|Vol. 5, No. 1 - March 2007
Joseph F. Buchanan
I recently found a book written by some of our relatives that gives some detail of what happened with the family during this time. Plus, there are other references that explain how the saints lived in the Winter Quarters area during that time.
The following comes from p. 127 of "Ancestry of John Lorenzo Buchanan and Julia Ann Zufelt" Compiled by Hayle Buchanan, Janet F. Jeffery, Pearl Jeffery, Reed O. Jeffrey [This can be found online at the BYU library using this URL: http://patriot.lib.byu.edu/u?/FH8,55990]:
"About the time of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum in Carthage in June 1844, Nancy moved her family from Lima to Nauvoo. They watched as the Nauvoo temple was being built. They rejoiced as revelations came regarding temple work. During the winter of 1845-6 Nancy was thrilled to enter the temple on 27 Jan. 1846 to receive her endowments. Around this time she was sealed to Isaac Morley, their friend and former bishop. It was quite common for widows to be sealed to men that would be able to help care for them and to help them move from Nauvoo. Nancy continued to live with her two sons and two remaining daughters. Two of her married daughters and their families also lived nearby. Her daughter Mary Ann, married Preston Guard about this time.
"Early in the spring of 1846, the family gathered their belongings and left Nauvoo. They began their trek across Iowa. Isaac Morley and his family also left Nauvoo and went to Kanesville in western Iowa and then in 1849 they went to the Great Salt Lake Valley and settled in Manti. Nancy Ann and her family arrived in Mt. Pisgah by June of 1846. Garden Grove and Mt. Pisgah were temporary settlements in Iowa where, families planted crops and stayed awhile before continuing on to the Missouri River.
"Messages came to the Saints at Mt. Pisgah that U S President Polk had issued a call for volunteers from the Mormons to serve in the US Army in the war with Mexico. Brigham Young and other apostles visited Mt. Pisgah and encouraged the men to enlist. Nancy Ann's son, John, enlisted in what became known as the Mormon Battalion. He was mustered into service at Council Bluffs Iowa on July 16, 1846.
"Nancy Ann and the rest of the family remained in Iowa. John's tour of duty took him into Pueblo and the Great Salt Lake Valley. He returned home to Iowa in the fall of 1847 after having spent time in the Great Salt Lake Valley, where Brigham Young and the first pioneer wagon train had arrived to settle. After his return, the Buchanan family was directed to help settle on the Pottawattamie Indian land in western Iowa. Nancy made her home in Kanesville and her daughter Elizabeth and her husband Joseph Coolidge traveled to the southern part of Pottawattamie County to the town of Coonsville. Her son John also settled in Coonsville where he met and eventually married Adaline Coons on Feb 23 1851.
"In 1851 Brigham Young instructed all the saints in the Pottawattamie area to make preparations and come to the Great Salt Lake Valley in the 1852 migration season. Nancy, who was then 62 years of age, was firm in her plan to go to the Great Salt Lake Valley. So in June of 1852, Nancy Ann, John and his wife Adeline and their infant son, and Nancy's two youngest children, Archibald and Martha Maria, joined the Thomas C D Howell wagon train at Council Bluffs, Iowa, and began the trip across the plains. After a long and arduous trip, and several frightening encounters with Indians they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on Sep. 13, 1852."
[End of quote from John Lorenzo book. - Note: Martha Maria did not come with them then.]
All of the family came west except for two of the family, Jane, the oldest and Elizabeth, with their families.
The Winters Quarters Project at BYU gives some information about the wards and settlements in western Iowa at that time. The Buchanans and related families lived in the Winter Quarters 13th Ward originally. The URL concerning that Ward is http://winterquarters.byu.edu/pages/ward13.htm. Related maps shown here are portions of some maps found on that website. In the ward list there, we find the Buchanans, as well as the Coolidges. I find it also interesting to note that Hyrum Smith's family, including Joseph Fielding and his family were also in that ward, Joseph Fielding being in the branch presidency. A link from the Winter Quarters project also brings up the members of the Coonsville Branch, which included the Coolidges, the Coons (John Buchanan, Archibald's brother, married Adaline Coons), also Reuben N. Howell is included in the list. Contrary to the information in the earlier account, Martha Maria did not come west with the migration of 1852. She married Reuben N. Howell in 1861 in Iowa, but was sealed to her husband in the Endowment House 3 years later and their family is found in Utah and Idaho later on.
In researching information about the Coolidge family (Elizabeth Buchanan married Joseph Wellington Coolidge), I learned how close the situation came for our family to have remained in Iowa and lost the Gospel.
Joseph Wellington Coolidge was quite involved with the church leadership through the Missouri and Nauvoo times. He and his family, along with the Buchanans were with the saints through the struggles of Missouri and Nauvoo.
While in Nauvoo, Elizabeth is listed among the sisters of the Nauvoo Relief Society:
COOLIDGE, Elizabeth; 13 May 1842; Elizabeth BUCHANAN; b. 11 Jul 1815,
Lexington, Fayette, Kentucky; parents John BUCHANAN and Nancy Ann
BACH; m. 17 Dec 1834, Tazewell County, Illinois, to Joseph Wellington
COOLIDGE; d. 23 Jun 1913, Cushing, Woodbury, Iowa.
According to the information I found, Joseph Coolidge either bought the town of Coonsville and renamed it Glenwood, or was at least part of the committee that established Glenwood in the place of Coonsville. He established a grist mill there an apparently did well and raised his large family there. They are all listed in the branch records, but after the Saints were called upon to come west, they did not. Another report mentioned that many of the remaining saints joined with the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (now called the Community of Christ). We don't know whether the Coolidge family did so. The records of the Reorganized church do not list them.
I found some information about Joseph Coolidge that describes his life and involvement. It can be seen in its entirety at http://members.cox.net/pioneerheritage/May2005Presentation.pdf. From that and a few other documents I found, we learn that after fleeing Missouri with his family, Joseph Coolidge built a home and workshop in Nauvoo, then built the Mansion House for Joseph Smith, participated in the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor and was listed in the affidavit along with Joseph and Hyrum that brought them to Carthage where they were martyred. Earlier that year, Joseph Coolidge was listed as a member of the Council of Fifty that were drawing up a constitution for the Kingdom of God (http://byustudies.byu.edu/shop/pdfsrc/20.3Ehat.pdf). In 1845 and 1846 he received his endowments and was sealed to at least two additional wives (He had four wives). At the time of the Prophet Joseph Smith's death, he was the executor of Joseph Smith's estate.
It is apparent that Joseph and Elizabeth Coolidge were faithful in the church and followed the prophet closely. They moved with their own extended family with the Saints to Winter Quarters and then into Iowa, as mentioned earlier.
When John Buchanan returned from the Mormon Battalion to his family in Iowa, he married Adeline Coons, whose father essentially set up the town of Coonesville, Iowa. Apparently when John returned from the Great Basin in the fall of 1847, he was not very pleased with what he saw there and later encouraged the family to stay in Iowa. This was the critical point, where the destiny of our family hung in the balance. It is quoted that Nancy said that she "would not be turned." "She had put her hands to the plow and was determined to follow the Saints west." (As quoted from Archibald Buchanan.) Below is a list of family members that went with her. A few followed later, but Joseph Collidge and Elizabeth and their family remained in Iowa because he thought it was a "big mistake" to go to Utah. At least two of Joseph's plural wives went on to Utah (Elizabeth Tuttle Coolidge and daughters with the Buchanans in the Howell company) and remarried there.
The Buchanans and extended family went on the migration west with the Thomas Howell wagon company of 1852 (Go to http://www.lds.org/churchhistory/library/pioneercompanysearch/ and go to the Thomas C.D. Howell Company (1852) Company). The camp roster includes the following of our family (extracted from that list):
Also on the list are some of the Coolidge people mentioned earlier:
Martha Maria and Reuben Howell came to Utah about ten years later. Mary Ann and Preston Guard also came later, we are not sure when. The influence of our strong-willed great-grandmother brought us to Zion and kept the family (mostly) within the Gospel light. As concerning Jane's and Elizabeth's families, it might be useful to find out more about them and see if some temple work needs to be done for their families.
Condie, Gibson, Reminiscences and diary, 1865-1910, 33-35.
". . . .Bro' Orson Hyde Came along and organised us in a Company[.] we were in Captain [Thomas Charles Davis] Howell Company[.] he had charge of 100 wagons. they were divided into Fiftys and tens. Bro McCulloch [Levi McCullough] was the Captain of our ten. Bro [William] Banks was in our ten also Bro Simeon [Simmons Philander] Curtis and Joseph Hunter and others. it was advisable by Bro Hyde. that the hundred wagons should go as a body untill they pass the Hostile Indians. the Paunees [Pawnees] and the Omaha nations. we continued our journey as a Whole body[.] it Looked a grand sight to see the wagons at camp. circle. if they were attacked by the Indains [Indians] they were ready. they had their guards out. we had guards to watch our cattle every night[.] at nights we would have prayers. everthing had to be in order[.] no confusion whatever[.] on Sundays they would rest and have meetings[.] generaly good attendance[.] good spirit prevail. they took an Interest to help an assist one another. Sometimes they would have a little amusements. dancing &c[.] everything to cheer and Comfort them on their journey. I remember well on the Camping ground. a few Omaha warriors with their cheifs came into camp[.] they were very Friendly. we were very Kindly to them[.] gave them something to eat and some presents. we knew we were passing through their Country[.] we wished their good will. Captain Howell called the Bretheren together and wished the saints to sing a Hymn or so. to the Braves or Warriors. We sung. O stop and tell Me Red Man. Bro John Toone took the lead of singing. the Indians were in the Centre of the Circle[.] the singing took like a charm upon them. Singing about there Forefathers. they listend very attenively[.] the spirit of God rested upon them. there murderous spirit. seemed to vanish away. from them. they were pleased in our company and thanked us. we did all rejoice to see the good spirit prevail.
... " we continued our journey crossing the rivers with flatt Boats taking our wagons across[.] swiming the Cattle across Elk Horn and Loupe [Loup] fort [Fork] rivers[.] all went safely across[.] we continued our march. we would continually see Indians from the war path having Scalps with them. hanging on poles the ones they have Killed[.] they are continually fighting while they are out a hunting. they intrude on there lands[.] Kill their game &c. they then fight it out. generally they woed [wield] the Bow and arrow. The arrows are poisoned / their weapons. And guns if they can get them. they would trade anything for a gun. sometimes for exchange poneys. Buffalo robes. Buckskins. &c[.] we Bought or traded[.] gave them some sugar and flour for buckskins, mocasens Buffalo robes &c. we arrived at Fort Larime [Laramie]. we had travled along the north side of the platte river and now we are in Sioux Country a pouerfull tribe numbering many thousands warriors[.] it is said to be the most powerfull tribe from the missouri to the rockey mountians[.] it is a Beautifuly Country all around the platte river for hundreds of miles. they were no white familes living around. only a few mountainers living amongst the Indians[.] their living. buying furs, robes, Buckskins and take them to the cityes and do well. we would somtimes go Hunting for Buffalo five or six miles from the roads. it was a grand sight to see hundreds of them grassing on the plains. when they run it made the earth almost tremble before them. we Killed a number of them. generally we had horsemen to follow them up. they ran so swift. we would follow the horsemen[.] they would shoot them down. we then would cut the best parts[.] the hind quarters and pack it in sacks and carried for miles untill we get to camp. we Cut the meat in slices and hang the meat befor a slow fire. untill it was dry. I was very fond of it. when it was cured. it was so sweet I could be eating all the time. we were camping alongside the platte river.
..." we continued our journey and passed Pike peak a high mountain. and traveled and came to the sweet water. we crossed this stream fourteen times. our cows and oxen were, sore footed, the hooffs cracke. we used. Tar for there hoffs. we passed tar springs on the road side and continued traveling untill we came to Green River[.] we all crossed in wagons. the river was low. it is a very fine country round there[.] we continued and came to Fort Bridger. ther were no Soldiers. only Bridger himself a trader or mountainer[.] there were around Bridger a large Band of Indians very peacebly[.] had ponnys to trade and Buckskins &c.
..." we traveled untill we came to Bear River[.] crossed in wagon and traveled down Echo Kanyon [Canyon] untill we came [to] Weber river before us[.] they were a chain of Mountains for us to cross. we cross the river in wagons and traveled up by Hogs Back and got into East Kanyon Creek[.] traveled up the stream untill we came to the foot of the Big Mountain[.] we traveled up the Big Mountain five miles[.] very rockey, untill we got to the top[.] we could have a veiw part of Salt Lake valley and decended down the other side. untill we came to the foot of the Little Mountain. we again traveled up the mountain[.] had to double untill we got to the top about one mile and half in length. we could have a good view in the valley. and decended down the little Mountain[.] lock both wheels all the way untill we came to emigration Kanyon [.] we passed Captain Smoots Company[.] they were Camping[.] we traveled down emigration untill we came to the bench[.] now we had a beautifully veiw of the Valley and its surroundings[.] I marveled to my[s]elf. how the poiners [pioneers] could find their way cross the mountains making roads cutting brush and timber to come to this beautifully Valley. surely the Lord opened thier way for them to pass through the chain of mountains and Kanyons[.] our Company of 13 wagons arrived in Salt Lake Valley September 2:1852."
You may note that I include a picture of Nancy Ann Bache. Some dispute that this is really a picture of her, but I do not have any other pictures of her. Since it isn't very complimentary, if family members object to it being there, I can remove it. She was such a wonderful lady, especially in her valiant devotion to the Gospel and her family. I hope we can properly honor her. There is a grave stone in her honor in the Manti Cemetery. It is said to be in the southeast section of the cemetery. I hope to go there and find it and get the GPS coordinates for it. I saw it years ago, but during the past few times I have been there, I could not find it. It is mentioned in the John Lorenzo Buchanan book, which gives the approximate location. This and other information will be included on the web site.