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Orval Morgan Allen and Elizabeth Ann Burkett
Orval Morgan ALLEN. (Orval)(Orville-S15,S16)(Orvill)(Orvil)(Orvel-S22).
Born 9 June 1805 at St. Ferdinand, Ferdinand Township, St. Louis County, Missouri; son of John (Ephraim)(Edmonds) ALLEN and Pamela PERRY. He was a lineal descendant of Ethan Allen of Revolutionary fame. (S10)
Originally for planning purposes St. Louis County was divided up into townships. The actual boundaries can be seen on a black/white 1883 St. Louis Township Map published in the History of St. Louis City and County, by J. Thomas Scharf. These townships were St. Ferdinand, Central, Bonhomme, Meramec, and Carondelet. St. Ferdinand township encompassed an area from present day Bridgeton, Ferguson, Florissant, Blackjack, Spanish Lake and all of "North County" to the boundary to the City of St. Louis.
Around 1767, just a few years after Pierre Laclede and August Chouteau established the fur-trading village of St. Louis, French plantation owners settled in an area they called Fleurissant, now Florissant. An 1878 map of Saint Louis County shows the existence of St. Ferdinand City, alias Florissant. In 1782, August Chouteau named François Dunegant the Commandant of Fleurissant and charged him with protecting the settlement from Indian attacks. The Louisiana Territory had been ceded to Spain in 1763 and a 1788 census identified the settlement as St. Ferdinand with a population of 40 with seven plantations. Originally a separate town, and now an inner suburb of St. Louis, the community was centered on, and frequently called after, the parish of St. Ferdinand. Some historic references from colonial times give the settlement's name as, St. Ferdinand of Florissant. Florissant was within the boundaries of St. Ferdinand Township.
Orval may or may not have been born in Florissant, but he was undoubtedly born in St. Ferdinand Township, which encompsed a larger area to the northwest of modern St. Louis, and in any case, lies within the boundaries of Saint Louis County. Remember that his parents were married at St. Ferdinand, Florissant, St Louis, Missouri
He married (1) Jane WILSON on (4 August)(23 February-S16,S22) 1825 in Missouri.
He joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) in (1838-S22) (1833-S16) in Missouri, for which he was disinherited by his father.
They moved to Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois in 1840. (S22).
For a time he was a member of the bodyguard of Joseph Smith. At one time he and other brethern were imprisoned with the Prophet. (S22).
He assisted in the construction of the Nauvoo Temple. (S22).
He recieved a commission as Captain over the Second Cohort of the Nauboo Legion of the Militia of the State of Illinois by appointment of Governor Thomas Carlin. (S22).
Governor of the State of Illinois
TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME....GREETINGS.
Know ye, that O. M. Allen, having been duly elected to the office of Captain in the 2nd Cohort of the Nauvoo Legion of the Militia of the State of Illinois, I, THOMAS CARLIN, Governor of said State, for, and on behalf of the People of said State, do commission him Captain 2nd Cohort, to take rank from the 2nd day of April, 1842. He is, therefore carefully and diligently to discharge the duties of said office, by doing and performing all manner of things thereunto belonging; and I do strictly require all officers and soldiers under his command to be obedient to his orders; and he is to obey such orders and directions as he shall receive from time to time, from his Commander-in-Chief or his superior officer.
In TESTIMONY THEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the great Seal of State to be hereunto affixed. Done at Springfiled, this 22nd day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-two and of the Independence of the United States, the sixty-sixty.
By the Governor
Signed: Thos. Carlin
Syman Trumbull, Secretary of State.
Following is a copy of the certificate giving Orville pernission to use the baptismal font in the Nauvoo Temple: (S22).
This is to certify that Orvel M. Allen is entitled to the privilege of the Baptismal Font, having paid his labor and property tithing in full to April 12th, 1843.
Nauvoo. July 10th 1843.
by Wm. Claytion, Clerk.
A Certificate of Recommendation was issued to Orvel M. Allen on 17 August 1845: (S22).
This certifies, that Orvel M. Allen has been received into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, organized on the sixth day of April, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred thirty, and has been ordained an Elder in the Quorum of Seventies, according to the rules and regulations of said Church, and is duly authorized to preach the gospel, agreeable to the authority of that office.
From the satisfactory evidence which we have of his good moral character, and his zeal for the cause of righteousness, and diligent desire to persuade men to forsake evil and embrace truth, we confidently recommend him to all candid and upright people, as a worthy member of society.
We, thererore in the name, and by the authority of this church, grant unto this, our worthy brother in the Lord, this letter of commendation as a proof of our fellowship and esteem; praying for his success and prosperity in our Redeemer's cauyse.
Given by the direction of a Conference of the Elders of said Quorum assembled in Nauvoo, the City of Joseph, Hancokc Co., Illinois, the 17th day of August, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and forty five.
Signed: John D. Lee, Clerk. Jos. Young, Chairman.
Recorded in Book A., page 18 No. 684 Associate President of the 29th Seventys. John D. Lee, General Clerk and Recorder of said Quorum.
He recieved his endowments on 5 January 1846 in the Nauvoo Temple. (S22).
He apparently left Nauvoo with the Saints in February 1846. The Saints first camped on the river opposite the city. The first then gathered about 9 miles west on the banks of Sugar Creek, in Lee County, Iowa. There, in eastern Iowa, many Saints found temporary employment with local farmers doing a variety of jobs including making and erecting barns and houses, splitting rails and creating fences. Others husked corn, and some made bread to sell. By the end of the month there were about 400 wagons. (S22).
On the first day of March (S22) the Saints began moving west through Iowa under very difficult weather conditions. By 23 April 1846 the first permanent camp in Iowa was created at Garden Grove, about 144 miles west of Nauvoo, on the East Fork of the Grand River. A town site was surveyed, more than 700 acres of land cleared, crops planted, log homes erected, and rails cut for fencing.
Parley P. Pratt left Garden Grove with a mission to find another site for a permanent camp further west. He located a site of rolling hills crowned with beautiful groves of timber. He named the site Mount Pisgah, after the biblical site where Moses saw the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 3:7). Brigham Young followed, and remained at Mount Pisgah until June 1846, and they then moved further west across Iowa. They were now in Indian territory, fulfilling their desire to flee into the wilderness. They followed an Indian trail to the Missouri River Valley to a region known as Council Bluffs, a region of several trading posts in what was an important gathering place of Indian tribes. It soon became an important gathering place for the Saints. Church leaders had hoped to still send wagons west to the Rocky Mountains before winter. Those remaining behind would establish winter camps for arriving Saints.
By 1 August 1846 the decision had been made that the Saints should winter at Council Bluffs. One of the major factors in the decision was the sudden arrival of Captain James Allen (no known relation) of the U.S. Army at the Camp at Mount Pisgah on 26 June requesting the Saints to raise a military force of 400 to 500 men to march to California.
The story is told (S22) that when Captain James Allen came seeking recruits for the U.S. Army, he ran into Orvel Allen, who was bringing up the rear of Brigham Young's Company. Captain James Allen said, "I am Captain Allen and I want to see Brigham Young." Not to be outdone, Orvel Allen replied, "I'm also Captain Allen and Brigham Young is at the head of this caravan and you can't see him unitl I send him work." He then dispatched a messenger on horseback to Brigham Young. Captain James Allen was then asked to come to the front.
Brigham Young travelled back eastward across Iowa to help recruit men for the Mormon Battalion. During this whole trip across Iowa, Brigham Young was concerned with those left behind in Nauvoo. By September 1846 he was informed that mobs had overrun Nauvoo, driving the remaining Saints from their homes, many of them too sick to travel and too poor to obtain an outfit, and few had enough food or shelter to protect them from the elements.
On 6 September 1846 Brigham Young, at the headquarters of the Camp of Israel located west of the Missouri River at Cutler's Park, met in council with the members of the Twelve and the Cutler's Park High Council. Along with the pressing business of where to settle the saints for the winter, they also discussed sending teams back to Nauvoo to help remove the poor from the city. Brigham Young asked the Saints to come to the aid of their brothers and sisters, saying "Let the fire of the covenant which you made in the House of the Lord, burn in your hearts, like flame unquenchable till you, by yourselves or delegates...[can] rise up with his team and go straightway a bring a load of the poor from Nauvoo...[for] this is a day of action and not of argument." (Journal History of the Church). At a Council meeting on 9 September 1846 it was reported the 12 teams had been found to be sent back for the remaining Saints in Nauvoo. Brigham Young asked that more brethern donate their teams to the cause. He set an example by offering three yoke of his own cattle. He further said, "Let those who go be as fathers to the poor, whom they shall take up, and not leave until they are comfortably situated." (S7).
Following is a letter written by A. P. Rockwood to Orvel Morgan Allen, dated 12 September 1846: (S22)
Brother O. M. Allen:
I send by you two pair of oxen and harness to hitch on to a wagon of mine which will contain Sister Elvira T. Wheeler's family. I suppose you will find them at my house in Nauvoo. Please to hunt them up and bring them on. Say to her that this is my request. She had better bring most of her light furniture - perhaps some of it will sell for corn to feed with on your way back.
If you meet her on your way back and find that she has plenty of team I wish you would hitch on to Bro. Jesse Haven or Bro. Joseph Pulmmon. They live in Farmington, Iowa near the ferry. If Sister Wheeler is on her way and provided for with a team or if Bro. Haven or Pulmmon have no need of any assistance, I would like to have you hitch on to Bro. Joseph B. Hawks or any other poor family.
Please keep the oxen under your immediate observation as much as possible.
Cutters Park, Omahama Nation, Sept. 12, 1846.
A. P. Rockwood
To whom it may concern that has the care of my wagon if Sister Wheeler has come on with Bro. Derbat, and has no need of you. You will please deliver it to Bro. O. M. Allen for the use as directed above.
A. P. Rockwood
On 10 September 1846 the mob surrounding Nauvoo attacked the city with rifles as well as cannon fire. The families were driven from their homes down toward the river. Joseph Fielding wrote, "the sick, the women and children got over as fast as they could. I went down to the bank of the river and found many of the Saints in distress. Some had left their goods and were destitute of food and clothing. Others had left their husbands in the battle. The cannons roared tremendously on both sides for several days." Thomas Bullock wrote, "The sharp cracking of the rifles kept us in an awful state of suspense and anxiety. Our devoted city was defended by about 150 poor, sickly persecuted Saints, while it was cannonaded by about 1,500 to 2,000 demoniacs, in the shape of men, who had sworn to raze our temple to the ground, to burn the city, to ravish our wives and our daughters, and drive the remainder into the river."
It is said that when the Battle of Nauvoo was fought, on 12 September 1846, he was on the front lines (S22); however, he was then in Winter's Quarters, and did not arrive back in Nauvoo area until October.
Despite a valiant resistance, led at first by Col. Johnson until he became too ill, and then by William E. Cutler and Daniel H. Wells, by 16 SEP 1846 the Nauvoo defenders were forced to surrender the city. As the invaders entered the city, plundering and destroying as they came, the remaining Saints crowded onto the ferry boats to a temporary camp near Montrose, Iowa. Some were even physically marched to the river and thrown in. The temple was badly damaged. Holes were cut in the floors, the stone oxen in the basement were disfigured.
After his arrival in Winter Quarters, Thomas Bullock wrote the following letter to Elder Franklin Richards. Published in the Millennial Star, Volume X, it presents a vivid picture of his last days in Nauvoo and the trip to Winter Quarters:
Letter From the Camp to Elder Franklin Richards.
WINTER QUARTERS, CAMP OF ISRAEL, OMAHA NATION.
In the month of August (1846) I was taken very sick with fever and ague, followed by my wife and four little children; in this condition we continued until the 16th of September, on which day George Wardle packed up my goods on two wagons, &c., and removed us to his home to be out of all danger from the cannon balls, which were flying about in too thick a manner to be in any way comfortable. He removed us behind his house out of all [p.235] danger. As I did not see the battle I don't write about it; but one thing I do know, that for a whole week the roar of cannon and the sharp cracking of the rifles kept us in an awful state of suspense and anxiety. Our devoted city was defended by about 150 poor, sickly persecuted Saints, while it was cannonaded by about 1500 to 2000 demoniacs, in the shape of men, who had sworn to raze our temple to the ground, to burn the city, to ravish our wives and our daughters, and drive the remainder into the river. With what desperation our little band fought against such overwhelming hordes of desperadoes, I leave you to judge and humanity to shudder; my flesh crawls on my bones at the remembrance of these scenes. On the 17th, 2000 men with 500 wagons marched into the city; but such yelling, hooting, howling, I never heard from men, or even the wild savages of the forest (and I have heard and seen them), terror and dismay surely for once overcame the sick, the poor women and children. While they were haranguing (God save the mark!) their mob followers at the rope walk ... such an awful and infuriated noise I never again heard, though I was in Warsaw Street more than a quarter of a mile off. We expected that an indiscriminate massacre was commencing. I, with others who were sick, was carried into the tall weeds and woods, while all who could, hid themselves; many crossed the river, leaving everything behind. As night approached we returned to our shelter, but, oh God, what a night to remember.
The next morning at 9 o'clock saw me, my wife, my four children, my sister in law, Fanny, my blind mother in law, all shaking with the ague in one house; only George Wardle able to do anything for us, when a band of about 30 men, armed with guns and bayonets fixed, pistols in belt, the captain with a sword in his hand, and the stripes and stars flying about, marched opposite my sheltering roof; the captain called a halt, and demanded the owners of the two wagons to be brought out. I was raised from my bed, led out of doors, supported by my sister in law and the rail fence. I was then asked if those goods were mine, I replied: "They are." The captain then stepped out to within four feet of me, pointing his sword at my throat, while four others presented their guns with their bayonets within two feet of my breast, when the captain told me, "If you are not off from here in twenty minutes, my orders are to shoot you." I replied: "Shoot away, for you will only send me to Heaven a few hours quicker, for you see I am not for this world many hours longer." The captain then told me, "If you will renounce Mormonism you may stay here and we will protect you." I replied, "This is not my house, yonder is my house (pointing to it) which I built and paid for, with the gold that I earned in England. I never committed the least crime in Illinois, but I am a Mormon, and if I live, I shall follow the twelve." "Then," said the captain, "I am sorry to see you and your sick family, but if you are not gone when I return in half an hour, my orders are to kill you and every Mormon in the place." But oh, the awful cursing and swearing that those men did pour out, I tremble when I think of it. [p.236] George and Edwin drove my wagons down to the ferry, and we were searched five times for fire arms; they took a pistol, and though they promised to return it when I got across the river, I have not seen it to this day. While on the banks of the river, I crawled to the margin to bid a sister, who was going down to St. Louis, "good bye;" while there a mobber shouted out, "Look, look, there's a skeleton bidding Death good bye!" So you can imagine the poor sickly condition we were in.
On Wednesday, 23rd, while in my wagons on the slough opposite Nauvoo, a most tremendous thunder shower passed over, which drenched everything we had; not a dry thread left to us, the bed a pool of water, my wife and sister in law lading it out by basinsful, and I in a burning fever and insensible with all my hair shorn off to cure me of my disease. Many had not a wagon or tent to shelter them from the pitiless blast, one case I will mention. A poor woman stood among the bushes wrapping her cloak around her three orphan children, to shield and protect them from the storm as well as she could through this terrible night, which was one continuous roar of thunder and blaze of lightning, while the rain descended in torrents. The mob seized every person in Nauvoo that they could find, leading them to the river and throwing them in. One case I will mention. They seized Charles Lambert, led him into the river, and in the midst of cursing and swearing, one man said: "By the Holy Saints, I baptize you, by order of the commanders of the temple." (plunged him backwards) and then said, "the commandments must be fulfilled, and God dam you, you must have another dip;" (then threw him on his face) then sent him on the flat boat across the river, with the promise that if he returned to Nauvoo, they would shoot him. Such were the scenes occurring at the driving of the Saints from Nauvoo.
The Saints may inquire of you, did not they pay Brother Bullock for his house, furniture, etc., etc.? Yes, on the 9th of Oct., three men gave him food amounting to two dollars seventeen and a half cents, because he was famishing with hunger, not having a potato, turnip or an ounce of breadstuff to make a cake; while they had driven him from a house and lot valued about seven hundred dollars, besides his tables, chairs, furniture, pigs, chickens, and all he possessed. Well may the indignation of an offended God be poured out upon the nation; well may the honest and patriotic of the world condemn the acts of such a governor as Tommy Ford, who has become a stink in the nostrils of all good men; and even the wives of the anti Mormons think so mean of him that he was presented with a petticoat as a memento of his nobly driving of the sick, the widow and the orphan from their firesides, etc., to perish in the wilderness, because they are "Mormons!"
On the 9th of October, several wagons with oxen having been sent by the Twelve to fetch the poor Saints away, were drawn out in a line on the river banks, ready to start. But hark! What noise is [p.237] that? See! the quails descend; they alight close by our little camp of twelve wagons, run past each wagon tongue, when they arise, fly round the camp three times, descend, and again run the gauntlet past each wagon. See the sick knock them down with sticks, and the little children catch them alive with their hands. Some are cooked for breakfast, while my family were seated on the wagon tongues and ground, having a wash tub for a table. Behold, they come again! One descends upon our teaboard, in the midst of our cups, while we were actually round the table eating our breakfast, which a little boy about eight years old catches alive with his hands; they rise again, the flocks increase in number, seldom going seven rods from our camp, continually flying around the camp, sometimes under the wagons, sometimes over, and even into the wagons, where the poor sick Saints are lying in bed; thus having a direct manifestation from the Most High, that although we are driven by men, He has not forsaken us, but that His eyes are continually over us for good. At noon, having caught alive about 50 and killed some 50 more, the captain gave orders not to kill any more, as it was a direct manifestation and visitation from the Lord. In the afternoon hundreds were flying at a time. When our camp started at 3 p.m. there could not have been less than 500 (some say there were 1500) flying around the camp. Thus I am a witness to this visitation. Some Gentiles who were in the camp marvelled greatly; even some passengers on a steamboat going down the river looked with astonishment. On our journey we buried sister Joan Campbell and her babe, who died from exposure at a time when she was least able to bear it."
On the very day the the mob attacked at Nauvoo, the first volunteers to go to their assistance left Winter Quarters. Orval M. Allen was appointed Captain of the first relief company. Brigham Young wanted more help. A second rescue mission was also sent about two weeks later, under the direction of James Murdock and Allen Taylor.
The first rescue party, "under the direction of O.M. Allen," arrived at the Mississippi River on (6 OCT-S4) (7 OCT-S5,S8) 1846, ready to help the suffering Saints. He found the refugees scattered along the Mississippi River banks around Montrose, Iowa. There he found 300-400 men, women, and children, subsisting on boiled and parched corn and river water. Some had died and others were succombing to exposure and disease. Orville gathered the saints together and informed them that he had been sent by the Twelve to help them. He asked the camp to yoke up all available teams and prepare to leave. Immediately 42 people volunteered to go. They had 20 wagons, 17 oxen, 4 horses, and 41 cows. Sister Mary Fielding Smith, the widow of Hyrum Smith, and her sister, also a widow, Mercy Fielding Thompson, donated $18 for the company's benefit. Mary's 7-year-old son, Joseph F. Smith, later the sixth president of the Church, was with his mother in the group. Joseph Fielding, the brother of Mary Fielding Smith was also among the group.
The family recorded the event thus: (S22)
When grandpa entered the camp of the saints very early in the morning, before anyone was up, at a glance he could see the poverty and suffering of these poor folks. After informing them he had come to help them move west, he promised them if they would keep the commandments and not complain that they would go to the Rocky Mountains in safety, even if they had to be fed on quail. While he was still speaking they heard a roaring sould like wind, suddenly there was a flock of quail (just at sunrise), settling in their camp. People reached out and picked them up like they were tame. After getting all they needed for their breakfast, the remainder of the quail flew away. Some people tried to follow and shoot them, but Orvel M. Allen commanded the people to let the quail go unmolested, not to kill more than they could eat.
Thomas Bullock, official clerk to the Quorum of the Twelve, who was also there with a sick and starving family of his own, recorded on 9 OCT 1846, "This morning we had a direct manifestation of the mercy and goodness of God. A large, or rather several large flocks of quails, flew into camp....Some fell on the wagons, some under, some on the breakfast tables. The boys and the brethern ran about after them and caught them alive with their hands....Every man, woman and child had quails to eat for their dinner. After dinner the flocks increased in size. Captain Allen ordered the brethern not to kill...not a gun was afterwards fired and the quails flew round the camp, many lighted in it...this was repeated more than half a dozen times." (S5). He also wrote that it was "a direct manifestation from the Most High, that although we are driven by men, He has not forsaken us, but that His eyes are continually over us for good." (S8).
Joseph Fielding wrote, "They came in vast Flocks, many came into the houses w[h]ere the saints were, settled on the tables, and the Floor, and even on their Laps, so that they caught as many as they pleased thus the Lord was mindful of his people."
On the 9th of October, several wagons with oxen having been sent by the Twelve to fetch the poor Saints away, were drawn out in a line on the river banks, ready to start. But hark! What noise is [p.237] that? See! the quails descend; they alight close by our little camp of twelve wagons, run past each wagon tongue, when they arise, fly round the camp three times, descend, and again run the gauntlet past each wagon. See the sick knock them down with sticks, and the little children catch them alive with their hands. Some are cooked for breakfast, while my family were seated on the wagon tongues and ground, having a wash tub for a table. Behold, they come again! One descends upon our teaboard, in the midst of our cups, while we were actually round the table eating our breakfast, which a little boy about eight years old catches alive with his hands; they rise again, the flocks increase in number, seldom going seven rods from our camp, continually flying around the camp, sometimes under the wagons, sometimes over, and even into the wagons, where the poor sick Saints are lying in bed; thus having a direct manifestation from the Most High, that although we are driven by men, He has not forsaken us, but that His eyes are continually over us for good. At noon, having caught alive about 50 and killed some 50 more, the captain gave orders not to kill any more, as it was a direct manifestation and visitation from the Lord. In the afternoon hundreds were flying at a time. When our camp started at 3 p.m. there could not have been less than 500 (some say there were 1500) flying around the camp. Thus I am a witness to this visitation. Some Gentiles who were in the camp marvelled greatly; even some passengers on a steamboat going down the river looked with astonishment. (S11).
Mary Field Garner wrote, "We did not have any bread and butter or any other food to eat, so we ate stewed quail and were very thankful to get that, for we were starving." The phenomenon extended some 30 or 40 miles along the river. The Saints felt that God had given them manna from heaven as a sign of His mercy towards modern Israel. It was an event similar to that in ancient Israel in the wilderness as recorded in Exodus 16:13.
That afternoon some provisions were brought into the camp from kind individuals from Quincy, Illinois. Among them were such items as clothing, shoes, molasses, salt, and pork. These were distributed throughout the camp. Orville Allen soon gathered up a company of 157 people in 27 or 28 wagons, and they set off to join the Saints at Winter's Quarters.
Murdock's and Taylor's rescue company, with about 25 teams, soon arrived at the camp also, and they brought all the remaining Saints out of the poor camps.
Jesse N. Smith, then a lad of about 12 years old, who was a member of Orville Allen's company wrote:
"When the forces of Illinois attacked those of our people who remained in Nauvoo, we could hear the cannon shots. Unable to afford any assistance, I deeply sympathized with the sufferers.
In the midst of our troubles a team came for us in charge of an old man named Fisher. He belonged to O. M. Allen's company, and had promised Uncle John Smith when he left the camp that he would bring us on. The prospect which was thus held out of joining the leading camp of the Saints in their great exodus was more gratifying to me than I can express.
We at once set about preparing for the journey. I gave away my dog, quite a trial for me; we killed our pigs, and disposed of a few of our household things to the neighbors. One thing which I also counted a trial, we left a large book of Grandfather Smith's writings."
He continued, "I conceived an aversion for the Captain, O.M. Allen. Although there were a number of boys and girls of suitable age to drive loose stock, yet the whole charge was given to me, and frequently on stormy days I drove all the loose stock of the camp alone. There was a man named William Corbett, who gave me his mare to ride; she was a fine animal and he would allow no one else to mount her. We reached Winter Quarters the last day of November; were welcomed by Uncle John's folks and other acquaintances."
On Tuesday 3 November 1846 the Quorum of the Twelve wrote a letter to Orval M. Allen, who was on the way west with the company of "poor Saints." He was advised to find a good location for these Saints near Mount Pisgah or Garden Grove. These places were close to settlements where supplies could be obtained. The provisions in the settlements near Winter Quarters were few and expensive. Orval Allen's company was then already nearing Mount Pisgah. After the company started its daily journey on this day, it was discovered that someone had carelessly caused the prairie to be set on fire. Thomas Bullock wrote, "The crescent of fire was beautiful, as the smoke ascended on high and left naught but blackness behind it." That night, Capt. Allen issued a strong lecture, warning the camp against setting the prairie on fire.
On 7 NOV 1846, Lyman O. Littlefield met Orval M. Allen and his company of "poor Saints" about 18 miles west of Mount Pisgah. He showed them the letter from the Twelve instructing them to spend the winter in settlements on the Iowa prairie. The brethern in the camp met to discuss what they should do, since they were already west of Mount Pisgah. It was decided to press on to the Nishnabotna River and then send a company of men to obtain further instructions from the Twelve.
On Friday, 27 November 1846 Orville M. Allen's company of "poor Saints" arrived at Council Bluffs after a 50-day journey across Iowa.
Thomas Bullock wrote, "The boys ran a race to the top of a hill in order to get a peep at the Missouri River...where we had a splendid view...my soul rejoiced exceedingly in the prospect of my soon arriving at home."
"Captain O. M. Allen with the remainder of the sick camp from Nauvoo, arrived at the east bank of the Missouri river, Firday, 27 November, 1847." (Church Chronology, page 32, by Andrew Jenson). (S22).
It was during this absence, or perhaps a previous one, that his wife Jane left him for another man, leaving the children for Orvel to raise. They were legally divorced. (S22).
He married (2) Susannah WARD on 20 January 1848 at Bingham Hollow, Potawattamie County, Iowa.
They had a daughter, Mary Josephine Allen. Orval, like most all Mormons, had to leave home and hunt for work for their support. Orval went back to Missouri where he used to live and was gone a long time. There was no mail service, so his wife Susannah never heard from him. She had been left with her parents. Then some other wandering Mormon brother told Susannah he had known Mr Allen in Missouri, and said that Orval had the cholera and died; so Susannah considered herself a widow. When her parents left Iowa for the long trek to Utah Susannah & her baby went too. The pioneers used to stand at a certain place whenever they heard of a new company of emigrants coming to town just to see if there were people in that company they had known before in Illinois or Iowa. One day Susannah stood with those that watched & was amazed to see Orval the leader of that company. She had already married a second time to Lindsay Anderson Brady, and was expecting a second child by him. Lindsey, her second husband, was fair, and offered to give her up to Orval; but Orval was angered that Susannah had married so soon and refused to take her back. Later it was learned that it was another man named Allen who died in Missouri with the cholera.
Orville Morgan Allen married (3) Elizabeth Ann BURKETT [F121] on 4 August 1850 at Council Bluffs, Potawattamie County, Iowa.
He is in the 1850 Census in Pottawattamie County, Iowa:
Orville Morgan Allen. Age 45.
Elizabeth Ann Burkett Allen. Age 25.
Elizabeth Catherine Allen. Age 22.
Antoinette Morgan Allen. Age 12.
Alma Hyrum Allen. Age 10.
James Chandler Allen. Age 8.
Laura Josephine Allen. Age 4.
William Allen. Age 4.
John Allen. Age 1.
Mary Josephine Allen. Age 1.
They traveled together with the Burkett family to Utah in 1852, in Captain Wood's Sixth Company. They started out in June of 1852, and arrived in Salt Lake in December of 1852. (S13,S22,S24).
They first settled in Springville, in Utah County. They soon afterwards settled in Palmyra, also in Utah County. Palmyra was located 3 miles west of Spanish Fork. During the Walker War in 1854, Palmyra was ordered to be abandoned for the residents protection. Though some moved back afterwards, perhaps including Orville and his family, at least by 1855, when Palmyra was abandoned entirely, they had moved to Spanish Fork, Utah County, Utah. Spanish Fork City was laid out in the winter of 1855-1856. (S13,S22).
During this time on Indian trouble in Utah, Orvel served as a minuteman. (S22).
Certificate issued to Orvel Morgan Allen: (S22)
To All to Whom these presents shall come:
This certifes that Orvel Morgan Allen has been received into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, organized on the sixth day of April, 1830, was ordained into the twenty-ninth Quorum of Seventies the fourteenth day of June 1840, and is a President of the fiftieth Quorum, and by virtue of his office he is authorized to preach the Gospel, and officiate in all the ordinaces thereof, in all the world, agreeable to the authority of the Holy Priesthood vested in him; we therefore, in the name, and by the authority of this church, grant unto this our brother this letter of commendation unto all persons wherever his lot may be case as a proof of our esteem, praying for his prosperity in the Redeemer's cause.
Given under our hands at Great Salt Lake City, this Fifth day of October, 1857.
Signed: Jos. Young, President
Roberty Campbell, Clerk.
He married Isabella WATSON on 17 February 1858 in Spanish Fork, Utah. (S15,S22). They were sealed in the Endowment House. She only lived there a few years and wa never heard of again. (S22).
He is in the 1860 Census in Spanish Fork, Utah County, Utah Territory:
O M Allen. Age 54.
Elizth Allen. Age 33.
Wicke Allen. Age 34.
Alma Allen. Age 18.
Jas C. Allen. Age 16.
Wm W. Allen. Age 15.
John Allen. Age 9.
Rosina Allen. Age 5.
Orval N. Allen. Age 3.
Eleanor Allen. Age 1.
In 1860 the Allen family was called to go into Southern Utah. (S22).
In 1861 they moved to southern Utah and lived for a few years in St. George, Washington County, Utah. (S13).
Prior to thier move, Orvel received the following certificate: (S22)
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
This certifies that Orvel M. Allen is a member and President of the fiftieth Quorum of Seventies in full fellowship.
Spanish Fork, 5 November 1861.
Signed: Dennis Dorrity, Sen. Pres.
Thos. Robertson, Clerk.
While living in St. George he was engaged in brick making. He was called the best brick maker in Southern Utah. He also had a small farm and orchard. He assisted in building the St. George Temple, and did a lot of temple work for his ancestors. (S22).
Then they moved to Toquerville, Washington County, Utah; after 1863. (S13).
In 1864 he was called to settle Toquerville. With his stepson George W. Williams, he again engaged in brick making. He again established a home, a small farm and orchard. He had a good vineyard from which he made his own wine (pure grape drink). (S22).
While living in Toquerville, he was called to fulfill another mission: (S22)
TO ALL PERSONS TO WHOM THIS LETTER SHALL COME
This certifies that the bearer, Elder Orvel M. Allen is in full faith and fellowship with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and by the General Authorities of said church, has been duly appointed a mission to the United States, N.A. to preach the gospel, and administer in all the ordinances thereof pertaining to his office.
And we invite all men to give heed to his teachings and counsels as a man of God, sent to open to them the door of life and slavation - and assist him in his travels, in whatsoever things he may need.
And we pray God the Eternal Father to bless Elder Allen and all who receive him and minister to his comfort, with the blessings of heaven and earth, for time and for all eternity, in the name of Jesus Christ: Amen.
signed at Salt Lake City, Territory of Utah, 6 October 1869, in behalf of said Church.
Brigham Young, George A. Smith, Daniel H. Wells; First Presidency.
He is in the 1870 Census in Tokerville (sic), Kane County (sic), Utah Territory:
Orval Allen. Age 65.
Elizabeth Allen. Age 45.
John Allen. Age 20.
Rosena Allen. Age 15.
Orval Allen. Age 13.
Eleanor Allen. Age 11.
Elizabeth Allen. Age 9.
Samuel Allen. Age 6.
They then moved to Kanab in Kane County, Utah. There he served as the probate judge of Kane County. (S10,S22).
He is in the 1880 Census in Springdale, Kane County, Utah.
Orril M. Allen. Age 75.
Elizabeth M. Allen. Age 54.
Samuel Edward Allen. Age 16.
Mabel Allen Lines (S22) says they next were called to settle in northern Arizona. They moved in 1880, locating in Taylor, Navajo County, Arizona. The were accompanied to Taylor by their son Samuel Edmonds Allen who was still unmmarried, and by his stepson William Williams, who was marreid and had a family. They also established a thriving brick making business in Taylor, led by Will and assisted by Orvel. Orvel began stock rasining and farming. They lived in Taylor from 1880 to 1883.
In 1883 they moved to Luna Valley, Socorro County, New Mexico. While there Elizabeth ran a boarding house and Orvel engaged in raising livestock. (S22).
He is in the 1885 New Mexico Territorial Census in Precinct 37, Socorro, New Mexico.
O M Allen. Head.
Elezibeth Allen. Wife.
Samuel E. Allen. Son.
In 1885 they moved to Gila Valley, Arizona, where Samuel bought a small home in the southeastern section of Pima, Arizona. Samuel also bought a farm east of the town, and also engaged in the freighting business. (S22).
In 1885 Orval Allen and his son James Chandler Allen went in a covered wagon to Nutrioso, Apache County, Arizona to visit both their former wives. Jane was living at Nutioso with her son John O Hurley “Hall” and his wife Lucy (Prisby) “Hall,” the woman who had been the wife of Jane’s older son James Chandler Allen. Besides these three (Jane, John Hall & Lucy) some of the children of John & Lucy & some of Lucy’s children by James C Allen were living there. Orval and James spent the night.
In the late spring of 1893 Orvel fell down the cellar steps and broke his hip, and was not able to walk again. His good friend Brother Hubbard assisted the family in caring for him. (S22).
Orval died on 12 November 1893 (S10,S22) as a result of pneumonia, at Pima, Graham County, Arizona.
Born 2 March 1810 in Lincoln, Lincoln County, North Carolina; daughter of John (James?-S16) WILSON and Polly MILLER. (S22).
She married Orval Morgan ALLEN on (4 August)(23 February-S16,S22) 1825 in Missouri.
Jane Wilson “fell” for an Englishman and left Orval. The Englishman was a fugitive from justice named Mr ?? Hurley. The English law found him, convicted him and executed him. Jane had a son by Hurley, though she never married him. The son’s name was John Oscar Hurley (b. 24 Aug 1851 in Pottawatamie Co, Iowa. He died 1937, M 2x. His 1st wife was Lucy Prisby. She was also the first wife of James C Allen (below). Lucy left James C Allen and ran off with John O Hurley.
After Hurley was executed Jane tried to come back to Orval but he wouldn’t take her, so she joined her daughter in polygamy with Joshua Hall and gave her Hurley baby the name of Hall and he used that “Hall” name all his life, and his children were all called “Hall.” John O. Hurley (or Hall) M2 Cetty Burke and had 1 son, Oscar “Hall”.
In 1885 Jane was living at Nutioso, Apache County, Arizona with her son John O Hurley “Hall” and his wife Lucy (Prisby) (Allen) “Hall,” the woman who had been the wife of Jane’s older son James Chandler Allen. Besides these three (Jane, John Hall & Lucy) some of the children of John & Lucy & some of Lucy’s children by James C Allen were living there, when one night Orval Allen & their son James C Allen came in a covered wagon & stayed all night to visit the women.
She died on 14 APR 1895 in Eager, Apache County, Arizona; and was buried there.
CHILDREN of Orval Morgan ALLEN and Jane WILSON:
- Eliza Ann ALLEN. Born on 15 November 1826 in Louisiana, Pike County, Missouri. She died on 30 October 1832.
- Elizabeth Catherine ALLEN. Born on 22 September 1828 in Lincoln County (Pike County-S16), Missouri. She married (1) Conrnelis LATT. She married (2) G. W. THORPE. She died on 11 December 1911.
- Mary Jane ALLEN. Born on 17 April 1830 at Louisiana, Pike, Missouri. She died on 30 October 1836 (1832-S16).
- Sarah Lucinda ALLEN. Born on 4 June 1834 at Louisiana, Pike, Missouri. She died 1 July 1839.
- Antoinette Morgan ALLEN. Born on 20 May 1839 at Buffalo, Pike, Missouri (Lincoln County, Missouri-S16). She married (1) Joshua HALL. She married (2) J.B. FRANCIS. She died on 4 January 1894; and was buried at Eagar, Apache County, Arizona.
- Alma Hyrum ALLEN. Born on 11 July 1841 at Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois. He married an Indian maid and had two sons. He died in 1937 at Orleans, Humboldt County, California.
- James Chandler ALLEN. Born on 18 January 1844 on a steamboat in Madison County, Iowa (Madison Island, Hancock County, Illinois-S16). He married (1) Lucy PRISBY. He married (2) La Veda ROGERS. He died on 3 April 1938 at Bloomfield, San Jaun County, New Mexico; and was buried on 4 Apr 1938 at Aztec, San Jaun County, New Mexico.
- Laura Josephine ALLEN. She was born 4 April 1846 in Nauvoo, Hancock County Illinois; and moved to Utah with father in 1852. She married (1) Myron ABBOTT, son of Stephen ABBOTT and Abigail SMITH, on 25 APR 1861 in Ogden, Utah. He was born Dec. 1, 1837, Perry, Pike Co., Illinois. He came to Utah in 1849. Their children: Myron Alma b. Feb. 15, 1862, m. Mary M. Leavitt; Stephen Orville b. June 9, 1863; Mary Luella b. Dec. 2, 1865, m. Thomas D. Leavitt April 14, 1881; James Smith b, Jan. 23, 1868, m. Chloe E. Robinson Aug. 19, 1892; William Elias b. Oct. 16, 1869, m. Mary Jane Leavitt March 20, 1890; John Austin b. Aug. 12, 1871, m. Chrissie E. Whitney March 12, 1895; Josepha Jane b. April 17, 1873, m. Robert Roberts Nov. 19, 1890; Abigail J. b. Sept. 20, 1875. They made their home in Ogden, Utah. She married (2) M.D. FELTS. She died on 21 January 1925 in Bunkerville, Clark County, Nevada; and was buried on 23 JAN 1925 in Bunkerville. (S10, S15).
Susannah WARD. Born (about 1809)(7 February 1818) in (Keyham, Leicestershire, England)(Bingham Hollow,Iowa)(St. Ferdinand, Pike County, Missouri-S15). She married Orval Morgan ALLEN on (20 Jan 1848)(1 March 1846) at Bingham Hollow, Iowa.
They had a daughter, Mary Josephine Allen. Before she was born the Mormons were persecuted and driven out of Nauvoo. Orval, like most all Mormons, had to leave home and hunt for work for their support. Orval went back to Missouri where he used to live and was gone a long time. There was no mail service, so his wife Susannah never heard from him. She had been left with her parents, her baby was born (Mary Josephine) then some other wandering Mormon brother told Susannah he had known Mr Allen in Missouri, and said that Orval had the cholera and died; so Susannah considered herself a widow. When her parents left Iowa for the long trek to Utah Susannah & her baby went too. The pioneers used to stand at a certain place whenever they heard of a new company of emigrants coming to town just to see if there were people in that company they had known before in Illinois or Iowa. One day Susannah stood with those that watched & was amazed to see Orval the leader of that company. She had already married a second time to Lindsay Anderson Brady, and was expecting a second child by him. Lindsey, her second husband, was fair, and offered to give her up to Orval; but Orval was angered that Susannah had married so soon and refused to take her back. Later it was learned that it was another man named Allen who died in Missouri with the cholera.
She died on 20 January 1908 in Salt Lake, Salt Lake County, Utah. Susannah out lived all of her children except her daughter Mary Josephine Allen (from her marriage to Orval) and her daugher Jane (first child from her marriage to Lindsay).
Child of Orval Morgan ALLEN and Susannah WARD:
- Mary Josephine ALLEN. Born on 23 December 1849 in Potawatamia County, Iowa. She died on 30 August 1913 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah.
Elizabeth Ann BURKETT.
She married Orval Morgan ALLEN on 4 August 1850 at Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie Co, Iowa.
Even though she had been married before, Elizabeth was sealed to Orval Morgan ALLEN, probably in Salt Lake City, Utah. Therefore, we trace here his ancestors for the sealing line.
Child of Elizabeth Ann BURKETT by a previous marriage:
John Matthew JOHNSON. Born on 22 NOV 1849 at Pigeon River, Potowatomi County, Iowa. He died on 27 MAR 1939 at Thatcher, Graham County, Arizona; and was buried there on 29 MAR 1939.
Elizabeth is in the 1900 Census in Graham, Arizona Territory the home of her Son Samuel.
Samuel E. Allen. Age 36.
Sarah Allen. Age 29.
Mabel Allen. Age 11.
Samuel Allen. Age 6.
Margaret Allen. Age 3.
Elizabeth Allen. Age 75.
CHILDREN of Orval Morgan ALLEN and Elizabeth Ann BURKETT:
- Amanda Alzina ALLEN. Born on 13 April 1852 at Allen Creek, Harrison County, Iowa. She died on 8 August 1854.
- Rosina ALLEN. Born on 6 December 1854 in Springville, Utah County, Utah. She married David D. WILLIAMS. She died on 6 January 1921 at Chandler, Maricopa County, Arizona; and was buried on 8 January 1921 at Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona.
- Orvil Morgan ALLEN Jr. Born 28 November 1856 in Spanish Fork, Utah County, Utah. He married (1) Diana Jane ELLSWORTH. They lived in Toquerville, Washington County, Utah. They moved with his father’s family to Arizona. They lived in Apache County, Arizona and then in Graham County, Arizona. They also lived for a time in the colonies in Mexico. He married (2) Laverna S. PARKER (LeVerna Sonora Packer). He died on 19 January 1941 in Safford, Graham County, Arizona; and was buried on 21 JAN 1941 in the Thatcher Cemetery in Thatcher, Graham County, Arizona. (S10, S15)
- Eleanor Ann ALLEN. Born 6 March 1859 in Spanish Fork, Utah County, Utah. She married James THORPE. She died on 12 MAR 1924 (19 Jan 1920-S16) in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California; and was buried in Thatcher, Graham County, Arizona.
- Elizabeth Ann ALLEN. Born on 25 APR 1861 at Spanish Fork, Utah County, Utah. She married (1) David ROGERS. She married (2) Thomas HAMBLIN. She died on 20 DEC 1953 at Ripon, California; and was buried on 24 DEC 1953 at Pima, Graham County, Arizona.
- Samuel Edmonds ALLEN. Born on 6 August 1863 at St. George, Washington County, Utah. He married (1) Sarah Ann ELLSWORTH. He married (2) Mary Levine PACE. He married (3) Lucy CRAIG. He died on 12 March 1940 at Pima, Graham County, Arizona; and was buried on 14 MAR 1940 at Pima.
Born about 1809. She married Orval Morgan ALLEN on 17 Feb 1858; probably in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah. (S15). I do not know if they had children.
- [S1]. Glenn Russell Handy Family Records.
- [S2]. Ancestral File.
- [S3]. Children Entered Valley with Hearts All Aglow. by Julie A. Dockstader. Church News. 23 JUL 1994.
- [S4]. Iowa Crossing Prepared Way for Others. Richard Neitzel Holzapfel. Church News. 13 JUL 1996.
- [S5]. Battle Of Nauvoo Was Final Chapter In The Expulsion From Beloved City. (and also the article, Site Selected for Winter Quarters; Hostilities Rage in Battle of Nauvoo). Church News. 14 SEP 1996.
- [S6]. Cattle Driven North for the Winter. Church News. 26 OCT 1996.
- [S7]. Teams Sent Back to Rescue The Poor. Church News. 5 OCT 1996.
- [S8]. Lord Was Mindful of His People. Church News. 19 OCT 1996.
- [S9]. Right To Stay On Indian Lands Challenged. David R. Crockett. Church News. 9 NOV 1996.
- [S10]. Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah. Frank Esshom. p.707, 714.
- [S11]. Our Pionee Heritage.
- [S12]. Additional Bishops Called To Serve. Church News. 30 N)V 1996.
- [S13]. Latter-Day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia. Andrew Jensen. 1914. Vol.2:195.
- [S14]. Mountainland Centennial. Supplement to The Daily Herald. Provo, Utah. 10 MAR 1996.
- [S15]. LDS Family Search. http://www.lds.org.
- [S16]. Orvel Morgan Allen & Joseph Smith Wing webpage. Prepared July 19th 2001 by Allen Joseph Wing. http://members.aol.com/Lynnash911/morganorvelallen.html. QUOTES as sources: a) History of Orvel Morgan Allen as found in the genealogy book of Joseph Marion Wing.
- [S17] 70's Records. Nauvoo, Illinois.
- [S18] Early LDS Members, 1830-1848. Susan Easton Black. Rec. 2:74.
- [S19]. Iowa, Pottawattamie County, Annotated Record of US Census, 1850. Ancestry.com.
- [S20]. 1860 United States Federal Census. Ancestry.com.
- [S21]. New Mexico, Territorial Census, 1885. Ancestry.com.
- [S22]. A Sketch of the Life of Orvel Morgan Allen. by his granddaughter Mabel Allen Lines. 16 June 1959.
- [S23]. Utah Pioneer Emmigration Index, 1847-1869. Church Historians Library.
- [S24]. Journal History, 31 December 1852, supplement, page 35.