Hole-in-the-Rock Landmarks and People

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

January 5, 2010

Stevens, David Alma

David Alma Stevens was born Feb. 10, 1859, in Holden, Utah. He is the second son born to Walter Stevens and Abigail Elizabeth Holman Stevens, and was 20 years old when he started the trek.
According to family records, he and his brother Walter Joshua Stevens, 22, were “called” to the mission, whereas some of the Hole-in-the-Rock pioneers just came along. They and their great-uncle, Roswell Stevens – a veteran of the Mormon Battalion were outfitted in new Bain wagons provided by Joshua and Alma’s father, Walter Stevens, as he was an agent for the Bain wagon company.

Following is an excerpt from the journal of David Alma Stevens, provided to me by his descendant Jerrold Foutz:
"In the fall of 1879 I and my brother Joshua and David Savage were called to go to San Juan, Utah, to help settle that country. We left Holden for that mission 29th of October, 1879.

(Note: On Wed., Dec. 10, 1879, Platte Lyman states in his journal: “Drove to the 50 mile springs and camped, have been four days beside this getting our wagons to this place. In the evening Alma Stevens & Edward L came in from the herd and brought a fat cow for beef and a little later, 2 men from Red Creek came into camp and brought us papers and letters from which we learned that all was well in the settlements.” Being single, Alma was assigned with other single young men to care for the company’s animal herds. Some records put the number of cattle brought along by the settlers as high as 1800 head. That number of hungry beasts quickly depleted any forage near the campsites, and so the animals were herded to greener pastures north of the trail. -Necia Palmer Seamons)

“I helped to make the road down the "Hole-in-the-Rock" to the Colorado River and up the opposite side of the river until the wagons were on top of the Summit. Then as we had two good yoke of oxen to pull our wagon, I took five head of horses and my pack outfit in company with two Robb brothers from Cedar City and started out to find the San Juan River. On arriving there I was very much disappointed in the country and moved on up the river 100 miles into New Mexico where I bought a squatter's right of 160 acres of land. I worked the water assessment in the ditch and cleared some land for planting and returned to meet the wagons which I found on April 12th at the Mouth of Rencone Canyon where it empties into the San Juan River, about 12 miles west of the location later chosen for Bluff City. I helped work the road on up the San Juan River to Bluff where the main body settled, arriving there about noon April 19th, 1880.

“My brother and his wife then proceeded on up the river into New Mexico. Joshua was very much pleased with my purchase and the location of the valley. We had with us some seeds--wheat, corn, and potatoes, also garden seeds, which we planted and all yielded a good crop.

“The fall of 1880, six families from Moancoppy, Arizona, were called to come there and establish a colony. Four of the families responded. One, L. C. Burnham, was to be the Presiding Elder. The town was called Fruitland and I was appointed Postmaster.”

David met and married Agnes Sariah Johnson in 1881.
(Thanks to Necia Seamons for the information above.)
For more information on David Alma Stevens and his involvement in a shootout when Texas outlaws attempted to jump the Stevens ranches, please see the following website: http://www.jerroldfoutz.com/biography/gunfight.html, courtesy of Jerrold Foutz.

See also p. 161 Hole in the Rock  by David Miller

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