DAVID CROCKETT CAZIER – BIOGRAPHY
Compiled by Marion Blackett, Great-Granddaughter
This biographical description of David C. Cazier’s life was given at his funeral services on May 22, 1929 at the Juab Stake Tabernacle in Nephi, Utah by Judge Thomas H. Burton..
This history of David C. Cazier is the history of Nephi. When David came he found a few covered wagons camped there. Nephi was 100 miles from the boundary of civilization with no roads, bridges, mail routes or telephones. This group of pioneers was beyond the confines of the United States. Their nearest neighbors were the Indians.
David C. Cazier was born in Oldham County, Kentucky, on May 1, 1834. He was the son of William and Pleasant Drake Cazier. His father was a backwoods farmer of very limited means. David had six brothers: James, John, Benjamin, William, Samuel, and Charles. William died before they left Kentucky. His three sisters were Maranda, Elizabeth, and Rosannah.
In the year 1840 the family moved from Kentucky to Moultrie County, Illinois, where Father Cazier took up farming on the Western Frontier of the United States. While in Illinois they became converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The family remained in Illinois until 1845 when.they moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa..
It was during this time that the Church was going through a period of bitter persecution. The Saints had been robbed, ill-treated, and many of them murdered in cold blood. They were finally driven from their homes in Missouri into the wilds of Illinois.
This was at a time when it took courage, faith, and fortitude to join a church which was so unpopular, especially during the year 1845. Father William and his good wife were baptized and became members of the Mormon Church under such trying circumstances as these in the years 1844-1845.
In the year 1845 the family left their home and all that they had, except for a few belongings that they could take with them, and joined the Saints at Council Bluffs, Iowa. They arrived in Council Bluffs in the fall of 1846 and took up their abode in a hay shed. The weather was cold and stormy and as a final result to this exposure, Pleasant, the. mother of David, died . There were no caskets available and no material to make one. As a last resort Father Cazier and the boys cut down a tree, hollowed it out, made it after the fashion of a trough; and this hollowed tree was used as a casket in which the last remains of their dear wife and mother were consigned to mother earth. The top covering of this crude casket was made from the end-gate of the wagon box. The family was quite fortunate in having a quilt which they used as the burial robe.
Shortly after this Father Cazier, who had been left with a family to provide for and in destitute circumstances, was called upon by the United States government to send his two eldest sons, James and John, to fight the war with Mexico. The boys joined the Mormon Battalion and went to California. This march to California by the Mormon Battalion was the longest infantry march that was ever made in the history of the world.
Father Cazier was obliged to leave his family and seek employment to obtain means with which to keep the wolf from the door. He accordingly went to Missouri where he obtained employment as a rail-splitter. As money was unknown in these parts at that time, he received for his labors some corn and pork.
After the death of Mother Pleasant in the fall of 1846, Father Cazier met and married Margaret Phillis Ewin the next spring. She was a widow and had no children, but made a splendid stepmother to the Cazier children. The Cazier’s remained in Council Bluffs from 1846 to 1850 where they took up farming and built a house. In 1850, however, Fa.ther Cazier again abandoned his home and farm, loaded his scant belongings into his wagon, and with his sons and daughters began the thousand-mile journey across the plains by ox team. The Cazier’s came in the Captain Morris Phelps Company. The little band of pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on the 1st day of October, 1850.
In the summer of 1851 President Brigham Young called on Father Cazier and others to assist in the building up of a settlement at Salt Creek. The Father Cazier family came to Nephi, then known as Salt Creek, arriving on the latter part of October of 1851 and took their abode in a dugout on the west side of Main Street between the Court House and Foot’s store or near the present site of Ostler and Allen Harness Shop. David was 17 years of age and Nephi was less than one month old.
It is common knowledge that Joseph L. Heywood of Salt Lake City visited this locality in the summer of 1851, and being pleased with the conditions, obtained permission from President Young to organize a company of Latter-day Saints and to proceed to settle there. Mr. Heywood began his propaganda, and before the last of November, 1851, there were seventeen families numbering seventy-six persons, seventeen of whom were adults and fifty-nine younger people. They camped in seventeen covered wagons upon the banks of Salt Creek
The honor of being the first settler belongs to Timothy B. Foote and his son, Charles, locating there on September 25, 1851. The next person was Z.H. Baxter who arrived a few days later. In October came the families of William Cazier, C.H. Bryan, Josiah Miller, Israel Hoyt, and Charles Sperry. The Cazier family consisted of William, age 57; Margaret, age 47; Samuel, age 20; David, age 17; Charles, age 14; and Rosannah, age 11. Also the second son John who was 30 years old joined them with his wife and children .
Patriarch William Cazier, the father of David Cazier, died at Nephi, Utah on February 28, 1872. He was one of the most beloved of men that ever lived in Nephi. He was known by all as Father or Dad Cazier.
David C. Cazier was baptized into the Church in the Salt Creek stream by his home in 1852. On June 7, 1857 he married Sarah Frances Mangum. They had four sons and one daughter: David William, Adelbert, Sarah Ellen who only lived a few weeks, Orson, and Edwin. William and Edwin preceded their father in death.
I will let the deceased, David, tell you in his own words how he met his wife:
“We thought a lot of our women then. I well remember how hard I had to work on my father’s farm, and he thought I was too young to get married and would not help me. A beautiful young girl who was named, Sarah Frances Mangum, came to Nephi with her brother Cy. With me it was a case of love at first sight. I tried to get acquainted, but I didn’t know how to start things. At last I noticed that she was barefooted. I went all the way to Salt Lake City by ox team to get her a pair of shoes, which she greatly appreciated. We were soon engaged to be married. I was 23 years and she was19. We did not have a wedding like the couples have today. In fact, if I had had to pay for a license, I could not have done so. Bishop Jacob C. Bigler tied the knot. Then Sarah Frances took what little belongings she had in a basket, and we both carried this basket and walked the long distance to my adobe hut, which was half a dugout. Sarah even borrowed a dress to get married in.”
“When the first baby came, we had nothing for clothes. Sarah had to take cotton wool from beneath the quilts and spin it on the old spinning wheel to make clothes for the baby. We were the happiest couple in the world, and she was the most beautiful woman that I had ever seen, always wearing curls in he bob….”
Regarding the progress and the development of the little town of Salt Creek, David Cazier during his life told me the following:
“The spring of ’52 was a busy one. Corrals and ditches were to be built and preparations made for a crop which was the most essential requisite for existence. These things were accomplished in due time and a fair crop was harvested. During the summer a meeting house and a schoolhouse were erected.”
“The first anniversary of the settlement of Nephi was September 25, 1852. Juab County of which Nephi was the county seat was organized on March 3, 1852. The first court was held at Nephi on March 20, 1852. At first election held in Nephi, William Cazier was chosen as one of the three selectmen”
“In the summer of 1853 the Ute Indians under the notorious Chief Walker went on the war path. Many times I stood guard every other night covering long periods of time; and I had to work in the field the next day. I also took part in the Black Hawk War.”
“In the spring of 1854 the settlers were advised by President Young to build a fort. On the 25th of May a committee of five were appointed to devise ways and means for constructing a fort. It was decided that the wall should encompass an area of nine blocks being three blocks square. The dimensions were 12 feet high, 6 feet wide at the bottom and 2 2 feet wide at the top. There were to be two large gates, one at the north and the other at the south.”
“The completion of this work, which required the biggest portion of the summer, was celebrated by three days of feasting and dancing. This was November 11th, 12th, and 13th in 1854. A happy time was remembered by the participants. Numerous were the toasts and sentiments expressed on the occasion, all spiced with scraps of verse and rhyme.”
“In the spring of 1855 the grasshoppers in black clouds swept down upon our crops and devoured them. We were obliged to subsist on roots of weeds and plants or what other little nourishment we could find.”
David Crockett Cazier
To David Cazier belongs the honor of raising the first apples in Nephi. Joseph L. Heywood had planted some apple trees in 1852. The grasshoppers, however, almost completely destroyed the trees. In the spring David secured some of the cast-offs and planted them on his homestead on the bank of the Salt Creek, and with the apples grown there he took the prize at the first fair held in Juab Valley.
David brought the first grain cradle to Salt Creek with which he cut over 1, 000 acres of hay and grain. He brought to Nephi the first threshing machine and with this and other threshing machines, which he later purchased and operated for over a period of sixty-five years, he threshed over 1,000,000 bushels of grain. He cut and hauled from the canyons over 1,000 logs. A number of these were used in the construction of the Juab Stake Tabernacle.
David received his first formal education in the schoolhouse located on the present site of the Tithing Office, under the tutorship of George Spencer and his wife. David said that he had to make straight marks with pot hooks. He later attended the school conducted by Jonathan Midgely, which was located at the present site of the Bonneville Lumber Company. He finally finished his scholastic education in the old brown adobe, 18 feet by 40 feet, with a straw and willow roof, which was located west of the new Forest Hotel. This was in the latter part of the fifties and Andrew Love was his instructor.
David remembered distinctly the time when Abraham Boswell came from California after the Mormon Battalion had been released and brought with him the first money that ever came to Nephi. This sum was $500.00. A part of this money was used to buy hardware hinges and locks for the big fort gates and to buy burrs for the first flour mill.
From April 1872 to August 1873 Brother David Cazier filled a mission to Great Britain, and he was called to preside over the Bristol conference. He was active in his early day: in the lesser Priesthood.
In the year 1855 he was ordained a Seventy; in 1870 a High Priest; and a High Councilman in the Juab Stake of Zion which position he held for over forty-two years.
On July 2, 1864 David married Eliza Naylor in polygamy. They had no children and were married about twenty-eight years. In 1875 Sarah Frances divorced David because she could not accept a polygamous marriage. After Eliza’s death David married Ann Warrillo Andrews on November 30, 1892. They had a happy marriage for twenty years. Then David was a widower for nine years. He stayed with his son Orson and family during an illness. Later his son Ed and daughter-in-law Sadie went to live with him at his home.
On August 30, 1921 he married Amelia Amass Williams. A t this time David was 87 and his bride was 64. Amelia died four months prior to his death. The deceased leaves two sons, eighteen grandchildren, and twenty-eight great-grandchildren to mourn his loss. He lived to the age of 95 and attributed his good health to the keeping of the Word of Wisdom. David died on the 19th of May in 1929.
Some of the facts which I have related today were given to me by Brother David Cazier on July 23, 1927, and at the conclusion of the interview, I asked him if his faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ was just as firm today as any other time in his life and his reply was:
“My testimony regarding the Gospel is that it is true. There is nothing in the world that could take its place. It is the most progressive religion on the face of the globe. Joseph Smith was a prophet of the living God just as sure as the sun shines. God bless his very name. He is the greatest man that ever lived on the earth save one and that is Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. My desire is to so live that I shall have nothing to regret when I pass from this stage of existence, and that I may receive the welcome words of ‘Enter thou into the Kingdom of God.’ I am confident as I live, I shall be reunited with my beloved mother, father, wives, and children and to have and enjoy their presence forever and ever.”
Judge Thomas H. Burton
This biographical sketch of Sarah Frances Mangum Cazier was taken from the book, John Mangum and Descendants by Delta Ivie Hale; ,pages 22-25, pages 30-32, and pages 84-92.
Sarah Frances Mangum was born September 11, 1838 at Pickens County, Alabama. She was the third child of William and Sarah Ada Adair Mangum. Her sisters were Amelia Caroline and Marinda Elizabeth, and her brothers were Thomas Jefferson, who died in Pickens County, Cyrus Franklin, and William Young.
William and Sarah Ada became converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1845. On January 15, 1846 they left Itawamba County, Mississippi, with their family for Nauvoo, Illinois, arriving there on March 20, 1846. The Illinois mobs were at this time forcing the Latter-day Saints from their homes in Nauvoo. Sarah Ada, William and their children stayed one week in Nauvoo and then crossed the Mississippi River traveling west.
They stopped for one month at Mt. Pisgah, Union County, Iowa. This was a resting place on the Grand River for the Saints. Here the emigrants built log cabins, or shanties, or lived in their wagons. Some stayed long enough to plant gardens. While at Mt. Pisgah, their son, William Young, died at the age of 1 year and 8 months. He was buried at the Mt. Pisgah burying grounds. Then they continued on to Council Bluffs where they stayed for four and one half years. This town was established by the Saints due to their expulsion from Nauvoo in 1846. The place soon rose as an important point in procuring outfits and provisions for the trek west.
In the spring of 1852 they moved to a settlement on the Bongo River which was a stopping off place for the westward emigrants. On June 28, 1852, Narinda Elizabeth, who had been born at
Council Bluffs, died from cholera a the age o f 1 year and 8 months. A few days later Sarah Ada and William traveled as far as Loup Fork, a tributary of the Platte River, when Sarah Ada suffering from cholera became so ill that her family could only watch helplessly as her life slipped away on July 3, 1852. She was buried by nine o’clock the next morning on July 4, 1852 in the bark of a large tree with one strip over her, one strip under her and both ends joined. Her unmarked grave was near the bank of the river. Her husband and children were in despair as they moved on to find a home in the west.
William and his children, Amelia Caroline, age 18; Sarah Frances, age 14; and Cyrus, age 12 continued on their journey and arrived in Salt Lake City on September 23, 1852. They went to Brigham City where they spent the winter. In the spring of 1853 William married Sarah Delight Potter on April 3rd. Then they moved to Payson, Utah, where they lived for four years. Along with the Mangums and the Adairs, William was called by President Young to go to Washington, Washington County, Utah, on March 3, 1857 to help raise cotton and sugar cane because these families were from the southern states.
During their stay in Payson, Sarah Frances became the wife of James Richey in polygamy while in her teens, but left three months afterwards, according to one report. James Richey’s first wife was Sarah Frances’ aunt, Lucinda.. Sarah Frances lived with them in Manti.
William Mangum had red hair and blue eyes and from his picture was a good-looking man. He was a furniture maker and made all the furniture used in his home. While his wife Sarah Delight was left to take care of the family, he filled two missions for the Church, each five years. He worked both on the temple at St. George and the Salt Lake Temple during their construction. William died at his home in Circleville, Piute County, Utah, on February 26, 1888 a t the age of 77. He was buried in the town’s cemetery.
Sarah Frances divorced James Richey and became the wife of David C. Cazier on June 7, 1857 and their marriage was sealed in the Endowment House on January 19 , 1861.
My grandfather, Orson Cazier, told me that his mother, Sarah Frances, couldn’t adjust to polygamy and in 1875, being 37 years of age, became very unhappy after eighteen, years of marriage. When he was 12, his mother divorced his father. Sarah Frances, his mother, opened a store down on Main Street and he would go down often to visit her, chop wood for her, and eat with her. His mother later married Mr. Alfred White who had been a school teacher in Nephi, and they were married for fourteen years.
In 1889, while living in Salt Lake City with her son, Ed, Sarah Frances caught typhoid fever and died at the Deseret Hospital (L.D.S.) on October 29th at the age of 51. Dell and Orson, hearing of her sicknesses rushed up to see her, but she died before they arrived.
David had her brought back to Nephi for burial, for he always loved her, but he was stubborn and she was proud. Her sons always respected and loved their mother, for they understood her.
I will always remember great-grandfather David Cazier as a tall, erect, dignified gentleman who would come walking up the street impeccably dressed with a boutonniere. He would sit on the porch leaning on his cane conversing with grandfather and grandmother. one of his sayings was “Father in Heaven show us our faults, so we can make improvement.” David had an alert intellect to the end of his life. At his funeral a chorus sang his favorite songs, “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”, “Come, Come Ye Saints”, and “America”. My father, Laurence Blackett, my mother, Florian Cazier Blackett, my sister Carol, and I went to Nephi to attend his services.
David C. Cazier left a journal which gives his thoughts and activities.