IIELEAZER DAVIS 1826-1898
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Orson Pratt Brown's Uncle-in-law
Eleazer was born 18 August 1826 at Sonora, Steuben (now Livonia), Livingston, New York in the western part of that state. He was the 10th of 14 children born to Asa Davis [b. 30 March 1787] and Sarah Richardson Davis [13 Oct 1792]. The parents had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and were living in the Nauvoo 3rd Ward.
The brother just older than Eleazer named Perry Dewain Davis [b. 16 Aug 1824] married Orpha DeMille Davis in Hancock County, Illinois on January 8, 1843.
After the expulsion of the Saints from Nauvoo the Brown family is found living in the 21st Ward at Winter Quarters, Nebraska. Nancy is listed as 16 years of age.
In the fall of 1846, Daniel Brown, the brother of Captain James Brown left Winter Quarters and scouted out the territory north of Winter Quarters after having some harsh words with Brigham Young. In January 1847 he returned to the area and built cabin. He returned in February to his family at Winter Quarters because of the illness of his daughter, she died 21 February 1847 from complicatons of the measles. She was buried in the Pioneer Cemetery at Winter Quarters. Daniel then proceeded to take his famiy to their new home which was later called Calhoun, Harrison, Iowa. Daniel being the first white settler in Harrison County, Iowa.
By April 1847, several other families settled near the Brown family.
At least three of the early histories of Harrison County, Iowa mention that Eleazer Davis was one of them. It is most likely that Eleazer and Nancy were married just prior to their trip to her uncle's settlement at Calhoun.
Not only was Daniel her father's brother, but Elizabeth was also a sister to Nancy's mother who died in Adams County, Illinois. Also living close by was Mary Stephens Johnson, another of Martha's sisters with her two sons, Alexander and Samuel.
Eleazer and Nancy did not stay here very long as we find them joining the Mormon Battalion as a private with Company D at Winter Quarters. Sgt Coray wrote referring to the wife of Eleazer Davis. Eleazer completed the journey to California and was discharged in Los Angeles, California on July 16, 1847. in a Salt Lake Tribune interview on Sunday May 26, 1901 with Melissa B. Coray Kimball, Mrs. Kimball stated that Eleazer David's wife made the entire journey with the Battalion, quoting from her husband's journal.
[The Hancock Company went directly to Salt Lake Valley in 1847. This is the "half" that continued on with Levi Hancock to Salt Lake after meeting James Brown in the Sierra. Among its members listed is Eleazer Davis.These little-known 1847 pioneers contributed greatly to the early days in the Salt Lake Valley and in helping different companies of Saints come west in the years that followed. The ex-soldiers of the Mormon Battalion had become experienced frontiersman during their long trek. They knew how to survive under perilous conditions, and they were leaders who contributed greatly in establishing settlements wherever Brigham Young sent them throughout the west. No longer are these 500 men, women, and children nameless faces marching endlessly across the west. Each is identified and his role is defined. They can be listed with the other pioneers who arrived during the historic year of 1847.
The record, "A Database of the Mormon Battalion" page 80, states: "Sunday, 26 May 1901, in an interview with , she stated that Eleazer Davis's wife made the entire journey with the battalion. Mrs. Kimball did not mention Mrs. Davis by her first name. She got the information from her husband's journal. A note was added: "The identity of Eleazer's wife in 1846-1848 cannot be determined from current available sources. It is possible that Sgt. Coray was referring to the wife of Capt. David Davis instead of Eleazer Davis."
In a Salt Lake Tribune [Herald] interview on Sunday May 26, 1901 with , Mrs. Kimball stated that the wife of Eleazer Davis, a private in Company D, as being the fifth woman to make the entire
It is believed, by this writer, that the 1856 Iowa State census and the Federal 1860 Census of Harrison County, Iowa puts the question to rest.
The 1856 State Census for Calhoun, Harrison, Iowas, Page 412, shows Eleazer Davis, 29, born in New York, Nancy Davis, 26, born in North Carolina, and two children namely: Loella Davis, age 6, born in California, and James Davis, age 3, born in Iowa.
The 1860 Federal Census of Calhoun, Harrison, Iowa, page 799, lists the following persons living just two houses from her Uncle Daniel Brown's family: "Eleazer Davis, Nancy Davis, and their two children, Martha L. Davis, age 10, born in California, and James E. Davis, age 7, born in Iowa. The first child was undoubtedly the same person as Martha Loella Davis, born in California. In her later years she was known as Ella Davis, born in California in November 1849 (1900 Census, Arotin County, Washington.
It is interesting that Eleazer and Nancy would choose to go back to Iowa to live after leaving the battalion instead of staying in Utah in 1850. Nancy probably felt more at home with two of her mother's sisters living near by.
Family records indicate that Nancy's son, James Edward Davis was born 30 Dec 1853, at Calhoun, Harrison, Iowa.
The 1856 State Census of Iowa also asks the question: "How long have you resided in this state?" Eleazer's family all stated 4 years, which would indicate that they moved back to Harrison County, Iowa in 1852. The year before her son was born.
Sometime after1860 and before April 1869, Nancy and Eleazer divorced. This is mentioned in Hattie Jensen's short history of her Aunt Nancy.
Nancy's daughter, Ella Davis, married at Harrison County, Iowa on 13 Sept 1868, to Albert Wakefield. Eleazer remarried on 4 April 1869 to Rosalia A. Parker, born 1852 in Illiniois. Both Eleazer and Rosalia joined the Reorganized Latter-day Saint Church. Eleazer had two more children with Rosalia, namely Charles H. Davis born 1872 and Minnie born 1877.
The 1870 Census of Harrison County, Iowa lists Nancy Davis, 37, and her son James Davis, 17, living at Calhoun, p.12, five houses from her Uncle David Brown. Her daughter, Ella,, 20, and Albert Wakefield, 29, and their 8 month old son, Albert Wakefield, Jr., living in Raglan, Township, Harrison County, Iowa, page 87.
There was an early saw mill in Calhoun Township built in 1854 which was later allowed to go into decay, parts of it being washed down the Willow River, which sream furnished the propelling power. This mill site was sold to Albert Wakefield, who rebuilt the saw mill. After one year Albert's father, William Wakefield, purchased an interest and they turned it into a flour mill.
William Wakefield, born 1805 in North Carolina, wife Sarah Garner, born 1816 of South Carolina, brought their eight children to Harrison County, Iowa in 1859.
Albert Wakefield served in the Civil War. The History of Harrison County lists the following on page 67: "Albert Wakefield, Utah, was in the 15th Iowa Infantry, Company H." This history was published 1891 indicating he was living in Utah at that time. Albert's father later sold his interest in the mill to another son, named James Wakefield.
Ella and Albert Wakefield were the parents of four children: Albert Wakefield, Jr. born 25 November 1869 in Iowa; Charles D. Wakefield born 1871 in Iowa; Della Wakefield born April 1875; and Dean Davis Wakefield born March 1881 in Idaho.
Sometime between 1871 and 1875 Nancy and James Edward Davis, along with Ella and her family moved to Utah. By 1880 they were living in Oneida County, Idaho, Eagle Rock, Willow Creek and Cedar Butte Districts.
Nancy had remarried to David Sanford or Sandford, born 1822 in New York. It has not been determined when and where she and David married. It was not in Harrison County, Iowa.
The 1880 Census of Oneida County, Idaho shows David Sandford, 58 , New York, Nancy, 49, North Carolina, and 19 year old David Brown, born in Utah, living near the Albert Wakefield family. This David Brown's parents were listed as being born in North Carolina.
Mary Harriet or "Hattie" as she was known, has written a number of histories [especially of Captain James Brown's wives and 29 children, among others]. It is believed by this writer that she is the author of the short history of and Ella Davis Wakefield. There are a few slight errors in her history which I will attempt to clarify with brackets.]
It is interesting Edward named his eldest son Sanford James Davis, perhaps Sanford after his stepfather's name. His children were born in Rexburg, Idaho, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Spanish Fork, Utah.
An old family group sheet was sent to the Family History Center from California with this notation: It had Druzilla Davis's name and address on: "Please clear these names and send them to the Los Angeles Temple and save them for Howard Davis Kobell to do the work. She wanted this done but she has died."
Druzilla died 4 March 1950. It also indicated that James Edward Davis died in Mexico (no datea).
Howard Kobell left one daughter, Marjorie Norma Kobell, whom I have been unable to trace. Howard died in Garden Grove, Orange County, Califoria in 1982.
Eleazer Davis applied for his pension February 9, 1894 from Missouri Valley, Iowa.
Nancy Brown Davis Sanford died on 19 February 1895 in Ogden, Utah in her home of 28 years. She is buried in the Ogden City Cemetery, Ogden, Weber, Utah. Her services were conducted by the minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The cemetery lot was purchased by her daughter Ella Davis Wakefield. Near to Nancy was also buried her grandson, Albert Wakefield, Jr., born 25 November 1869 - died 11 September 1897. He too had died in Idaho.
[Eleazer Davis died on March 8, 1898 perhaps in Iowa.]
PAF - Archer Files = Captain James Brown + (1) Martha Stephens > Nancy Brown + Eleazer Davis.
Researched and written by Erold Clark Wiscombe
Census Records as indicated.
[Bracketed information], bolds, additions, and photographs added by Lucy Brown Archer
http://www.utahcrossroads.org/newsv8n4.htm#The%20Editor's%20Corner - The Forgotten Pioneers Vol. II by Norma B. Ricketts is an LDS writer specializing in the history of Mormons in California during the period 1844-1860. A former newspaper columnist, she has written books and articles for three decades. Her latest work, The Mormon Battalion, U.S. Army of the West, 1846-1848, is a definitive prize-winning work on the battalion. She currently is revising the fourth edition of Mormons and the Discovery of Gold (first published in 1963) for California’s sesquicentennial in 1998. Her address is 6209 East McKellips Road, #216, Mesa, Arizona 85215-284
Some additions by Lucy Brown Archer
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