John Crazier

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Question: What town in Utah did John Cazier help settle after he served in the Mormon Battalion in 1846?

Answer: John Cazier was born in Wood County, Virginia, on March 14, 1821, to William and Pleasant Drake Cazier. A few years later his family moved to Oldham County, Kentucky where they lived for 20 years. The number of children increased from three children to ten, seven boys and three girls. John was the third child.

The family lived in a log cabin at first in the middle of a big field by a spring. They grew what vegetables they could and picked wild fruits and nuts in the wooded area. The boys learned to hunt, fish, take care of a farm, and use an axe at an early age.

In 1841 the family moved to Moultrie County, Illinois. John married Francis Elizabeth Lemaster in 1843, and in 1844 most of the family became members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Due to the persecution they endured there because they had joined the Church, they were forced to leave. The family moved close to Nauvoo, Illinois, and due to the persecution there, they moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa in the spring of 1846.

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While in Council Bluffs, John and his older brother, James, joined the Mormon Battalion. The trek was a distance of 2,000 miles, and James and John were in Company E with Daniel C. Davis as captain and James Pace as 1st Lieutenant. They left in July 1846. On November 10, 1846, a disabled detachment of fifty-five men were placed in charge of Lieut. W. W. Willis and ordered back to Pueblo, Colorado. James and John were two of them. It was a hard winter, and some died on the way to Pueblo and some while there. After the winter James and John joined the detachment of Captain Brown and continued on to the Salt Lake Valley. They arrived there about four days after Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company in July 1847.

John was honorably discharged in July 1847, in Salt Lake and didn’t have to go on to California. In the fall John and James made their way back to Council Bluffs. John’s brother, James, and his wife and family were persuaded to stay in Kentucky and so didn’t go West. His mother had died in November 1846 while John was with the Battalion. In 1850 John and his wife and two children traveled back to the Salt Lake Valley in the James Pace Company. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in September 1850. John’s father and his second wife, Margaret, and four of John’s siblings, traveled to the Salt Lake Valley in the Morris Phelps Company in 1851.

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The Cazier family all settled in Salt Lake for a while, then following the advice of President Brigham Young, they moved to Salt Creek, which later became known as Nephi, in Juab County, Utah. They were one of the founding families of Nephi, Utah. On May 3, 1852 Salt Creek was incorporated, given the name of Nephi, and William Cazier, John's father, was elected treasurer, his son-in-law, C. H. Bryan, an Alderman, and John Cazier a counselor. William Cazier was also sustained as the first Patriarch of Juab Stake in 1853. He served in this calling for 20 years. William died 28 February 1872 and was buried in the Nephi City Cemetery.

John married Angeline C. Hallowell in 1858, in polygamy, and they had a large family of seven sons and five daughters. Angeline was born in 1841 in England. Her mother had joined the Church in England and traveled to Utah. Because of all the trials of persecution, John taking other wives, and etc, John's wife, Frances, decided she could endure no more, so some time after 1870 she went back to her family in Illinois. In 1880 Frances was living with one of her daughters in Montana. She passed away in 1898. She was buried in the Reese Creek Cemetery, in Belgrade, Gallatin County, Montana.

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John died November 18, 1890, in Nephi, Utah and is buried in the Pine Bluff Cemetery in Nephi. Angeline died in 1902 and was buried in the Pine Bluff Cemetery.

Source: Excerpts from “John Cazier History,” by Ethel Cazier Willenburg, FamilySearch.org; FindAGrave.com Story; Sources, FamilySearch.org