Hiram Dayton

HIRAM DAYTON was a Great and Courageous Pioneer, a dedicated and loving Father, and a devoted and faithful Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He was the son of Friend & Ann Harrington Dayton, born 1 Nov 1798, at Herkimer, Herkimer Co., New York, a small town in central New York State. During the Revolutionary War, many battles were fought in this community. Two small stockades were built here, Fort Dayton and Fort Herkimer. In these places of safety, many white settlers, often sought refuge from the British Soldiers and savage Indians. In the village of Herkimer, where old Fort Dayton once stood, now is erected a beautiful Chapel for the Reformed Church of Christ. To the rear and side is an old Church Cemetery Across the street is a Museum, which houses many ancient relics of historical value, from this area.

From the time Ralph Dayton, and his two sons, Samuel and Robert came to Boston Harbor, in America in 1636, the Dayton Family became great colonizers, and took a very active part in the development of the townships, Soon many of them were elected to government positions. They also enrolled in the newly established Universities. Their native abilities and education, prepared them to serve their country and fellowmen with distinction and honor, William L. Dayton became American Counsel to France. Charles Willoughby Dayton was an International Lawyer, and later became Postmaster of New York City, N.Y. Elias B Dayton was a Captain in the Army during the Revolutionary War. Many other members of the family distinguished themselves in the war. And still others found their life's activities in the Ministry in the Church of their choice. Jonathan Dayton won a high place as a statesman, in the early days of the United States. He graduated from Princeton University in 1776; he was a member of the New Jersey delegation to the Constitutional Convention; was a member of Congress from 1791-1799 and was Speaker of the House during the Fourth and Fifth Congress, and served one term in the Senate. He was one of the signers of the Constitution of the United States

In England where the Dayton Family lived, prior to their coming to America, their names are found with the prominent people of the Country. Henry de Deighton was Lord Mayor of York, England. The Dayton name has several different spellings; de Deighton, Deighton, Dyghton and Dyghton, as well as Dicton and Dictona.

HIRAM DAYTON with his wife Permelia Bundy Dayton established a residence at Parkman, Ohio, He was an energetic worker and a substantial citizen of the community. Here he built a fine home for his family, had large peach and apple orchards, and a productive, profitable farm, He owned many fine horses, stables and established a horse market.

During this time of prosperity, Joseph Smith the Mormon Prophet came to Parkman and taught him the Gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and gave witness to him that it was the true Church of the Master. Hiram and his wife were converted and were baptized Feb 18 1832. After this event, former friends and neighbors heaped persecutions upon Hiram and his family and consequently he determined to cast his lot and future with the Latter Days Saints, then at Kirtland, Ohio, and moved there in 1834. He immediately set about to establish himself in the community. Here too they suffered many hardships. In Mar 1838 it was agreed that the Quorum of Seventy, of which Hiram was a member, would travel in a body to Missouri, the new gathering place for the Saints. Hiram and his family of twelve were part of this group.

The activities of this family are recorded in Hiram Dayton's Journal under the caption "Sufferings and Persecutions of Hiram Dayton and Family," a copy will appear on a subsequent page of this record.

An interesting incident is recorded in the Journal History. Nauvoo, Ill. Feb 20, 1843. Joseph Smith records, "About seventy of the brethren came together according to previous notice and drawed, sawed, chopped, split, moved and piled up a large lot of wood in my yard. The day was spent by them in much pleasantry, good humor and feeling. A white oak log measuring five feet four inches in diameter was cut through with a cross cut saw in four and one half minutes by Hiram Dayton and John Tidwell." In a conference held in Nauvoo, Ill on April 15, 1844, Hiram Dayton and his son Lysander Dayton were called on a Mission to Ohio.

After a long and arduous treck across the plains, Hiram with his family arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on Oct. 25 1849. He proceeded to Cedar Fort, Utah. Here they obtained farms and set about to build homes for themselves and help build the church and school.

Hiram lived during the time when polygamy was taught as a true and righteous principle, revealed by Joseph Smith. Hiram accepted this law and accordingly married several fine and capable wives. His posterity by all of them are a great credit to him and to each wife. They have proved to be good citizens, intelligent and capable civic and Church leaders and devoted parents. Many of his descendants have accepted the Faith of their Father, Hiram, who gave his "All" for his convictions.

HIRAM DAYTON was endowed 24 Dec 1845 in the Nauvoo Temple. He married 1 Nov 1820 PERMELIA BUNDY, dau of Moses and Nancy Bascum Bundy, born Jul 1799 at Southhampton, Mass. bap 18 Feb 1832 End 24 Dec 1845 died 1882 at American Fork, Utah of causes incident to old age, buried at American Fork, Utah, She is held in loving remembrance for her fine qualities of gentleness, patience and courage, and is honored because so many of her descendants bear her lovely name PERMELIA. Hiram died 10 Dec 1881 at American Fork, Utah of causes incident to old age. He is buried at American Fork, Utah. His last years were good ones, he lived in well-earned peace and comfort, surrounded by a numerous posterity, who gave honor and joy to him. He was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and served as a Patriarch in the Alpine Stake of Zion. His descendents may well revere and hold in loving memory the life and labors of this Great and Good VAN.

Lived at Parkman, Ohio, left there in 1834 for Kirtland, Ohio
Left Kirtland in 1838 went to Far West, Daviess Co. Missouri.
Driven from Missouri in 1839, went to Quincey and then Nauvoo, Ill.
Driven from Nauvoo in 1846 to Iowa and then to Winter Quarters, Nebr.
Left Winter Quarters in 1849, Arrived in Salt Lake City 25 Oct 1849


"A silver Dagger was given to Hiram Dayton by Joseph Smith, the Prophet, as an emblem of defense and a keep sake, and as long as he carried it he would not be killed by mobs, and that it should be kept in the family as a protection to the person that had it about them.'

The blade is 5 1/2 inches long; 1/2" wide at the handle and tapers to a point. The handle is 3 1/2 inches long from it's junction with the blade, and is nearly 7/8 inches wide at the widest place and is 1/2 inch thick, except the nob at the end, which is 3/8 inch. The little guards come forward from the handle along the blade 1/2 inch, while the little one in the center comes forward 1/4 inch. The sheath is just six inches long and a little over 5/8 inches wide at the top and is 3/8 inches thick. When sheathed the whole is a little over nine inches long. There is a pin, much like the pattern of those on a broach, on the sheath, to attach same to clothing. The sheath has a strip of leather down the inside to protect the blade of the dirk. Hiram Dayton had his son Lysander wear it under his clothes when he went among the mobbers after food, in the perilous days of Missouri, and he was miraculously protected. Another son, William Preston Dayton, had the dagger stored with his gold and silver in his home at Bellevue, Idaho. When his house burned down, the gold and silver that was stored with it all melted and run together, but the Dagger was not affected in the least, the leather on the sheath not even being schorched. Another feature about this marvelous Dagger is that it has never been known to tarnish,"

The Dagger is now in the possession of Lowell Dolby Smith of Toppenish, Wash He is a Great Grandson of Hiram Dayton.


"I received the Gospel of the Latter Day Saints in the year 1832. Myself and wife were baptized by the Prophet Joseph Smith. I was at that time living at Parkman, Ohio. My persecutions were so heavy that I could not live there long. My friends and neighbors destroyed my property, and twice laid plans to take my life. When I left Parkman with my wife and nine children, I was forced to sell my farm for $500, It was sold three years later for $5,000.

Then I moved to Kirtland, Ohio where I opened up a farm and put it under cultivation. I broke up sixty acres and put a double ditch around the whole farm. My farm was valued at $1,000. I built a good house and set out a good orchard. I then built me a house in the city of Kirtland costing $800. also built a good frame barn, clap boarded and finished off in the best style, valued at $300. I then set out an orchard of all kinds of fruit. I took a job on Public Works to cut down the hills. The grade to run opposite the Temple, and I contracted to dig a canal to turn the Chignan River in. This canal was for running steamboats up to Kirtland. I expended on the above work $2,000 in cash and worked my whole family for a year. Will put our labor at $500. We were driven from Kirtland and I could not accomplish all my works this was in 1836. Then we settled in Daviess County Missouri. We bought out the settlers there. I turned over my part, one pair of good horses, one new wagon and one set of new harnesses, worth in all $600. We were driven from Daviess County in 1838, losing everything.

We then went to Far West, Mo. where we suffered considerably. When we were forced to leave here by ovder of the mob. I was sick and also my family of ten, except one daughter. I had to leave my three children in the hands of the mob. It was in February and extremely cold weather. I drove the distance of thirty miles when I stopped to bait my team. Three of my children begged me to throw them out of the wagon to die, for they would soon freeze to death. Next day I could not stand to think of my children in the hands of the mob, so I drove back for them. The army numbering 14,00 was at that time in Far West. They had destroyed all they stock they could get hold of, and even took the hogs out of their pens. Before leaving Far West we had just completed a horse mill, and I had soy corn in a field. While gathering the corn from the field, two men were killed by the mobbers, and I had to flee for my life. (My son Lysander gathered the corn.) I shelled out two bushels and put one of my horses on the mill and ground it out in the night. There being nothing to eat in Far West, we hid hogs about the mill. I being so sick and not being able to do anything myself, and the soldiers still being there, I asked one of them to shoot a hog for me. He said he would shoot it for a bit. (12 1/2 c) I had no money, not even a bit, and while pleading with him to kill the hog, I saw one of the Brethren coming toward us. I asked him if he had a bit to let me have. He gave me all the money he had which was 25c. The soldier shot the pig but did not kill it. I wanted him to shoot it again but he would not do it unless I paid him another bit, which I did.

He then shot and killed the pig. I then asked him if he would please help me get the hog in my wagon, and he utterly refused to help me. I was not able to lif t fifty pounds. My son Lysander drove my team into a deep hollow, got a couple of poles and put them in the back of the wagon. We then snoked the hog to them and rolled it in on them. We had cleaned the hog before putting it in the wagon. I then started back to Far West, crossed the river whore my children were. Two of them were sick and I had nothing to give them but some frozen corn bread. Having arrived at Far West, I got into a house of Sister Rigdons. Her husband, some of the Twelve and the Prophet was then in Liberty Jail. This was the first time my wife had been in a house for ten months. She was therefore very feeble, having been confined two months previous to our coming back to Far West. We stayed with the Rigdons about ten days. I then rented a small house of one of the Brethren. We stayed there for two weeks and then had to give possesion to the owner. Some few days after this a merchant heard my conversation with several friends and the owner of the house I had just left. I was talking about what I should do. He, the merchant proposed giving myself and team and labor, to freight merchandise for him and some of his friends. He said the Missourians would get drunk and steal his goods. He had a log cabin and stable one and a half miles from the city, which he said we could occupy. I loaded up what things I could take and moved out there. One of my daughters (Nancy) the one who had been well all through my sickness, rode horseback without saddle or blanket. She caught a violent cold while going out there, and took sick in a few days and lived about two weeks and died. I took her body down to the City to bury her.. The ground was frozen very deep. I was very feeble and not being able to dig her grave. I asked several bystanders to assist me, but I could not get them to help me at all. I then borrowed some tools and went to the graveyard when a negro came to me and said, "Massah, I will dig the grave and bury your daughter."

At that time we were destitute of food and clothing. My son Lysander drove the team, freighting for the merchant. He worked for him seven weeks and earned about $30. per week. I began to feel a little better in health. I felt as though I could do pretty well. On the eighth week I took one of my horses to haul up some wood to the door. I hitched on to a stick about thirty feet long. I got bound between two stumps. I took hold of the top end to raise it up when I fell as quick as though I had been shot. My wife and daughter was standing in the door and came to pick me up. I was about eight rods from the house. They helped me along, about half of the way I fell again. They lifted me up and carried me in the house and laid me upon the bed. I was bedfast for eleven weeks racked in most violent pain, the doctor called the disease "Theatic Rheumatism" in the kidneys. It finally broke and discharged, and I felt a little better. My eldest son Lysander and the team made out enough to keep the family up, until the first of April 1839, we then all had to leave Missouri or be exterminated. Four days previous to our time of starting, one of my neighbors came to me and said he wanted to have my son and team work for him one day. I had a very fine mare. He had tried very often to buy from me. My son performed the labor and turned the horses into a very strong yard. In the morning the mare was gone. My son hunted for her and of I hired a man to help him, three days, and she could not be found. We had I to leave and I was then amongst strangers, thirty miles from Far West. I then took an old horse that had followed me from Far West and harnessed We him up with my good horse. I chained the good horse back so he would have all the load to pull, the old horse coming along just to hold up his side of the tongue. A portion of the family being able to walk we traveled eight miles the first day. The boys nursed the old horse up the best they could. He improved so that in a few days he could pull his portion of the load.

We finally landed at the Mississippi River opposite Quincy, Illinois. We remained there about two weeks in which time I was able to walk with a little help. We then went to Nauvoo. The whole camp of us and the most part of the Saints at the Mississippi River were penniless and nothing to help themselves with, there may have been a few exceptions. Some few of the Saints got able to put in a little garden, same wore able to break up land and put in some crops. After remaining there six weeks I recovered myself so as to be able to go to work. I built a good outstanding house, bought a piece of land from the government. (80 acres) With the help of my boys we put sixty acres under improvements. I bought ten acres of land from Hiram Kimball, and built three good houses and was prosperous in every thing I went into.

We remained there and helped build up that city and the Temple, until the mob came upon us. Not being able to sell anything, I left my property in the hands of Hiram Kimball, the original owner of the land, for to sell and do the best he could for me. He sold the property for houses and lots in the city of Boston, Mass. He afterwards took the Overland Mail. But I could collect nothing from him. Before taking the mail, he sold the property in Boston, bought with my lands, for $4,000, which was a dead loss to me. It was at the time when the property was worth three times the amount

After we left Nauvoo in 1846, I crossed the River with many of the Saints and went about ten miles to a town of which I have forgotten the name of. I had to make two trips to get my things there, my team not being heavy enough to pull them all at once. Myself and boys labored there until the fall of the year and earned me another team and wagon. We then moved to Garden Grave, with many of the Saints in 1846, We remained over the winter and put in our crops in the Spring. Being destitute of provisions I went into Missouri and worked for grain and meat etc. From Garden Grove, Iowa, went to Kaysville, Iowa. There we opened farms, mine being worth $400. We stayed there one year and then went with the most of the Saints to Winter Quarters. I opened a farm about two and a half miles from town and with the help of my boys broke up thirty acres valued at $400. After I had got under full headway, about the first of April, the Indians stole all my cattle, but one steer and one cow, which I used as a team. The cattle they stole was well worth $250. When I commenced operations the First of April, all I had to sustain my family, consisting of fifteen souls, was one sack of flour, one bushel of meal, forty pounds of bacon and very little salt, which was all we could have until I raised more. We were obliged to dig wild potatoes, wild onions and greens, which was the principal part of our living.

The next season I took a job digging a mill race, by the request of President Young. I accomplished that and got a mill running. I then started from Winter Quarters with the 5th Company with Ezra Taft Benson. I had two yoke of cattle each, some oxen and some cows. We arrived in Salt Lake City, October 27, 1849

I am now here in Cedar Valley, Utah County, Utah, enjoying good health, in the month of May 1878 and an eighty years old the first day of November next."

(Written by W.N. Bassett and dictated by Hiram Dayton Sr.)


This is a true account of my losses and persecutions, but the sufferings myself and family have passed through no tongue can express. The loss of my property is no comparison to my suffering for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I can truly say hat I am thank thankful that the Lord as sustained me so that I have never seen a day that I have murmured, nor my wife, through all the tribulations that we have passed through, and we have been stripped and broken up five times. I here would say that I think it would take $30,000. to cover my losses.

I have traveled to preach the Gospel in most every Northern State in this Country, and one of the Southern States, Kentucky. I am safe to say that I have traveled thirty thousand miles, without purse or script, except one mission when I took my wife to visit her friends.

Signed by Hiram Dayton, at Cedar Fort, Utah 26 May 1879