Hole-in-the-Rock Landmarks and People

Hole-in-the-Rock Landmarks and People
Answers at bottom of the left column.

January 13, 2010

Bayles *, Hanson, Mary Ann Durham

 (Hanson Bayles story written by Jill Bayles, submitted March 29, 2010 --Thank you so much!)

Hanson Bayles was just twenty one when he was called to leave for the San Juan country in 1879.  He left his sweetheart in Parowan as he was one of twenty-two in the first exploring party on the southern route to San Juan.  In the fall the full expedition set out with Hanson herding some of his own cattle as he helped manage the large herd of livestock that accompanied the party.  In April, 1880, the weary pioneers finally pulled into Bluff after their grueling six month journey. Next to the San Juan River they built a fort, their cabins, and established the San Juan Mission.  The men drew lots for acreage to farm and for city lots to build their homes.

Later that year Hanson returned to Parowan to get his sweetheart, Mary Ann Durham; they were married in the St. George Temple and they were in Bluff to begin their married life by Christmas, 1880.  The family prospered in spite of the hardship and four children were born in Bluff - Annie, Hanson Durham, Emma, and Caroline.  Unfortunately, Mary Ann died in 1888 when their last child was born and Hanson was left a widower with four children under eight.  His sisters Juliette & Emma came to Bluff to help care for the motherless family.

As Bluff grew, Hanson prospered and was able to build his herds & grazing land.  He was a founding partner in the Bluff co-op.  Meanwhile, a young woman named Evelyn Lyman, a daughter of Platte Lyman, was growing up in Bluff.  She noticed Hanson & his little family and Hanson was aware of Evelyn as she played in the Bluff band and attended church activities.  Her father warned her that she could be a widow for many years if she married an older man; his words turned out to be quite true.

Hanson was forty and Evelyn twenty two in 1897 when they married in the Manti Temple.  Their first child, De Lyman Bayles, was born the next year and in 1900 Velyn was born.  By this time their new block home was under construction.  This home was located across the street west from Dorothea & Jens Neilsen's home and the growing family, now with six children, was anxious to move in.  Soon Clark, Grant, and Adelia arrived, joining the teenagers from Hanson's first family.

Outlaws and Indian trouble continued to plague the settlers.  During those early years, some of the men took turns being the sheriff.  It was while Hanson was sheriff that he had a unique experience.  Two outlaws were on their way through the San Juan country & he was notified to be on the lookout and try to apprehend them.  He & a deputy had captured them & were taking them to Thompson where they could catch the train to take them on to Colorado.  This was over a hundred miles so they spent a few nights on the trail with their horses and the prisoners.  Hanson and the deputy would take four hour shifts during the night to guard the outlaws.  One of those nights Hanson was on guard; he was sitting, leaning against a tree with his rifle across his knees.  Everyone seemed to be sleeping as Hanson rested.  Suddenly he awakened with a start grabbing his rifle.  One of the outlaws had managed to get out of his handcuffs & was standing in front of Hanson just reaching for his gun!  Quickly Hanson re cuffed him and tied him up tighter.  A few days later the outlaws were turned over to the authorities without further incident.  Back in Bluff, Hanson told his family of the close call.  The outlaw told Hanson that he had planned to get the gun & kill him and the deputy.  Why had Hanson awakened so suddenly when he was in danger?  Hanson said he heard his Mother calling him in her distinctive Danish accent, HAN-SON!  Anna Frederikka Oster Bayles, his Mother, had died years earlier, but he heard her that night.

By 1908, Grayson, 26 miles north of Bluff, was beginning to grow as more families settled there.  It was that year that Hanson was called as the first Bishop of Grayson Ward (later called Blanding).  Evelyn had a sad heart as they moved their growing family - now ten - from their nice home in Bluff to a tin granary in Grayson.  The twins were born in Grayson, at Hanson's Mothers', and Mary came along in 1911.  Mary may have been born in the new brick home Hanson had built on the corner of 200 South 100 East.  Scott, the last child, was born there in 1915.  This pioneer home is still occupied, now almost 100 years old.

Hanson was Bishop as the saints sacrificed and the South Chapel was built.  The first telephone in Grayson was placed in the Bayles home.  Around this time the Mormon Saints were run out of Mexico and many arrived in Grayson.  As Bishop, Hanson helped them with food & shelter; many arrived with nothing.  Many times he sent those in need to his own granary and fields for supplies.

Evelyn remembers tithing being paid in grain, vegetables, eggs, meat, fruit, and other items piled on their porch before it was distributed to the needy.

Hanson Bayles died in Blanding in 1922 and was buried in the Blanding Cemetary.  Evelyn was eighty seven when she died; she is buried in Blanding.  Mary Ann Durham Bayles is buried in the Bluff Cemetary.

(Saga of San Juan summary)
 Hanson Bayles was born to Herman D. Bayles and Anna Easter Bayles 1858 at Parowan, Utah
In 1879, he was called to help in the settlement of San Juan County. He was a member of the Mormon Exploring and Hole-in-the-Rock Parties. Later, he married Mary Ann Durham in the St. George Temple and they moved to Bluff. They had four children: Annie, Hanson Durham, Emma, and Caroline. When Caroline was born Jan. 31, 1888 her mother died.
Hanson served as county treasurer, also county commissioner and was bishop of the Bluff and later the Blanding ward. He was considered one of the leading business men of the county. His counsel was sought in financial and spiritual matters. He owned vast tracts of land, also cattle and sheep. He was a successful farmer and rancher. He was dependable and just in all of his dealings. He died Nov. 1922.

Poem about Mary Ann Durham Bayles

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