Friday, May 11, 2012

Haun's Mill and some Family History

These pictures came from the Deseret News...

This is Haun's Mill.  We visited here a few times when we lived in Missouri.  
Many of the Church History sites are well marked, even the lesser known ones.
Haun's Mill, however, was not marked well at all.  We found it on a Missouri map.
(because, of course, we lived in MO in the days before GPS, iphones, google maps, etc., it was practically the "Olden Days."
But for some reason, I was always interested in seeing Haun's Mill.  I was fascinated in Church History while we lived in MO.  I would read the stories and then explore the areas I read about.  And Haun's Mill was one of those sites.  
I remember when we first visited the area.  It looked exactly like the top picture except that the dirt road was very muddy.  I was afraid that little green Subaru would sink in the mud and they would never find us.  Or, at least, we'd have to walk back to Kirksville which I estimated would take about a month.
After we drove down the road and into the trees, we got out and looked around.  It was out in the middle of nowhere and I got a little creeped out.  
Rick walked a little further than I did and found the banks of Shoal Creek.

this site marker was NOT there when we visited Haun's Mill!

It makes sense to me now why there were no markers or signs like so many of the other LDS Church History sites...Haun's Mill is owned by the Community of Christ Church (formally known as the RLDS Church).  Or at least is was until last week when The Church purchased Hawn's Mill and nearby Far West Burial Grounds.
From the DesNews:
"Situated in Caldwell County, Mo., Haun's Mill is remembered in LDS history as the place where at least 18 Mormons were massacred on Oct. 30, 1838, when Caldwell County sheriff William Jennings led an armed militia of more than 200 men into the small settlement and had them open fire without warning."
And the reason that this matters at all to me is that my 4th great-grand father, Austin Hammer, Sr. died at Haun's Mill.

Here is the lineage for anyone who is keeping score:
Austin Hammer, Sr. b. 6 May 1804, d. 30 October 1838 (m. Nancy Jane Elston)
Rebecca Ann Hammer  b. 20 August 1827 d. 9 February 1900 (m. John Wesley Norton)
John David Norton (m. Amanda Melvina Elmer)
John Ira Norton (m. Esther May Smith)
Ethel Norton (m. Morgan Leon Dalton)
Nan Nell Dalton (m. Kent Norman Robison)
Kelli Ann Robison

So, Austin Hammer died at age 34 in Haun's Mill.  His oldest daughter, Rebecca, (my ancestor) was 11.  And there were 7 children, the youngest just 2 years old when their father was killed.  
Rebecca was endowed in the Nauvoo Temple on 3 February 1846. 
And Rebecca made it to Utah at some point since she died in Panguitch, Utah, in 1900.

The 4th child died in Weber County in 1857, so they were in Utah by 1857.

6 of the 7 children made it to Utah.

And the youngest daughter, Julia died in Smithfield, Utah in 1920.  They must have settled in Weber County, as there are multiple events that show up in Weber County.

I surely wonder how Nancy Jane Elston managed to get those kids to Utah.
oh, perhaps I really do need to do some research, as it appears as though Nancy Jane Elston married John Hammer (her husband's father) and that is how she got those 6 children to Utah.  
Or maybe Brandi could figure that out for me...

Anyhow, congratulations on the purchase of the significant pieces of Real Estate for the LDS church.


Brandi said...

Cool! I love family history!

rin said...

THAT is cool. I never even thunk of going to Haun's MIll! Darn! But now I guess we wouldn't get lost. : )

Amara said...

Doesn't it make you feel like you're related to a celebrity to have someone who went through an important church history event? Too bad it was such a sad one. That Haun's Mill story was just gruesome. Tragic. I'm so glad the church bought it --that land, with so much blood spilled on it NEEDS to be dedicated.