|Birth: ||Jun. 22, 1817|
New York, USA
|Death: ||Apr. 13, 1903|
Son of Cornelius Johannes Decker and Gertrude Bruyn
Married Nancy Bean, 6 Mar 1849, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Children: Harriet Emily Decker, Cornelia Decker, Joseph Oscar Decker, Cornelius Isaac Decker, Zachariah Bruyn Decker, James Bean Decker, Gertrude Decker, Nathaniel Alvin Decker, Mahonri Moriancumer Decker, Sarah Vilate Decker, Emily Harriet Decker, Mary Adella Decker, George William Decker
The Bean family settled in Pioneer Square or the old fort in Great Salt Lake City. A little later they moved to Mill Creek just south of the city. It was here Nancy met Zachariah Bruyn Decker upon his return from the Mormon Battalion expedition to California and married him. They build a one-room adobe cabin in Salt Lake City where they lived for about a year. They then moved back to Mill Creek and soon after, Zachariah Decker was called by Brigham Young to help colonize Iron County in southern Utah. He left his wife Nancy, and Cornelia together with a newly-born son at Provo with the Beans while he went to Iron County in 1850 and helped to found the city of Parowan. The following spring he sent a man with a team back to Provo to bring his family. The family was reunited in the new settlement there in the spring of 1851. Zachariah B. Decker was a farmer and constable of Parowan. Nancy Bean bore him eleven children.
The following excerpts are from Cornelia's letter to her granddaughter, Maxine Driggs Thomas, recalling memories of her mother, Nancy and father, Zachariah: "Most of my girl companions were barefooted in the summer, but mother (Nancy Bean Decker) always kept shoes that she made herself for me to wear to dress up in. She would buy the skins of deer from the Indians for a little bread or flour. She would baste three of those together, put a frame inside of them and stretch them in the shape of an Indian teepee, dig a small pit and stretch them over the pit, put coals, bark and leaves in the pit to make a strong smoke but no blaze, for that would burn the skins. When they were colored by the smoke to a rich brown she would take the longest part of the skins and made trousers for father and the boys. From the skin around the neck of the deer she made low shoes for us. She would fashion the tops of the shoes. Father would cut soles from a pair of Machives he had brought from California when he came from his trip with the Mormon Battalion. Mother would turn the tops and sew them or turn them back and I would have a nice pair of shoes to wear with my best flannel dress. As I grew older my mother taught me to spin and weave and because I could do such work, I had better clothes than my girl friends."
Arlington Peter Mortensen, Nancy's grandson who knew her when he was a child in Parowan, recalls: "My grandfather, Zachariah Bruyn Decker, was born June 22, 1817 in Shawaugunk, Ulster County, New York. He spent some time washing gold at Sutter's Mill, California after his discharge from the Mormon Battalion. He returned to Salt Lake where he and Nancy Bean were married October 4, 1849. My mother Cornelia was now old enough to realize what was going on. Cornelia left us a vivid picture of the grasshopper war, of the missions of black crickets that came from every direction. In 1849 James Bean was called to take his family and go as one of the original pioneers in the settlement of Utah County, now Provo, followed a few weeks later by Zachariah and Nancy Decker and their small family. The first camp of the company was on the bank of the Provo River and just east of the present Lake View Road leading to the Geneva Steel Mills."
Mormon Battalion, Company A
Nancy Bean Decker (1826 - 1903)
Zechariah Bruyn Decker (1850 - 1939)*
James Bean Decker (1853 - 1901)*
Cornelius Isaac Decker (1855 - 1940)*
Nathaniel Alvin Decker (1856 - 1929)*
Sarah Vilate Decker Mortensen (1858 - 1939)*
Harriet Emily Decker Gilleland (1861 - 1937)*
George William Decker (1864 - 1946)*
Joseph Oscar Decker (1866 - 1947)*
Mahonri Moriancumer Decker (1868 - 1943)*
Parowan City Cemetery
Created by: SMSmith
Record added: Nov 25, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 23092605