DALTON, Charles Wakeman: A True Pioneer


By his great, great, grandson, Rodney Garth Dalton

charles_wakeman_daltonCharles Wakeman Dalton was a Farmer, Rancher, Sheriff, Constable, owned a store and a freight company. At the end of his life he was a butcher in Beaver City. He was also a polygamist. Charles Wakeman Dalton was born July 10th 1826 in Wysox, Bradford Co. Penn. On a little farm called Dalton Hollow. He was the first son of Simon Cooker Dalton & Anna Wakeman ( See John Dalton notes) In about 1835, the entire Dalton clan sold out, lock stock and barrel, packed up and moved to Washtenaw, County Michigan.

Charles W. Dalton was the first to join the Saints on April 27th 1843. Charles followed his family from Michigan, to Nauvoo. Charles married wife number 1, Juliette E. Bowen on Jan.13th 1847 in New York State. ( see complete story of Julietta Bowen in her history section) They then crossed the plains to the Utah Territory sometime in 1849 and settled near the other Dalton’s in Salt lake City. While living in S.L.C. Charles W. Dalton married wife number 2, Elizabeth Heskett Allred on Nov. 2nd 1850. Charles W. Dalton owned Lot # 7, on block 40 in Salt Lake City.

In 1848, with the arrival of the last wagon train of the season, there were now approximately 5,000 saints in the Valley. There were at least three forts built at this point. Each of these forts was about half a mile long and 40 rods wide. With in these forts, the Territory of Deseret was organized. The first legislature met here and the first school was taught. For safety purposes these forts is where all the Dalton’s would spent their first winter in the Valley. In Feb. of 1849 the residents of the Territory organized a temporary government which they called the “State of Deseret”. After much debate, in Sept. of 1850, an act of Congress created the “Territory of Utah.” Congress did not make it a State because too many Southern States did not want another Anti-slavery State added to the union. Brigham Young was appointed Governor of the Territory.

On Jan. 14th, 1849, Salt Lake City was divided into 17 Church Wards, each containing nine city blocks. The Dalton’s chose land a few blocks east and south of the old fort. It was here the was organized on Feb. 22nd, 1848. For protection, a fence was built around the Ward boundaries. 10th Ward records show: ‘John Dalton, Edward Dalton, Charles Dalton, Henry Dalton donated, self and teams for two days work”

The southern part of Utah was colonized in the fall of 1849. It was order ed by the Presidency of the Church that Parley P. Pratt with a company of 50 men, should explore this area, which they called Dixie. Among these men were the following:

Charles W. Dalton, age 23, John Dalton Jr., age 49., Edward Dalton, age 22, (son of John Jr.) and John D. Lee, age 39. On Jan. 13th 1851, this company of 50 men reached a spot near the present town of Parowan, on what was called Center Creek. On Jan 17th 1851 a election was held and the following town officials were elected:

CHARLES W. DALTON as a Constable, John D. Lee as a Magistrate among others. William H. Dane, Edward Dalton and others laid out the town site, and then began surveying a location for a Fort. George A Smith officially named the new Fort, Louisa, in honor of Louisa Beaman, the first documented women to marry into Polygamy among the Latter-Day Saints. Later that summer, Brigham Young and a large company arrived at the little Fort on the first annual tour of the Southern settlements. He renamed the new town site at Center Creek, Parowan. The Church Ward or Branch in Parowan at first was under the direction of the American Fork Stake. (Note: Taken from a registry of names of persons residing in the various Wards as to Bishop’s reports. G.S.L. City Dec. 28th, 1852 to 1853.)

Charles W. Dalton married wife number 3, Sarah Jane Lee in Parowan on Dec. 31st 1852. Charles was in Salt Lake City when he married wife number 4, Sarah Lucinda Lee on Oct. 3rd 1868. Charles also married his last wife, number 5, Emma Roberta Lee in S.L.C. on Oct. 9th 1871. Sarah Jane Lee was the daughter of John D. Lee of Mountain Meadows Massacre fame and Sarah Lucinda Lee & Emma Roberta Lee were daughters of John P. Lee.

In the spring of 1853 Brigham Young recognized the need of the Pioneers for clothing, food and iron ore for tools. Exploration in the early 1850 ‘s confirmed the southern half of Utah had the potential to grow cotton, grapes, figs, flax, hemp, rice, sugarcane, tobacco and produce iron ore. In May of 1854 Brigham Young sent a group of missionaries under the leadership of Rufus C. Allen to the South. This company arrived in Pine Valley, about 35 miles Northeast of St. George, Utah on the headwaters of the Santa Clara Creek in early spring. Charles W. Dalton and family was in this company.

Note: Newspaper article in the Deseret News, May 31st. 1853. (this article tells about William M. Walls Military inspection to the southern settlements in Utah.)

” Provo, May 31st 1853. At Fort Harmony we received a hearty welcome from bros. John D. Lee and Charles Dalton, E. H. Grove and Solomom Chamberlain, and made to understand that we were at home, and had every attention paid to us that could be acceptable to a weary soldier. Our animals being weary, we though best to tarry a day and rest. There were a dozen or more Piute Indians around. They appeared to be perfectly under control of Major Lee. They seemed honest, industrious and anxious to conform to the manners and customs of the whites. They excel all other Indians in these particulars, that i have ever met with in the mountains. I saw the son of the old Chief Toquar from the Rio Virgin, he seems well disposed and which to have the Mormons settle there and learn them to work; says they did know how to work once, but their father’s got to warring and become lazy and lost the art; said they were afraid of Chief Walker, and that he would kill their men and take their squaws and children prisoners. Fort Harmony is well situated on a commanding eminence on the north bluff of Ash Creek, and though small and few in numbers, it is secure and well stocked and the farm nearly all picketed in with ten foot pickets. The rest is considerable timber, consisting of Pine, Cedar, Ash and Cottonwood. Here they made supper and had a dance in the evening in honor of our visit. The company were willing to do their duties, and we had prayers, morning and evening.

The Iron County Militia was formed in January of 1845. There were officers and privates in service, including 3 Dalton’s and relatives. Major John D. Lee from Fort Harmony was made the leader of this Iron County company; James Whittaker Sr. of Cedar Fort was a 1st, Lieut.; Charles Wakeman Dalton was a 2nd. Lieut.; Edward Dalton & Harry Dalton also served.”

Next we find Charles W. Dalton:

On Jan. 4th 1856, the citizens of this large area sent a petition signed by thirty two

men, the total male population, asking the Court for a County Government to be set up, with the county seat to be at Fort Harmony. The petition was granted and the Government was setup on Feb. 7th 1856, with John D. Lee as Probate Judge, Clerk and Assessor. The first order of business of the court was to try a case against Enos the Indian. The sheriff, CHARLES W. DALTON (sheriff from April 1856 to April 1857) was ordered to take Enos into custody and to summon 12 residents of the County to serve as jurors. Also some of the records of the Washington County Court held on Sept. 1856 tells of a application by Charles W. Dalton and others for the control of the timber in Pine Valley Canyons for milling of lumber. The Court was presided over by Judge John D. Lee and Lee made the following Grant. “Where as the control of water, timber and grass of Pine Valley is hereby granted to Charles W. Dalton. Loronzo W. Roundy, John Blackburn and Robert Richy for the purpose specified and the privilege of so much said water as will be necessary to irrigate two acres of land for gardens; also the control of the springs in Grass Valley for irrigation.

Sometime during the year 1860, the Dalton’s received a letter from their sisters in Michigan announcing the death of their mother, Betsy Cooker Dalton. She was well in to her 90’s at this time.

Next we find Charles W. Dalton on June 26th 1865 as a settler of Chicken Creek, which was located about one and one half miles from the present site of Levan, Utah.

The Deseret News reports;

“The following settlers of Chicken Creek petitioned the Church authorities for a branch government,. These people were: Martin Rollins , Edsol Elmer, George Ellison, William Morgan, Robert Rollins, Seth Ollorton, Antomima Tidwell, Nancy Sly, Norman Wilson Hartley, Frederick Green, Jimer Palmer, James Kettleman and CHARLES W. DALTON. These people and others built homes, planted gardens, orchards and fields of wheat. As years went by however, they come to the conclusion that this was not a very good site to have their Community. So after 6 to 8 years they decided to find another home site.

In the winter of 1856 George A Smith found a area that could potentially provide good pasturage for cattle and farming. Near by canyons also had abundant timber for lumber and available water for a mill. This place was named Beaver, for the many Beaver Dams that were abundant in the streams. In 1858 Beaver population received a boost from Mormons leaving San Bernardino, California at the on set of the Utah War.

Note: In 1865-1868 the inhabitants of Circleville Utah abandoned their community because of the Black Hawk War and made their way to Beaver before returning to Circleville after the War was over.

Although the Black Hawk War of 1865-68 had been settled, citizens of southern Utah were still concerned about Indian Hostilities. The Federal Government ordered a Military Fort Built just east of Beaver. It was located on the north side of the Beaver River, about one mile from the mouth of the canyon. This Fort only had a life span of eleven years. The new Fort was named after Colonel Cameron of the 79th Highlanders, who was killed at the Battle of Bull Run during the American Civil War. Contracts were signed by men to build the new fort, and the rocks were hauled by men who had largeteams & wagons. Charles W Dalton had some of these wagons.

The following stories are from the Diaries of John D. Lee showing his many dealings with Charles W Dalton.

Sunday, June 1st 1867 –

” Was camped out at Chicken Creek, met Charles W. Dalton with a drove of beef cattle enroute to the city (S.L.C.) The bridge had been washed out by high water hence the crossing was muddy. In crossing, Dalton’s waggon upset in the creek & wet all their bedding, clothing and supplies. Also $130 in green backs”

Wednesday, June 4th 1867 –

” Left a mare with Julia Dalton (Charles 1st wife) at Fillmore by request of Charles W Dalton.”

Sunday, June 8th 1867 Beaver Utah.

” This morning I eat breakfast with Betsey Dalton ( Charles 2nd wife) and I promised to dine with Sarah and her family. The dinner was tasty. Sarah presented me with a photograph of herself and Charles. Also one of Betsy, all of which I put in my album.”

Wednesday , Oct. 16th 1867

” At Beaver City I left my son Samuel P. Lee to stay with his sister Sarah Jane to go to school. we spent the day with Charles W. Dalton and family .”

Tuesday, Nov. 28th 1867.

” The roads were almost impassable on account of the mud an it was still raining at Chickin Creek. We met Charles W. Dalton, my son-in- law, of the firm of Dalton & Clayton on their way to the city (S.L.C.) with a drove of cattle of several hundred head.

They had their barrage waggon upset in the creek and everything had got soaked. They encamped to dry things out”.

Wednesday, Dec. 4th 1867.

” We reached Beaver and stayed over night with my daughter Sarah Jane. we were kindly received by her husband Charles and family”.

Tuesday, Jan. 30th 1868.

” At 3 o-clock PM we arrived in Beaver at Charles Dalton’s place and delivered up the pork he had ordered. We took dinner with Julia & Betsey Dalton and had breakfast with them the next morning. Also dinned with my daughter Sarah on Weds”.

Sunday, June 1st 1873.

” This morning we held a public meeting. After the meeting we responded to the River’s edge, where Elder James Grover baptized HEBER DALTON, the son of Charles W. Dalton & my daughter Sarah Jane”.

Note: The personal history of Sarah Jane Lee:

Sarah Jane LEE was born 3 Mar 1838 in Vandalia, Fayette, Illinois. Sarah died 27 Mar 1915 in anguitch, Garfield, Utah, and was buried 29 Mar 1915 in Panguitch, Garfield, Utah.

From her childhood, Sarah Jane had a vivid memory of the occasion when the Prophet Joseph and his brother, Hyrum, were killed, as she lived near the Smiths. When their bodies were brought home from Carthage Jail, she cried bitterly. One day the Prophet’s mother took her into a room of the Smith home, which had an unused fireplace with a curtain around it and showed her the Egyptian mummies Joseph had received.

She crossed the plains with her father’s company at the age of nine or ten years, walking most of the way with her aged grandmother, Abigail Shaffer, who died on the trail soon after they crossed the Missouri River. The company eventually arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1848. She lived a round with her folks, as circumstances would permit, until she was fifteen years old, and then was persuaded to marry a polygamist, as the third wife of CHARLES DALTON The ceremony was performed by George A. Smith. She had three children before she was twenty. She was in love with a you man when she married Dalton, so was not very happy with him. Dalton married three other women after he married Sarah Jane, one of whom was Lucinda Lee.

Sarah Jane wanted her children to attend school. In order to pay for the tuition, she cleaned Lucinda’s home, as well as doing the washing, ironing, and other various jobs for her. Sarah Jane always had to work very hard to educate and support her growing family since her husband provided very poorly for them. After many years of marriage to Dalton, and bearing al most every privation, she decided to leave him and make a go of it on her own. A bishop’s trial was held and she was granted a divorce. He was present at the proceedings and gave his consent for the separation. He gave her a small one-room house, which she sold for $150.00, and applied the money on a $600.00 home. She found a job at Minersville, Utah as proprietress of a hotel and finished making the payments on the home. Dalton gave her boys a small piece of land, a team of horses, and a few cows, which they turned over to the United Order, and came out of it with nothing. This experience embittered them to the extent that they did very little for or in the church thereafter. They worked very hard, however, to help their mother until they married and made homes for themselves.

When her ninth child was about seven years old, she met and married George McCook Underwood, who had come to Beaver when the army was stationed at Fort Cameron, just outside the town. He was a blacksmith and worked for the soldiers at the fort. On June 29, 1869 she had her tenth child, whom she named Lucy. She still had to work hard helping to provide for her family. After George left the service of the army, they moved to Marysvale, Utah, to work in the mines, which were booming at that time.

She divorced him while living there, because of his heavy drinking, and moved to Beaver. Underwood went to Panguitch and put up a blacksmith shop, the only one in the vicinity for many years. He was an expert in this line, and could have made money but he continued drinking. Not many years before his death, he quit drinking and threw away his tobacco, tea, and coffee.

Sarah Jane spent several summers on the Prince Ranch at Panguitch Lake, making butter and cheese, which she sold for tax money and provisions. Later she re-married Underwood and lived with him until his death. Her worldly possessions were limited. They lived in a small frame house first, and then in a two-room house across the street from the church. The third home they bought was a small house one block west of the church where they lived until both had passed away.

The history of Sarah Lucinda Lee. Charles Wakeman Dalton’s 4th wife:

Sarah Lucinda Lee was the daughter of John Percival Lee and Elisa Foscue, born in Coosa County, Alabama, Feb. 9th 1847. She was the second child born in the family of eight children. Her father John P. Lee took the family to DeWitt County, Texas before 1849, where they joined a group of Mormons’ going to Utah Her family started across the plains with the company of Thomas Johnson but they finished the journey in the company of Shadrack Roundy and arrived in Utah in 1850. John P. Lee was one of a group of families sent on the San Bernardino mission, but they returned to Utah during the Utah War in 1857-58 Shortly after the settlement of towns in Southern Utah, the Lee family moved to Beaver, Utah where Lucinda married Charles W. Dalton, and became the mother of a large family. The greater part of her life was spent in the school room as a teacher. “Aunt Lue “, as she was affectionately known, by her friends and pupils, was one of the outstanding educators of the period. She was the mother of a large family, which always included a baby. Note: Sarah’s Father, John Percival Lee was one of the best remembered teachers in early Beaver days. He began teaching in his own home. It was a 2 room log house. His family lived in one room and he held school in the other.

Sarah Lucinda Dalton was living in Circleville, Utah in 1876 when she wrote a autobiography letter to Mrs. E. B. Wells discussing her problem of being educated, librated woman in a world dominated by men. She was a sincere and energetic worker, and at all times brought out the best efforts of her pupils, and encouraged them to seek a higher and better education. Her students speak of her with love, and remember her untiring interest in their behalf. In the crude and rough buildings and with little of none of the equipment belonging to a school room, she carried on, and kept the spirit of learning alive and active.

From the Book, The Mountain Meadows Massacre: by Juanita Brooks:

“Not only did George A. Smith carry significant orders to both the military and the Indians, but his preaching to the people in general was of such an inflammatory nature that it roused them to a high emotional pitch. Because of this, the fatal relationship between this visit and the massacre re which followed scarcely a month later can hardly be overemphasized. George A Smith stayed with his family in Parowan until Sat. Aug. 15th 1857, when he started in company with William H. Dame, Colonel Commanding, Captains C. C. Pendleton, Jesse N. Smith, Ellis Silas Smith, CHARLES W. DALTON, D. Cluff Jr. and others to visit the settlements in the south and complete the military organization in each.”

The events of Sept. 6th to 11th 1857 at Mountain Meadows are shrouded in secrecy and conflicting testimony. It is generally thought that the first Indian attach on the Fancher-Baker wagon train, which consisted of 135 men, women and children from Arkansas (also called the Missouri Wild Cats) going to southern California, accrued because the Indians claimed that t he men of the wagon had earlier given them poisoned beef and a few Indians had died because of this bad meat. was soon called on to man aged these Indians. Lee traveled south with a hundred more Indians an quite a number of militia men from the southern communities of the district, mainly Cedar City, Johnson’s Fort, Harmony, Washington and Santa Clara.

(Note: An extension of the famed Nauvoo Legion was formed at Cedar Fort in Dec.31st 1852. John D. Lee was a Major of the 4th Battalion. Many of the men involved in the Mountain Meadows Massacre had been closely associated with Joseph Smith and some had been his guards. These same men had close contact with Brigham Young and respected him) On Thursday about noon they were joined by several men from Cedar City and that evening John M. Higbee and Phillip Klingonsmith with a large force arrived from the same place. The Indians could not be stopped , and so the fate of the emigrants was decided on Friday, 11th of Sept. 1857; Under a flag of truce, John D. Lee entered the emigrant camp and convinced them to lay down their arms by promising safe conduct back to Cedar City. The disarmed men and women marched to the spot where they were killed by both Indians and Militia men acting under military orders. The Militia men who refused to kill were told they could shoot into the air and then let the Indians finish the savage work! Records show that quite a few young children were not killed. Almost all of these children were much later returned to Arkansas. A couple of these children were taken into Mormon Families and raised as there own.

Note: from the book; The Mountain meadows Massacre, by Juanita Brooks:

Through it all, messengers hurried back and forth between Isaac C. Haight at Cedar City, and his superior military officer, William H. Dane at Parowan, and between Lee at the Meadows. Every account mentions these express riders without naming then, but Jesse N. Smith identifies himself as one:

“Tuesday, Sept. 8th 1857. Was harvesting at Paragoonah when a boy brought me word that Col. Dane wished to see me. Went home at once and Col. Dane informed me that he had word by an Indian boy that the Indians had attacked the Emigrant Company at Mountain Meadows, and he wished me to proceed to Cedar City and ascertain the truth about the matter. EDWARD DALTON accompanied me. On Weds. 9th Sept. Dalton and myself rode on to Pinto, where hearing the word unmistakable confirmed, we rode back to Cedar to report.”

Afterward no one wanted to accept responsibility for this tragedy. The men swore not to tell what happened. Both the days immediately after the tragedy and over the next 140 years a variety of conflicting explanations of the participation of Southern Utah men. The Federal Government spent 2 decades trying to apprehend and punish the participants, but it’s efforts failed as the tight knit Mormon society closed ranks and protected it ‘s members. In Nov. 1874 however, John D. Lee was arrested. He stood trial twice in the district court at Beaver, where his daughter Sarah and Charles W. Dalton lived. The first jury failed to agree on his guilt. In a second trial Lee was convicted and eventually convicted. After a few years in prison John D. Lee was taken to the very spot of the Mountain Meadows killings and was executed in March of 1877. Other’s involved lived hunted and haunted and bore the remorse of their involvement . These men were considered leaders in their communities and churches. Did our CHARLES W. DALTON have anything to do with this Mormon tragedy? Remember he had a constant contact with John D. Lee and was an official of the t own of Harmony. Was he a member of the Iron County Militia? He must have been only a few miles away when the call came to go help his father- in- law John D. Lee. We can only assume he and the Dalton’s in Southern Utah at this time were either there or not. We hope not! Because of the shadow cast by the killings many Iron County families moved to other settlements including CHARLES W. DALTON and family’s move to the Beaver area and t hen to Circleville. (Of note: It has been proven without a doubt that Charles W. Dalton was not at the massacre, he was freighting up north at the time)

Charles Wakeman Dalton moved with his second wife, Elizabeth, across the mountain to Circleville sometime in 1874. Charles had probably heard about “Circle Valley” from the Circleville residents that had lived in Beaver during their exile, because of the Black Hawk War. He was the first Mormon to resettle in the Valley. There were only four miners other living there at the time. He was followed by his sons and their families in 1875.

He built up a large ranch Northeast of town. After his ranch was up and going good, he went back to Fillmore and talked his first wife Juliette, who he was separated from at the time, into moving to Circleville where he would build her a cabin of her own. His forth wife, Sarah Lucinda Lee also lived in Circleville at one time, because two of her children were born there. She would later also divorce Charles. At the time Charles had only three wives in Circleville that had not divorced him. The two that had divorced him were Sarah Jane Lee and Emma Roberta Lee, sister of Sarah Lucinda. Both Juilette & Elizabeth lived in Circleville until their deaths.

Charles Wakeman Dalton probably was living with one of his sons in Beaver, Utah when he died on June,18th 1883. He was a true pioneer, very enterprising and was involved in many of the events of the settling of Southern Utah.

Charles Wakeman Dalton was a Utah pioneer and early Latter-day Saint that helped to settle some of the small towns in Southern Utah in the early 1850’s. He married five wives’ and had as many as 36 children.

In 1880 Charles Wakeman Dalton was living in St. George with one of his wives, Lucinda Lee Dalton and three of their children; Belle, Guy and Ernest — ages 9, 4, and 1.

Charles Wakeman Dalton probably was living with one of his sons in Beaver, Utah when he died on June,18th 1883. He was a true pioneer, very enterprising and was involved in many of the events of the settling of Southern Utah.

Drowned. – A few days ago an aged man named Charles W. Dalton of Beaver fell into an irrigation canal near his residence being enfeebled at the time of the accident from having been effected with chills, he was unable to get got out of the water. When found, life was so nearly extinct that all efforts at resuscitation failed and he expired shortly afterwards. The particulars are given in the Beaver County record.

Source: Deseret News – 7-18-1883.

Buried at Mountain View Cemetery – Grave No. A_6_3


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