Thursday, August 7, 2008

Amos Hunt History

Amos Hunt, son of John Hunt and Jane Coats was born Feb. 28, 1819, in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. He married Nancy Garret Welborn in 1840 on Dec. 21. She was born Aug. 7 1823, in Muhlenberg Co., Kentucky, and was the daughter of James D. Welborn and Malinda Newman. (Jane Coats was b. Rowan Co., North Carolina).

Amos Hunt and his wife Nancy Garret Welborn came to Utah with their family on Sept. 24, 1852 in Benjamin Gardner's Company.

The Hunts lost one child before leaving Kentucky. One died and was buried while crossing the plains. Not having any lumber, theytook the board they used for a table to make a coffin. They also put a board marker with the child's name on it at the head of the grave. Two days later as they were traveling down a river they saw the marker floating down stream. They didn't know how it got there unless the Indians had pulled it up. Amos Hunt assisted a company of handcart emigrants into Salt Lake Valley and took part in the Echo Canyon Campaign when Johnston's army came to Utah.

Arriving in Salt Lake Valley, Amos and his wife immediately began a life of pioneering. They lived in Ogden until the fall of 1861, when they were called to settle Utah's Dixie. The wagons formed a circle for the camping each night on the way to Dixie. One night they camped where there was snow and built a large bonfire in the circle of the camp. As they sat around the fire, elk came out of the forest right to the camp, likely drawn by the smell of the hay which the oxen teams were eating.

After coming to Utah Amos took a second wife. She was a tall, dark haired girl, by the name of Rebecca Wiggins. To this union were born three children. Elias, Eliza Ellen, and Cena Ann. Rebecca was the daughter of Ebenezer Fairchild Wiggins and Elleanor Moore Wiggins. She was born March 14, 1843 at Shakrag, Hancock, Illinois.

After reaching St. George, Amos moved his families to what is still known as the Touiquint field, south of the city at the foot of Main Street. They were camped on this land when the great flood of 1862 came which surrounded their house, the women and children having to be carried out.

Late that spring he moved with some catatle to the foot of the Pine Valley Mountains where the Blake and Gubler ranch was exstablished. During Amos' first year at the foot of the scenic mountain he cleared ground, built fences, corrals and started a log cabin. Before he could house his women folk, Rebecca gave birth to a baby girl. Cena Ann, now Mrs. Mathew Mansfield, was born in a wagon box fixed as comfortable as those times would permit. Stout hearted women, full of love for their Church and their men, faced all conditions courageously. Even the chill of that October 3, did not mar the arrival of a newborn.

In 1864, with several other families, Amos went to Clover Valley now known as Barclay. Tarlton Blair drove the ox team while Amos held the plow and plwed the first furrow at that place. Here they raised a few acres of grain. Knowing the habits of the Indians at this time, the men and women were apprehensive of their future and the safety of their families. Immediately upon their arrival they started to build a little fort. Soon there was a fenced fortress, one side of the fence forming a lane, and the other fside furnishing a corral for the cattle and sheep. Amos owned a small flock of sheep. The Indians camped on a side hill a short distances away and were soon discovered stealing the sheep. The people were forced to guard the corral at night, as the Natives tried on several occasions to stampede the cattle, having found this a successful way to secure some for themselves. In this group of settlers, one man, Dudley Leavitt, could talk and understand Indian. So with the great courage of the men, they fought the Indians, not by force of gun, but y wits and faith.

One night Amos Hunt's brother Bradford was standing guard, and as he walked down the lane to awaken the relief guard, he routed ambushed Indians, who immediately gave fight. In the encounter which followed, arrows and gunshot were exchanged in the darkness. One Indian was slain, and the white boys got some severe wounds. The alarm awakened all the settlers and left the scene vived in the memory of even small children.

Some of Amos Hunt's property was destroyed by the Indians. About August 1865, nine cows and calves were killed. In March 1866, nine dry cows and four oxen were killed; six tons of hay, three houses, fencing around the land, and corrals were burned. Food was very scarce and the family gathered salaratus from the ground by sacks full and hauled it to Beaver to trade for wheat to make flour.

To Amos, and to three little ones, it was a time when the bravest of hearts failed. The brace and beautiful Rebecca, though still in her youth, had been buried in the heart of Clover Valley. Pneumonia had struck this young wife of twenty-two years of age, and on September 19, 1865 she died. During this same summer hi son John Dudley also died. Just before leaving this plave three of his small boys were herding the sheep one afternoon when they heard the war whoop of Indians. Both the boys and the sheep grew excited and raced for the corral. The two older boys mounted buck sheep and went to town, leaving the youngest boy to make his own dust. As he recalls, he did this with some gusto, their faithful old dog rounding up the sheep and bring them into camp.

In the fall of 1866, the Indians got so bad that t he people had to move, and most of the families moved to Hebron, twhere they built a fort. While there another daughter, Angeline Hunt was born in a log house, October 7, 1869. While the mother and baby were still in bed, all the family came down with the measles except Amos, the father. There were twelve in all. Beds were all over the floor.

Amos, being a shoemaker, made shoes for his family and others. In later years he was quite prosperous. Hebron was laid out in five and ten acre lots, then the men drew for their allotments. Amos drew ten acres in the choice meadow bottom. it was not long before he had built a four roomed house, with a loft and stairway for Nancy. The heart of the wife and mother went into the making of a loving home.

In 1868-or 69 Shoal Creek was named Hebron. Perhaps Hebron came for the fond memories of his home in Kentucky where he spent many years as a young man growing up. Nancy Garret Hunt found refuge at last, and her great heart mothered many young ones, for it was to her home they came from far and near. It made her heart swell and her dim eyes sparkle to be the godmother of many. As the years passed, Amos and Nancy found the security and peace they had prayed for. He had a large herd of ccattle and a good ranch. The family milked cows and made butter and cheese. During the time when mining was good in Pioche, Amos took his butter and cheese out there and received a good price for it. He also had a share in the Washington factory, where he traded butter and cheese for clothing.

Amos moved to Wayne County when it belonged to Piute County and lived in what was the old Thurber town. He lived there for several years, then he moved back to the Dixie Country.

Amos' mother was living with him when she died. Nancy Garret Welborns parents never came to Utah. Her two sisters, Sarah Ann, who married Philip Cardon, and Francis, who married Edmund Thompson came to Utah.

Nancy died in Hebron on December 17, 1895 after which Amos Hunt went to live with his daughter Angeline Hunt Coleman. They later moved to Teasdale where Amos Hunt lived until his death at the age of 85. Behind him he left a great posterity that carried on the HUNT name. Surviving him at the time of his death were ten children, 89 grandchildren and 68 great-grandchildren.

(Published in Heritage Builders - History of John Hunt and Jane Coates and their descendants. Compiled by the Hunt Family Research Association and printed in 1961, page 87)


Zola Hunt said...

I enjoyed your post from the Hunt book. I am the youngest grandchild of Elias Hunt, son of Amos and wife, Wiggins, (Don't know her first name) and Aluna Terry Hunt. I have collected many old photos, and am happy to share.
Where do you fit into the family? Would to love to hear from you.
Zola Hunt.

Barbara Boyle said...

I am Barbara Ann Joyce Hunt decendant of Enoch Hunt and Sarah Elizabeth Wood. I am found on page
42. We recently had a family reunion of the decendants of Orolin Hunt and Agnes Leonard and wrote down everyones name and birthdate that are not in the book. I would love to find out if there are anymore copies of the book and would like to be involved in keeping up.

rickhunt1976 said...

I am Richard Johnathan Hunt. I am a descendant of Nelson Glen Hunt, son of Elias Hunt. I would love to have digital copies of old photos as I am compiling my family history to pass on to my kids.

Rock Sinclair said...

Thanks for all the history you have so graciously provided me. I am the youngest son of Milton Hunt, son of Zera Hunt, son of Elias Hunt. I am very interested in family history. Zola was kind enough to introduce herself to me one afternoon on a flight from Salt Lake. Please forward any web sites or blogs on Hunt Family History or contact me directly. Thank you, John Brent Hunt

Elder Austin Schupple said...

I am Sherra Hebdon Schupple, the granddaughter of Lulu Mae Hunt, the only daughter of Zera & Clarissa Hunt. My dad (Truman Hebdon) has a blog up about his family history that Grandma Lulu wrote about that may be interesting for many to read.
I am involved in collecting pictures and Dixie pioneer stories that I am very interested in. Please contact me at

Daniel Jones said...

I'm Daniel Jones, grandson of Lea May Hunt Jones, daughter of Nephi Hunt, who was the son of Elias Hunt and Aluna Terry. I'm also curious if there are any of the Hunt books floating around --- I'd LOVE to get a copy of it. The last one I saw was about 20 years ago when I borrowed Ollie Jones's copy.

Anonymous said...

You report that a son of Amos Hunt died en route to Utah in 1852. This reportedly was Alfred who died of cholera on Wood River in eastern Nebraska.

What is the source of the information that his headboard was seen floating "down stream" two days later? All the streams along the trail in Nebraska flow east. This includes the Platte River and Wood River (a tributary of the Platte). In two days the Gardner Company could have traveled as much as 30 miles or more to the *west* leaving the grave far behind. If the headboard had been thrown in a river it could have floated ten miles or more to the *east* in that time meaning that the distance between the wagon train and marker could have been as much as 40 miles or more (with this distance increasing every day).

The only areas where the trail ran downstream along a river was west of South Pass at the Green River or in Echo Canyon (and a few miles to the west). In both cases the stretch of trail along the river is relatively short and it is not too likely the wagon train would have still been on the river two days later.

I realize that you can only repeat what any available documents or family stories report, but there does seem to be a problem. In short, the story of the floating headboard seems rather improbable. Can you clear up this problem?
Richard Rieck