Gideon Allen Murdock, Indian Fighter

Number 2 on the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Photo Key

Gideon A Murdock










Gideon was born in 1840, so he’d have been in his seventh year during the 1847 trek.  His father, John, trusted him to help with the oxen and getting “kitted out” for the journey West.  They were part of the Abraham O Smoot, and George B Wallace Company.  They arrived in Sept of 1847.  John moved his family to the Beaver, Utah area where they permanently settled.  During his life, Gideon was an indian fighter in the Black Hawk War, although based on his records there was much more hiking involved than indian fighting.  Later was deputy Sheriff of Beaver County. Served as a Bishop in the LDS Church.  They made their home in Minersville, Utah.


GideonAMurdock_Indian War record








Trail Excerpt (from the LDS Church Website)\by Gideon A Murdock

During this winter there was conciderable sickness around these parts, and there was a man by the name of George Cooper and his wife died and left one only child about one and a half years old and Father being the only ordained Bishop on that side of the river he was instructed to take the child and take care of her and any property that mite belong to the family, and with that Father got on yoke of old gentle oxen and an old wagon, and Father had one wagon and two yoke of oxen.

So in the Spring of 1847 Father made up his mind that if he could get ready in time he would go to the rocky mountains that Summer, acordingly early in this Spring we started into Missouri to make an outfit for the valeys Father driving the one team of two yoke and I driving the one yoke[.] I was not large enough to keep out of the way of the wagon at all times and consequently had my feet and leg run over two or three times when Jumping out of the wagon to Stop the team. We made two trips into Missouri that spring one as far down as St. Joseph

Then <the> 7th of June we left Missouri river and drove the Same three yoke of oxen into Salt Lake valey arriving there on the 24th day of September being only 62 days behind the first Pioneer company into the Great Salt Lake valey[.] (We were organized into companies of 100 and of 50 and of 10′s. We were in the A[braham]. O[wen]. Smo[o]ts 100 Geo[rge] B[enjamin]. Walles [Wallace] 50 and John Nebekers 10)


Trail excerpt from Journal of Gideons Father, John Murdock  john_murdock_born_1792_medium

March 1847. The Omaha Indians killed my Ox:

but about the 1rst of April I made out three yoke of Oxen and two wagons, and my Son Gideon, being but six years old, accompanying me, we drove said wagons and teems, two trips to Missouri; for provisions, say 550 miles and then

started June 7th. Left Winterquarters, to Journey with the Saints, still further into the wilderness. Being prepaired with three yoke of Oxen two wagons; two thousand pounds of bread stuf and my family, consisting of Sarah my wife, Martha Ann Henderson, Gideon, George, and Mary Cooper.

And September 24th or 25th arrived in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, North America having driven our three yoke of Oxen 1600 miles in less than six months without a shoe on either of their feet halling [hauling] twenty hundred on one wagon and twelve hundred on the other. And then sent back on yoke of my Oxen to helpin[g] the Brethren and one of them died on the trip

From “Prominent Men and Pioneers of Utah”

MURDOCK, JOHN (son of John Murdock of Delaware county,

N. Y., and Elleanor Riggs of New York, N. Y.). Born
July 15, 1792, Kortright, Delaware county, N. Y. Pioneers
Sept. 24, 1847, Captain Wallace company.

Married Julia Clapp. Their children: Orrice C., m. Mar-
gret Molen 1850; John R., m. Almira H. Lott 1849. Family
home Lehi, Utah.

Married Electa Allen (daughter of Gideon Allen and
Rachell Hand, pioneers 1848). She was born Dec. 6, 1806,
Litchfleld, Conn. Only child: Gideon A. Murdock, m.
Lucinda E. Howd March 1, 1866.

Married Sarah Zufelt. Their children: George (adopted);

First bishop of 14th ward, Sail Lake City. First mis-
sionary to Australia in 1851; patriarch. Member of the
first legislature in Utah 1849. Died Dec. 23, 1871, Beaver,
Utah. .



Gideon A. Murdock

(son of John Murdock and Electa Allen). Born Aug. 1, 1840, Lima, 111.

Married Lucinda E. Howd March 1, 1866, Beaver City
(daughter of Simeon F. Howd, pioneer Brigham Young com-
pany and Lucinda Morgan pioneer 1847). She was born June
30, 1860, Salt Lake City. Their children: Electa b. May 12,
1870, m. Francis M. Dirrity; Lucinda E. b. Oct. 13, 1872, m.
Myron O. Cooley; Rosella M. b. July 19, 1876, m. James
W. Eyre; Almira H. b. March 2, 1879, m. John McKnight;
J. Simeon b. May 8, 1883, m. Ella Dotson; Orrin b. Aug. 12.
1885, m. Cassie Myers; Lucy b. July 12, 1889, m. Cyrus
Osborn; Edmond H. b. Aug. 24, 1891. Family home Miners-
vllle. Utah.

Bishop of Joseph, Sevler Co., Utah 1877-93. Deputy sheriff
of Beaver county 1868-75. Adjutant of cavalry; lieutenant
of cavalry during the Black Hawk war.


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Melissa Coray Kimball, woman of the Mormon Batallion





This remarkable woman is Melissa Burton Coray Kimball.  She was a newlywed at 18 years old and wished to join her husband, Sgt William Coray on the Mormon Batallion trek.  She was accepted as a laundress for the soldiers and was allowed to go on the march.

She was attached to the Mormon Battalion and walked the whole way… She looks very tough, and she was!   She trekked a good part of the way while  pregnant.  Their baby, who lived only a short while, was born in California.  Their adventure was far from over.  They still had to get back the Utah to rejoin the Saints.  They made a difficult crossing of the Sierra Nevadas, losing five members of their party to an Indian raid.  There were no roads for much of the trip, so they had to build the road for their wagons as they went along.

There is a mountain peak called Melissa Coray Peak in the Sierras honoring her accomplishment there.  She marched all the way from Nebraska to San Diego to Northern California and then back over the Sierras to Utah!  What a woman!

Her husband, William Coray, who she had accompanied with the Battalion passed away only months after arriving in Salt Lake.  Later, she married Heber C. Kimball’s son, William H. Kimball, and they ran the hotel and stage/pony express stop at Kimball Junction, at the top of Parleys Canyon in Utah.








“Holding On, Letting Go”: Melissa Burton Coray

Painting by Sara Croft depicting Melissa grieving over her dead baby son, William Coray Jr.













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William Wallace Casper Mormon Batallion Company A

Wm_Wallace_CasperJubilee William Wallace Casper william_wallace_casper_medium







See DUP key photo #77






With special permission from the first Presidency of the Church, on February 18, 1848, William Wallace Casper, a former member of the Mormon Battalion, left the “Old Fort” (located on the site of what is now Pioneer Park) in Salt Lake City and came southeast to settle on a choice and fertile piece of ground. He homesteaded on 119 acres of ground (east and west of the “Upper County Road”, now known as Highland Drive, and north and south of 4100 South). After he and his brother-in-law got the crops planted, his wife Sarah Ann Bean Casper and daughter Sarah Jane, joined him.








information from Gundersen with an “E” website



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Isaac Perry Decker




From the Deseret News (Church News)  Oct 2009

“Decker, Isaac Perry – (3rd Ten) One of only two children in the first company, he was born Aug. 7, 1840, in Winchester, Scott Co., Ill., to Isaac and Harriet Page Wheeler Decker. His mother and father divorced in March 1843, and she later married Lorenzo Dow Young, (brother of Brigham Young) changing her name to Harriet Decker Young.  Two of Isaac’s sisters were married to Brigham Young.   Isaac’s brother, Charles, was married to Brigham Young’s daughter, Vilate Young Decker… Polygamy, whatever else it may have been, was certainly exhausting!  See #118 on the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Key.



Harriet_Page_Wheeler_YoungHarriet Young, Isaac’s Mother



Isaac’s Father

Isaac_Perry_DeckerSrIsaac’s father remained a faithful member and came to Salt Lake City in a later company, where he died in 1873.



Isaac with his family

Isaac_perry_Decker family






After arriving, Isaac and his mother lived in the Old Fort until Lorenzo built a cabin near the Eagle Gate in Salt Lake City. The boy saw the struggles of the members during the exodus, the trek west, the meager first years including the miracle of the gulls, and the growth of Salt Lake City. In mid-life he made his home in Provo, Utah, where his son, C.F. Decker, was mayor for a time. He died Jan. 24, 1916, among the last of the original pioneer company, at age 75.”






Isaac Perry Decker is #257 on the Jubilee Photograph.








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Jesse Bigler Martin

To my delight, in working over a period of days and weeks with this image file, I discovered the face of my great great great grampa, Jesse Bigler Martin.  He is at #83 on the numbered photo image file on the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers site.


The key also says that his first wife, Sophronia Moore Martin, is in the photo at #270…  Alas, there is no number 270 on the photo.  As far as I can tell there is only one other photo of her, which is only available online as a copy of her obituary photo from an old newspaper clipping.  If anybody has a better photo, or a scan of the original they used for the obituary,  I’d love to get a copy for our family history files.

It’s kind of amazing the thrill one gets from such a small discovery.  The hearts of the children returning to their great great great grampa..


Jessie Bigler Martin DUP MAR0017He was a member of the Mormon Battalion at age 16.  So, he walked all the way from Nebraska to San Diego, and back to Salt Lake in 1847.  His wife, Sophronia Moore Martin, was in the company that arrived in the valley on Sept 21st 1847 in the company with Parley P Pratt.  In her history, she mentions she walked all the way to Utah as well.

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