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 William Dresser Huntington

William Dresser Huntington

Original Name William D.
Watertown, Jefferson County, New York, USA
Death 20 Mar 1887 (aged 69)
Springville, Utah County, Utah, USA
Burial Springville, Utah County, Utah, USA
Plot Blk. 38 Lot 4
Memorial ID 84770 · View Source
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Son of William Huntington and Zina Baker

Married Caroline Clark, 24 Sep 1839, Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois

Married Harriet Clark, 5 Feb 1843, Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois

Married Ann Maginn, 29 Jan 1846, Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois

An Enduring Legacy, Volume Four, p. 132

William Dresser Huntington was born February 28, 1818, the son of William Huntington and Zina Baker Huntington. His place of birth was Burrville, near Watertown, New York, and his early life was spent with his family on a farm near Watertown.

As a family they were musically inclined; among their family they maintained an orchestra—William playing the bass fiddle. Their home was a gathering place for the families in their neighborhood to meet, practice and enjoy music.

His parents joined the Church in 1833. In 1836 they moved the family to Kirtland, Ohio, where they resided for two years. With his sister Zina, William was baptized in Kirtland during the summer of 1836. The family remained in Kirtland until May 1838, when they started for Missouri, arriving at Far West in July. Some time later they moved to Adam-ondi-Ahman where they stayed during the trying times that followed, experiencing the terrible persecutions of the Saints during that period.

They moved to Commerce, Illinois, later called Nauvoo, in 1839. Along with his brother Dimmick, William was made constable soon afar the town of Nauvoo was organized. He also acted as sexton in Nauvoo.

William, along with his three brothers, belonged to the military band that was organized soon after the city of Nauvoo was chartered.

Soon after the Huntington family moved to Nauvoo, they were all stricken with malaria, commonly known at that time as chills and fever. The mother, who had been weakened by the exposures and hardships experienced afar the family left Kirt-land, died July 8, 1839. William and his younger brother John were the only two of their family well enough to attend her funeral. The Prophet Joseph Smith told them they would all die if they did not leave the place where they were living, as the ground was low and marshy. He took them to his home temporarily until they recovered from their illness.

September 24, 1839, William married Caroline, daughter of Hiram and Mary Fenno Clark, in Nauvoo. From this union seven children were bern. February 5, 1843, he married Harriet Clark, sister of Caroline, in Nauvoo. The ceremony was performed by the Prophet and with the sanction of William's first wife, Caroline. Seven children were born to this union.

When the Prophet and his brother Hyrum were martyred in Carthage Jail, their bodies were brought to Nauvoo. Through William's personal acquaintance with the Prophet and his family he was one of five or six men chosen to take charge of the bodies. At the funeral held in Nauvoo, the bodies were supposed to be interred but were not; sand was placed in the caskets to mislead their enemies. The bodies were temporarily secreted under the floor of one of the unfinished rooms in the Nauvoo House, built by the Prophet. William and the other guards dug two graves in the cellar under the bee house belonging to the Prophet on the lot where his house stood.

Afar the Prophet's death, William was active in planning for the trek West. He moved his families by easy stages from Nauvoo to Winter Quarters, now known as Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he purchased some land and planted thirty acres of wheat, built and operated a store and tavern, as well as building homes for his families. At the request of President Brigham Young he remained there until early in 1849 looking afar the widows and families of members of the Mormon Battalion who had volunteered to serve in the Mexican war, and helping to equip wagons for the move west.

The family left Winter Quarters for Utah in the spring of 1849, arriving in Salt Lake City in the late summer. They remained in Salt Lake until 1851 and then moved to Springville.

October 13, 1854, he headed a party (eleven white men and an Indian guide) which had been called by President Brigham Young on an exploring and trading expedition to the Navajo Indian country in what is now known as southeastern Utah, northern New Mexico and northern Arizona. The trip was very successful in many ways and the party returned safely December 1854.

Farming, civic responsibilities (he was the seventh mayor of Springville), postman and mining in the Tintic district were a few of the activities in which he was engaged. He organized and was the leader of the first band in Springville and was very efficient in making drums. Both bass and snare drums were made for bands throughout the state.

He died very suddenly March 20, 1887. His funeral was one of the largest ever held in Springville, and the band he had organized and fostered for many years took part in the funeral service, honoring him for participation in bands, orchestras, etc., throughout his entire life. — Lottie H. Lambson




  • Created by: SMSmith
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 84770
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for William Dresser Huntington (28 Feb 1818–20 Mar 1887), Find A Grave Memorial no. 84770, citing Historic Springville Cemetery, Springville, Utah County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by SMSmith (contributor 46491005) .