Samuel Dennis White (1818 - 1868)

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Birthplace: Parishville, St. Lawrence County, New York, USA
Death: Died in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT, USA
Managed by: Arthur Thorstensen, Jr.
Last Updated:

About Samuel Dennis White

Samuel Dennis White was the son of John Griggs White and Lucy Meranda Bailey

He married Mary Hannah Burton, 24 Oct 1841, Walnut Grove, Illinois

He married Elizabeth Turner Thomas, 24 Mar 1852, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

He married Lydia Harris, 5 Oct 1853, San Bernardino, California

He married Isabella Reed, 6 Dec 1860, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

An Enduring Legacy, Volume Two, p. 316

Samuel Dennis White and his son Samuel Orson White were two of the freighters of the West. Born March 9, 1818, in Parishville, New York, Samuel Dennis was the fourth son and fifth child of John Griggs and Lucy Meranda Bailey White. His son, Samuel Orson, was born in Nauvoo, Illinois, December 17, 1844.

John had moved with his family to Nauvoo to help in the building of the Mormon temple, and here the family remained until the Endowment House was ready and the senior Whites had completed their endowment work. Not long after this, mob violence became unbearable and the family decided to move to Far West, Missouri, where they had purchased some acreage. They had packed and were moving on when they were told that violence was just as bad in Far West, so they went on to Walnut Grove, where they stayed three years, during which time they raised food to take with them on their journey to the mountains.

There were more stops along the way, and because the journey became very tiring to John and Lucy Meranda, they rested several times in Iowa. Samuel Dennis was captain of the wagon train, but because of the poor condition of his parents, he asked to be excused from this duty so that he might remain behind with them. Together they built log houses against a hill over a dugout, and found them very warm and comfortable. It was here that a second daughter and third child was born to the Samuel Dennis family.

When the White finally arrived in Salt Lake, relatives wanted them to remain there, but after their many trials they were eager to settle where life could be peaceful and quiet. They were advised to go south to an area in Utah Valley later known as Lehi. By now their provisions and clothing were very scarce, but they cleared the land of sagebrush and prepared the soil for tilling. They were soon saddened by the death of the head of the family, John Griggs White. His was the first burial in the old Lehi Cemetery.

In 1853 Samuel Dennis was called by President Young to take his family and go down to Iron County to help in the settlement of that area. There had been iron ore found which the Church needed. Three weeks later they arrived in Cedar City, where they lived for six years. Indians were very troublesome, having been stirred up by Chief Walker.

In the spring of 1859 another call was made for the family to move, this time to Beaver. There were no railroads, of course, and all supplies had to be hauled by teams and wagons. Freighting became a way of life, the chief source of income after farm products. Dennis, who owned his own oxen, horses and wagons, carried on freighting during the winter as well as the summer. At one time he made a trip to California for a load of paper for the Deseret News, and he also made trips back to the Missouri River for freight. Among the loads was a printing press for the Deseret News.

In 1863 Samuel was made captain of a company going east to bring out immigrants. In his company were 384 wagons, 3,604 oxen and 488 men. They left Salt Lake in May, hauling with them 235,969 pounds of flour as well as 4,300 pounds of Utah-grown cotton. Arriving safely at their destination, the men organized their companies for the return trip. Leaving Florence, Nebraska, on July 15, they arrived back in Salt Lake City on October 5, the last train of the season. Dennis had expected to go again to the Pacific Coast for a load of paper, but decided to let his oldest son, Orson, go on that trip instead.

In the summer of 1864 Samuel Dennis and son Orson made another trip across the Plains, leaving the farms for the younger sons, Will, Charles and Hyrum, to care for. They did very well. Also in the family were Lucy Hannah, who later married William Jorden Flake; Mary Elizabeth, who became Mrs. A. Milton Musser; and Melissa, who married Frank Farnsworth.

Samuel Dennis made his last trip by mule-train, bringing 230 immigrants from Fort Laramie, Wyoming, to Salt Lake, arriving September 5, 1866. On some of these trips he brought back factory-made cloth and spools of thread, to the delight of the womenfolk. The Whites were by no means rich, and had to work like everyone else. They sheared sheep, washed wool, carded and spun it into thread and wove it into cloth which was then made into clothing. The black wool was used for black clothes, and the natural shade was sometimes dyed with colors made from different brush growing in the area. They made their own candles from the fat from animals, mostly mutton, as well as soaps. T here was always work to be done by hand that is today done in factories.

Freighting continued to be a necessary occupation, and Orson made frequent trips to various points. The first spring after his father's death he made a trip to White Pine, Nevada, a distance of about five hundred miles. Doing various freighting jobs while he was there, it was about two months before he returned. During the winter of 1870 he lived in Pioche, Nevada, hauling lumber, grain, potatoes, hay and hides to the railroad at Milford, Utah.

Orson was a member of the Beaver bishopric and spent many days at the tithing office receiving freight, tithing, or exchanging work with others.

Many of the needs and wants of that day were freighted into town by Samuel Dennis and Samuel Orson White. For instance, the town needed a gristmill, so Orson went back to the Missouri River and brought the first such mill that Beaver had. Many were the stories we listened to of deep snows, muddy roads and the hot sun he had to sit in by the hours to make the trips. It was hard, tiring work, but it must have been rewarding, as he raised fifteen children. I was the last-born of the flock. His first wife had ten children when she died, and my mother had five. Written by: Pearl Thompson



Mary Hannah Burton White (1818 - 1894)


Lydia Harris White (1832 - 1925)


Elizabeth Turner Thomas Morehead (1812 - 1894)



Samuel Orson White (1844 - 1925)


Mary Elizabeth White Musser (1846 - 1932)


Lucy Hannah White Flake (1849 - 1900)


Charles Dennis White (1851 - 1933)


Elizabeth White Merrill (1853 - 1932)


George Burton White (1853 - 1871)


Ellen White (1853 - 1881)


Hyrum Albert White (1856 - 1926)


Melissa Burton White Farnsworth (1858 - 1893)


Amelia Abigail White Farnsworth (1867 - 1904)

Maintained by: S.M.Smith

Originally Created by: Judie in Salt Lake

Record added: Feb 24, 2009

Find A Grave Memorial# 34171782

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Samuel White's Timeline

March 9, 1818
Parishville, St. Lawrence County, New York, USA
October 24, 1841
Age 23
Walnut Grove,Knox,IL
August 23, 1842
Age 24
Walnut Grove, McDonough, Illinois, USA
December 17, 1844
Age 26
Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois, USA
November 7, 1846
Age 28
Garden Grove, Decatur , Iowa, USA
February 21, 1849
Age 30
September 10, 1851
Age 33
March 24, 1852
Age 34
February 7, 1853
Age 34
Lehi, Utah, Utah, United States
October 14, 1853
Age 35