William Henrie

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Question: What was William Henrie’s position in Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company in 1847?

Answer: William Henrie, 2nd child of Daniel and Sarah Mandel Henrie, was born September 11, 1799 in Pennsylvania. He married Myra Mayall on November 16, 1824 in Cincinatti, Ohio. Myra was born on November 1, 1803 in Yorkshire, England. William and Myra had seven children: Daniel, James, Joseph, Margaret, Sarah (died at age 2), Samuel, and Mary.

In his young days back in Ohio, it was said that William decided the surname of Henry was too common. It was always getting mixed up with given names, so he changed the spelling to Henrie and said, "From now on all will know that if they end the name with ‘ie’ instead of ‘y’, they are my descendants or relatives."

“When Parley P. Pratt and Samuel Smith knocked at their door and presented the L.D.S. gospel to them, they were members of the Methodist Church. They at first were very reluctant to listen. Then they met the Prophet Joseph Smith, and they said he was the most magnetic man they had ever seen. They were converted and held many cottage meetings at their home. They were baptized 17 July 1842 in Hamilton Co., Ohio by Andrew Lamoraux. The family was intimately acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith. He often stopped by the house, and Myra typically gave him a bowl of buttermilk or a baked potato.” (Morley, Callie. History of William Henrie and Myra Mayal, Panguitch DUP histories, pg 67)

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In about 1843, William and his family left their home in Ohio and moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, where they acquired an 80 acre tract of land and helped build the Nauvoo Temple. Here they lived until the Saints were mobbed and driven out of Nauvoo. They endured the privation, the hardship and heartache common to the Saints who were driven from their homes and farms. William and Myra’s last child, Mary, (age 4) died on June 29, 1843 in Nauvoo. William knew the Prophet Joseph Smith and loved him. They were heartbroken when Joseph and Hyrum were martyred.

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In 1846 William and his family ended up at Winter Quarters. In 1847, plans were made for an advance company to go ahead to find the best place for he Saints to settle. William was called to be a part of this company, which was Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company. William was an experienced frontiersman. Brigham Young organized the Saints into units of one hundreds, fifties, and tens. William Henrie was made captain of the 5th ten. He was a woodsman and marksman and a man of great strength and endurance. He also knew a great deal about horses. There were one hundred and forty men plus three women and two children in this first group. Each person was given a particular duty to perform; William was assigned to be a scout. He, with other scouts, would ride ahead of the main company and decide where rivers could be most easily crossed, where camp could be set up near food and water, where Indians were least likely to attack, etc.

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Henrie Home in Bountiful

Henrie Home in Bountiful

William’s oldest son, Daniel, had gone with the Mormon Battalion. William's wife and remaining children stayed in Winter Quarters. Myra and her two sons, Samuel and Joseph, and daughter, Margaret, left Winter Quarters in Heber C. Kimball’s Company on May 29, 1848, and arrived in Utah the latter part of September of 1848. James came later in 1849. William and his family then went to help Perrigrene Sessions settle what later became Bountiful, Utah.

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A great great granddaughter, Callie O. Morley, wrote the following about William and Salt Lake City: "He was there when they laid out the city and decided where there should be city lots and plots for farm land. He helped build the old Utah fort, which was located where Pioneer Park is today and which was constructed partly of logs and partly of adobe. He helped the saints get located in it for their own protection, and he was one of the first speakers in the old Bowery which they made of willows. Church records specifically mention him as one of those who talked on Sunday, April 26, 1849, when a special prayer and fast meeting was called." Later, when Parley P. Pratt was called to scout Utah Lake, Cedar Valley, and Tooele Valley, William went with him. When Elder Pratt was called to explore Southern Utah, William went with him again. When the July 24 celebration was held in 1849, all the Henrie family went to the city to celebrate, and William marched in the parade as one of the original pioneers.

William and Myra were happy in Brigham City with their family for a time. They had a fine farm and were prospering, when a call came from Brigham Young to go and colonize Panaca, Lincoln County, Nevada, or the "Muddy" as it was then called. It is not definitely known why William did not respond to Brigham's wishes. William had answered every call made by the church. He had built other homes only to leave them, he had pledged all his worldly goods to help the poor, he had sent his sons and his equipment on missions back to the Missouri River, also supplies for the Church into Oregon. Now perhaps he was tired of pioneering. At any rate, he didn’t go.

However, his wife and two sons, James and Samuel, went to Panaca and, for six years, suffered untold hardships. When the state was surveyed and Panaca was found to be in Nevada, they were advised to go to Panquitch, Utah. Here the family established a flourishing co-op mercantile institution. Their son, James Henrie, became the first president of Panguitch Stake. Henrieville was named after James. James and Samuel both had large families, as did Daniel and Joseph.

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William stayed in Bountiful, but was devoted to his church and willed all his earthly goods to the Bountiful Ward upon his death. He died on December 18, 1883 in Bountiful and was buried in the Bountiful Memorial Park Cemetery.

Myra made her home with her son Samuel in Panguitch, and remained with him until a few months prior to her death, when she lived with her son James. She died on February 3, 1893, at his home and was buried in the Samuel Henrie family plot.

Source: “William Henrie and Myra Mayall,” FamilySearch.org; Article by Callie O. Morley taken from a book of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, “The First Company to Enter the Salt Lake Valley,” FamilySearch.org; FindAGrave.com