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James Dalley

Birthplace: Leominster, Herefordshire, England (United Kingdom)
Death: May 03, 1905 (82)
Summit, Iron, UT, United States
Place of Burial: Summit, Iron, UT, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Dalley, Jr. and Ann Davis Dalley
Husband of Emma Wright; Sarah Ann Bishton; Johanne Bolette Bollette Bertelsen and Petrena Bertelsen Bertelsen
Father of Emma Bartelsen Dalley; John Edward Dalley; Emma Wright Dalley; John Phillip Dalley; James William Dalley and 38 others
Brother of Ann Dalley; William H. Dalley; Mary Dalley; Edward Dalley; Susannah Clark and 1 other

Managed by: Private User
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About James Dalley

Biography of James Dalley

by his daughter, Sarah and Dalley Hulet

Page 1 of 4

James Dalley, son of William and Ann Davis Dalley, was born the 20th of December

1822 in Leominster, Herefordshire, England. Of his early childhood very little is known

except that he attended school up to the time he was nine years old. His father died

because of back injuries received while carrying a heavy ladder which became

overbalanced. From nine years of age on, James had to go out and work to help support

his mother, brother, and sisters. He worked in the Brickyard's and assisted the masons in

laying the brick. Because he was a very industrious child, he had no trouble in obtaining

work. He grew to manhood with the responsibility of the family mainly on his shoulders.

He heard and embraced the Gospel of Jesus Christ in his native land and was baptized by

Elder David Spilsberry in 1841. From that time on, his ambition was to obtain means to

immigrate to America to the body of the Saints. Presumably about the year 1846, he

married a beautiful young woman with blue eyes, black hair and a very fair complexion.

She was called Sarah Ann Bishton. To this union one child, a daughter was born. This

child, whom they named Ann Elizabeth, died in infancy.

About this time, the spirit of gathering to Zion took possession of them and they worked

to that end, but when they had obtained sufficient means and the time had been decided

on to set sail for America, Sarah Ann's parents persuaded her to remain with them in

England until James could come and prepare a home for her. He came without her, but

brought his mother along with him. They sailed on the ship "Carnatic," February 20,

1848, and arrived at New Orleans about 11 weeks later, on approximately April 19. The

first permanent stopping place was set at Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The first news received from England after landing in America was that his wife had

died. The sad news was a very great sorrow to him all his life.

On August 15, 1859, he married another wife by the name of Emma Wright. On October

24, 1861, a son whom they named James William Dalley was born to them. This child

also died in infancy.

Some time in 1852, they left Council Bluffs to cross the plains in Daniel McCarthey's

company. They reached Utah, October 24, 1852. James with his elder brother William

(who had come to America a year or two previous) located in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

There their son John Edward Dalley was born on November 12, 1852. (James and Emma

Wright Dalley's son.)

In their stay at Council Bluffs and their travel across the plains, they formed friendships

that were very dear to them. Among them was one Laban Morrill and his family, who

President Young saw fit to call to go and help colonize Iron County and build Johnson's

Fort. Brother Morrill asked President Young to have the two Dalleys, James and

William, called to accompany him. As they (the Dalleys) were ever obedient to every

call made to them by those in authority, they broke up their homes in Pleasant Grove,

hooked up their oxen and went to Cedar city, Utah in the year 1853. Here they remained

Biography of James Dalley

by his daughter, Sarah and Dalley Hulet

Page 2 of 4

until 1854 when they went with Laban Morrill to Johnson's spring about 6 miles north of

Cedar city. They were instructed to build a fort there to protect the church cattle from the

Indians. The fort was known as Johnson's Fort.

The walls of the Fort were about 2 feet thick, about 12 feet high, and enclosed about one

acre of land. In the northwest and southwest corners, they built tall two-story buildings

called bastions. The bastions had port holes where the men used to take their turns

standing guard or as watchmen to protect themselves and their families from hostile

Indians. They built their homes on the inside of the fort, using the fort wall for the back

of the house. The land in and around the fort was either meadow or swamp with very

little that could be used as a means of support of many families and as a result, the task of

building the fort rested on a very few men, the main ones being Laban Morrill, and James

and William Dalley. There was a well in the center of the fort where they all drew water

for culinary purposes.

It was here at the fort on the 16th of December that James and Emma Wright Dalley's

first daughter Emma was born. She was the first white child born at this location.

In the fall of 1856, James yoked his oxen and started with his wife, three children, and a

young woman named Lette Bertlesen, for Salt Lake City. While on this trip, they were

terrified by a wild bull running in between the oxen that were hooked to the wagon. The

incident caused the women to faint, but resulted in little other damage. They started with

the intention of going to the Endowment House, but found that it was not completed.

They feared they would have to return without having the privileges of going through,

but word was sent out to the people of Iron County (who were up there waiting) to come

on the ninth of October and receive their endowments and be sealed. Father took the two

women and with them was among the first to be permitted to go through. He had his

wife Emma were sealed first and then Lette Bertlesen, both were sealed to him on the

same day, ninth of October, 1856.

They remained at the fort until the spring of 1859 when they moved to Summit Creek to

make their home. Their first dwelling place there was a dugout in the ground. This was

where Joseph Bertlesen Dalley was born. He was the first white child born at Summit.

The soil was very fertile there, but water was scarce. Father and Brother Morrill plowed

a furrow from the mouth of Summit Canyon down to the town site. All the water there

was came down this one plowed furrow, but as time went on, the water increased and the

people worked in the canyons to make the waterway better for the streams to flow into

the main channel, thereby increasing the flow to the valley below.

While the Indians were still hostile, the people made high mud walls and built their

homes close together. They prepared to build another fort but never finished it because

the Indians became more friendly. More settlers came and those of foreign birth took out

naturalization papers so that they could enter and prove up on the land. When they first

located on Summit Creek, each man plowed and cultivated a few acres (five or ten) close

Biography of James Dalley

by his daughter, Sarah and Dalley Hulet

Page 3 of 4

to town so that they agreed that whoever entered that land should deed each one's little

plot of land that he was farming to him and receive an equal amount of land from the

other man's entry. So it happened that the town site and most of these small plots of land

being farmed close to town were in father's homestead entry. According to agreement, he

deeded to each man the land he was farming and in return received an equal amount of

land, but it made it very inconvenient because it was so much further away to run water

and scattered among the entries of at least half a dozen men.

The first settlers filed on the water of Summit Creek. It was divided into shares, half

shares and quarter shares. Father owned 2 1/2 shares. As the population increased, the

new owners had no water rights; they are being about 22 families in town. Those owning

the water agreed to take all the water that came down on Saturday and use it as city lot

water. This became an established right. There were some who later filed on the land in

that Township who had no legal water right so the original water owners decided to give

those man, five in number, I think, all the water every Friday, thereby establishing a

Friday lot water right. This right became one of the most valuable water rights on the


It was here in the little town of Summit where father lived and raised his family and spent

the remainder of his days.

On October 8, 1861, he married Threne Bertlesen, a sister of Lette. She had but recently

emigrated from Denmark. From then on they were permanently settled and their time

was occupied in tilling the soil, building houses, and doing the things that would build up

a home and provide for the large and growing family.

The babies came along regularly until he was the father of 44. Each one that came

received a warm welcome. Some of them died in infancy, but 30 of them were raised to

honorable man and womanhood. He was among those of the L.D.S. who were

persecuted for living their religion. In May 21, 1887, he, with his brother William were

tried and sentenced to six months imprisonment in the Utah Penitentiary for unlawful

cohabitation with his wives. I have heard him say he submitted to this willingly because

he had to.

One of the great sorrows of his life was when his wife, Emma died on the 24th of

October, 1875 after giving birth to her 15th child.

He was a faithful Latter-day Saint and occupied positions of trust both in and out of the

church. He was Postmaster of Summit for a number of years. He held the position of

Counselor to Bishop S. C. Hulet. In his later life he was ordained a Patriarch in the

church. This calling he fulfilled with honor until his death.

He died at summit, Utah, May 3rd, 1905.

Biography of James Dalley

by his daughter, Sarah and Dalley Hulet

Page 4 of 4

A will written by James Dalley at Summit, Iron County, dated 8th of April, 1903

To My Children and All Concerned: This is to certify that I, James Dalley, have all my

reasoning facilities. I write this in case I should die suddenly; that all concerned may

know of my wish: that one third of my real estate which is deeded in a deed in the care of

Mayhew L. Dalley, with one third of my water right, with one third of my farming

implements and the use of my wagons and teams to be used with her sister's family, 300

head of sheep with interest, which are in the care of Joseph B. Dalley, with a portion or

one third of my cattle and loose horses, which shall be turned over to my wife, (Threne)

Petrina Dalley at my death. This gives her power of attorney to deed this said property to

her heirs after her death as she may see fit, and this property shall not be taken into court

and if there should be any dispute, that it shall be settled by my three oldest sons, and

they may call the President of the Stake, and his Counsel if they cannot, and their

decisions shall be law. And if I should die before harvest of wheat, she shall receive her

share of the rent of my farm, and she shall have one half of the wheat that will be left in

my bins for support of her family, but must not sell it, and that she shall deed it to her

sons and daughters, and that when I die I claim a decent burial out of my property.

James Dalley

Copied by Susanna Dalley Armstrong from the original document written in his own handwriting by her

father, James Dalley. This paper was found among the papers of Lillian Dalley White that were in the

possession of her daughter Lilian White Burns at Layton, Utah.

view all 60

James Dalley's Timeline

December 20, 1822
Leominster, Herefordshire, England
June 4, 1823
June 4, 1823
June 4, 1823
Leominster, Hertfordshire, England
September 17, 1841
Age 18
May 20, 1847
Age 24
October 24, 1851
Age 28
November 12, 1852
Age 29
Draper, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States