah Curtis Company, which departed on June 28, 1852 and arrived on September 29 and October 1, 1852 (13). Notes http://carto.byu.edu/mp/# Gail G. Holmes, Old Council Buff(s): Mormon Developments, 67-68. http://mapntour.com/viewer.php?c=206 Brandon Plewe’s Summary on “Middle Missouri Valley Settlements, 1846-1853. Hyde, Orson. “Advertisements.” Frontier Guardian. Vol. 3. No. 2. February 21, 1851. Hyde, Orson. “Places Mentioned in the Frontier Guardian”. Holmes, 67-68. Hyde, Orson. “Advertisements.” Frontier Guardian. Vol. 1. No. 6. April 18, 1849. Hyde, Orson. “Advertisements.” Frontier Guardian. Vol. 3. No. 2. February 21, 1851. Hyde, Orson. “Conference.” Frontier Guardian. May 16, 1849. Vol.1. No. 8. https://new.familysearch.org/en/action/openpopup?dest=splitpopup&depth=1&bookid=p.KWVC-H9R&focus=p.KWVC-H9&ro=true “Mormon Overland Trails: 1847-1868: Unknown Company (1851).” http://history.lds.org/overlandtravels/pioneerDetail?lang=eng&pioneerId=54402 “Mormon Overland Trails: 1847-1868: Samuel Gully/Orson Spencer Company (1849).”http://history.lds.org/overlandtravels/companyPioneers?lang=eng&companyld=131 “Mormon Overland Trails: 1847-1868: Uriah Curtis Company (1852). http://history.lds.org/overlandtravels/compnayPioneers?lang=eng&companyId=98

Cynthia Vail & Alva Benson History

Colaborador: finnsh Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

ALVA BENSON Father: Benjamin Benson, Mother: Keziah Messanger, Born : 13 Dec 1799, (Fabius or Doriter Doretta?), Onondago County, New York Died: 18 or 19 Oct 1883 Married: 11 Aug 1820, Charleston, Clark County, Indiana (Cynthia) 5 Nov 1866 , Salt lake City, S.L. County, Utah in Endowment House by Wilford Woodruff. (Rachel Henrie) Spouses: Cynthia Vail, 28 Feb 1801 – 10 Nov 1877 Rachel Henrie, 25 Mar 1802 – 31 Oct 1883 Siblings: (infant son) (Onondago County, NY) John Price (Onondago County, NY) Alva (Onondago County, NY) Rhoda (Onondago County, NY) Lewis (Onondago County, NY) Elizabeth (Onondago County, NY) Jerome (Onondago County, NY) Electa, 8 Sep 1812 (Bath, Stuben County, NY) Betsy, 31 Mar 1814 (Bath, Stuben County, NY) Polly, 10 Feb 1816 (Bath, Stuben County, NY) Alfred, 17 Apr 1817 (Bath, Stuben County, NY) Lovina Keziah, 27 Nov 1819 (Clark County, Indiana) CYNTHIA VAIL Father: Gamaliel Vail Mother: Lucy Manning Born: 28 Feb 1801, Palmer, New York Died: 10 Nov 1877 Married:11 Aug 1820, Charleston, Clark County, Indiana Spouse:Alva Benson Siblings:(Daughter) (Daughter) (Daughter) Cynthia Gamaliel Malthea Children of *Alva and *Cynthia: * David, 4 June 1821 (Rockville, Jackson County, Indiana) William, 16 Nov 1822 (Rockville, Jackson County, Indiana) * Keziah, 10 Mar 1825 (Roundtown, Indiana) James, 16 Feb 1828 (Roundtown, Indiana) Lucy, 31 May 1831 (Larma, Clinton County, Indiana) *Moroni, 25 July 1833 Ammon, 21 June 1836 * Polly Elvira, 28 Jan 1839 *Cynthia Eliza, 15 Sep 1841 ALVA’S CHILDHOOD: Alva Benson came from a family of twelve children. Eleven of whom lived to maturity. Alva was the third child of Benjamin Benson and Keziah Messanger. Alva was born in Onondago County, New York, on the 13th of December, 1799. Onondago County is in the North Central part of the state, 200 miles from New York City and 135 miles from Albany. Onondago County was settled only eight years before Alva was born. The first sawmill was erected in 1793 and the first gristmill in 1794. Alva’s family were pioneers in the area. They had to work hard. Alva worked much of the day in the garden and at night slept on a bed made soft with corn husks. As he got older he slept in the loft of the cabin. When he was twelve years old (probably the spring of 1812), the Benjamin Benson family moved to Bath, Stuben County, New York, where the eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh child were born. Bath got its name from the warm springs there and it was located on the banks of the Conhocton River. It was described as the most pleasant village in the western part of the sate. In 1800 it contained almost 40 families. The seven years that Alva spent growing up in Bath were learning years. He prepared himself for his life’s work. He learned how to split planks using a glut and beetle. He learned to use a broad axe to make a round log square. He learned to make shingles. He learned about the water wheel which was used on both the sawmill and the gristmill. Alva probably helped his father build a mill during this time. Work was not the only thing the Benson children did; they were a religious people and attended church each Sunday in Bath. Those who lived within a mile of the church walked to their meetings, and the others went by wagon. There was a warm, neighborly feeling among these frontier settlers and they had a rich social life. In 1818, when Alva was eighteen, the Benson family left their home and small farm in Bath and traveled westward through the flat lands of Pennsylvania, across Ohio and into the central part of Indiana. Indiana was made a state only two years prior in 1816. The Benson family settled in Clark County where their last child, Lovina was born November 27, 1819. That was a busy year for Alva, helping to get the family settled, and perhaps helping to build a mill and getting acquainted with the people in this new area. It was here that he found the girl who became his wife. We don’t know about their courtship and early life together. The girl was Cynthia Vail, a pretty girl small and dainty, with dark brown hair. Cynthia had a special dignity that she never lost. CYNTHIA’S CHILDHOOD Cynthia Vail was the granddaughter of Lt. Thomas Vail, who served in the French and Indian War, and also in the Revolutionary War. When not in active duty, he pioneered in the forests of Vermont and cleared land of both trees and rocks. Cynthia’s parents were Camaliel Vail and Lucy Manning. She was born to them on February 28, 1801, in Palmer, New York. In her family, there were six children, five girls and one boy. She was the fourth girl. Like Alva, Cynthia also knew the rigor of pioneer life, since her father, a physician, traveled from place to place, in Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois, doctoring the people of this frontier country. The book, Pictorial History of Medicine, tells us that the pioneer doctor of the early days had to forgo any “book learning”. He relied instead on good sense, keen observation and a strong horse. His patients lived miles apart through heavily forested areas. In his saddle bag he carried Dovers Power, Dragon’s blood (at 25 cents a dose), Peruvian Bark (at $1.00) and above all, Calomel. Bleeding, of course, was the main therapy. Surgery was not used at this time, not until 1882. And the first ether was used in 1846. Little was done to alleviate whooping cough, measles and diphtheria. Infant mortalilty was high. Frontier children often suffered from sickness and parental neglect. But there was no neglect in the Vail or the Benson families. Cynthia’s father was a successful physician and seemed to be in advance of the doctors of his day, and was appreciated by the people when he came into their area. Cynthia was small and pretty. Emma Nielsen Mortensen, a granddaughter said, “As I think of her descendants I remember them as being a nice looking people, with small bones, nice hair .” Cynthia was not ony pretty, but she had a love for pretty things, as this has been expressed by her posterity. Cynthia was nineteen when she married Alva Benson on August 11, 1820, at Charleston, Clark County, Indiana. LIFE TOGETHER Alva had land and built a home for his bride built in Rockville, Jackson County Indiana. They had hardwood trees in their area and were able to make good sturdy furniture for their log cabin. After a year or two passed and carefully planed planks had seasoned, they had a good floor made from hardwood, and without cracks. Each week Cynthia would scrub the floor with sand to keep it white and clean. Their first child, David was born on June 4, 1821 and their second son, William, was also born their on November 16, 1822, but died the next year. Alva and his family left Rockville and moved to Roundtown, Indiana, which was about 20 miles to the east. They built another home and stayed there for three years. Two children were born in Roundtown; Keziah was born March 10, 1825, and James was born February 16, 1828. Alva, now a builder of mills, next moved his family to Larma, Clinton County, Indian. This move was about 35 miles to the north. Here their daughter Lucy was born on May 31, 1831. JOINS THE RESTORED CHURCH The year after daughter, Lucy was born, 1832, Alva and Cynthia joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Indiana lay directly on the path of the westward movement during the 1800’s and the missionaries left Kirtland, Ohio and crossed the state line and came directly into Indiana. The Bensons accepted the gospel readily. Alva and Cynthia were baptized on February 14, 1832. Their daughter, Keziah, who was seven years old, tells that they were baptized in the river where a hole was cut in the ice on that cold day. Keziah also wrote in her history that the family believed the Lord, through the Prophet Joseph Smith, had again restored His true gospel to the earth again. They were baptized by Samuel Dowelling, and confirmed by Uriah Curtis. It may be interesting to know that they were baptized two months before Brigham Young. Alva tells us in his history: “My father and mother and all the family were baptized the same winter. I was ordained a priest by John Lawles, May 6, 1832. That same year we sold our land. My father and I and my brother Jerome, moved to Jackson County, Missouri. We arrived there on November 17, and I built me a home on public land and lived there one year. Was driven out of the county by a mob because we were Mormons and were not of their faith.” An interesting event happened the first year that Alva was in Missouri. On April 6, 1833, the first attempt was made by the church to celebrate the anniversary of her birthday. They met for instructions and service of God, at the Ferry on Big Blue River, (The river was 6 miles from Independence.) It was a wonderful meeting described as “glimpse into heaven just before a storm” A little over three months later, on July 25, 1833, Cynthia gave birth to a son, they named him Moroni. It was just two weeks after he was born that they were driven from their home. Their daughter Keziah was eight years old, and she remembered hiding in some brush and she had an earache. Her mother told her not to cry or the mob would hear her and find where they were hiding. Joseph Smith tells about the conditions in Missouri at the time Alva Benson and his family were there: “In Missouri, a considerable settlement was formed in Jackson County; numbers joined the church and we were increasing rapidly; peace and happiness were enjoyed in our domestic circle, and throughout our neighborhood; but we could not associate with our neighbors (who were many of them, of the basest of men, and had fled from the face of civilized society, to the frontier country to excape the hand of justice). In their midnight revels, their Sabbath breaking, horse racing, and gambling; they commenced to first ridicule, then persecute and finally an organized mob assembled and burned our houses (over 200), tarred and feathered and whipped many of our brethren, and finally contrary to law, justice and humanity, drove them from their habitations; who houseless and homeless, they had to wander in the bleak prairies till the children left tracks of blood on the prairies. This took place in the month of November, and they had no other covering but the canopy of heaven, in this inclement season of the year, this proceeding was winked at by the government, and although we had warranty deeds for our land, and had violated no law, we could obtain no redress.” Alva, Cynthia and their six children then moved to Lafayette County away from where the main body of Saints moved. They were following the advice of Joseph Smith who wrote a letter to Edward Partridge, “Now, Brethren, I would suggest for the consideration to the conference, it being carefully and wisely understood by the council or conferences, that our brethren scattered abroad, who understand the spirit of gathering, that they fall into the places and refuge of safety that God shall open unto them, between Kirtland and Far West, those from the east and from the west, and from the far countries, let them fall in somewhere between these two boundaries, in the most safe and quiet places they can find; and let this be the present understanding, until God shall open a more effectual door for us for further consideration.” Alva wrote in his journal: “I, along with my father and his family and seven more families went to the next county southeast, which was Lafayetee County. We stayed there two winters. We built a sawmill and a gristmill for one, John McClothen. We moved to Clay County. The main body of the Church was there. I repaired a gristmill and then rented it. Then in 1836, I moved to Platt County, and built a sawmill. I then rented and sold lumber for the fort.” The fort Alva was referring to was Fort Levenworth which was just across the Missouri River in Kansas. The great line of emigrant travel was along the military road northwest from Fort Levenworth to Fort Riley. The two years at Fort Levenworth were peaceful and interesting. They had contact with the military and with the Indians in the area. There were many different tribes. There were the Shawnee, Delawares, Pottawattamie and Wyandots and the friendly Mandans (many had skin of almost white, with hazel, gray and blue eyes). But Alva felt the need to be with the Saints. He needed their fellowship and to hear the counsel of the church leaders. So he left the Missouri River and took his family east to Caldwell County. As they traveled towards Far West, they came to a group of Saints living at Haun’s Mill. This little settlement was on the banks of Shoal Creek, where there was timber for us, and an undergrowth of hazel brush. They were welcomed by the Saints,and part of the group stayed. Alva followed the promptings of the Spirit, not to stop, and their lives were spared. On October 30, 1838, the Haun’s Mill massacre occurred. At that time there were about 75 saints living there and some were newcomers and were living in tents and wagons. Ivan Barrett described the massacre: “October 30th, dawned, a gentle breeze rustled through the ripened corn fields and softly stirred the golden leaves of the wooded border lacing Shoal Creek. Men were busy cutting and husking corn, digging potatoes, and preparing for the approaching winter. Mothers were at their work, and merry laughter floated like tinkling music as the children played along the banks of the stream. … all apparently was at peace and nothing warned the Saints of their approaching fate. It burst upon them with all the suddenness of a clap of thunder from a cloudless sky. Joseph Young, . . . was sitting in his cabin with his baby in his arms, his wife standing nearby, when he glanced out the open door to see a mob of 240 armed men riding at full speed towards the mill.” When the Militia invaded their settlement on their horses with rifles blasting the women and children ran across a stream and into the woods to hide. Mormon men and boys fled into the blacksmith shop and into the woods. The mob leader treacherously yelled,” All who desire to save their lives and make peace, run into the blacksmith shop. The mob then .. . fired between the logs. Those not wounded made a dash for the mill dam, raced across it to the opposite side and into the brush as the mob fired upon them. Any that were found alive were shot later. When the massacre ended seventeen Mormons were killed, including a ten year old boy. Thirteen Mormons had been injured including women and children. Three Militia men were injured, which indicates there had been some fighting back. After the Militia left, the frightened settlers stayed in hiding until after dark, afraid the Militia would return to finish them off. When it was clear they were safe they hid the bodies of their dead in a well, and ran into neighboring settlements for help. The Saints at Far West were shocked, outraged, and stricken with grief at the news about Haun’s Mill. Then they saw the militia marching towards them, over the hill across the prairie, bayonets glistening in the setting sun. More than two thousand strong, the troops advanced and halted in a grove at Goose Creek. Terrified the people of Far West prepared to defend themselves.They made a breastwork of things on the edge of town facing the militia and the women frantically gathered their valuables, ready to take flight. Alva and his family were there at Far West and he tells in his history that they were ordered to give up their arms to the militia and sign away their possessions. It was at this time that Joseph Smith and the other leaders were taken to Liberty Jail. Moroni, Alva’s sixth child, was five years old at this time and he remembered them taking the Prophet to jail. Alva said “after the mob militia took our arms from us they ordered us to commence as soon as the weather would permit to begin our move out of the state. There was a man by the name of David Dial who hired me to build a 40 foot wheel that winter in Clay County. In the spring there was a man by the name of Castle who hired me to build him a sawmill and he furnished me a house and protection.” They were glad to be away from the mob. At this time there were seven children. Ammon, the youngest was three years old. Alva writes, “In September 1839, I started for Illinois (but went)to McClaine county, Illinois, where my wife’s brother lived.” This was 140 miles from Nauvoo as recorded by his daughter Keziah in her history. It sounds like he had planned to gather with the Saints at Nauvoo, but went to visit this brother-in-law and found work, then stayed for five years. Polly was born in January of 1839 and Cynthia was born in September of 1841. In Pottawattamie, Alva had a small farm and built a house for his wife and nine children. During this time Alva took his two sons, David and James away with him to build a mill and make wagons. Cynthia was left home with seven children in their little home during the winter. Moroni was 13, and he remembers how hard they worked. He pounded corn on a hominy block, for corn bread and carried all the wood they needed for fuel a long 1 ½ miles, and cut elm trees for the cattle to browse on, to keep them from starving. Many Mormon families had gathered in Potawattamie County, to prepare for the journey across the plains. About 40 branches of the Church were established. In 1848 Elders Hyde, George Albert Smith and Ezra T. Benson located with the Saints on Pottawattamie lands. Peace prevailed here. There were no mobs. In 1848, after Pres. Brigham Young had returned from the first trip to the Great Salt Lake Valley, the people in Pottawattamie had a spiritual experience. The Apostles were met in the home of Orson Hyde and they recorded: “While we were met, the voice of God came from heaven and said, ‘Let my servant Brigham step forth and receive the full power of the presiding priesthood in my church and in my kingdom.’ Every person there heard it. Soon they heard a knock at the door and people came running and said, ‘what has happened, the earth shook and our houses have been shaken, we know something is wrong.’ And Orson hyde said to them, ‘Nothing has happened, go back to your homes, the Lord has just been whispering to us’.” (printed in the Deseret News 1860) While living in Pottawattamie Alva’s and Cynthia’s two oldest children were married. Keziah married William Clark Judy on March 22, 1847. David married Elsa Ann Curtis on November 6, 1847. (I believe she was Uriah Curtis’ daughter?) From Pottawattamie Indian lands Alva and his family went to Council Bluffs. Keziah and William Clark Judy and their 2 1/2 year old son William (Bill) left in 1850 to cross the plains. Alva remained because he was employed by Brigham Young and other Church leaders building houses, mills and wagons. He was overseer and helped build thirty wagons used in hauling Saints to Utah then, he was released to go to Utah two years later. Alva was 52 years old and Cynthia was 51 when they made their trek across the plains. Granddaughter Lucy Allen Quinney said, “On the 28th of June 1852, they began their trek to the rocky Mountains, having as part of their equipment two wagons, two yokes of oxen and two cows. There were twelve persons in those two wagons and they were part of the company led by Uriah C. Curtis, arriving in Salt Lake City on September 29, 1852.” After a three week stay in Salt Lake City, Brigham Young called the Benson family, along with others, to go south to Springville, which was called Hobble Creek. The fort was completed when they arrived and Alva obtained a plot of ground where he built his log cabin. Keziah had joined them in Springville and married Ira Allen. Their stay in Springville was short. In 1853 Brigham Young called a group of 100 families to reinforce the colony at Cedar City so they packed up and headed south. Keziah and Ira were part of this group. Alva and his family lived in Cedar City for seven and a half years. The longest of any place during their marriage. They felt their mission to help build up Cedar City was completed. They sold their home and little farm and packed all their belongings in a wagon and started north. They left in the fall of 1859. They were told about a place called Cache Valley where there was land and water in abundance, and that timber and wood to burn was in the nearby mountains. Polly, Lucy, Cynthia, and Keziah all went with their husbands in their own wagons. Moroni, who was not married, packed the wagons and drove the oxen. Alva was 60 and Cynthia was 59. When they arrived in Cache Valley they met Peter Maughn who had settled in Wellsville. They borrowed horses and scouted out the valley. Finally deciding to settle what is now known as Hyrum, Utah on the South end of the valley. The Wellsville pioneers were doubtful of their success, for they called the place a wolf range. When they first arrived they found a place with a spring on the north side of a long hill. This place they called Camp Hollow. They built thirteen dugouts in the hillside. Used some wagon boxes set down on the ground, and built one cabin. They dug canals and planted crops. Alva was the oldest man in the group. He took an ox team and gathered provisions and food to eat for the men working on the canal. Their next concern was the construction of the fort. Alva Benson built the first home (log cabin) on the north side of the fort. Originally a town was to be built at the site of the church farm and was to be named Joseph so they decided to name their town Hyrum because in life Hyrum was always close to Joseph. The town of Joseph was never built at the church farm and the place is now called College Ward. While living in Hyrum, Alva took a second wife. He married a widow, Rachel Henrie. Cynthia died at the age of 76. When Alva was 81 one of his grandsons took a sleigh to his home and asked him to take a sleigh ride. The old gentleman at once consented, when he was driven to the meeting house, and invited to step inside, his surprise was complete. He was paid tribute to with talks and a poem reading. A large dinner was laid on the table and Professor Savage’s band enlivened the proceedings with sweet music and dancing ensued. Alva died in his home at the age of 84.

Life timeline of Moroni Benson

1833
Moroni Benson was born on 25 Jul 1833
Moroni Benson was 7 years old when Samuel Morse receives the patent for the telegraph. Samuel Finley Breese Morse was an American painter and inventor. After having established his reputation as a portrait painter, in his middle age Morse contributed to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs. He was a co-developer of the Morse code and helped to develop the commercial use of telegraphy.
1840
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Moroni Benson was 26 years old when Charles Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species. Charles Robert Darwin, was an English naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors and, in a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace, introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.
1859
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Moroni Benson was 28 years old when American Civil War: Fort Sumter surrenders to Confederate forces. The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865. As a result of the long-standing controversy over slavery, war broke out in April 1861, when Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina, shortly after U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated. The nationalists of the Union proclaimed loyalty to the U.S. Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States, who advocated for states' rights to expand slavery.
1861
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Moroni Benson was 46 years old when Thomas Edison demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public for the first time, in Menlo Park, New Jersey. Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman, who has been described as America's greatest inventor. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed "The Wizard of Menlo Park", he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.
1879
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Moroni Benson was 48 years old when The world's first international telephone call is made between St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada, and Calais, Maine, United States. A telephone call is a connection over a telephone network between the called party and the calling party.
1881
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Moroni Benson was 62 years old when George VI of the United Kingdom (d. 1952) George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death in 1952. He was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth.
1895
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Moroni Benson was 72 years old when Albert Einstein publishes his first paper on the special theory of relativity. Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He is best known to the general public for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2, which has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation". He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect", a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory.
1905
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Moroni Benson died on 28 Jan 1917 at the age of 83
BillionGraves.com
Grave record for Moroni Benson (25 Jul 1833 - 28 Jan 1917), BillionGraves Record 3514236 Hyrum, Cache, Utah, United States

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