David King Udall

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About David King Udall

Mormon Pioneer:

Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah

Biographical Summary:

David King Udall (1851-1938) was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1851 to English immigrant Mormon parents, who moved to Utah with young David the next year. Ida Hunt was born in the back of a covered wagon in 1858 in Hamilton's Fort, Utah, as her family journeyed back from California to help defend the church in the "Mormon War." Ida's grandparents had converted to Mormonism as young adults, and her parents had been missionaries in several Pacific islands.

As a young man, David Udall rose quickly to a leadership position in the Mormon church. Shortly after his first marriage, to Eliza "Ella" Stewart in 1875, he was sent to England for two years as a missionary. In 1877, he returned to Ella and Utah and was soon ordained a high priest. In 1880, only twenty-nine years old, he was appointed Bishop of Eastern Arizona's St. Johns parish, where he soon found himself supervising not only purely religious functions, but also the construction of irrigation ditches, a schoolhouse and several mills. Then, in 1882, despite increasing persecution of the practice, he entered plural marriage with Ida Hunt, the daughter of the Bishop of an adjoining parish, who had moved to Arizona the year before.

Many years later, David King Udall recalled this second marriage as a spiritual trial for himself and his two wives. All three had been raised in polygamous families and approached their union with happy memories of that experience as well as deep religious convictions. Yet all three felt emotional turmoil at taking this step. Asked by Ida to confirm her approval of the marriage, Ella could only say, "if it is the Lord's will I am perfectly willing to try to endure it." And David, riding to ask Ida's parents for their consent, remembered pausing at a fork in the road:

One road led to Snowflake where Ida was awaiting me; the other road led to St. John's -- to my home, my wife and baby. For a little time my mind was undecided and my soul in torment. I dismounted and on my knees prayed fervently that I might be guided aright. A calm assurance came over me and I knew it was my duty and privilege to enter into plural marriage. I whipped up my horse and rode to Snowflake as fast as the darkness would permit. From that day to this I have felt that in accepting plural marriage we have fulfilled the plan of Heaven for me and mine. It was the will of God to us.

Following his marriage to Ida Hunt, David Udall's family was placed under additional stress by reactions among their predominantly Hispanic and Catholic neighbors, who resented the Mormons at St. John's as newcomers occupying land that was not rightfully theirs. In 1884, a confrontation with some locals over the ownership of a city lot nearly erupted into violence, and David, along with nine other Mormons, was arrested for unlawful assembly. All were eventually acquitted, but later that year David was charged with perjury for testimony he had given in a fellow Mormon's land claim. This time he was convicted and sent to prison in Michigan.

At nearly the same time, David and six other Mormons of St. John's parish were indicted on federal charges of polygamy. By law, Ida could be forced to testify against her husband, and to avoid this she fled to Utah to live in the Mormon underground. For more than two years she traveled from one hiding place to the next, often using assumed names, and during this time gave birth to her and David's first child. The couple were finally reunited in 1887, after a pardon from President Grover Cleveland cleared David of perjury charges in 1885 and his prosecution for polygamy was dropped in 1886.

The rest of the Udalls' life together was hard if less dramatic. Time did not ease the tensions between Ida, Ella and their children, and the two women were further tested by the frequent economic troubles of their mutual husband. Ida died in 1910, following a series of strokes that began in 1905. David and Ella lived on to celebrate a golden wedding anniversary in 1925 and died within a year of each other, Ella in 1937, David in 1938.

David Udall's eleven children who survived childhood included two state supreme court justices and a mayor of Phoenix. Stewart Udall, Arizona Congressman and 1961-1969 Secretary of Interior, and his brother Morris Udall, also an Arizona Congressmen, were two of David Udall's many grandchildren.

SOURCE: http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/people/s_z/udall.htm

Biographical Summary #2:

"...David King Udall (1851-1938 was the son of David Udall and Eliza King. Udall married Eliza Luella Stewart, 1 Feb 1875, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah. Udall also married Ida Frances Hunt, 25 May 1882, St. George, Washington, Utah .

David King Udall was president of the St. Johns Stake of Zion. His parents embraced the gospel and were married in the year 1850. They emigrated to the United States in 1851 and sojourned one year in St. Louis, Mo., after which they emigrated to Utah and located at Nephi, Juab county, where David was reared. He was baptized when eight years old. At eleven years of age his mother died. At the age of twenty years he was ordained an Elder and he was married to Eliza Luella Stewart.

He was ordained a Seventy and went on a mission to Great Britain, where he labored in the London conference until June, 1877, when he was honorably released to return home and to take charge of a company of two hundred Saints, with which he arrived in Utah the following July.

From boyhood until his departure for England his time had been spent in farming and herding sheep, occasionally making freighting trips to Pioche.

In November, 1877, he was made president of the Y. M. M. I. A. at Nephi. Jan. 20, 1878, he was ordained a High Priest, under the hands of Apostles Orson Hyde and Joseph F. Smith and Pres. Geo. Teasdale, and set apart as second counselor to Bishop John Andrews of Nephi.

In November, 1878, having met with financial reverses in which he lost his farm and other property, he moved to Kanab, Kane county, and engaged in the business of merchandising, stock raising and farming with two brothers-in-law, Wm. T. Stewart and Laurence C. Mariger.

In May, 1880, he was called by Pres. John Taylor to be Bishop of the St. Johns Ward, Eastern Arizona Stake, and was set apart to that office by Apostles Erastus Snow June 5, 1880.

In September following he, with his family, started for Arizona, arriving in St. Johns Oct. 6, 1880, when he was sustained as Bishop and appointed agent for the St. Johns purchase. In November he returned to Utah to see Pres. Taylor on business matters; he brought back with him a herd of cattle belonging to the Church.

The following spring, according to instructions from Apostle Erastus Snow and Pres. Jesse N. Smith, he assisted in locating the Saints on the new townsite, adjoining the Mexican village of St. Johns. The Catholic priest and his church members protested in writing, claiming the right to the land, but the Saints held their possessions, the land in dispute having previously been purchased by Apostle Wilford Woodruff per Ammon M. Tenney.

April 26, 1884, an attempt was made by non-Mormons to jump some city lots belonging to the Saints at St. Johns. Bishop Udall and other brethren appeared on the scene as peace makers, for which he and nine of the brethren were arrested on a charge of unlawful assembly. They were tried before a justice and acquitted. Later, the case was brought before the grand jury, but no indictments were found.

April 28, 1884, he and Joseph Crosby served as witnesses in the case of Miles P. Romney, in making final proof to a preemption claim. When asked if Romney had resided continuously on the land, Bro. Udall answered no. The clerk then asked if Romney had abandoned the property for more than six months at a time; he answered, "No, sir, not to my knowledge." "Then," said the clerk, "that constitutes continuous residence under the law," and wrote answer to the question "yes." May 20, 1884, he was arrested on a charge of perjury in the Romney land case, and after a rigid examination before a U. S. commissioner was dismissed. The following August he and Brother John T. Lesueur were subpoenaed as witnesses before the U. S. grand jury at Prescott, two hundred and fifty miles distant from St. Johns, where an effort was made to indict him for perjury on this same land case, but through the honor of one John G. Campbell (ex-delegate to Congress), it failed, he being foreman of the jury. In consequence of the anti-Mormon ring in Apache county and their colleagues in Prescott, including the U. S. district judge, Sumner Howard, ex-U. S. attorney of Utah (notorious in the John D. Lee case), the following named brethren were indicted for polygamy and unlawful cohabitation: James N. Skousen, Wm. J. Flake, Christopher J. Kempe, B. H. Wilhelm, Ammon M. Tenney, Peter J. Christofferson and David K. Udall. The last named (being the only one of the number then in Prescott) was arrested and placed under $25,000 bonds, the aforenamed Mr. Campbell and a Mr. Walker, both of Prescott and entire strangers to him, gave the required bonds. The other brethren indicted, except B. H. Wilhelm, were subsequently arrested and attended the November, 1884, term of court at Prescott, and one after another were tried, convicted and placed behind prison bars, except Bishop Udall in whose case there was lacking evidence; hence it was continued till next term of court.

Bros. Flake and Skousen were sentenced to six months in the Yuma prison. Bros. Tenney, Kempe and Christofferson were sent to the Detroit House of Correction, Michigan, for three and one half years. The Apache county "ring" attended this term of court and succeeded in getting indictments against Miles P. Romney, David K. Udall and Joseph Crosby for perjury on the aforementioned land case.

Bishop Udall was immediately arrested and placed under additional $2,500 bonds. The same gentlemen, John G. Campbell and Mr. Walker, gave the required security. During the progress of the trials of the brethren. Judge Sumner Howard lectured one evening on the Mountain Meadow massacre in the same hall where his court convened during the day, which event will give a slight idea of the anti-Mormon feeling prevalent in Prescott at that time. July, 1885, Bishop Udall and Jos. Crosby again went to Prescott to trial on the perjury case.

On the 6th of August, Bro. Udall was convicted on the same state of facts that Bro. Crosby was acquitted on. That same day he was imprisoned in the Prescott jail: on the 10th he was sentenced to three years' imprisonment in the Detroit House of Corrections and fined three hundred dollars by Judge Howard. Bishop Hiram B. Clawson of Salt Lake City, who visited him a few days before he left Prescott, accompanied him on his journey as far as Ash Fork. After a most humiliating journey of over two thousand miles, he arrived in Detroit, Mich., Sept. 2, 1885, having been handcuffed and guarded as though he was a desperado; he was even chained to a counterfeiter while going a distance of three miles from the depot to the House of Correction. On his arrival there he was not permitted, on account of the silent system, to converse with Bros. Tenney, Kempe and Christofferson, who had been there about one year. A few days after his arrival in the prison he received a letter from Presidents John Taylor and Geo. Q. Cannon which gave him more satisfaction than words can express, showing to him that the Prophet of the Lord and his associates were assured of his innocence of the heinous crime of perjury.

Shortly after his incarceration a movement was put on foot to obtain a Presidential pardon. Many affidavits and statements by county and Territorial officials were forwarded to Pres. Cleveland to obtain the pardon.

During his imprisonment Bro. Udall labored ten hours a day making chairs. Through the kindness of Hon. John W. Young, arrangements were made with Supt. Nickolson for an interview once a month for the four "Mormon" Elders and also for them to occupy two cells instead of four, whereby they could converse in a whisper mornings and evenings, which made life more endurable.

On Oct. 1st it was shown to Bro. Udall by dream or vision that his baby daughter Mary had passed from earth. He awoke Bro. Tenney and told him she was dead. Two days later he received a telegram from home conveying the sad news. Dec. 17, 1885, he received an unconditional presidential pardon. He arrived home on the 23rd, having to borrow money to pay his fare from Detroit. In 1886 the indictment for polygamy and unlawful cohabitation was quashed. Thus ended the storm of persecution which had raged for more than two years, during which time Bishop Udall had been compelled to travel over seven thousand miles back and forth to trial and imprisonment.

During the years of 1886 and 1887 Bishop Udall labored as one of a committee to settle the Sunset United Order business, this committee being appointed by Pres. John Taylor.

July 23, 1887, he was set apart president of the St. Johns Stake by Apostles Francis M. Lyman and John Henry Smith, with Elijah N. Freeman and Wm. H. Gibbons as counselors. From 1881 to 1885 he was president and superintendent of St. Johns C. M. & M. I., and during that period made several business trips east.

In 1889 he removed his family to Eagar, Round Valley, 35 miles south of St. Johns, where he had purchased a large farm and grist mill for $20,000. In 1889 he served as a member of the council of the 20th legislature of Arizona.

Owing to continued drought and heavy losses in sheep, the farming enterprise has been the means of wrecking him financially, losing his $15,000 in payments, $8,000 in improvements and the farm and mill. Owing to a heavy judgment against him in this connection he has been forced into bankruptcy, but has been able to settle all obligations outside of said judgment.

David was industrious and very hopeful, even under the most adverse circumstances, showing discretion and forethought in his counsels. Humble and unassuming in nature, those who know him best cannot but appreciate his exemplary life, his temperate habits, his strict observance in keeping the commandments of God, and his justice in dealing with his fellow men. He wass naturally spiritually minded. He had labored faithfully to promote the interests of the people over whom he has presided for twenty years. His chief desire was to see the work of God triumph, and he was a man of great faith, having implicit confidence in God, whom he loves and whom he had endeavored through life to serve faithfully..."

SOURCE: find-a-grave.com


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David King Udall's Timeline

September 7, 1851
St. Louis, Jefferson, Missouri, USA
November 8, 1878
Age 27
Kanab, Kane, Utah
June 20, 1880
Age 28
Kanab, Kane County, Utah, United States
September 16, 1882
Age 31
Saint Johns, Apache County, Arizona, United States
July 5, 1884
Age 32
St. Johns, Arizona Territory
March 26, 1885
Age 33
Nephi, Juab County, Utah, USA
January 18, 1886
Age 34
Saint Johns, Apache County, Arizona, United States
December 28, 1887
Age 36
Snowflake, Navajo County, Arizona, United States
May 26, 1888
Age 36
St. Johns, Arizona