January 11, 2010
Harris * Daniel and Hanna Thornton
Children on the trek: Edward Royal, Jacob Alonzo, John Alma
Daniel is mentioned often in Miller's book either as a scout, delivering mail, bringing supplies, etc. (Check index for pages.) He returned with the four Scouts: Sevy, Redd, Hobbs, and Morrell on their return trip from the San Juan early in Jan. 1880. He then took pack animals with supplies back to the site of Bluff later that same month. (His father was still living there?)
He was married to Lydia HARRIS on 5 Oct 1853. Children were: Daniel Duane HARRIS.
He was married to Rachel THORNTON in 1873. (Possibly sisters to George's wife)
He was married to Hannah THORNTON in 1874. " "
Life of Daniel Harris son of John and Lovina (Compiled 1963.)
His father’s family had come there three years before from Ohio and they were the first white settlers in that area. They chose a choice prairie grassland enclosed by wooded area, which is named Harris Township to this day.
When Daniel was 16 or 17 years old, and his brothers and sisters numbered seven, his father and mother decided to go to Oregon. They were converted to the LDS Church. His father and mother were baptized at and sister were baptized. Daniel and the oldest girl, both were baptized in Grand River on 9 June 1846.
They remained in that vicinity until 1848. A baby brother was born at Harris Grove, Iowa. They emigrated to Utah in 1848 in Brigham Young’s second company. There were over a thousand people in the he company. Did Daniel notice and become acquainted with a young sixteen year old girl, Lydia Harris, who was no relative but later became his wife?
Daniel’s father settled in Farmington, Utah, and another brother was born there. In 1851, this family went to San Bernardino, California with Lyman and Rich to make a Mormon settlement. At San Bernardino, in the fort, their 2 families lived for some time in a one room apartment in the fort wall. Two years later he married Lydia Harris, whose family had also moved to California.
In 1856, his father was sent on a mission to the mining camps in northern California to raise money to pay the mortgage on their land. John Harris mentions in his diary about Daniel going home—was he called on a mission too? By this time Daniel and Lydia had a son and daughter. (more on Bailey site)
Daniel was called with some of his father’s family to go back to San Bernardino to bring back some of the cattle left behind. They were accused of stealing livestock, and jailed. This episode caused friction in Daniel’s family, and he left Lydia, his first wife, and his children (his oldest son about 12 years old) and never saw them again as far as we know.
Lydia, moved in with her father and mother in Southern Utah. She married Samuel White and moved to Beaver. He died several years later. She spent the remaining sixty years of her life as a widow of meager means and raised Daniel’s four children and Samuel’s one daughter alone.
Daniel evidently moved to Juab County. In the 1870 census he was living at the new settlement of Chicken Creek with his parent’s family. He was baptized while there, the first baptism in the new ward.
Where and how did he meet Rachel and Hannah Thornton? These two English girls had emigrated to Salt Lake and evidently spent several years doing housework for a living before marrying Daniel. In 1873, he married Rachel when she was 27 years old. He married Hannah about a year later when she was about 20. One wife lived in Juab and one in Salt Lake. Five years later both were living in Salt Lake City.
Rachel’s children’s history was tragic. She had four children born in five years. Two were stillborn, one lived two months, and one eight months.
After 1879, Daniel and his two wives left Utah, joining others of the John Harris family and went to Colorado to work on the railroad. Family tradition says a land transaction left them with bitter feelings toward Utah settlements.
From there they evidently went to New Mexico where they met the Bingham brothers who were hauling freight to soldiers who were pursuing Geronimo. They worked with the Bingham boys and at times lived in Chavis, Lincoln, and Grand counties. . . . (1885) Hannah had six children by this time, five boys and one girl. While at Thatcher the youngest boy died. In 1892 Daniel went with McGee, an apostate Mormon) to Mexico to look after mining property. While there he died on August 25. McGee said he died of Salt poisoning—that is, took too much salt to ease the pain of abdominal cramps. The exact site of his grave is unknown.