David Norton Jr.


Family Home

Robert Norden, Rev 
... unknown Norden
... ...Christopher Norton .17148 England
... ... 1st wife Anne unknown
... ... ... John Norton b. 1738 New Kent, VA
... ... .... Mary unknown
... ... ... ... children:
... ... ... ... Sarah Norton b.1758
... ... ... ... John Norton b. 1759
... ... ... ... James Norton b. 1761
... ... ... ... unknown Norton b. abt 1762
... ... ... ... .David Norton b. 1763 Fluvanna, VA
... ... ... ... ... John Wesley Norton b1820 Wayne, IN
... ... ... ... ... James Wiley Norton b1822 Hamilton, OH
... ... ... ... ... Melissa I. Norton b1824 Hamilton, OH
... ... ... ... ... Henry Elliott Norton b1826 Hnery, IN
... ... ... ... ... Hyram Fletcher Norton b1829 Hnery, IN
... ... ... ... ... Isabella Norton b1836 Henry, IN

... ... ... ... .Thomas Norton b. 1765
... ... ... ... .Elizabeth Norton b.1769, VA
... ... ... ... .Milly Norton b.1774 Fluvanna, VA

... ...Christopher Norton .17148 England
... ... 2nd wife Mary Emmerson b.1735 VA
... ... ... Thomas Norton b1753 Goochand, VA
... ... ... William Norton b1754 Goochland, VA
... ... ... Martha Norton b1756 Goochland, VA


David Norton Jr. Timeline

  • 1796 Oct 29 David Norton Jr. born Pentleton county, Kentucky. He gives 2 dates.
  • 1796 Norton Norton family moves North to Cincinnatti, OH area. David Sr. gets Land Grant.
  • 1803 Hiram Norton born in Ohio
  • 1807 David Norton is listed in the Indiana census of 1807. Military district included a little part of Ohio by Cincinatti.
  • 1810 Norton family moves to Pendlton, Kentucky. David Sr. gets 3000 acres from William Merriwethers estate to develop in what is today SE Grant, KY.
  • 1813 Aug 29 David Norton volunteers for the War of 1812.
  • 1813 Nov 5 David Jr musters out of Kentucky Mounted volunteers.
  • 1814 David Sr. dies within 6 months of David's return from the war.
  • 1817 May 25, David Norton requested that he be reimbursed $50 for a horse he had lost while in this militia. David's Brother-in-law Ichabod Ashcraft also made an affidavid.
  • 1819 David Jr. in Henry (later Wayne) county IN with Benefield family.
  • 1820 Feb 10 David Jr. (24) married Elizabeth Benefield in Fayette county Indiana..
  • 1820 Nov 6 John Wesley Norton born near New Lisbon, IN.
  • 1822 Aug 6 James Wiley Norton born in Hamilton county, OH. at the Benefield family home.
  • 1823 David's mother, Sophia dies in Grant, KY. David is married and settled in Indiana.
  • 1824 Dec 23 Melissa Isabel Norton born in Hamilton county, OH. at the Benefield family home.
  • 1825 Mar 10 David Jr buys land near Dudley, IN
  • 1826 Oct 23 Henry Elliot Norton born near Dudley, IN..
  • 1829 July 8 Hyrum Fletcher Norton born near Dudley, IN.
  • 1831 June 6 This is the probable date that missionaries from the Mormon church contacted David Norton. Winchester is just 12 miles north of Dudley, IN. Zebedee Coltrin was appointed to travel to Missouri with Levi W. Hancock 6 June 1831. The missionary companionship baptized many and established large branch of church in Winchester, Indiana, 1831. David's neighbors John York and Austin Hammer are associated with the Winchester group and he probably went up to the meetings to see what these Mormons were all about.
  • 1831 Oct 1 David Norton Jr is baptized in the Mormon church.
  • 1834 June 17-18 Zion's Camp stays Saturday night and Sunday west of Richmond, IN and within 6 miles of David Norton's farm on the National Road.
  • 1836 August Levi Hancock brings Fannie Alger, Joseph Smith's 1st plural wife to Dublin, IN.
  • 1836 Aug 14 Isabella Norton born near Dudley, IN
  • 1836, Nov Fannie Alger marries Solomon Custer in Dublin, IN Nov 16, 1836.
  • 1837 June David Jr moves the family to Caldwell county, Missouri.
    Haun's MIll link
  • 1837 March 20 David Jr patents land in Wayne, IN
  • 1837 June 16 David Norton buys land Near Haun's Mill.
  • 1838 Jan Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and Sidney Rigdon meet in Dublin, IN after fleeing from Kirtland, OH.
  • 1838 Mar 16 John Wesley Norton and Melissa Isabel Norton baptized by David Evans in Mormon church at Haun's MIll.
  • 1838 Oct 30 Haun's Mill Massacre.
  • 1840 Aug 11 David Norton Jr. buys land in Pikes county, IL
  • 1840 Oct 18 John Wesley Norton in Kirtland. OH until 1843. "A charge preferred against John Norton by Henry Fosmire for retaining property that was not his own to the injury of the said Fosmire 2nd for unchristian treatment to me when Laboring for a reconciliation for the above treatment The above charge was not proved to the satisfaction of the Quorum consequently Elder Norton was discharged provided he would suffer the said Fosmire to enter the premises and to take of the property he had bought of Amadon."
  • 1841 April 11 John Wesley Norton in Kirtland. OH "The Elders quorum met in the House of the Lord meeting opened by prayer Brother Faulk was presented for ordination his case was taken up and President [Amos] Babcock and Brother [Otis] Hobart and [John] Norton proceeded to ordain him to the office of an Elder." May 22 "Elder Brooks, Morton, and Norton, were appointed a committee to draft a set of by-laws for the preservation of the Lord's House."
  • 1841 John W Norton is secreatry of Elders Quorum fall of 1841.
  • 1841 David Jr. buys land in Nauvoo, IL
  • 1842 John Wesley Norton in Kirtland. Confirms Gilbert Belnap in Kirtland, OH.
  • 1844 Nov 5 John W Norton was ordained an Elder in Mormon church.
  • 1845 July 2 John W Norton ordained to 1st Quorum of Seventies, 29th Quorum of Seventies by Joseph Young
  • 1846 Jan 29 David Norton endowments in Nauvoo Temple. Brigham Young in his Journal records, "...133 persons recieved ordinances."
  • February 17, 1846 -
    Company No. 1 is organized to leave Nauvoo.
    Organized February 17, 1846 by John D. Lee. Left Nauvoo February 12, 1846 and crossed Mississippi River to Iowa. The first out of Nauvoo were those in most jepardy of being arrested. This included Lee because he had the 1st child born in a plural marriage. David Norton was indicted for destroying the Nauvoo Expositor. Brigham Young joined Company No.1 on Feb. 15.
  • 1846 18 May - David, Henry, John and Hyrum settled in Mt Pisgah. This is the very day that the vanguard camp arrived in Mt Pisgah.
  • 1846 7 Jul - James Norton married Nancy Hammer in Walnut Grove.
  • 1846 20 July - John W Norton married Rebecca Hammer in Council Bluffs. (This places John W in the vanguard company with B Young.)
  • 1847 David Norton was ordained a High Priest in December of 1847 by Heber C. Kimball.
  • 1847 April 14 John Wesley Norton. with Brigham Young in the 1st Pioneer wagon train to Salt Lake City.
  • 1848 7 June David Norton and family in Heber C. Kimball's wagon train to Salt Lake City, UT
  • 1848 Oct 2 David Norton family arrives in Salt Lake City.
  • 1849 Spring David Norton family moves to the area of Mormon Island near Folsom, CA for the Gold Rush. they leave John Wesley Norton and fmaily as well as the wife and familyof James Wiley Norton in Slat Lake City.
  • 1851 Sep David Norton and family return to Salt Lake City, UT.
  • 1851 David Jr moves family to Lehi Ut. John and James Norton also have homes in Salt Lake City.

David Norton Jr. & Elizabeth Benefield

The one thing that defines David Norton Jr's family is the Mormon religion.
David and Elizabeth married in 1820 and pioneered land in Indiana where David found the Mormon missionaries in 1831. From that time on the events of their life were tied to the history of the Mormons. They were at the Haun's Mill Massacre in Missouri and later driven out of the state and all their possesions stolen. They later settled at, Nauvoo, Illinois only to be driven out in a winter so cold the Mississippi River was frozen solid enough for wagons to cross. From Winter Quarters in Iowa and across the prairie to Salt Lake City, Utah and on to Sand Bernadina, California in 1849 then Sacramento during the Gold Rush to bring back gold to Salt Lake City. They died in Lehi, Utah in 1860 and 1867.

David is described as a small, blond, quiet and kind man. Elizabeth, his wife, is mentioned as large, brunette, and ambitious.


Father - David Norton Jr.b. 29 Oct 1796 Pendleton, KY d.2 Jun 1860 Lehi, Ut
Mother - Elizabeth Benefield
b.9 Aug 1801 Montgomery, KY d.1867 Lehi, UT

John Wesley Norton
b. 6 Nov 1820 New Lisbon, Wayne, IN d.20 Oct 1901 Panguitch, UT
James Wiley Norton
b.6 Aug 1822 Hamilton, OH d.7 Feb 1897 Iona, Bingham, ID
Melissa Isabell Norton b.23 Dec 1824 Hamilton, OH d.26 Jul 1892 Lehi, UT.
Henry Elliot Norton b.23 Oct 1826 New Lisbon, Henry, IN d.17 Aug 1913 Glenbar, Graham, AZ
Hyram Fletcher Norton
b.8 Jul 1829 New Lisbon, Henry, IN.d.13 Apr 1907 Central, Graham, AZ
Isabella Norton b.14 Aug 1836 New Lisbon, Henry, IN d. 22 Dec 1922 Grantsville, Tooele, UT.

David is the son of David Norton Sr. ,a veteran of the Revolutionaly War and a son of Christopher Norton. After the War David Sr. settled for a time in Washington county Virgnia where he probably met his wife Sophia Fancher as the Fanchers moved toward their eventual destination in Pigeon Forge, TN. We don't know a lot about David's mother, Sophia Fancher. It appears she is related to the Fanchers that settled Pigeon Forge, TN. There is a lot of new research along with a DNA strudy for the Fancher family that is ongoing so I'll fill in more of her history as it is better known.

David Sr and Sophia stayed in Pigeon Forge probably on Norton's Branch of the Sevier River where the Fanchers owned land for about 7 or 8 years before rejoining the rest of their Norton family in Bourbon, KY.

David Sr. didn't have much when he came to Bourbon, Kentucky. The tax rolls record that he has 1 horse and 2 cattle and most years from 1791 to 1793 he is listed with no taxable assets. This changed in 1795 with the death of David Sr's father-in-law, John Fancher (Fousher) in Bourbon, KY. The new found wealth of the inheritance fueled a move 40 miles north to Falmouth, Kentucky in what was then Campbell county and which later became Pendleton county. This is where David Norton Jr. was born in 1796.

There are some records that give his birth as 1795, I've chosen 1796 because his father paid taxes in Bourbon in 1795 and David Jr. gave Pendleton as his birth place. Also his sister, Sally has a calulated birth date at 1793 based on the 1810 census and a wedding which makes the 1796 date more reasonable.

Revivals at Cane Ridge Church One of the events of David Jr's young life that should be explored is the revivals at Cane Ridge Church. A group of Kentucky's early settlers built Cane Ridge Meeting House in 1791. Nestled among Kentucky's rolling hills and gracious horse farms, Cane Ridge Meeting House is located on State Highway 537 in Bourbon County, Kentucky. It is believed to be the largest one-room log structure standing in North America. The Cane Ridge Presbyterian congregation with its pastor Barton Warren Stone were hosts for the great revival meetings that took place here in August 1801 and continued for years.

The John Norton family lived just 2 miles from this church and was the center for all the family in Kentucky. No doubt these revivals had a great influence on David Norton Jr. He was just 5 years old when the first great revival took place.

The Revival of August 1801 at Cane Ridge was the climactic event of the Western Great Revival. It was estimated by military personnel that some 20,000 to 30,000 persons of all ages, representing various cultures and economic levels traveled on foot and on horseback, many bringing wagons with tents and camping provisions. Historical accounts recall the contagious fervor which characterized the meetings that continued day and night. Descriptions abound of individuals, taken by great emotion, falling to the ground, crying aloud in prayer and song, and rising to exhort and assist others in their responses to the moment. Worship continued well into the week following the serving of Communion on Sunday, in fact, until provisions for humans and horses ran out. source

The Cane Ridge revival planted religious idealism and was the first great social gathering in a new state emerging from the fearful isolation of its violent frontier days. It also was the biggest, wildest, and most widely publicized event in a broader movement known as the Western Revival, which transformed American religious culture. People began arriving two days earlier. Some 140 wagons were parked on the grounds, and while some participants worshipped, others made regular trips with their horses to nearby creeks.

Preachers gave sermons from a wooden platform, but so many people had come that many began paying attention to impromptu sermons delivered by lay folk. Eyewitness Finley counted seven people at one time preaching from tree stumps and wagons. Presbyterians, Methodists, and some Baptists were present as host minister Stone sought to make the event as nondenominational as possible. Preachers terrified listeners with the threat of hell at their days' end. People were "dropping down on every hand, shrieking, groaning, crying for mercy… praying, agonizing, fainting, falling down in distress," said a letter attributed to the Rev. James Campbell, written just after the gathering. "Some singing, some shouting, clapping their hands, hugging and even kissing, laughing… and all this at once" made "terror thrill through every power of the soul," he wrote.

The Licking River flows North from the Norton farms in Bourbon to Falmouth in Pendleton county and continues to the Ohio River and Cincinnati. This river connected all the points that the family moved between 1795 and 1810. They only stayed in Falmouth for about 18 months before moving north into the Cincinnati area of Ohio. It appears that David Sr. recieved a land grant there for his service in the Revolution and it corresponds with the area that the Benefiel family was living in. The Benefiel's and Norton's are very close. David Sr.'s sister Elizabeth married William Benefiel in Bourbon. David Jr and his brother John will marry Benefiel sisters from the family that settled near Cincinatti, Ohio. We don't know much of how the family fared in Ohio from 1797 to 1810. It appears that at least four more chldren were born there. There's a few brief references and the birth of David Jr's brother Hiram Norton 1803. David Jr. was about 2 when the family went to Ohio and 14 when they came back to Pendleton, Kentucky.

The move back to Pendleton, Kentucky in 1810. David's father had aquired 3000 acres of land from the Meriwether family on the south western border of Pendleton county Kentucky to develop and sell and the family settled in with their 10 children in 1810. This land is right on the border of todays Grant and Pendleton county and on the southern edge. For th next four years the family would build roads and sell 596 acres.

War of 1812 and the Battle of the Thames
When the War of 1812 broke out, David Jr and his brother Henry joined the Kentucky Mounted Volunteers commanded by Col William Mountjoy. (there was also William Norton, son of John Norton of Grant, KY. DNA tests show that these families are not related) David was one month short of 16 when the Kentucky Mounted Volunteers rode out..

The Volunteers left Kentucky Aug 31, 1813 and rode to Canada for the Battle of the Thames where Chief Tecumseh was killed and the British were defeated. David's group was in the thickest part of the battle and it appears David lost his horse in the hand to hand conflict.. Click here for an extended account of the battle

Route the Kentucky Mounted Volunteers traveled to Canada

On October 5 The British commander formed the British regulars in line of battle at Moraviantown and planned to trap Harrison on the banks of the Thames, driving the Americans off the road with his cannons. Tecumseh's warriors took up positions in a swamp on the British right to catch the American's in the flank.

Despite the Indians' flanking fire James Johnson broke through; the British cannon having failed to fire. Immediately the British turned and fled the field, many of them surrendering.

Chief Tecumseh remained and kept up the fighting. Colonel Richard Johnson who commanded the Kentucky cavalry charged into Chief Tecumseh's position to draw attention away from the main American force. David and Henry must have been in the thick of the fighting and David lost his horse in the battle.

Tecumseh and his warriors answered with a volley of musketfire that stopped the cavalry charge in its tracks. Fifteen of the men were killed or wounded and Johnson himself was hit five times. Johnson's main force became bogged down in the mud of the swamp. Tecumseh was killed in this fighting; The main force finally made its way through the swamp and James Johnson's troops were freed from their attack on the British. With the American reinforcements converging and news of the death of Tecumseh spreading quickly the Indian resistance dissolved.

On May 25, 1817 David Norton requested that he be reimbursed $50 for a horse he had lost while in this militia. David's Brother-in-law Ichabod Ashcraft also made an affidavid.


  This section begins research materials in a timeline format.
1831 David sought out the church. He heard about the elders in Winchester from John York or Autin Hammer and went up to hear for himself and was converted before the Elders left. These elders Levi Hancock and Zebedee Coltrin were close to Young and Kimball and were particularly close to Joseph Smith's first plural wife Fannie Alger. Brighams brother moved down to Dublin, IN when Fannie came down and Brigham himself came down to ask her to marry him.
1844 June 16 - Nauvoo, IL

David Norton indited as one of those involved with the buring of the Expositor.

More tried for assisting in a riot, David Norton taken up on a charge of firing the Expositor press....
Alexander Neibaur, Diary, LDS Archives, Pg. 16 [June] 13-17 [1844].

1846 Mount Pisgah Branch,
Union, Iowa

David Norton in the Mount Pisgah Branch:
David Norton Birth 1795 Residence 1846 Mount Pisgah Branch, Union, Iowa, USA
Children 1. Henry Norton, b. 1827 2. John Norton, b. 1819 3. Hyrum Fletcher Norton, b. 8 Jul 1829 Family ID F808 Group Sheet Notes Name transcribed from the Iowa Branches Members Index 1839 - 1859, Volumes I & II by Ronald G. Watt.


  • May 18, 1846 - David, Henry, John and Hyrum settled in Mt Pisgah
  • June 2, 1846 company moves on to Council Bluffs.
  • 7 Jul 1846 - James married Nancy Hammer in Walnut Grove?
  • 20 July 1846 - The Mormon battalion marched from Council Bluffs
  • 20 July 1846 - John married Rebecca Hammer in Council Bluffs? (Council Bluffs laid out December 1847) Hammer family is in Winter Quarters Ward No. 23, Winter Quarters (Florence), Douglas, Nebraska, Joseph Knight Jr. bishop of 23rd ward WQ
  • 14 April 1847 - John leaves with vangaurd wagon train.
  • Dec 1847 David Norton was ordained a High Priest by Heber C. Kimball.
  • 7 June 1848 - David and family leave for GSL.

    Link to a map of Mormon settlements in Iowa

Oliver Snow was the father of Lorenzo and Eliza. William Snow later traveled with John W Norton to Southern Utah.

Snow, Oliver (1775-1845), school teacher, farmer; born at Becket, Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Father of Eliza and Lorenzo Snow. Married Rosetta Pettibone. Joined the Latter-day Saints about 1835, and moved to Kirtland, Ohio. Moved to Daviess County, Missouri, 1838, and Hancock County, Illinois, 1840. Died at Walnut Grove, Illinois. [PJSv2]

When the camp moved out of Garden Grove on May 12th, 1846 enough families were left behind to maintain the community and to help later Nauvoo exiles, of which there would be thousands. Six days and about 35 miles later, they established another permanent camp and resting place. This site, on the middle fork (Twelve-Mile Creek) of the Grand River and on Potawatomi Indian land, was selected and named Mount Pisgah by Parley P. Pratt, who, when he first saw it rising above the Iowa prairie, was reminded of the biblical Pisgah (Deuteronomy 3:27), where Moses viewed the Promised Land. There they built cabins and planted several thousand acres of rich bottomland lying to the west of the rise with peas, cucumbers, beans, corn, buckwheat, potatoes, pumpkins, and squash. Mount Pisgah was maintained as a camp until at least 1852. At its height it had over 2,000 inhabitants, most staying until their future homes in what is now Utah were more certain.

At Mount Pisgah, after over two and a half months of Iowa mud and other assorted troubles, Mormon leaders felt the need for divine guidance, so they withdrew to the isolation of the limitless prairie, clothed themselves in temple robes, formed a prayer circle, and invoked God for the good of the people and the success of the venture. All along the trek such special group prayers were held.

Late on June 2nd, the camp moved on toward Council Bluffs, some 90 miles to the west, leaving behind enough people to improve and maintain Mount Pisgah for the benefit of future Saints going west. This last section of the 1846 journey was relatively pleasant: the sun dried the roads, grass grew, and wild strawberries flourished. On June 13th, the camp reached the Council Bluffs area at the Missouri River, and the first portion of the march was nearly over. The vanguard had taken a full four months, 120 days, to cross some 265 miles of southern Iowa, averaging only about 2.25 miles per day.

1848, June 7 - Nortons leave for SLC The Nortons came with Heber C. Kimball Company (1848)
Departure: 7 June 1848

1848, May 10
Sam Brannan begins the Gold Rush.
Brannan strode up Montgomery Street on May 10, 1848, with a quinine bottle filled with gold dust, crying: "Gold! Gold! Gold from the American River!"

"By summer of 1848, the camp had over a hundred men. Samuel Brannan, the "Spiritual Guide and director for the Mormon population of New Helvetia and other districts of California" opened a store there. For quite some time, Brannan required the miners to tithe. That is, give one tenth of their earnings, to the Mormon Church. The camp was called Mormon Island because the early miners cut a channel across one edge of the gravel bar there, forming a small island. The town quickly outgrew the small gravel bar.

1848, Sept 24 - Nortons arrive SLC Nortons arrive SLC Arrival in Salt Lake Valley: 24 September 1848

1849, July - James Wiley Norton meets 49er Albert King Thurber at the Old Pioneer Fort in Salt Lake City. They talk all night and Thurber stays in SLC.

Thurber is baptised in Sept 1849 and very soon leaves for California with the Gold Missionaries.

Thurber and his companions arrived in SLC in 1849 because Smoot was a bishop in Feb 1849. The New York Herald printed news of the discovery in August 1848. The people in MA would not have started until Feb 1849. It took them 6 months from MA to CA. They left SLC July 31, 1849.


James Wiley Norton meets 49er Albert King Thurber
Here's the excerpt: # Utah Historical Quarterly: Rhode Island 49er Albert King Thurber's Gold Rush Journey That Ended in Utah 2006
William G Hartley - william_hartley@byu.edu (801) 422-7520

also # Review of The Mormon Vanguard Brigade of 1847: Norton Jacob's Record: 2006

Thurber and his companions rode to the banks of the Jordan River and camped. Dissatisfied with the location, Thurber found a local Mormon bishop, Abraham O. Smoot, who gave them "the privalege of pitching our tent in the old fort," where they moved that night. There, he talked to a man he later learned was Willey Norton. "What kind of god do you Mormons believe in?" Thurber asked. Norton replied, "In a god with a body parts and passions who can see, hear, walk & talk an exalted being."

Thurber. . . felt thunder struck and humiliated at this answer. It seemed that I ought to have known all this without asking. I could see immediately that the Scripture bore out this assertion. I talked with this man until 10o.c.,Went into the Tent and told my comrades that
whenever they got ready to leave they might do so, but that I was going to learn something more about these Mormons before I left.85

Most gold seekers stayed about a week and then pushed on. Often they traded trail-worn teams for new stock. Many gave up wagons in favor of pack mules bought from the Mormons.86 Thurber's four compatriots did not linger long as well. From Salt Lake City Captain Webber wrote on July 31 that of the fifty-one in the original company, he was then with only himself,Creighton, Edgely, Pearson, and Thurber.87 As Thurber?s Massachusetts associates made their preparations to leave, Thurber decided to quit the venture and stay in Salt Lake City?.

Abraham O. Smoot became bishop of the church?s 15th ward in Salt Lake City in February of 1849 and was also Utah's first justice of the peace.

Captain Webber's little group left Great Salt Lake City with thirteen pack mules. They "suffered incredible hardships on the march, losing all their mules but four," By the time they arrived in Sacramento in September, they had spent six months journeying from Boston.

Thurber's discussions in the city about religion led to his converting to Mormonism. He accepted baptism in September 1849. Soon thereafter, to his great surprise, church leaders asked him and others to go to California on a gold mining mission to benefit the church and
individuals who backed the venture. So he did go to the gold fields after all. He kept a detailed diary of their route along what became the Salt Lake-Los Angeles trail and about his prospecting days. He worked in the gold fields through the summer of 1850, was unsuccessful, and then returned to Utah in September 1850. Most forty-niners expected to find a fortune and return to their families. Thurber started from Massachusetts with that same intent. But, after his gold mining mission for the LDS church, he decided to remain in Utah and not return east to his family. -------

" Thurber" kept a detailed diary of their route along what became the Salt Lake-Los Angeles trail and about his prospecting days." This diary may have our Nortons in it! "A. K. Thurber, "Journal and Diary of Albert King Thurber," in Treasures of Pioneer History, compiled by Kate B. Carter, 6 vols. [Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1954], 3:272."

Thurber and Jacob D. Burnham chosen to get gold for B. J Johnson council of Seventy.


Notes on the Old Pioneer Fort
Mormon settlers began building Salt Lake City's first fort at today's Pioneer Park almost immediately after arriving in the valley. In a pattern followed in founding dozens of other towns, the 10-acre fort consisted of adobe-and-log cabins linked together to form a stockade.

When more immigrants arrived in the fall, they added extensions at either end of the "Old Fort" to create a quadrangular form, common in western posts, that was 3,135 feet long by 660 feet wide.

The fort had two serious problems: roofs and mice.

Believing it seldom rained in Salt Lake, the pioneers built flat roofs, using poles that were infested with bedbugs. Then, as O. B. Huntington recalled, they piled "an immense quantity of dirt" on the poles "as probable protection from the rain." When it rained, the roofs leaked torrents of mud
into the cabins. Historian H. H. Bancroft insisted that swarms of mice dug so many tunnels under the cabins that they "caused the ground to tremble."

People abandoned the Old Fort at the first opportunity, and by 1850 it was crumbling away. The city fathers ordered the ruin torn down for "it had become a trysting place for persons of loose morals."

Notes on A. O. Smoot

  • A.O. Smoot is the bishop of the 15th ward where the Nortons lived in SLC
  • He was the leader of their company when they moved to Haun's Mill in Missouri.

1849, August
Erkson arrives in SLC

1849, Oct 11
Biggler and Keeler company leave for California James M Flake Capt. They join with the group that split off for Death Valley. The Flake group arrive at Williams Ranch Dec 11, 1849.

1849, Nov 10,
Death Valley company parts at Moutain Meadows
Capt J Hunt. - Mr. Norton mentioned.

1849, Nov 15
Thurber company fits out in Provo
Capt Simpson D Huffaher
Arrive LA about Feb 1850.


The Trip to California

William Riley Judd who later married Isabella Norton also went to California with the Nortons. They came with the Allen Taylor company that Thurbers 49'ers also traveled with.

Allen Taylor, though probably the least known, was uniquely prepared to
lead the company that, with 445 people, was nearly twice as large as any
other Mormon company to cross the plains that year.

Sixteen-year-old William Riley Judd was driving a team for a widow who “nearly drove [him] crazy with questions” as they neared the valley. “I told them that when we got to Emigration Canyon the wagon would tip over,” Judd recounted. “She told me if it did, she would tell Brigham Young. This was intended for a joke, but lo and behold, when we got to the canyon the wagon actually tipped over and broke the bows. . . . [I] failed to find out if she told Brigham Young. Daily, for nearly a week beginning on 12 October, portions of the wide-ly scattered company reached Salt Lake. Allen Taylor, Reddick Allred, and members of the Taylor and Allred families arrived on 16 October, 1849
source .

107 wagons in the "Sand Walking Company". At the "rim of the basin" (all water ran south) they were passed by a wagon train commanded by Capt Smith.

Mr. Erkson's statement
Capt Jefferson Hunt "a Mormon" is hired to lead the party to California by the southern route. ... At Moutain Meadows Hunt got confused about the route and they stopped while scouts were sent out. This is where the Death Valley group separated from the Mormon group. Erkson went with the Mormons becasuse Mr Norton of Adrian Michigan promised Mrs Erkson a horse to ride if she would go... Nov 10, 1849
Death Valley in 1849 by William Lewis Manley

Capt Jefferson Hunt was the leader of the Mormon Battlion.
In 1846, while encamped at Council Bluffs, Iowa, he joined the Mormon Battalion, which was formed at the request of the U.S. government for participation in the Mexican-American War. He was commissioned as a Captain, and was placed in command of Company A. Two of his sons also enlisted, and served under his command. He temporarily commanded the entire battalion when its commander died, until a replacement arrived. His entire family journeyed with the battalion as they completed what is to this day the longest march in U.S. Military history, ending in San Diego, California.

After being discharged from the Mormon Battalion, Hunt and his family settled in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1847. Soon thereafter, Hunt proposed traveling back to California to bring food and supplies for other recent Utah arrivals. Mormon authorities approved this proposal, and Hunt undertook this journey with Porter Rockwell, several former Mormon Battalion members, and two of his own sons. Later he guided several parties of gold prospectors from Utah to California. One of the groups he led to California became impatient at his slow progress, and many of the party members elected to abandon Hunt's group, and follow their own route to California. They became the infamous Death Valley '49ers. Those staying with Hunt made the journey without serious incident. He briefly represented Iron County in the Utah Territorial Legislature in 1851. He was not a resident of Iron County, but he happened to pass through the county as elections were held, and he was chosen by the locals

Thurber's company.
Fitted out in Provo in Mid November
Simpson D Huffaher - Capt
31 Members
3 months to Los Angeles
Met by Amasa Lyman and Jared D. Hunter
Took steamer from San Pedro to San Francisco
arrived Sacramento April 1 1850.

H Alexander, Erastus Bingham, Willard bingham, William Bird, Kiser Brown, Isaac Brown, Jacob Burnham, David Cade, Washington N Cook, Berrill Covington, Hyram Curtis, albert Dewey, Franklin Dewey, Bradford W. Elliot, Jacob Gates, William P Goddard, John Gould, Simpson D Huffaher, Barnum Kinion, Samuel Miles, John Murray, James C. Sly, Albert King Thurber.

Who else was sent to California Gold Fields?
Here's an excellent link

Oct 11, 1849
One of the most unusual developments involving Mormons and California gold took place in the fall and winter of 1849-50. Brigham Young, going against his better judgment, permitted a few older leaders to "call" young men of their choice on a "mission" to California to mine for gold. Prominent among
these men was Henry Bigler, whose diary set the accepted date of the original discovery of gold at Coloma, and George Q. Cannon, who later became an influential counselor in the church's First Presidency.

Bigler and Keeler joined a company of about twenty gold missionaries,8 with James M. Flake as captain. They left Salt Lake Valley [p.50] on 11 October 1849 and arrived at Colonel Williams's Ranch (near present-day Chino) on 11 December, after a difficult journey during which they temporarily became part of the "Death Valley" group that attempted to take a short cut to the California mines.9 While at Williams's Ranch, Bigler recorded a communication from apostles George A. Smith and Ezra T. Benson, which reveals something of the church's attitudes concerning the availability of gold. Bigler wrote on 6 January 1850 that the two leaders wanted the group to raise $5,000 for them so that "their hands may be liberated and be able to return to the fields of labor [missions] and they will pray the Lord to lead the Brethren in some nook or corner where it lays, as for my part," Bigler added, "I shall be glad to help raise it for them and have their prayers and blessings on my head."

The group left Williams's Ranch on 12 January and finally made their way to "Slap Jack Bar" on the middle fork of the American River where they began searching for gold. Bigler's group worked all summer to build a dam across the river. They were so busy that the young diarist was unable to keep a daily account of his activities. Finally, on 23 September, he took the time to vent his frustrations:

A reading of Bigler's journal and Cannon's recollections yields the following tentative roster: George Bankhead, John W. Berry, Henry Bigler, John Bills, Joseph Cain, George Q. Cannon, Darwin Chase, Joseph Dixon, William Farrer, Peter Fife, James M. Flake, Henry Gibson, James Hawkins,
Peter Hoagland, James Keeler, Thomas Morris, Joseph Peck, J. Henry Rollins, Boyd Stewart, Judson Sheldon Stoddard, and Thomas Whittle.

"Willard Bingham was in the goldfields of California in 1849 with his brother Erastus and Albert King Thurber." Albert Lathrop Porter Rockwell

This train of gold missionaries traveled with the train that gave Death
Valley its name. They turned off north of Moutain Meadows and traveled
through Panaca, NV

1849 - Sept - Nortons start for San Bernadino, California

They leave John Wesley Norton and his family as well as the wife of James Wiley in SLC. James Wiley Norton owns land in the 15th Ward.

John Wesley stayed in SLC becasue he was needed as a blacksmith and Wiley's wife was pregnant and too close to delivering so she stayed with her sister. All we read about John Wesley is that he was employed on "public works" but he was a blacksmith. When he came to valley in 1847 he was immediately
employed setting up a blacksmith shop and making plows.

A story about David's youngest daughter. On the way to Sacramento the wagon train
was attacked by Indians. David's youngest daughter held a Book of Mormon in
front of her chest for protection and a bullet pierced the book in her
hands. Their family still has the book.

1850 - US Census El Dorado California
The date of the census was June 1850 but was taken


Notes on Leffingwell (neighbor of David Norton in 1850 California Cencus)
The CA neighbor William Leffingwell who lives next to David Jr's family in the 1850 Census in CA could be...
The Captain" William Leffingwell (b. Oct. 31, 1805, New London, CT) who helped lead Mormons to Utah in 1847 (Sessions Co, Parley P. Pratt Group). http://heritage.uen.org/resources/Wc4898e6eec42e.htm.

His fifty (also known as the Parley P. Pratt company) were part of the Daniel Spencer Company. The Sessions company consisted of 75 wagons and 1885 people. The captains of tens were: Elijah F. Sheets, Jon Van Cott, Elijah K. Fuller, WILLIAM LEFFINGWELL, and Asa Barton....

[Included in the fourth ten led by William Leffingwell were: Alfred C. Beach...Adam Leffingwell, Caroline M. Leffingwell, CYNTHIA Leffingwell, Eunice Leffingwell [his wife], JOSEPH Lyman Leffingwell, Mary J.
Leffingwell, Roxana MATILDA Leffingwell, William Leffingwell, Wm. Leffingwell Jr., Amanda Savage, David Leonard Savage, Mary Abigail White Savage, Mary Theodoria Savage, Margaret Singley, Nicholas Singley, Alva West, Norman S. Williams, and Tabitha York.]

1) Leffingwell came to Utah with Daniel Spencer/Perrigrine Sessions Company (1847)
Departure: 18 June 1847
Arrival in Salt Lake Valley: 24-25 September 1847

This is a daughters history, "she set out to cross the plains in 1849. That winter was passed in Utah, and in the following spring they resumed their journey and finally reached Sacramento."

2) Reference for William Leffingwell at Pilot Hill goldfields.
For over half a century Mrs. Thomas has been a resident of her present location in Sonoma county, near Sebastopol, and in the meantime has witnessed a marvelous transformation in her property, as well as in the entire country. When she first located on the ranch as a young bride her husband had purchased a squatter's right to it from a .Mr. Griffith, and afterward secured legal right to the land by purchasing it from the government. The barren, uncultivated tract that it then was would not be recognized in the finely improved and productive ranch that it is today, yielding bountiful harvests of Gravenstein apples, prunes and cherries, and considered one of the finest fruit ranches in this section
of country. In maidenhood Mrs. Thomas Was Mary Jane Leffingwell, and was born in Lee county, Iowa, in 1841, the daughter of William Leffingwell, and the grand-daughter of Joseph Leffingwell. On the paternal and maternal sides she is of New England ancestry, both her father and mother being natives of Connecticut, and both born in 1805. Both are also deceased, the father passing away in
October, 1884, and the mother in 1889, at the age of eighty-four, the death of both occurring in San Luis Obispo county, Cal. Mrs. Thomas has but a limited knowledge of her birthplace in Iowa, for she was a child of eight years old when with her parents, three brothers and four sisters, she set out to cross the plains in 1849. That winter was passed in Utah, and in the following spring they resumed their journey and finally reached Sacramento. After staying there long enough to get rested from their long journey they went to Yuba county, where. in the vicinity of the mines, the father established and operated the first mill in the county. In addition to this grist and saw mill he also added to his income
by maintaining a boarding house at Pilot Hill, and he also kept a hotel in Placer county for some time, in Hangtown, now known as Placerville. Altogether the family continued in Yuba county for about three years, at the end of which time, in 1852, they came to Sonoma county. Locating in Petaluma, Mr. Leffingwell erected the first hotel in the town, which was carried on by Samuel N.Terrell, Mr. effmgwell's attention being given more particularly to his ranch in the vicinity. The closing years in the lives of this early pioneer settler and his wife were passed in San Luis Obispo, both reaching good old ages.

3) Early LDS Records showing William Leffingwell at Nauvoo.

4) William Leffingwell reference in Sugar Creek, Iowa
Friday, February 20, 1846
Sugar Creek encampment, Iowa:
The snow stopped, but it was extremely cold. The wind shifted, coming from the northwest. Some turned their tents and changed their fires.

Elder Willard Richards was still sick in bed with a bad cough. At 1 p.m., members of the Twelve and Bishop Miller met as a Council in Elder Richards’ tent. They voted to purchase three hundred bushels of corn from William Leffingwell and one yoke of oxen from William Hawkes.

In the evening, there was a disturbance by individuals refusing to comply with the rules of the commissary, murmuring, and trying to spread dissension. But the majority of the people “hissed” them down and they went away in shame.

Despite the cold, almost every night, William Pitt's Brass Band would play music and many would dance. Around the campfires they sang songs like “Home Sweet Home,” “The Old Arm Chair,” and “Dandy Jim from Caroline.”

1850, Sept 1-5
50 Saints return to SLC from California.
Holland discovered that between September 1-5), “Elder Rich and fifty
returning Saints, left September 5, 1850 headed for Salt Lake City with
Porter Rockwell as their guide.” Hiram Gates met his maker sometime between
September 1 and September 5-he died either from dysentery or lead poisoning
emitting from Porter Rockwell’s revolver.3
1851 Sept - Nortons return to SLC from California

"In September 1851, we sold out our store and freighting teams. Buying an outfit of saddle horses and pack mules, we joined a party of Mormons and headed for home. Our company consisted of thirty-four men with pack outfits and three light wagons belonging to the Norton family. They were the only women and children in the outfit. We were delayed some time by the reports that the Indians were on the warpath and very bad. We finally got started and everything went along all right until one morning when we were camped on the inside of a horseshoe bend of the Humboldt River. I didn't like the place because the willows lining the opposite bank surrounded us on three sides. The others preferred it because of the good pasture and the ease with which the horses could be herded inside the bend. Having seen no sign of Indians up to that time, we were getting careless. There was one man who was very anxious to get back to his girl in Salt Lake City "Before the bishop ran off with her," he said. He always got up just before daylight, lighted the fire and put on the coffee pot. For a week we traveled only at night, lying by in the daytime to let our animals feed and rest. We could see by their signal fires along the mountain sides that the Indians, no doubt hoping for a favorable chance to attack, were watching us. But we had grown cautious. As it was late in the fall the grass was dry and scarce. Our animals got very poor and some fell out every few miles. This made traveling so slow that our grub gave out while we were still two hundred miles from the settlements. Leaving five of us boys to stay with the poorest horses and get them along as best we could, the rest took the more able animals and pushed on ahead. I thought John had outgrown his fear of Indians but the first night of this separation while he and I were getting into our bed he said, "Tommy, I thought the Indians would get me back on the Humboldt. Did I look scared?" I had no time to answer for just then an Indian dog came trotting up to the fire. We took this as a warning that the Indians were still on our trail and very close. So, leaving a large fire burning, we very quietly saddled up and traveled all night. This practice we kept up for the rest of our journey to Box Elder, the first Mormon settlement. There we left all but our saddle horses and rode on to Salt Lake City."


  David Norton Jr's self prepared family group sheet
David Norton JR - As a member of the Mormon church, David Norton recorded his birth and family information several times as did his children. However there are some discrepancies as to birth dates, mothers, baptism dates etc. To help clear this up I am recording the pertinent data from original sources.

Navoo Temple Endowment Records - Jan 29, 1846
David Norton, birth 26 Oct, 1795
Elizabeth birth 9 August 1800

Endowment House SLC - 22 march 1852
Sealing to Spouce
David Norton - birth, 29 Oct, 1796 Pendleton, KY
Elizabeth - birth 9 Aug, 1801, Montgomery, OH
Sealed by W. Richards 3:30 pm

The Latter-day Saints occasionally used a mountaintop as their temporary temple, and President Brigham Young dedicated Ensign Peak, a hill just north of Salt Lake City, Utah, as a "natural temple." Though Brigham Young designated a temple site in Salt Lake Valley on July 28, 1847, just four days after his arrival, the temple took forty years to build. In the meantime, the upper floor of the Council House, Salt Lake City's first public building, served 2,222 members of the Church as their Endowment house between February 21, 1851, and May 5, 1855.

David Norton Jr.
Born Oct 29, 1796
Place Pendleton Co., KY
Baptised Oct 1 1831
Wife Elizabbeth Benefield
Born Aug 9, 1800
Place Montgomery Co. OH
Father David Norton
Mother Sophia Fansier
*A second name is listed. Melissa Orsevi on the self group sheet and Nauvoo Temple Index .
Endowed Jan 29, 1846
John Wesley b. Nov 6, 1820 New Lisbon, Wayne, IN
James Wiley b. Aug 6, 1822 Hamilton, OH
Melissa b. Dec 23, 1824 Hamilton, OH
Henry b. Oct 23, 1826 Dudley, Henry IN
Hyrum b. July 8, 1829 Jamestown, Henry, IN
Isabelle b. Aug 14, 1836 Jamestown, Henry, IN

The baptism date of Elizabeth Benefield is not recorded., still looking

On the Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register, David's wife is spelled Elizabeth Pennifield.

This same record has David's birth as Oct 26, 1795.

There is an early church file with a baptism of David Norton in Caldwell Co, MO in June of 1836. This date does not work with the birth of Isabella and the purchase of land in IN by David Norton in 1837. I suggest that the date that David Norton wrote down himself is more accurate.

1830 US Census for Henry County Indiana lists David Norton on page 74 record 6  as 30-40, with a wife 20-30. 3 male children (John W., James, Henry) 5-15, 1 male child (Hyrum) under 5 and 1 female child (Melissa) under 5. Also is mentioned John Norton with a wife and 3 children.

1840 Census for Pike, IL page 139

Significant Dates
1813, August 29 War of 1812, David Norton JR signed on in the Kentucky Mounted Volunteer Militia commanded by Col. William Mountjoy. Mustering out November 5, 1813. This Regiment was recruited in Pendleton Co., KY On May 25, 1817 he requested that he be reimbursed $50 for a horse he had lost while in this militia. David's Brother-in-law Ichabod Ashcraft also made an affidavid.

3 Nortons, William (father unknown), Henry (son of John Norton Pendleton-Grant) and David JR served together in the War of 1812.

1820, Feb 10 Married Elizabeth Benefield in Fayette Co. IN. Marriage Records Fayette Co. IN

1825, March 10 Land Patent Report for Wayne Co. IN David Norton

1837, March 20 Land patent Report for Henry Co. IN David Norton

1841? Nauvoo, Ill. they purchased a farm four miles East and two miles South of Nauvoo.

1847 David Norton was ordained a High Priest in December of 1847 by Heber C. Kimball. David remained in Winter Quarters, Iowa and then set out for Utah with his son David Norton JR in Isaac Higbees Hundred. They arrived in Salt Lake City September 20, 1848.

David stayed in Salt Lake City for a short time and then went on to California to pan for gold. He is listed as a Hotel Keeper in the census of El Dorado CA in 1850.

He then returned to Salt Lake where they purchased lots where the Denver and Rio Grande depot now stands. About 1855, they moved to Lehi and were active in building that town.

David is described as a small, blond, quiet and kind man. Elizabeth, his wife, is mentioned as large, brunette, and ambitious. Many of her family were in the South during the Civil War and she was constantly inquiring after news of the war and her family. In fact it is mentioned that the last thing she requested before she died was news of the South. Both are buried in the old Lehi Cemetery.

1840 Census Pike county , ILL
David Norton
David 40-50
boy 15-20 John
boy 15-20 James
boy 10-15 Henry
boy 5-10 Hyrum

  David's father dies Within 6 months after David was mustered out of the Kentucky Mounted Militia David's father dies. David is only 18 and most of the family is still very young. With the death of David Sr. the family must have gone in separate directions. Henry Norton only recently married was in Grant, KY. There were 5 children to take care of.

1820- David married Elizabeth Benefield February 10, 1820 in Fayette, Indiana and their first child (John Wesley Norton) was born just 9 months later on 6th of November 1820 near New Lisbon, Henry County IN. The next 2 children (twins James Wiley and Melissa Isabell) were born in Ohio with Elizabeth Benefield's family..


1825- March 10, 1825 David Norton Jr. purchased land in the town of Dudley, Henry county IN.

This is very close to the National Road pushing west from Pennsylvania. There is a John Norton who also bough land in Dudley about a mile from David in July of 1823. Perhaps this is David's younger brother. Three children will be born to David and Elizabeth in Henry county. Henry b. 1826, Hyram Fletcher b. 1829 and Isabelle b. 1836.

David is listed in the 1830 census in Henry County, Indiana with his wife and 5 children.  Also listed is John Norton, with a wife and 3 children.  



1831- The Mormons In 1830 a new religion was organized in upstate New York called the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and commonly referred to as Mormons. On October 1, 1831 David Norton records that he joined this church. If so he was a very early convert indeed. The Mormon church had barely established a center at Kirtland, Ohio in the spring of 1831.

In the Church Conference of April 1831 Joseph Smith announced that the elders of the church would travel to Independence, Missouri to organized the church there. But he instructed the elders to travel to Missouri by different routes preaching and baptising as they went. Since David Norton's home was very close to the National Road which was a main conduit to the west, it's likely that the Mormon elders stopped by on thier way to Missouri and their return. It is certainly during this period that David Norton was introduced to the Mormon church. He records being baptized Oct 1, 1831 which coincided nicely with the return of the Elders from Missouri.

The Norton home on the National Road was certainly a rest stop for the Mormon travelers going between Kirtland, Ohio and Missouri.


1838- Caldwell County, Missouri 

  • 16 March, 1838 John Wesly Norton, David's oldest son was baptized in Cauldwell county. Also baptized is Mellisa and Henry.
  • August 2, 1838 David buys 160 acres of land just 3 miles from Haun's Mill, near present day Catabwa in Cauldwell County.
  • October 30, 1838 Haun's Mill Massacre
    Just 3 months after David bought land in Cauldwell county one of the most horrific incidents of the Missouri persecution of the Latter-day Saints took place.

    Jacob Haun, leader of a small group of Saints working a mill on Shoal Creek several miles from Far West, ignored the warning of a living prophet, and did not live to tell about it. As tensions grew in Northwest Missouri following the Battle of Crooked River in October 1838, the Prophet Joseph Smith asked Haun to remove his people from the remote site to the relative safety in numbers at Far West. Jacob Haun returned to his mill and his small community, feeling safe in spite of the Prophet's warning.

    Late in the afternoon of October 30, 1838, a band of approximately 240 armed Missourians under the command of Colonel Thomas Jennings rode into town, slashing and destroying all in their path. The sisters took the children and ran for the woods, many of the men and boys sought shelter from the hail of gunfire in an unfinished blacksmith shop. It was butchery as the renegade militiamen fired through the unchinked logs into the shop, killing or wounding all present, including ten-year-old Sardius Smith, who was murdered by a point-blank musket shot. The mobber who committed the deed later justified himself saying, "Nits make lice, and if he had lived he would have become a Mormon."

    Eighteen of Jacob Haun's people were killed, and another fifteen were wounded that afternoon. The survivors hid in the woods through the night, fearing further action by the marauding militia. The bodies of those who died that day were gathered and buried in mass grave that had started out as a well that was unfinished when the mob came into town. The survivors fled to Far West, telling the Saints there of what became known as the Haun's Mill Massacre.


1838 also brought Governor Bogg’s extermination order which made it legal to kill Mormons living in Missouri. Josehp Smith, the Mormon prophet was arrested and taken to Liberty Jail.




1839- The Norton family fled the persecution in Missouri and went to Iowa (perhaps Pikes Co.) where they purchased a farm in the spring of 1839.

1841- David Norton moved the family to Nauvoo, Ill and purchased a farm four miles East and two miles South of Nauvoo in 1841. The City of Nauvoo became the largest settlement in the West and anyone who has been to Nauvoo, knows how the Mormon's built a great and prosperous city.   The Norton's also participated and helped build the temple there.  David, Elisabeth and John Westly recieved their endowments in the Nauvoo temple on Feburary 3, 1846 and the temple was closed four days later.

  • John Westley Norton recieved a Patriarchal Blessing from Hyrum Smith July 20, 1841 at age 21 and was ordained an Elder on November 5, 1844 and a Seventy July 9, 1845. 

In 1844 Joseph Smith was killed and the mobs of Illinois were forcing the Mormons to move again.  Few Mormons were left in Nauvoo after 1846.


John Wesley Norton was David Jr’s oldest child and says he was only 16 when the family moved to Caldwell, Missouri which would have been 1838.

In the spring of 1836 Edward Partridge and William Phelps went exploring along Shoal Creek, beyond any settlements in Missouri, looking for a safe place where the Saints could gather. Ray and Clay County’s were driving the Mormon’s out and a new place was needed. In August of 1836, Far West, Caldwell county, Missouri was founded.

August 1838 David Jr’s last child was born in Henry, IN. David bought land in Cauldwell in 1838 and John Wesley was baptized in 1838.

johnwesleynorton.jpg (14100 bytes)
  Winter Quarters, Iowa  1846 and on to Salt Lake Valley.
By May of 1846 the Norton family had moved to Winter Quarters in Iowa.  John Westly married Rebecca Hammer there on July 20, 1846.  In the spring of 1847 it was time for the Mormons to begin the trek west.  The two eldest sons of David Norton Jr. , John Westly and James Wiley, were appointed by Brigham Young to come with the original group.   But when Brigham Young found that the wife of James Wiley was expecting a child he released him to stay with her.  John Westly was among the first group to leave.   He was amember of the 12th Company of ten and was assigned to gather wild game for the party. This 1st group entered the valley of the Great Salt Lake on July 24th, 1847.  Within a few weeks of reaching Salt Lake valley, John Westly started back to Council Bluffs, Iowa for his wife and family.  Because of insufficient funds he had to find work in Missouri during the Winter 1847 and Spring of 1948 to earn enough for the family to travel West.  By September of 1848 he had successfully moved his father (David Jr.), mother and his family to the Great Salt Lake.  

When John Westly and the first group left for Salt Lake Valley in 1847, David Jr. was 51. He was ordained a High Priest by Heber c. Kimball in December of 1847.   He and Elisabeth remained in Winter Quarters till John Westly returned and traveled to the Great Salt Lake with John Westly and his wife.
  David and Elisabeth Norton went to the gold fields of California the following year, but John Westly stayed in Salt Lake, working 2 years on Public Works.  His second child was born at this time 1850. He was a member of the 29th Quorum of Seventies.   In June 1851 he married a second wife, Martha Reynolds.  She was 22 and he was 31. Their first child was born July 1852 in Salt Lake City.
rileynortonsmall.jpg (11227 bytes)Martha had a son named Riley Reynolds Norton (pictured at left) and Rebecca had a girl named Rebecca Ann Norton. 
By 1860 John Westly Norton had moved to Lehi, Utah with Nancy.  Martha, his 2nd wife was probably still in Salt Lake because she had a child there February 1862.  By 1864 both wives were living in Lehi, Utah.  Perhaps John moved to Lehi to be near his father because David Norton died in 1860.  His mother, Elisabeth died in Lehi also in 1867.

Panaca, Nevada
John Westly Norton was called to settle Panaca, Nevada in 1867.  He had one child born there by Martha in 1867.  We really need more stories about Panaca.   This was a place so dry and desolate that nobody could live there. Panguich, Utah
I don't know when John Westly moved to Panguich.  He had one child born there in 1874 and Riley Reynolds was married there in 1876. 

  Not a great deal is known of the ancestors of John Wesley Norton, one of the earley pioneers of the church. It is thought the Nortons came to Virginia, then west into Kentucky, where the first mention of David Norton is found, and from there migrated on to Indiana. John Wesley Norton was born 6 Nov. 1820 in New Lisbon, Wain (Wayne) county, Indiana, the son of David Norton and Elizabeth Benfield Norton. He was the first child of a family of six children. The family lived in Indiana until 1836, the year his father David joined the church, then moved to Colwell County, Missouri, remaining for two years. He passed through the Haun's Mill Massacre, and on 16 March 1838 he was baptizedd by David Ivins. Persecutions forcing the saints to leave Missouri, in the spring of 1839 the family moved to Pike County in Illinois, and it was on 5 Nov. 1844 that he was ordained an Elder. On 5 July 1845 he was ordained a Seventy in Nauvoo, and in this same city he received his "washing and anointing in the House of the Lord" on 3 February 1846.

The persecutions continuing, in May 1846 John Wesley started the westward journey with the saints, reaching Council Bluffs where camp was made for the winter. At this place he married Rebecca Ann Hammer, daughter of Austin Hammer and Nancy Jane Elston Hammer, on 20 July 1846. Four children were born of this marriage: Elizabeth Ann, John David, Rebecca Ann and Nancy Ann. He remained at Council Bluffs until 1847, when he was selected to go with with the first company of saints to cross under Brigham Young and his counselors, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, George A. Smith, Orson Pratt and Woodruff A. Lyman, because of his blacksmith skills, but he also served as a foot hunter for the company since name is mentioned three times in the official journal kept by William Clayton in connection with securing meat.

Reaching the Valley of the Great Salt Lake in July 1847, John Wesley remained only until August, then started back to Council Bluffs for his family. He found a daughter, Elizabeth Ann, had been born in his absence, 9 May 1847. He spent but a few weeks with his family, then went into Missouri to work all winter for money to take his family to Utah. On 9 May 1848 he started west again with his father's and his own family, reaching the Valley on 20 September of that year. it is known that his father's family( and possibly John wesley also) followed the Gold Rush to Calif, but that this was not successful and they returned. David Norton is listed in the 1850 Census of Eldorado, Calif. under occupation of hotelkeeper. John wesley began working on Public Works in Salt Lake on 8 April 1850, remaining at this until 12 April 1852. There is recored his ordination as Assistant President of the 29th Quorum of the Seventies on 11 April 1852. In 1852-53 the family is listed in the 15th Ward in Salt Lake City.

On June 1 1852, John Wesley had his wives Rebecca Ann Hammer and Martha Minerva Reynolds, sealed to him in the Endowment House. This date apparently is that of the marriage to Martha as well as the sealing. Nothing is known about the circumstances leading to the second marriage except the note: "Martha Reynolds was sealed to Lewis Dunbar Wilson in Nauvoo by President Young and she is now released by President Young because Wilson is not providing for her and has not seen her since Aug. 1846" Martha was born 3 Feb. 1828 in either Boonesville or Roy, Missouri, daughter of John and Phebe Ramsey Reynolds. She bore seven children: Albert Wesley, Riley Reynolds, Ephraim R., Martha Jane, William, Squire Taylor and Sarah May.

The next we learn of him, John Wesley is with his family in Lehi, Utah, which he is said to have helped settle, as in 1853 a Fort was constructed there lists as living on the north side, among others: Henry Norton, John W. Norton, J. Wiley Norton, Riley Judd and David Norton.(Lehi Centennial History, 1850-1950)

According to a partial history he wrote, John Wesley said, :At the Jan. Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, hald at Great Salt Lake City April 6, 1855 I was called on a mission to Israel, and was blessed and set apart on Sunday, April 22, 1855 [and] I recaived my patriarchal blessing." He was set apart for a mission to the Lamanites of the White Mountion by Orson Pratt and Charles C. Rich in the Seventy's Council Hall.

No details of the mission are known, except that it was honorably filled. In fact, much of the history of John wesley is unknown to us, and we long for details which were never written down for us.

The next info. we have is that in 1859 John Wesley is listed in the Fourth Municipal Election slate in Lehi, Utah, on the Field Committee for Engineers; in the 1861 Election as an Alderman, and in the same election as being on the Building Committee. In the 1863 election he was naaaaamed sexton, and in 1865 as an Inspector of Wood. The records are incomplete since on 6 Feb. 1870 a fire in the meeting house in Lehi did much damage to the interior and it is not until after 1870 that the earliest ward records begin. Two of his children are buried in Lehi.

In 1865 he received a call to assist in strengthening the settlements in Southern Utah, and the fall of that year saw the family traveling south to Panaca, Nevada, where they camped in wagons that first winter and following summer. John Wesley worked to help duild a fort as protection against the Indians. He acted as Sheriff and also postmaster for a number of years.

In 1871 he joined a company led by George W. Sevey to resettle Panguitch, Utah. He lived with the others for some time in the fort constructed there. While in Panguitch he was senior president of the 86th Quorum of the Seventy; he served as postmaster from May 27 1878 until Dec. 7 1881, and was also appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1871. His trade was blacksmithand wheelwright, and he worked at these until in later years he was afflicted with rheumatism.

John Wesley answered to an indictment in District Court for unlawful cohabitation, but was allowed to return to his home with a verdict of "Not Guilty." He lived peacefully with two wives, both of whom preceded him in death, Rebecca on 9 Feb. 1900 and Martha on 23 Feb. 1901. Merritt L. Norton, a grandson, recalls visiting the home when he was a boy about ten, and of the beautiful harmony there.

"I thought I would write you aa few lines to let you know that I was on the land and among the living, and that I was one of the 144 men that helped blaze the route from civilization across the planes in 1847 to Salt Lake Valley. I arrived in the Valley July 24, 1847. I am getting old and feeble, yet I have a disire of commemorating the day with my Brethern on the 50th year of our arrival in the Valley.

"I am 76 years old aaand crippled with rheumatics in my knee, but sound in body, and if the way will be opened I want to come to Salt Lake City and have a good time with the heroes of 1847. My means is limited, my clothing is getting quite old and worse for wear, I have no means to pay for my passage. I have two ladies that would like to visit there old pioneer home. Please correspond with me if you have the time and let me know how the public is prospering."

John Wesley Norton died 20 Oct. 1901 Panguitch, Garfield County, Utah, where he is buried. He was aged 80 years 11 months 14 days. He had had six boys and five girls and 55 grandchildren and was a most respected citizen, patient and cheerful with his physical disabilites. Funeral services were held on 22 Oct. at 10:00 a.m. Speakers were Elder M.M. Steele, Joseph Haywood and Allen Miller. John Wesley Norton was a pioneer of whom his descendants can justly be proud.