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     A B C D E F G H J K L M N P R S T W Y
Lake, Clarissa (Clara) 1828-1900
Lake, Jane -
Lake, Mary -
Lake, Philomela 1853-1931
Lake, Sarah -
Lamastus, Bedford M 1826-1900
Lamastus, Fannie Belle 1872-1953
Lamastus, Glen M 1938-2000
Langford, Edwina Lucille 1919-2000
Lankford, Richard -
Lewis, Harvey J 1916-2001
Lorance, Frank Lloyd 1924-2000
Love, Minnie -
Joseph Taylor (1825-1900)
Joseph Taylor (1825-1900)
& Mary Moore, Jane Lake, Hannah Mariah Harris
& Caroline Mattson or Madson

In their pioneer home in Kentucky, William and Elizabeth Patrick Taylor became the parents of their eighth child, Joseph, on 4 June 1825. Although some records indicate he was born in Bowling Green, the Taylors actually lived approximately 12 miles north of that town and just west of Richardsville near the Barren River.

Joining in the westward migration that was characteristic of those times, the William Taylor family, including their eleven children, moved to Monroe County, Missouri, in 1831 along with other relatives. The family obtained an 80-acre land grant on 3 Nov. 1831 in Jefferson Township along the Ivy Branch of the South Fork of Salt River. William said that Missouri was the most beautiful and fertile land he had ever seen when his family moved there.

Apparently the early missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints met the Taylor family in 1832. Joseph's father, a man who was very conversant with the Bible, believed himself to be the first person baptized into the Church in the state of Missouri. The Taylors lived in an area called the Salt River Branch. (The above facts appear to disprove an earlier account of William Taylor's miraculous conversion as written by Leila Marler Hoggan in Fred. G. Taylor's Book of Remembrance.)

Ever loyal to the Gospel from the time of their baptism, the Taylors moved successively to Ray County, Missouri, then to Long Creek in Clay County eight miles south of Far West, then lived briefly in Far West.

The Taylor children early learned to revere the authorities of the Church. Their mother Elizabeth often sent the children to take food to the Prophet Joseph Smith while he and some associates were incarcerated in the Liberty Jail.

When Governor Boggs issued the infamous "Order of Extermination", the Taylors loaded what belongings they could take with them and moved to Illinois. William Taylor, weakened by persecution and exposure, became ill during the journey and passed away soon after arriving in Illinois, on 9 September 1839.

Although four of the older Taylor children had married prior to their father's death, ten children remained with their mother and worked to assist in providing the material necessities of life. In Nauvoo, Joseph and his younger brother Green worked for John Gilmore for 25 cents per day. They took their pay in corn to help their family. Gilmore was very bitter toward the Mormons. He made the statement that if his huge wooden pump were a cannon loaded with shells, and if all the Mormon boys were lined up in a row, he would shoot them all.

In Nauvoo Joseph met Mary Moore and married her on 24 March 1844. They were later endowed in the Nauvoo Temple 24 January 1846. Their first child, Clarissa Jane, was born 4 July 1845 in Nauvoo.

Knowing the Prophet Joseph Smith personally for most of his youthful years, Joseph Taylor had many wonderful experiences which he loved to relate to his children and grandchildren in later years ( see Attachment I ). He became a member of the Nauvoo Legion and often served as a bodyguard of the Prophet Joseph (see Attachment 2).

Joseph Taylor shared in those bitter days of persecution and hardship that followed the Saints wherever they moved. One can only imagine the effect of the heartbreaking news that came to Nauvoo following the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. And the next two years must have been a nightmare of hatred, prejudice and violence before the Saints fled Nauvoo, crossing the Mississippi River on 8 February 1846. The earliest saints to leave had to use a ferry. Then the weather turned bitterly cold and the river froze over so solidly that the wagons (including the Taylors') crossed the river on the ice.

The Taylors migrated westward with the other saints across the harsh lands of Iowa until they reached Council Bluffs in June 1846. On June 26th Captain James Allen of the United States Army arrived at Mount Pisgah with three dragoons. The camp was momentarily in turmoil as the first cry went out, "The United States troops are upon us!" The excitement stemmed from Governor Ford's false report before the saints left Nauvoo, in which he stated that the federal government intended to prevent their move west, using U. S. troops if necessary.

In January 1846 Brigham Young had sent Elder Jesse C. Little on a special mission to Washington, D. C., to confer with President Polk about the possibility of helping the saints in their migration to the West. During a three-hour conference in June the president mentioned the possibility of assisting them by enlisting a thousand men, arming and equipping them and sending them to California to defend the country (the war with Mexico had already begun). While further development of these plans had taken place, Brigham Young had received no communication indicating that the plan was being considered. When Captain James Allen of the U. S. Army arrived at Mount Pisgah with three dragoons, he announced that he had come to enlist 500 able-bodied men to assist in the war with Mexico, Brigham's first thoughts dwelt on the difficulty of giving up 500 young men when they were needed so badly in the pioneers' migration. However, he was quick to comprehend the positive benefits of responding to the call. He took Heber C. Kimball, Parley C. Pratt, Orson Pratt and others with him from camp to camp to persuade the saints to respond to the call.

Joseph Taylor and his brother Pleasant Green both enlisted in the Battalion on a Sunday morning. Next day P. G. was stricken with a fever, so he was unable to depart with the other soldiers. (When Joseph enlisted, his papers indicated he was 6' in height, had black hair and dark complexion and blue eyes.)

Captain Allen's recruiting of the men to serve in the war with Mexico proved to be a blessing to the saints despite the fact that it temporarily delayed the departure of the saints for the West. The financial support provided from the soldiers' pay enabled the saints to purchase supplies that were sorely needed.

On 20 July 1846 the Battalion, under Allen's command, started its march southward to Fort Leavenworth, Joseph Taylor having been assigned as a private in Company A. The story of their march across the southwest, said to be the longest march of infantry on record, was a continuous experience of trial and hardship. Trudging through blistering sands; often wanting for food, water and clothing; attacked by herds of wild bulls; suffering from both cold and heat along the way; and cutting roads through solid rock in places all added to the misery of the experience.

Joseph served as a teamster from October 1846 through March 1847. Arriving at the end of their journey in San Diego on 29 January 1847, the Battalion was congratulated by Col. P. St. George Cooke for their splendid achievement in the face of such difficulties, and they were commended for the fine caliber of men in that group.

Upon arriving in San Diego, the members of the Mormon Battalion found themselves in the midst of a political dilemma. Lt. Col. John C. Fremont, who had been acting as temporary governor of California, refused to accept Brigadier General Stephen W. Kearney as the new Washington appointed governor and continued to subvert the efforts of this governor. Finally, Gen. Kearney decided to initiate court-martial proceedings against Fremont. To do so, he would have to take Fremont to Missouri for trial. He ordered fifteen men of the Mormon Battalion to escort him and his detachment as far as Fort Leavenworth (in present-day Kansas). Joseph Taylor was reassigned by the 10th Military Department Order No. 12 to be a bodyguard for General Kearney (Pension file).

Riding horses and mules. General Kearney's detachment traveled north from Monterey to Sutter's Fort, then proceeded to Truckee Lake (later named Donner Lake) near the Nevada border. There they found the site where the George and Jacob Donner Company had been trapped by the winter snows a few months earlier. Although survivors had spread news about the disaster, no one had been able to reach the site to bury the dead until this military detachment arrived about June 1847.

Clearing out an old cellar, Joseph and the other men buried the bones of 36 people who had perished from starvation and exposure. One of the escorts, Matthew Caldwell, described the awful sight as follows: "There was not a whole person that we could find." Because of the threat of starvation, members of the Donner party had resorted to cannibalism.

The last two hundred miles on foot were "very hard on us, ' wrote Matthew Caldwell.

After discovering an ambushed guard of soldiers, one group of Mormon Battalion soldiers fired their cannon every night to ward off Indians.

The detachment traveled to Fort Hall, then Fort Bridger and Fort Laramie, where they joyfully met an LDS pioneer company on their way to the Salt Lake Valley. Joseph was discharged when they reached Fort Leavenworth (Joseph's journal). Along with some of the other men, Joseph continued eastward to Iowa, to rejoin loved ones who awaited their return.

When Joseph reached his family in Iowa, he found that his cattle had been scattered, so it took him some time to get them together and resume preparations for their westward trek.

During Joseph's absence his wife Mary had given birth to their second daughter, Mary Melvina, on 22 February 1847 in Council Bluffs. Their first son, Joseph Alien, was born there 3 August 1848. A second son, William Andrew, arrived on 15 May 1850 at Kanesville, where emigrants had earlier been advised by the leaders to gather for their westward journey.

After the harvest was over in the fall of 1849, Joseph and his brother Pleasant Green and their families traveled south to Holt County, Missouri, to obtain work. They still needed additional supplies to begin their journey the next spring.

The Taylors, Lakes and Marlers started for the West in the latter part of May 1850 with James Lake as their captain and Joseph Taylor as a lieutenant. The journey was a difficult one, filled with privation and even frightening encounters with savage Indians. How grateful they must have been when they passed through Parley's Canyon and entered the Salt Lake Valley on 5 September 1850.

After staying in Salt Lake City a short time, Joseph moved his family northward to East Kaysville, where he and his brother Pleasant Green took up some land. The property was located just south of the present intersection of Mountain Road and Green Road in Fruit Heights. There the family was enumerated in the 1850 Federal Census (actually April 1851) in Kay's Ward.

Joseph later moved his family to the central part of Kaysville near where the main square is now located. He began building an adobe house for his family; his wife Mary carried the mortar for him. While working one day, she became very ill, went into convulsions and died 4 April 1852 at the birth of their fifth child, a stillborn son. Joseph constructed a crude coffin from his wagon box, placed the mother and babe in it and buried them in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

Needing someone to help care for his four small children, Joseph married three months later (12 July 1852) Jane Lake Ordway, a young widow with one son, Stephen. They resided in Kaysville until after the birth of their son Moroni on 1 May 1853. Then, because Jane wanted to be closer to her parents, who lived in Harrisville, she and Joseph moved their family to Ogden.

Joseph Taylor's journal (p.4) indicates that they moved to Weber County in 1854. His father-in-law, James Lake, and other settlers from the Harrisville area had moved their homes into Bingham's Fort in 1853 for protection from the Indians. This fort was situated at the north end of Ogden at 2nd Street and Childs Avenue. Joseph and his family had a home at the fort, where their second child, Esther, was born 3 April 1855. The residents of the fort remained there until 1856, the same year in which Joseph had been elected constable at the fort.

Ed. Note: Bingham's Fort enclosed an area of 40 acres. The walls were built of rocks and mud. Each family had an assigned portion of the wall to build. This wall was erected about four rods from the houses, with corrals taking up the space between the houses and the wall. Thomas Richardson, a pioneer boy who lived in Bingham's Fort tells how the wall was constructed. "The walls were made of mud. We did not have lumber to put up to hold the mud, so we placed upright poles, tapering from about eight feet at the bottom to about three feet at the top. We set stakes between the poles and wove willows in like a willow fence, then filled the space with mud. We made a ditch nearby to run water down to wet the mud. When wet, we threw it in with shovels, spades or anything we had. We built the willow forms as the wall went up. It (the wall) was about twelve feet high. "106 (p. 87) Wilford Woodruff reported in December of 1854 as he toured the northern settlements that there were 753 people living in Bingham's Fort.

Early land records in Ogden do not indicate when or how Joseph obtained title to Lot 4 in Block 30, Plat A in Ogden City (located on 24th street just east of Adams Avenue on property now used for the rectory of St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Because the Taylors had a log cabin and farm animals on the property, it most likely served as their residence when the next two children were born in Ogden. Emma Jane arrived 26 January 1857 and Lydia Ann on 22 October 1858.

A rather significant event in the life of Joseph Taylor occurred as a result of efforts by President Brigham Young in the 1850's to secure a general consecration to the Church of properties held by the Saints. This effort to revive the Law of Consecration and Stewardship established under Joseph Smith was the subject of a public announcement in General Conference in April 1854. Next year a general epistle to the Church stated that the consecrations of the Saints had been delayed for a time to obtain a form for a deed which would be "legal in accordance with the laws of the Territory." Members of the Church began deeding their real and personal property to Brigham young as Trustee-in-Trust for the Church. Joseph Taylor completed such a deed on 14 July 1857 along with a number of the other Saints in the Ogden area. The fact that only one-half of the Saints made such deeds speaks well for the obedience of Joseph and Jane Taylor. (See Attachment #3, a copy of the deed.) Although the property actually remained in the possession of the Taylors (possibly because the idea was not more generally accepted throughout the Church), it does demonstrate the willingness of the Taylors to dedicate their all to the Church.

Another event in Church history also affected the life of Joseph Taylor. In a conference held in Salt Lake City 28-29 August 1852, the doctrine of plural marriage was first publicly announced. Sometime near the end of 1854 Joseph married another wife, Hannah Mariah Harris, by whom nine children were born. Joseph was sealed to Jane Lake and Hannah Mariah Harris in the Endowment House on 7 January 1865. Joseph was later married to a fourth wife, Caroline Mattson or Madson (date unknown). This last wife, a Swedish convert, had been sealed 22 June 1882 to Arne Christiansen Grue; she had no children by Joseph Taylor.

In 1857 a combination of unfortunate circumstances arose which culminated in hostilities referred to as the Utah War. To better understand how Joseph Taylor and other members of the Nauvoo Legion became directly involved in this conflict, consider the following review of conditions leading up to the war.

By 1857 the Latter-day Saints, literally ousted over a decade earlier from the existing borders of the United States, had erected a powerful and cohesive commonwealth in the West. By their industry their territory had become one of the largest and most promising ones, submitting yearly applications for statehood. Brigham Young was Utah Territorial governor by governmental appointment as well as by Mormon desire. Being a rather "unorthodox" type of Christianity which had begun to practice plural marriage, the Church in Utah became a subject of very strange tales around the country. Religious leaders and editors in the East found ample opportunity to publicly denounce the "Mormon Menace."

The Latter-day Saints, interestingly, flew the United States flag in the West after they had been expelled from Illinois. In February 1849 after the government had failed to provide any form of governmental control over the vast area ceded to it from Mexico, a convention was called by the Mormons to form a civil government. The resulting constitution for a provisional state government affirmed complete religious freedom for all sects. A request for admittance to the Union of the State of Deseret was prepared and submitted. Apparently expecting a denial of their statehood request, a request for territorial government was personally carried to Philadelphia, where Thomas L. Kane, loyal friend of the Mormons, was interviewed regarding the matter. He advised against a territorial government, which would possibly result in corrupt men from Washington coming to the territory and causing problems. Though they made no further effort to obtain a territorial government. Congress refused the request for statehood and instead created the Territory of Utah. Wishes of the Mormons as to name, geographical area and self-government were utterly ignored.

Territorial appointees sent from Washington were offended by Mormon practice of plural marriage and by a Pioneer Day oration by Daniel H. Wells in which he took the government to task for demanding the Mormon Battalion to serve in the face of previous injustices to the Saints. He also made uncomplimentary remarks about President Zachary Taylor. Approximately six weeks later, Associate Justice Perry E. Brocchus, an appointee from Washington, requested permission to speak in the Mormon conference, where he objected to portions of the Wells oration. During his speech he directed some remarks to the ladies, urging them strongly "to become virtuous." The latter inference caused an immediate uproar. Brigham Young rose at once to defend his flock.

Misunderstandings and less-than-delicate handling of dealings between the "Gentile" government officials and LDS leaders led to bitter feelings. One after another of the federal appointees returned to the East with terrible accusations against the Mormons and their leaders. While some friends of the Mormons in the East endeavored to assure others of the falsehood in those accusations, it seemed that most people preferred to believe the worst about the Mormons. Judge William W. Drummond, making a fast exit from Utah Territory, sent his resignation letter to the United States Attorney-General, contended that troops were necessary to enforce any laws made by the government at Washington and presented by its appointees in the Territory of Utah.

First steps in forming a military expedition to Utah were taken 27 May 1857 in general orders of the War Department for the "gathering of a body of troops at Fort Leavenworth, to march to Utah as soon as assembled." Since the plan was conducted in complete secrecy, it was some time before knowledge of the expedition reached the Latter-day Saints. Oddly, news came to Brigham Young while the Saints were celebrating in Big Cottonwood Canyon on July 24th, the anniversary of their arrival in the Valley.

On 1 August 1857 Lieutenant General Daniel H. Wells of the Nauvoo Legion (Utah's militia) issued official orders. The people of Utah were reminded that they had been supportive of the Constitution and laws of the parent government, but that when anarchy and mobocratic tyranny usurps the power of rulers, Utah citizens still have the inalienable right to defend themselves against all aggression upon their constitutional privileges. Resistance was justified by the indelible memory of previous year of persecution and mob violence in Missouri and Illinois.

Utah military forces were on the move as early as 15 August 1857. One observation corps was sent east, another sent to Fort Hall and another to Bear River to watch those possible entrances to the Valley. The eastern expedition intecepted a large government supply train near Fort Bridger before the end of August. They learned that Col. Albert Sidney Johnston had then been put in command of government forces and from "soldier talk" they learned what the army intended doing to the "God damned Mormons" once they reached the Salt Lake Valley. How tragic that the Mormons were not informed that the purpose of the incoming army was to be an occupation force! It was just assumed that the army intended to fight its way into Utah.

When Captain Stewart Van Vliet arrived in Salt Lake City with an advance expedition to locate a suitable base camp and arrange for purchase of food, lumber and supplies, he was not well enough informed of the army's plans to explain this to Brigham Young. Pres. Young informed him that the Saints would not sell him anything, and if he planned a base camp, they would have to fight for it. Also, if the invading army won their fight, they would find a Utah as devoid of life and habitation as the Mormons themselves had found it. As Van Vliet returned eastward and met other advance units of the American Army, he warned them not to attempt a forced passage into Utah.

The day after Van Vliet left Salt Lake City, Brigham Young declared martial law. Twelve hundred and fifty men of the territorial "Nauvoo Legion" were immediately ordered to Echo Canyon. Instructions to the militia, signed by Daniel H. Wells, indicated they were to annoy the incoming army in every possible way.

". . .Use every exertion to stampede their animals and set fire to their trains. Burn the whole country before them, and on their flanks. Keep them from sleeping by night surprises; blockade the road by falling trees or destroying the river fords where you can. Watch for opportunities to set fire to the grass before them that can be burned. Keep your men concealed as much as possible, and guard agaist surprise. Keep scouts out at all times, and communications open with Colonel Burton, Major McAllister and 0. P. Rockwell, who are operating in the same way. Keep me advised daily of your movements and every step the troops take, and in which direction.

"God bless you, and give you success.

Your brother in Christ,

Daniel H. Wells".

A postscript emphasized that they were to take no life, but destroy the government trains.

Leaving his home in Ogden, Joseph Taylor, appointed a major in the 5th Battalion of the Mormon militia, took his command of 50 men and marched toward Echo Canyon on 18 September 1857. This group traveled east from Echo Canyon to the emigrant trail until they met General Wells on his way to reconnoiter the approaching U.S. army. At this time Joseph received a copy of the message noted above, which General Wells had issued 4 October.

Joseph Taylor and his men proceeded at once to Fort Bridger, then surveyed the area eastward near Black Fork, Ham's Fork and the Green River. Leaving most of his group behind, Joseph took a few men, including his adjutant William R. R. Stowell and Wells Chase into an area known to have been occupied by army scouts. Some men thought it unwise to follow the army so closely as they chose the route to travel.

After camping on Ham's Fork where the soldiers had camped two days earlier, Joseph and his comrades on 16 October followed the soldiers' trail until they saw smoke in the distance. Thinking the smoke came from comrades' camps, the small group proceeded in that direction, soon noticing a small group of men about a mile away. As the men proceeded, they were suddenly rushed by men on horseback. Part of the group escaped, but Joseph, drawing his pistol to defend himself, was captured with his adjutant as prisoners of war.

Searching the prisoners, their captors discovered the letter that had been given Joseph by General Wells. Apparently this was the first official understanding the U.S. Army had of the intentions of the Mormons; it affected all army decisions regarding its future operations.

Kept apart the first night, the two prisoners gave differing information next day during interrogation. Joseph stated that between 20,000 and 25,000 "warriors" were awaiting the U.S. Army. Stowell raised the number by 5,000. Hearing the obviously exaggerated numbers apparently astonished Colonel Alexander, for one of the prisoners described his reaction thus: (He) "stood aghast, while I could have hung my hat on his eyes."

In captivity these two men had reason to fear for their lives. Not only were they warned that if they tried to escape, they would be shot, but more than once they claimed that an attempt was made to poison them. Once when their captors put poison in the soup, Joseph warned his hungry companion, "Don't drink; it's poisoned." Stowell just tasted it, but became deathly ill. Another time the army tried to smother the prisoners by putting them in a tent and building a smoking fire by the tent. The captives escaped being smothered by hollowing out some small holes in the ground large enough for the nose and mouth, then holding their hands closely about their faces as they breathed in the holes.

As the army that held them captive approached Fort Bridger, the prisoners heard threats that they would be hanged. They hoped that the army's commander. Colonel Albert Sydney Johnston, would arrive with the rest of his troops and prevent the threat from being carried out.

Prompted by a dream, Joseph planned to escape. Delayed once by Stowell's illness, he decided to make a break the first week in November. Feigning illness, he removed his coat and boots to make it appear that he had no intention of leaving. Then as a herd of cattle passed near the camp, distracting the guards, Joseph took his boots in hand and raced away in his stocking feet. Stowell said that Joseph was not missed for about fifteen minutes. A detail of soldiers was sent after the escapee. Returning a little later, they reported that they had found and shot the escapee.

Joseph ran about three-quarters of a mile in his stocking feet before the stockings wore out. Seeking refuge on the side of a mountain, he knelt and gave thanks.

As a storm set in, Joseph, hungry and underclothed, forded both Smith's and Black's Fork, his clothes freezing to his body. The next day he found a coat in a bundle, which contained stockings in the pocket. Then, exhausted from exposure and hunger, he found six of his comrades about four miles from Fort Bridger. At the time the Saints were in the process of abandoning this fort. After Joseph was fed and provided with a horse, he traveled westward until he met General Wells on the Muddy.

Joseph had overheard sufficient conversation while a captive that he was able to provide valuable information to General Wells about the immediate plans of the U.S. Army. Still very weak from his experience, Joseph continued on to Salt Lake City, where he reported to President Young on November 9th. After he gave his report, he was instructed to get a gun and return to the mountains. By the time he returned to the canyons, the immediate threat of a winter invasion by the U.S. Army was gone. Joseph was released and allowed to return to his family.

The Mormons' burning of Fort Bridger and Fort Supply, applying the torch to more than one government supply train, burning the grass, and other tactics forced the federal army to set up winter camp at Ham's Fork on the Green River. It was most difficult for the men to subsist on short rations and for the animals to live on the little forage available. Several offers of food from Brigham Young brought churlish rejection.

With Johnston's Army hopelessly trapped for the winter, the Utah militia withdrew to Salt Lake Valley, maintaining military units only at the canyons leading to their valley.

The complexioin of the war changed when Thomas L. Kane made his appearance as a messenger from President Buchanan. Kane used his personal influence to help Brigham Young avert otherwise certain bloodshed during the ensuing year. Kane persuaded President Young to permit U.S. appointed Governor Alfred Cummings to enter the valley and assume his duties. Also, President Young then announced a change in strategy. The Saints were directed to leave their homes and move south, taking their supplies with them and leaving their homes with kindling material ready so if the invading army should molest one person or dwelling, every building would be torched.

Weber County residents were instructed to move to the area around Provo. The move was underway in April 1858; the people stayed in Utah County for approximately three months before returning to their homes. Fortunately, Johnston's Army gave no reason for applying the torch when they marched through silent Salt Lake City on 26 Jun 1858 and moved on to Cedar Valley to set up camp.

With the Utah War concluded, Joseph and his family resumed their activities in Weber County, probably moving at this time from Ogden to the western part of Harrisville, later called Farr West. Homesteading the area, he resided in this location for the rest of his life.

Originally on 31 May 1856 a charter had been granted to the Western Irrigation Company to take water out of the Ogden River for irrigation in the Harrisville area. After colonists returned to their homes following the Johnston's Army episode, a new charter was issued. Reportedly, Joseph Taylor and two other men built a ditch to bring irrigation water to their farms. He was water master for many years on the canal that was later constructed.

Joseph and his family milked as many as forty head of cows and sold the milk, cream, butter and cheese to help provide for their sustenance.

Joseph was active in church and community affairs. In December 1866 he became 1st Counselor to President Daniel B. Rawson in the Eighth District (a school precinct). He later succeeded Daniel B. Rawson (then referred to as a "trustee"). In 1883 he was ordained a Patriarch for Weber Stake, a position he held until his death (no blessings are recorded for this period of time).

The Utah State Archives contains a copy of Joseph's resignation as Major of the 1st Battalion of the 1st Regiment of the Weber Military District. The letter, written by Gen. Chauncey W. West, indicates that Joseph felt he was unable to perform the duties of the office longer because of weak eyes. He attributed his condition to the attempt by Sergeant Newman of Johnston's Army to smoke him and William Stowell to death while they were prisoners of war. (Editor's note: Somewhere I have read that this Sergeant was court-martialed after the war.)

Joseph Taylor had a total of 25 children by his first three wives; he had no issue from the fourth.

After an illness of three weeks, Joseph passed away in Farr West 11 August 1900. Bishop James Martin conducted his funeral in Farr West. Five members of the Mormon Battalion were present at the service, namely: James Owen, John Thompson, Lorin dark, Alexander Brown and Jesse Brown. Bishop James Martin, George Middleton, William Fife and Thomas Doxey spoke of his faithfulness in doing God's work.

Some of Joseph's grandchildren have related a few incidents which reveal some interesting aspects of his character. A short time before his death, as Joseph was driving his team and wagon into Ogden, he kept looking around at the scenery. One of his family observed the unusual behavior and inquired why he was doing it. He replied that this was the last time he would be going to town, and he was "just looking around."

During the latter part of his life, Joseph presented rather an amusing sight as he attended church on Sunday afternoons in the old Farr West Meetinghouse. He tied a knot in each corner of a red bandana and put it over his head to keep the flies from bothering his bald head. Seated with the dignitaries on the rostrum, he made quite an impression on those in attendance.

Joseph displayed a fiery temper at times; too, he exhibited a rather stern disposition in some ways. When he hired young men to work for him, he gave strict instructions as to the way he wanted things done. for example, in pitching the hay onto the stack, he expected it to be thrown into the middle of the stack, and he would accept no other way of doing it. His hired help preferred to follow his directions rather than incur his displeasure.

He also had a kind, loving way about him. Neighbors used to call on him to come into their homes in case of illness. In March 1892 his son William Andrew became critically ill and required emergency surgery. Shortly before William passed away, his father was seated in the bedroom near the bed. As Joseph stirred from his rocking chair, William roused and begged, "Father, don't leave." Joseph spoke, his voice kind and filled with love, "I won't. Son." After William passed away, Joseph was mindful of his son's widow and her family, occasionally dropping in to leave them a box of groceries.

We, his descendants, could do well to follow in his footsteps in devotion to the Lord and service to our fellow man!


1. Barker, Elwood. Pioneer Forts in Oqden, Utah 1848-1855.
2. Berrett, William Edwin. 1940. The Restored Church, 2d ed. Salt Lake: Deseret News Press.
3. Interview with Riley E. Taylor, a grandson of Joseph, about 1962.
4. Interview with a neighbor, Jethro D. Brown, about 1958.
5. Porter, Larry C., Aug. 1989. "From California to Council Bluffs", Ensign, pp.42-45.
6. Taylor, Brian L., 1980. History of Farr West. p.2.
7. Taylor, Joseph, Journal, 1857. (LDS Historian's Office, MS 1469)
8. Tyler, Sgt. Daniel. 1888. A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion in the Mexican War, 1964 ed. Chicago: The Rio Grande Press, Inc.
9. U. S. 1850 Census, Davis County, Utah; SLFHL film #025,540.
10. Warner, Jesse L. 1973. Coneto Creek Taylors. Provo: J. Grant Stevenson, p. 14.
11. Weber County Court Records. Ogden FHC Microfilm #l. p. 134.

Source: "Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith,. The Juvenile instructor 27 (1892):202, 203

[Elder Joseph Taylor, Sen., of Harrisville, Weber- County, Utah, was born June 4th, 1825, in Warren County, Kentucky. He was baptized into the Church in Ray County, Missouri, in the summer of 1835. In Zion's Camp, on the Salt River, Monroe County, Missouri, in June, 1834, he first met the Prophet Joseph Smith. Of him he thus testifies:]

When I first saw him I believed he was one of God's noblemen; and as I grew older I became thoroughly convinced that he was a true Prophet of God.

[An incident he relates of the Prophet is the following, given in his ovm words:]

In February, 1841, my brother John was in jail, in the hands of the Missourians, about two hundred miles from home, and my dear widowed mother was very much concerned about his safety. On one occasion she was crying and fretting about him.

When I saw her in trouble, I asked what was the matter.

She replied that she was afraid the Missourians would kill her dear son John, and she would never see him again.

I was strongly impressed to have her let me go to the Prophet Joseph and ask him if my brother would ever come home. She was very desirous for me to do so. As the Prophet Joseph only lived about three miles from our house I got on a horse and rode to his home. When I reached there. Sister Emma Smith said that he and his son Joseph had just gone up the river near Nauvoo to shoot ducks. I rode up to them. When the Prophet inquired about my mother's welfare, I told him that Mother was very sad and downhearted about the safety of her son John; and she had requested me to come and ask him as a man of God whether my brother would ever return home.

He rested on his gun, and bent his head for a moment as if in prayer or deep reflection. Then, with a beautiful beaming countenance, full of smiles, he looked up and told me to go and tell Mother that her son would return in safety inside of a week. True to the word of the Prophet, he got home in six days after this occurrence. This was a great comfort to Mother for her son had been absent about six months.

Ogden City Weber Co. July 12, 1865

A Blessing, By James Lake Patriarch upon the head of Joseph Taylor, son of William and Elizabeth Taylor, born Warren County, state of Kentucky June 4, 1825.

Joseph my beloved son, in the name of Jesus Christ I place my hands upon your head to seal upon you a father's blessing even all the blessings of Abraham through the loins of Ephriam. The hand of the Lord has been over you for good all the days of your life through angels seen and unseen his hand has been over you. In as much as you have embraced the Gospel in the days of your youth the Lord is well pleased with the honesty and integrity of your heart. In as much as you have gathered with the saints to the valleys of the mountains that you might be instructed more perfectly in the principles of truth and righteousness. The blessings of the Lord shall attend you and you shall be blessed in your basket and store. In as much as you are faithful the spirit of the Lord shall be in and about your habitation. In as much as you are faithful you shall have power to heal the sick, to cast out unclean spirits, and have faith to do a great and good work in the Kingdom of God. Your name shall be had in honorable remembrance in the church and Kingdom of God, and raise up a numerous posterity and you shall live till you are satisfied with life, even to a good old age, and your posterity shall be a crown to your gray hairs in your declining years and you shall be an instrument in the hands of God in instructing your fellow creatures. And when you have lived out your probation here you shall be gathered with the saints and have an inheritance with the sanctified in the Kingdom of God. These blessings I seal upon you by the authority of the Holy Priesthood vested in me.

Even so, Amen.