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Peteetneet Town: A History of Payson Utah
Document Number: 102

Author: DIXON, Madoline C.
Institution: Orem Public Library, Orem Utah
    Call Number: 979.224 D645
Institution: Library of Congress
    Call Number: 74-18762
Classification: COMPILED: LocationHistory
Location: USA, Utah, Utah, Payson
Date Range: BTWN 1850 and 1974

Biographical Sketch for CURTIS, Lyman

Document Entry Number: 1

Information:
Chapter: 4
Page: 87
     The biographical sketch of Lyman Curtis was in a chapter titled, "Payson Builders, Five of the 143." This title is explained by the opening paragraph in the chapter:
     The trek of the Mormon Pioneers from Winter Quarters, Nebraska, to Salt Lake Valley has been termed one of the greatest marches ever undertaken by man. It started April 5, 1847, from the banks of the Missouri River and ended July 24, 1847.
     Members of this original band of 143 pioneers were chosen with care. Brigham Young, as commander and leader, selected men with certain abilities needed for exploration of the west and for the first years in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake.
     Five of these men later moved south and helped colonize and build the community that came to be known as Payson, Utah. They were: Lyman Curtis, Benjamin F. Stewart, Philo C. Johnson, Thomas P. Cloward and Joseph Hancock.

Transcription:
     Lyman Curtis, hunter and scout, was born in New Salem, Massachusetts, January 21, 1812, the eldest son of Nahum and Millicent Waite Curtis. He was baptized into the Mormon Church March 13, 1833, at Milford, Michigan, and the following year married Charlotte Alvord.
     At Salt Creek, Missouri, he became a member of Zions Camp. Anti-Mormon mobs drove them to Illinois and then to Winter Quarters, Iowa, where he was chosen to become a member of the first company of pioneers to explore and settle the west.
     He owned a good gun and was considered a fine hunter, supplying wild game for table use enroute to the west.
     Traveling in a wagon with Levi Jackson, he and his companions rode ahead of the main company and entered the Valley of the Great Salt Lake on July 22, 1847. That evening Curtis built a huge sagebrush fire that could be seen by others still camped in the canyon. The next day he went back and helped others over the rough road to the site of their future home. This first company explored the valley and selected the site between the two forks of the City Creek as the best place to build a city.
     In August of the same year Curtis and others started back to Winter Quarters for provisions and to bring out their families. They walked and carried their guns. A single horse carried their bedding and supplies that included only six pounds of flour per man.
     One night when they were sleeping on the plains they awoke to find their horse was stolen. A light snow had fallen and they followed the tracks to an Indian camp. After consultation with the chief, the horse was returned.
     In 1850 Curtis returned to Utah, bringing his family with him. His ninth child was born enroute. After a year in Salt Lake City, Brigham Young sent him to the Santa Clara Mission. There he supervised construction of a canal from the Little Muddy River, now Moapa in Southern Nevada, and also helped build a canal out of the Santa Clara River to the vicinity below St. George.
     After five years the family went back to Utah County and settled at Pond Town, three miles east of Payson. Curtis studied the Spanish Fork River and stated that a canal could be taken from it. He calculated that with water, 2,000 acres of land between Spanish Fork and Payson could be irrigated. The people near the river were especially opposed to such a project and at first he could get no one interested in working on the project. His brothers helped him through several months, then others, seeing the feasibility of the plan, came to his aid. They worked until it was completed.
     A prophecy given by Joseph Smith, "You shall bring out water unto dry land," had been fulfilled. His son, Dr. A. L. Curtis of Payson, was to add to this work.
     Before he died August 3, 1897, at Salem the people honored him by changing the name of Pond Town to Salem, as the place of his birth, Salem Massachusetts. (From a book, Lyman Curtis, One of the Nine Horsemen, written by his son, Dr. A. L. Curtis, in an attempt to prove that Lyman Curtis entered the Valley of the Great Salt Lake on July 22, 1847, ahead of the main party of pioneers; also from Life is a Fulfilling by Olive Kimball B. Mitchell, and an article by Rhea C. Hone published (1947) in the Payson Chronicle quoting Nellie C. Kapple and Elizabeth C. Gale.)

Associated Persons and Marriages:
CURTIS, Lyman (Id# 8685) Profession, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Lyman (Id# 8685) Religion, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Lyman (Id# 8685) BornD, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Lyman (Id# 8685) BornP, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Lyman (Id# 8685) BapD, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Lyman (Id# 8685) BapP, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Lyman (Id# 8685) DiedD, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Lyman (Id# 8685) DiedP, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Nahum (Id# 221) LinkFToChildren, MEDIUM 
WAITE, Millicent (Id# 220) LinkMToChildren, MEDIUM 
(Living) and (Living) (Id# 7118) LinkMarriage, MEDIUM 
(Living) and (Living) (Id# 7118) MarrD, LOW 
(Living) and (Living) (Id# 1080) LinkMarriage, MEDIUM 

Biographical Sketch for CURTIS, Joseph

Document Entry Number: 2

Information:
Chapter: 5
Page: 91-92
     The biographical sketch of Joseph Curtis was in a chapter titled, "First Settlers of Payson."

Transcription:
     Joseph Curtis
     
     Joseph Curtis was born December 24, 1818, in Coneatea, Erie Co., Pennsylvania. In his journal he later wrote: "At the age of twelve my mind was caused to reflect upon stories afloat concerning a Gold Bible, said to have been found or dug out of the ground and translated by looking at a stone in a hat. Soon after this the Book of Mormon was brought into the vicinity for sale. My father bought one." Later he and members of his family were baptized and confirmed members of the church.
     On June 7, 1836, the family started for Clay Co., Missouri, with three other families. Subsequently they were driven out of Missouri and went to Nauvoo, Ill., where he married Sally Ann Beed on January lst, 1846. They left Nauvoo with the rest of the Saints and after some delay arrived in Salt Lake City October 12, 1848. Joseph's brother, Lyman, had come into the valley with Brigham Young July 24, 1847. His brother, Foster, was a member of the Mormon Battalion.
     In Salt Lake he farmed on the west side of the old fort, but did poorly. The church presidency advised all who wished to farm to do so and to obtain for themselves locations as suited them best on any of the southern streams of water. He made a trip as far south as Peteetneet Creek, noted the small amount of water and returned to Salt Lake City.
     In November of the same year, 1850, President Young asked for families to go to Peteetneet to strengthen the colony there. Joseph volunteered to go. When he and his wife, Sally Ann, and their two children arrived at Provo, they sought out his brother, Moses, and another brother and wife, George and Emma Whalley Curtis. The couple had settled in Provo immediately after their marriage, which had taken place in Salt Lake City. George and Emma now decided to join Joseph and his family in settling at Peteetneet. They arrived December 7, 1950.
     Within two weeks, on December 22, both men were named school trustees together with James E. Daniels.
     Joseph said he was chosen counselor to Bishop Benjamin Cross when the first LDS branch was organized at Peteetneet on March 22, 1851. After Bishop Cross died, he was named second counselor to Bishop C.B. Hancock and ordained December 9, 1854. He was elected a city councilman in the first city elections held in April, 1853, and also served as alderman, 1855-58. He was a member of the militia and fought in the Indian wars. He died August 1, 1883, at 65 years.

Associated Persons and Marriages:
CURTIS, Joseph (Id# 8691) BornD, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Joseph (Id# 8691) BornP, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Joseph (Id# 8691) Religion, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Joseph (Id# 8691) Profession, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Joseph (Id# 8691) DiedD, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Joseph (Id# 8691) AgeInYear, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Lyman (Id# 8685) Name, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Foster (Id# 8697) Name, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Moses (Id# 8687) Name, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, George (Id# 8695) Name, MEDIUM 
WHALEY, Emma (Id# 8696) Name, MEDIUM 
REED, Sarah Ann (Id# 8692) Name, MEDIUM 
(Living) and (Living) (Id# 7120) LinkMarriage, MEDIUM 
(Living) and (Living) (Id# 7117) LinkMarriage, MEDIUM 
(Living) and (Living) (Id# 7117) MarrD, MEDIUM 
(Living) and (Living) (Id# 7117) MarrP, MEDIUM 

Biographical Sketch for CURTIS, George

Document Entry Number: 3

Information:
Chapter: 5
Page: 92
     The biographical sketch of George Curtis was in a chapter titled, "First Settlers of Payson."

Transcription:
     George Curtis
     
     George Curtis was born October 27, 1823, at Silver Lake, Michigan. He and other members of the family were baptized in 1833 and followed the Saints to Missouri. Here his mother died. They were driven out of Missouri and went to Nauvoo, Illinois, where their father died in 1846. The six Curtis sons and one of the two daughters made it to Utah.
     George arrived in Salt Lake Valley October 12, 1848. Two years later, October 30, 1850, he married Emma Whalley. They left Salt Lake City and went immediately to Provo as colonists. His brothers, Moses and Joseph were already there. Shortly after, they joined his brother, Joseph, and family in pioneering at Peteetneet.
     George was one of the men called to stand guard after Alexander Keele was killed at the start of the Walker War. The next day he and others were sent up the canyon to the sawmill to notify the families living there that the Indians were on the warpath. He, too, served in both Indian wars.
     On November 23, 1855, George took Mary Openshaw as a plural wife. He and others constructed a sawmill at Pond Town in 1859. A great deal of lumber was furnished for construction of homes and public buildings.
     George Curtis located the Payson City Cemetery. He marked the road from Payson to Spanish Fork by plowing a furrow the entire distance of six miles. He was a member of the committee in 1859 that built an adobe house and equipped it with a stage lighted with tallow candies. He was a member of the building committee for the Payson Tabernacle that was completed in 1872. He helped work on the Salem Canal with his brothers, Lyman and Moses. He died February 5, 1911, in Payson, at age 87, the father of 17 children. (Nellie C. Kapple, Elizabeth C. Gale, quoted by Rhea C. Hone, Payson Chronicle)

Associated Persons and Marriages:
CURTIS, Joseph (Id# 8691) BornD, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Joseph (Id# 8691) BornP, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Joseph (Id# 8691) Religion, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Joseph (Id# 8691) Profession, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Joseph (Id# 8691) DiedD, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Joseph (Id# 8691) DiedP, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Joseph (Id# 8691) AgeInYear, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Moses (Id# 8687) Name, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Joseph (Id# 8691) Name, MEDIUM 
CURTIS, Lyman (Id# 8685) Name, MEDIUM 
(Living) and (Living) (Id# 7120) LinkMarriage, MEDIUM 
(Living) and (Living) (Id# 7120) MarrD, MEDIUM 
(Living) and (Living) (Id# 7120) MarrP, LOW 
(Living) and (Living) (Id# 4316) LinkMarriage, MEDIUM 
(Living) and (Living) (Id# 4316) MarrD, MEDIUM