Hole-in-the-Rock Landmarks and People

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

January 12, 2010

Dunton, James Harvey and Mary Ann Doidge (Barker)

James Harvey Dunton: Birth: 9 April 1829 Of, Centerville, Crawford, Pennsylvania Death: 21 May 1901 Paragonah, Iron, Utah; Burial: 24 May 1901 Paragonah, Iron, Utah.  He married his first wife Martha Jane McKee (1835-1910) on 18 July 1852 at Paragonah, Iron, Utah.  He married Mary Ann Doidge Barker 14 June 1878 in St George, Washington, Utah.  She had five daughters from an earlier marriage.
Martha Jane McKee (James Harvey's first wife) Even though she is listed with the Duntons on the HIRF roster, it is doubtful that she and her children (Daniel David and Lette A.) were actually with the first party who came through the Hole in the Rock. Daniel and Letty were her children.

Mary Ann Doidge (1837-1910).  She only lived briefly in San Juan County, Utah. The family left Fort Montezuma in 1881.  Mary Ann lived in southwestern Colorado until her death on June 29, 1910. She remained faithful to the church, paid her tithing, and was staunch to the end. Ron McDonald said of her: It is our good fortune that Mary Ann, a schoolteacher, was adept at writing. She has provided us a description of what the fort (Montezuma) looked like in 1881, saying it was made in a square, with cabins touching each other, and doors facing inward. The river on the south side flanked the fort. A tall pole fence secured one side where cabins had not yet been built. Her children were required to stay inside the fort.
Grandma Barker [Mary Ann Doidge Barker Dunton] had five daughters from her first husband, [Joseph Barker] then she later married a man named James Harvey Dunton, and they had one son, John Harvey. (Told by Earl Halls ).

Those coming on the trek with the Dunton family:
Ellen (Ella) Melissa (Barker)
Georginia Madora (Dora) (Barker)
John Harvey

The four older girls were not likely on the initial trip though came later: Sara Jane, Mary Ann (Barker), Emma Amelia (Barker), Catherine Marie (Barker),
Sarah Jane (Barker) was born April 24, 1861 at 3:30 AM at Devonport, Devonshire, England. Her parents were Joseph Barker and Mary Ann Doidge. She was blessed by George Staniforth, May 27, 1861 and baptized 22 June 1873 by William Holyoak and confirmed by Harman Balis at Parowan, Utah. The rest of Sarah Jane's story:  [She tells good stories about her mother's experiences.  Worth reading.]

History of their Hole in the Rock trip: On April 15, 1879, a boy, John Harvey Dunton, was born to Mary Ann and James, the only child of that union. In the fall of that year, they were called by church authorities to go with others to southeastern Utah to settle the San Juan River territory. Early in 1879, Harvey Dunton went with an exploring company by way of Arizona  to find a place for settlement on the San Juan River and build a cabin. The members of that first group started a settlement which was called Montezuma Fort. After starting a cabin, Harvey returned to meet up with the main party of "Hole-in-the-Rock" pioneers. He left all his foodstuffs with the few people who were staying at the fort but were nearing starvation, saying, "I won’t need it. I have my gun and I won’t starve."
     In October 1879, Mary Ann and the three youngest children, Ella, Dora, and John joined up with the main party of "Hole-in-the-Rock" pioneers, probably traveling with the families of Harvey’s grown sons from his first marriage who also made the trip: James Cyrus and Marius Ensign. They traveled in a lumber wagon, bringing what few household belongings they could, including the stove and sewing machine that she so valued. The pioneering group headed for the Colorado River not really knowing where they were going to be able to cross the river. Eventually it was determined that a crossing might be made where a crevice in the steep cliffs was widened with dynamite, pick and shovel and much hard work before the wagons could pass through. The descent was so steep, the men blocked the wheels and then held back on the rear of the wagons to keep them from rushing into the horses. They finally crossed the Colorado River on January 28, 1880 by driving the horses and wagons onto a ferry boat. After crossing the river, they still faced difficult travel over very rugged country before they reached the San Juan, arriving at their new home in April. The trip that was supposed to take six weeks instead took six months.

While traveling on this trip, eight-year-old Ella developed a special fondness for her little half-brother who was less than a year old. Being the oldest child, she was allowed to ride in the wagon to care for him. She was a motherly type and spent many hours caring for him and carrying him on her hip even though he was a husky child.
   James Harvey Dunton helped his son on the Hole in the Rock route for a distance, then went back home to get his second wife Mary Ann (1835-1910) . Then Harvey and Mary Ann made the trip through the Hole and to Montezuma with three of their children, two of which were from Mary Ann's first marriage: Ellen Barker 9, Madora Barker 7, and John Dunton Jr., 16 months (Ron McDonald). Miller's Hole in the Rock has entries about Harvey Dunton: pp. 29, 90, 99, 156, 157
      By the time most of the "Hole-in-the-Rock" pioneers got to the San Juan River at what is now Bluff, Utah, they had had enough and they established their new community on the San Juan River there, instead of traveling on to Montezuma Fort. Since Harvey had already built a cabin at the fort, however, he took his family on and they spent the winter there.
   In telling the story, Dora says, "I don’t know how we lived through that bleak winter. I remember toward spring, we children gathered twigs and leaves from the greasewood bushes for greens. The fort was built for protection from the Indians. The houses were touching each other in the form of a square, with the fronts facing inside. The children were not allowed outside of the square. During the winter the men dug ditches and made large frame waterwheels for the purpose of lifting the water from the river to irrigate the farms. This work was all in vain and the experiment failed, as when the high waters came in the spring from the melting snows above, the waterwheels were washed out of the sandy soil and down the river. The people were obliged to leave there and look for new wilds to conquer. Later when I went back over the same route, the river was running through the place where the fort had stood."

James Harvey Dunton is also mentioned in Albert R. Lyman's Fort on the Firing Line as to his involement with the Montezuma Creek settlers. "Harvey Dunton came with the exploring party and stayed with the Davis family through the winter of 79-80. When George Hobbs brought food to the Montezuma settlers in February of 1880 Harvey Dunton returned to the Hole in the Rock party with George so he could check on his son James C. Dunton who was with the Hole in the Rock Party. James had with him his wife Eliza, and two children: and Mary Alice. They settled at Peak City (now Aneth). They were washed out by the river the following year and they left the area.

In May of 1881, when Dora was eight and Ella was ten, they again loaded their belongings into the wagon and started for an unknown destination. They moved north of Durango, Colorado, where James Harvey Dunton hauled lumber from a sawmill to Durango. Here, Mary Ann found work doing laundry for others. The first house they lived in there was a dugout and the children helped clear and then plant and harvest crops. Dora says "We helped Mother make tallow candles which we used for light, and soap for our laundry. We helped with the laundry and gleaned in the fields to get money to buy our school clothes. Mother, through it all, never looked on work as a drudgery, but was always glad to do anything she could to help
(Many thanks to the Hall family whose records added a great deal to the Dunton and Barker history both before and after they left San Juan. Many of the links below come from their web site: James H. Dunton : )

Ron McDonald of Blanding has a copy of James Harvey Dunton's journal on CD, and anyone wishing to do more research is welcome to contact him at hike@citlink.net
On September 9, 1884, a branch of the church was established in Mancos and James Harvey Dunton was set apart as Presiding Elder. On July 5, 1884, the first Relief Society in Mancos was held and Mary Ann was assigned as secretary. She also served as President of the Relief Society in Mancos from May 1891 until November 22, 1892. Kate said, "Mother taught school in Mancos for a while. School was held in the church and Mother rode sidesaddle on a horse called ‘Old Yellow’ to and from school."
Daniel David 1860-1939
Letty A. 1863-1896]

Timeline : of Mary Ann Doidge life plus more information.  Photo from first marriage.
29 September 1835 - Joseph born
11 April 1837 - Mary Ann born
5 June 1860 - Joseph and Mary Ann baptized
11 June 1860 - Joseph and Mary Ann married
24 April 1861 - Sarah Jane born
1862 - Came to Utah
30 January 1864 - Mary Ann Barker born
9 February 1866 - Joseph ordained Elder
22 July 1866 - Emma Amelia born
2 April 1869 - Catharine Maria born
4 June 1871 - Ellen Melissa born
25 November 1872 - Sealed in Endowment House
19 June 1873 - Georgena Madora born
April 1874 - Joseph left the family, went to Nevada
2 March 1878 - Mary Ann baptized again
About 1878 - Mary Ann married James Harvey Dunton
15 April 1879 - John Harvey Dunton born
1879 - Mary Ann, Ellen, Dora, and John left Parowan
1880 - Hole-in-the-Rock to Montezuma Fort
May 1881 - left Montezuma Fort to move to Durango, Colo
Fall, 1883 - moved to Mancos
About 1882 - Four older girls came to Mancos
19 May 1884 - Emma married to Joseph Willden
9 September 1884 - James Harvey Dunton set apart as first Presiding Elder, Mancos branch
5 July 1884 - First Relief Society in Mancos held. Mary Ann secretary
June 1885 - Catharine married to Charles Pinkerton
14 December 1885 - Sarah married to William McDonald Devenport
About 1886 - James Dunton returned to Utah, Mary Ann built a home at "the Park" where she lived in the summer
11 June 1888 - Ellen married to William Halls
1 January 1889 - Mary Ann Barker married to Roy Weston
May 1891 - 22 November 1892 - Mary Ann President of Relief Society.
29 October 1896 - Joseph died in Eureka, Nevada
16 May 1897 - Dora married to Lewis Burnham
29 June 1920 - Mary Ann died in Red Mesa, Colorado
20 February 1924 - Ellen died in Huntsville, Utah
1 April 1939 - Sarah Devenport died
11 0ctober 1941 - Emma died
11 April 1954 John Harvey died in Pueblo

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