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WILLIAM LACY STILSON

William Lacy Stilson and his wife Cyrena Martha Lytle
 
William Lacy Stilson, born to William B. Stilson and Susannah Young, 20 September 1833, Wellsville, Columbiana County, Ohio, is of Mormon Parentage and was in the persecutions and drivings of the saints from Ohio to Missiouri, and thence to Illinois. He lived in Nauvoo and remembered well the Prophet Joseph Smith, and on one occasion rode with him in his buggy in company with Brigham Young, his uncle. He wanted to go with the Mormon Battalion as a drummer boy, or otherwise, but was not permitted to do so. In 1848, he drove two yoke of oxen with wagon across the plains to Salt Lake Valley for his uncle Brigham Young. He witnessed the early settlement of Salt Lake City and himself took up city lots therein. In 1852, he went to California and engaged in digging gold about twelve miles north of Hangtown. While there he had the small pox which nearly cost him his life. From there, he went to Petaluma, Sonoma County. There he drove a four-horse stage coach for about eighteen months. He returned to Salt Lake City by way of San Bernardino and the south route in 1857, just in good time to join in the Echo Campaign to scare off the United States Army and hold it in check. He was with "Eph" Hanks, Lott Smith and other famous scouts. He was often sent to carry express messages forward and back to Salt Lake City from Echo Canyon. 

In Salt Lake City, 8 May 1859, he married Cyrena Martha Lytle and the next day started for Omaha with his half brother Feramorz Little. At Laramie he swam across the Platt River with an important message and, of course, had to swim back to camp. Many a good swimmer has lost his life attempting to swim the same stream. He and his wife lived at Willow Creek (now Draper) Salt Lake County, for about two and one half years. Then he moved to Manti where he lived about four years, during which time the Black Hawk war was on. He enlisted in the cavalry and was 2nd lieutenant in the Manti Company of Minute Men under Captain George Sidwell. From there he moved to Eagle Valley, Nevada. When the colony was broken up they moved to Kanab, Kane County, Utah. This was their home for the next eight years until he moved to Orangeville, Emery County, Utah where for a time he was interested in a sawmill. Here he secured a good piece of ground and planted an orchard and built a small house where he and his wife lived comfortably in their old age. He died 29 August 1913 at Orangeville, Emery County, Utah. 

Information contributed by Jeanna Howell. (jlhowell@prodigy.net)



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Last updated 06.02.2015