Friday, October 15, 2010

Henry Moon

  • Name: Henry Moon
  • Born: March 29, 1819 Eccleston, Lancashire, England
  • Died: November 14, 1894 Farmington, Utah
  • Related through: Erin's grandmother Margaret Udy Hanni

On a spring day, March 29, 1819, Robert and Ann Walton Moon welcomed their second child and first born son, Henry Moon, into their family at Eccleston, Lancashire, England. The Robert Moon family lived in the Horse Stone estate. Henry’s father, Robert, had inherited it from his father, Henry, and the estate had passed down through the Moon family for years. It was later sold a few years after Henry left England.

The names on Henry Moon’s genealogical pedigree alternate between Henry Moon and Robert Moon from father to son for the eleven generations preceding him. These eleven generations were all born in Lancashire, England from the mid-1500s down to Henry Moon, born in 1819. (Henry had a son named Robert, but this Robert Henry Moon had no sons, so the chain was broken.) The small English village of Eccleston, Lancashire, England where Henry was born lies about seven miles south of Preston and about five miles west of Chorley. Lancashire shares common boundaries with other English counties on the north, east and south, but on the west the Irish Sea defines her boundary.

Eccleston Church
Henry would have had no memories of his mother, Ann, because she died just thirty-six days after Henry was born, May 5, 1819 in nearby Chorley. Ann Walton Moon’s family buried her at Eccleston in the family’s burial place near the pulpit of the north aisle in St. Mary’s, an English church which dates from the fourteenth century. Henry had only one sibling, an older sister named Hannah, born sixteen months before him on November 20, 1817. Nothing is recorded of Henry’s younger years in England.

After Ann’s death at the age of thirty-two, Henry’s father, Robert, age thirty-four, married a second time to a lady named Hannah. It is not known when the marriage took place nor if there were any children born to them. The family lived in Horse Stone House.

Horse Stone House
“On Sunday, 4 June, 1837 an event occurred in Kirtland, Ohio, which determined the fate of many English families. Latter-day Apostle Heber C. Kimball says in his autobiography, “. . . the Prophet Joseph came to me. . . in the Kirtland Temple and whispering to me said, Brother Heber, the Spirit of the Lord has whispered to me, ‘Let my servant Heber go to England and proclaim my Gospel and open the door of Salvation to that Nation’. The Prophet Joseph sent Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, and other missionaries to England. Not quite two months later, the group landed in Liverpool, July 20, 1837.

Heber C. Kimball stayed at the house of Matthias Moon (first cousin to Henry’s grandfather and father of Lydia) One evening while in England, Heber C. Kimball and Amos Fielding, by request, stopped at the home of Matthias and Alice Plumb Moon in Penwortham, a few miles north of Eccleston. Matthias belonged to the Methodist religion, and, prior to that, the Church of England. They had nine adult children, five boys and four girls. The two Elders were kindly received by the Moon family and they had a considerable conversation on the subject of the great work of the Lord in the last days.

From the Autobiography of Heber C. Kimball, we gain the following insight into the conversion of the Moons who lived in that area: “Having an appointment to preach in the village of Wrightington, while on the way I stopped at the houses of Brothers Francis Moon and Amos Fielding, when I was informed that the family of Matthias Moon had sent a request for me to visit them, that they might have the privilege of conversing with me on the subject of the Gospel. Accordingly, Brother Amos Fielding and I paid them a visit that evening. We were kindly received by the family, and had considerable conversation on the subject of my mission to England, and the great work of the Lord in the Last Days. They listened with attention to my statements, but at the same time they appeared to be prejudiced against them. We remained in conversation until a late hour, and then returned home. On our way Brother Fielding observed that he thought our visit had been in vain, as the family seemed to have considerable prejudice. I answered, ‘be not faithless but believing; we shall yet see great effects from this visit, for I know that some of the family have received the testimony, and will shortly manifest the same; at which remark he seemed surprised…

“I returned by the way of Brother Fielding’s, with whom I again tarried for the night. The next morning I started for Preston, but when I got opposite the lane leading to Mr. Moon’s, I was forcibly led by the Spirit of the Lord to call and see them again. I therefore directed my steps to the house. On my arrival I knocked at the door. Mrs. Moon exclaimed, ‘Come in! You are welcome here! I and the lassies (meaning her daughters) have just been calling on the Lord, and praying that he would send you this way.’ She then informed me of her state of mind since I was there, and said she at first rejected my testimony, and endeavored to think lightly on the things I had advanced, but on trying to pray, the heavens seemed to be like brass over her head, and it was like iron under her feet. She did not know what was the matter, saying, ‘Certainly the man has not bewitched me has he?’ and upon inquiring she found it was the same with the lassies. They then began to reflect on the things I told them, and thinking it possible that I had told them the truth, they resolved to lay the case before the Lord, and beseech Him to give them a testimony concerning the things I had testified of. She then observed that as soon as they did so, light broke in upon their minds; they were convinced that I was a messenger of salvation; that it was the work of the Lord, and they had resolved to obey the Gospel. That evening I baptized Mr. Moon and his wife, and four of their daughters.

“The same night I went to Leyland, and stayed with Francis Moon, and the next morning I went to Preston where I stayed about three weeks with Brother Hyde. “I visited Mr. Moon again, and baptized the remainder of his family, consisting of thirteen souls, the youngest of whom was over twenty years of age. They received the Gospel as little children, and rejoiced exceedingly in its blessings. The sons were very good musicians, and the daughters excellent singers. When they united their instruments and voices in the songs of Zion, the effect was truly transporting. “Before I left England there were about thirty of that family and connection baptized, five of whom Hugh, John, Francis, William and Thomas Moon, were ordained to be fellow laborers with us in the vineyard, and I left them rejoicing in the truths they had embraced.”

Lydia Moon, the third daughter and sixth child of Matthias and Alice Moon married Henry not too long after they arrived in America. Lydia and Henry’s father, Robert, were second cousins, thus making Henry a second cousin once- removed to Lydia. Lydia’s two oldest sisters, Hannah and Dorothy, were later sealed to Heber C. Kimball in Nauvoo.

Lydia was born eight years before Henry on October 9, 1811 in the same village of Eccleston. Lydia grew up in a religious and musical family in Pentwortham. Her parents were careful in teaching their children from the Bible. Her father and mother had a custom of leaving their duties and praying to God in secret every day at noon. They called the family together night and morning for family prayer.

Henry first heard the gospel in 1838 from Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Willard Richards and Joseph Fielding. Amos Fielding baptized Henry and his sister Hannah at Chorley, England on Friday, October 12, 1838. Quite a few Moons from various families embraced this new religion. Lydia’s first-cousin, Ruth Moon Clayton, joined the church there in Penwortham prior to her husband, William, who soon became a prominent player in Mormon Church history and wrote the notable pioneer anthem “Come, Come Ye Saints”.

Lydia’s father wanted to go to America but died November 12, 1839, prior to their departure from England. The family sold all the belongings they could not take with them and made preparations to leave. Lydia’s immediate family made up the nucleus of the first emigrating Saints. Henry Moon traveled south with his cousins to Liverpool where they boarded the ship, Brittania on Saturday night, May 30, 1840. They spent Sunday aboard the ship, but went back out into the city on Monday to buy more provisions. Early Saints had to provide their own food for the trip. At Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball’s requests, Henry purchased calico for their wives in Nauvoo. Henry’s sister, Hannah, who was married and had a young son less than one year old must have remained in England.

There were at least 13 Moons on that first boat including Lydia (28) her mother and siblings, Henry (21) and some uncles. Brigham Young admonished Lydia’s brother, Hugh Moon, to keep a record of their journey. Since Henry traveled with this group, we get a good account of what Henry and Lydia experienced from Hugh’s journal entries.

Tuesday, June 2, 1840. They bought Richard Moon, [Lydia’s oldest brother] 36 yards of linen for a tent. When they returned to the ship, they found Elders Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball aboard. They had stretched a curtain across their cabin and commenced blessing the company. They bid them to walk in. They laid their hands on their heads and blessed them in the name of Jesus Christ. They showed them a map and gave them directions about the route they should take to Commerce [earlier name for Nauvoo]. Friday, June 5, 1840. They went out into the [Mersey] river about 2 o’clock.

Saturday, June 6, 1840. They were let loose in the river about 4 o’clock and set sail. The Brittania, a packet ship flying the American flag, sailed out of Liverpool harbor bound for New York. She was captained by Master Enoch Cook. Her hull was black with a white strake running the length of the vessel. Black squares were painted on this white band to denote gun turrets to any hostile crafts. The ship’s fore-topsail may have had a painted black ball, the emblem of the famous Black Ball Line. As a side note, two years later, she was lost at sea. The Britannia was very much like many other ships sailing at that time - except for one historic difference. Among her passengers, she was carrying the first organized emigrant company of Latter-day Saints. Captain/Elder John Moon (Lydia’s brother) presided over those forty-one British converts. Some accounts say forty passengers and others forty-one. The History of the Church records under Saturday, June 6, 1840, “Elder John Moon and a company of forty Saints, . . . sailed in the ship Britannia from Liverpool for New York, being the first Saints that have sailed from England for Zion.”

Sunday, June 7, 1840. Most of them were sick. Monday, June 8, 1840. They had strong and boisterous wind. Tuesday, June 9, 1840. Some of them began to be a little better. From about this time to [the following Thursday] the June 18, they had much sickness; sea sickness “flucks” – had a strong head wind. For forty-two days, the small craft pitched and rolled across the Atlantic Ocean. Travel on these ships was unpleasant and uncomfortable.

Most Saints could only afford to sleep in cheap, overcrowded spaces. Overcrowding added to the misery of seasickness, dysentery, cholera, and other diseases. Between decks, these men, women and children had no choice but to crowd together as the ship rocked back and forth day after day. These crowded conditions created a fertile environment for the spread of diseases. A ladder or steep stairs provided the only exit. During a storm, the quarters were “hatched down” to prevent water from flooding the hold. The poorly ventilated constantly rocking cabins soon filled with smoke from a few dimly lit lamps. The terrible smells from seasick passengers only added to the suffocating smoke. Buckets or chamber pots took care of personal needs if they could be reached in time. Groaning land-lovers, whining babies, crashing waves and howling winds added to the seemingly endless journey. Passengers remained hatched down until the storms ended. The 630-ton ship weathered three severe storms.

Thursday July 2, 1840. They got to the banks of Newfoundland, saw a fishing craft, and bought some fish etc. As they sailed by Long Island all covered with green trees and white houses, they were thrilled. John Moon wrote to William Clayton, “Such a beautiful sight I never saw. Yea, I thought it did pay for all the hardships which I had gone through.”

On Friday, July 17, 1840, they cast an anchor in sight of the city of New York. They stopped in the [Hudson] river two days then came to the City. These foreigners spent three additional days in quarantine before they landed, “safe and in a tolerable state of health,” in New York, according to the report that went to Brigham Young.” They stayed in New York for eight days. The group may have split up at this point and traveled a different route to Nauvoo because Hugh wrote the rest of the group started moving again on Wednesday, July 29. They took a steamboat for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They sailed two hours and fifteen minutes then took railway two hours and twenty-two minutes and then steam again. They reached Philadelphia at three o’clock and spent Wednesday evening. On Thursday, July 30, they left from Philadelphia for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After eight more days of travel, the group arrived on Thursday, August 6, about ten o’clock at night. The next day, they rented a house in Biras Town, Pittsburgh. They spent two weeks there and then, on Friday, August 21, they crossed the Allegheny River and rented a house in Allegheny City just across the river from Pittsburgh.

Six weeks later, on Friday, October 2, Thomas Moon (Lydia’s Uncle) died at twenty-five minutes past ten o’clock p.m. of bilious fever. To add disappointment to sorrow, a week after Uncle Thomas died the group was informed the waters were too low. They had to remain until spring so they went into the country to thresh grain. Their hopes of reaching Nauvoo that year were dashed. A week later on October 9, 1840 they moved out into the country about fifteen miles north of the city and rented a house in Pine Township.

Just after the New Year, Lydia lost another uncle, Henry Moon, who was seventy-one years old. He died on Tuesday, January 19. Eleven days following his death, Lydia’s brother Captain John Moon performed a marriage for Lydia and Henry on Saturday, January 30, 1841. Lydia didn’t have to change her name because both her maiden and married names were Moon.

The next spring after the weather warmed and water was in the river again, the group traveled back down into Pittsburgh. They put their things on a boat by the name of William Penn on Saturday, April 3, 1841, and started floating down the river on Sunday. They reached Wheeling, West Virginia at 6 o’clock. Three days later, on Wednesday, April 7, they touched down on the riverbanks of Cincinnati, Ohio. Five days later, on Monday, April 12, they landed at St. Louis, Missouri. From St. Louis, they took a river steamer up the Mississippi River and were thrilled to finally reach Nauvoo, Illinois on Friday, April 16, 1841 after two weeks of river travel. When Henry shook hands with the Prophet Joseph Smith, “he was convinced more than ever that Joseph was the Prophet.”

After exchanging greetings, the group probably heard the news about a new temple to be built in Nauvoo. A temple built where they could “be baptized for those who are dead.” The prophet received this revelation a few months prior to the Moons’ arrival. These words penned by Henry years later may have been some of his thoughts at that time. “I think of what I came here for. I came here to keep the commands of God, to learn His will and then do it to bless myself and my parents. Although my mother I never knew, yet I shall see to her interest. Mother died before she had a chance of obeying the gospel. She will have a chance and everyone else since the priesthood was taken from the earth. Saviors shall stand on mount Zion in the last days. The work of God will roll on. No power can stay His hand.”

The Moons went to Montrose across the Mississippi River from Nauvoo the same day they arrived. William Clayton helped them move their luggage to a log house a half-a-mile from the river. While John Moon’s company was the first to leave England, it was not the first to arrive at Nauvoo. They were actually the third group to arrive. William Clayton’s group left Liverpool on September 8, 1840 and landed in New York. They traveled up the Hudson River, crossed the Erie Canal, Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan, landed in Chicago and took a boat down the Rock and Mississippi Rivers to Nauvoo. William Clayton greeted Lydia Moon’s family, so John’s group would have been the third group to arrive. Church leaders found the southern route via New Orleans to be more direct and less expensive because they could travel the whole distance by water. It became the main route after 1840.

Four days after Henry and Lydia arrived in Iowa, Henry along with his brothers-in-law, Hugh and John, went to work ditching for a man by the name of Bosher. They didn’t work long before they all got sick with ague. Lydia’s mother, Alice, “did for those who were sick while she could possibly get around.” She too had a heavy chill. She finally “gave up and took to her bed. She had a short but severe illness. She died Saturday, August 14, 1841 in Montrose, Iowa. The extremely hot humid August air must have added to their affliction and sadness.

A year later Henry and Lydia’s first child, a daughter Alice Ann, likely named after her two grandmothers, was born in Montrose, Lee County, Iowa on September 17, 1842. Her parents possibly worried over her from the beginning because she was blessed by Bishop Dabrimple the same day she was born. Her life on this earth was short lived. She died the next day on Sunday, September 18. Two years after the birth of their first child, Henry and Lydia welcomed a little baby boy on September 13, 1844, just months after the prophet Joseph and brother Hyrum were martyred. John Thomas Moon was born in Des Moines Township, Lee County, Iowa Territory west of Montrose. He was blessed in Nauvoo in 1845.

In the latter part of 1845, Hannah, Henry’s sister, with her husband John Wane and their two children, James and Margaret, came to the United States. They visited Henry and his family in the Nauvoo area. Perhaps their intent was to remain in the United States, but for some reason, they decided to return to England. Henry was disappointed when Hannah did not stay. In a letter Henry wrote to Hannah in 1858, he indicates there might have been contention with John, her husband. Henry wrote, “I must say that I have ever been sorry that I let you go back. John never had a mind of his own two hours together . . . One thing I must explain to you, sister, I wish I had not let you go back to England, I mean if you could have stopped here and felt happy. I know that to be a Latter-day Saint and not have the spirit of it is a hard case, but if we live for it we shall have it. Some may imagine that we have forgot them what we have left behind. I very often let my mind loose to think about things at home (once my home).”

Mobs continued to threaten and torment the Saints after their prophet was killed, but the members wanted to finish their temple and receive their sacred ordinances before leaving. The workers placed the vane on the Nauvoo Temple on Friday, January 30, 1846. This was the same day Henry and Lydia, in the Third Company, partook of their own Washing, Anointing and Endowment.

Three years after Thomas’ birth, Henry and Lydia’s third child, another son, Joseph Henry was born yet further into Iowa in Van Buren County, on July 30, 1847. This was four days after the first Mormon pioneers entered the Great Salt Lake Valley and seven months after Iowa attained statehood. Little Joseph was blessed by Elders John and Henry Moon, October 6, 1847 in Van Buren County.

The Moons left their home in Van Buren County in southern Iowa and started for Utah on Tuesday, May 28, 1850. It was a day after a tornado blew down the remaining north wall of the burned-out Nauvoo Temple. They also would have been very aware of the thousands of Mormons passing through the county with their animals as they moved westward. Henry packed up their two little boys, ages six and two, and left their farm, two years after Lydia’s brother Hugh had gone.

Henry and family traveled as an independent company with Lydia’s brother, John Moon, as their captain once again. Very little is recorded about their journey except a few journal entries by Henry. They crossed the Missouri River on June 21. On July 12, ten miles east of Fort Kearny, Lydia’s brother John died of cholera. Henry wrote, “This was a sorrowful time.” They passed through Laramie, Wyoming on August 13 and finally “reached the Valley of the Great Salt Lake City, October 5, 1850.”

Henry and Lydia settled in the Salt Lake City 1st Ward near her brother, Hugh Moon. Hugh lived on 700 South on the corner of 800 East. Henry also lived on 700 South between 700 and 800 East. This area was fairly close to the city center and quite densely settled by 1850. The 1st Ward was one of the original nineteen wards organized by Brigham Young on February 22, 1849.

Map of Salt Lake Moon homes

This area was famous for its flowing wells and pure water. Some thought it was the best area of the city to feel the “invigorating canyon breezes” which felt so cool and refreshing on hot summer evenings. Only a lone pine tree stood in the Valley when the pioneers arrived, so many of the homes were made from adobe bricks. Settlers tramped mud with bare feet, molded bricks and left them in the sun to bake. Henry said when he entered the Valley in 1850, “the only thing that greeted the eye was a barren sage brush plain.” He later mused, “truly the desert has blossomed as a rose and truly we have much to be thankful for.” Being a farmer, Henry started breaking up farmland so he could grow crops as soon as possible. The family lived on roots or any wild foodstuff that was palatable the first year because there was very little to eat. Later, Henry grew wheat on a 160-acre farm in the Sugar House area.

Henry married his second wife, Temperance Westwood, six years after he arrived in Salt Lake City, on March 18, 1856. Henry Moon entered into plural marriage with Temperance in the Endowment House. Henry was thirty-seven years old and Temperance sixteen. To the union between Henry and Temperance were born thirteen children, seven sons and six daughters.

The same year Temperance and Henry were married, Henry was ordained to the office of High Priest and Bishop of the Salt Lake 1st Ward. This took place on October 21, 1856 at a Bishop’s Meeting held in the Council House. His counselors were Hugh Moon and James Houston. Henry was sustained by the Saints to his new position at General Conference, April 1857.

LDS Bishops had sole responsibility for the schools in their wards and almost every ward had one. School buildings were used for both church meetings and school classes. The 1st Ward adobe school house was built soon after Henry arrived and was located on 800 East between 700 and 800 South just around the corner from Henry’s home.

Henry Moon's shed in Farmington
Temperance lived in Salt Lake for a time and then moved to a log home located at 1428 North Main on the farm Henry owned in North Farmington. The home had one large room with a shed on the north side and one enclosed bedroom for the boys. It no longer stands, but the original cellar is still there. Henry’s great-granddaughter and husband live in a home on the site today (2006). An adobe home on the west of the highway at 1199 North Main housed Temperance and the family after they moved out of the log cabin.

Henry started keeping a journal on Sunday, January 1, 1860. Almost every Sunday thereafter had an entry stating he went “for Circle Meeting and thence to the Tabernacle” to hear one of the brethren speak. (The current Tabernacle wasn’t completed until October 6, 1867.) Some of the speakers were: Brothers John Taylor, Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt, Joseph Young, President Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, and Heber C. Kimball. On Sunday evenings, Henry attended a ward meeting held in the school house. He either taught on the subjects he had heard that day or had guest speakers. Some days he spent taking care of tithing. On the first Thursday of each month, he attended Ward fast meetings inaugurated in 1855. It looks like he attended Bishop’s meeting twice a month at night and about once a month on Saturdays he attended a Priesthood meeting. Henry also presided over the meeting organizing the first Relief Society in his ward.

He wrote that he “went north” almost weekly, meaning he traveled to his farm in Farmington where Temperance and the children lived. He took John Thomas, Lydia’s oldest son, back and forth possibly to help Temperance with the farm. A fifteen-year-old would have been a big help doing chores.

On Saturday, January 4, 1868, Henry married his third wife, Mary Ann Thayn(e) in the Salt Lake Endowment House. Mary Ann was nineteen years old and Henry forty-nine. She bore Henry nine children. Mary Ann, the firstborn of eleven children, was born in Ontario, Canada to John Johnson and Sidney Boyer Thayn(e). Mary Ann’s father, John, immigrated to Canada from Glasgow, Ayrshire, Scotland as a young man. Her mother, Sidney Boyer, was a Pennsylvania Dutch girl of German descent. Her father bought and ran a saw mill there in Iowa. After arriving in Salt Lake, he set up a saw mill in Thayne Canyon east of the city. Thayne Canyon extends south from Mill Creek Canyon not too far up from the mouth.

Henry married Mary Ann in January, welcomed Temperance’s son Henry Moroni into the world on March 22. He also bid farewell to his first wife, Lydia, who died of breast cancer on July 9 at 9:10 a.m. in Salt Lake City (age of fifty-six ) — all these events within the first seven months of 1868. Temperance helped nurse Lydia during her illness. Henry’s descendants said the three wives got along well and helped each other. Temperance told her daughter, Olive Moon Potter, that Lydia always treated her with love and kindness and was like a mother to her in teaching and helping her in many ways.

Map of Farmington Moon homes.

Henry moved from Salt Lake City to Farmington early in 1870, but his counselor Joseph Warburton wasn’t appointed Bishop until November 14 of that year. Henry owned a large fruit orchard in Farmington. Fruit trees were among the first things planted in that area. Lots of mulberry trees were planted in Farmington in 1870 west of Main Street and south of Shepherd Lane, which would have been next to Henry’s land. The LDS Church experimented with the silk making process for a number of years.

Henry was called and set apart to serve a mission to the United States, October 9, 1871. He was gone for four and one half months. During the cold winter months of 1871 and 1872, Henry served his mission in Iowa and Missouri. He returned home to Farmington, February 22, 1872. His journal records his travels during his mission.

In the Wednesday, April 10, 1872 edition of The Evening News, the fourth day of General Conference was reported. Henry Moon was the first speaker in the Tuesday afternoon session, and he said: “I was one of the missionaries who were called to go to the United States last fall. In my travels I met with Mr. David Whitmer, one of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon. What made me visit him was, I was reading the testimony of the witnesses to some people on Shoal Creek, in Caldwell County. One of them, Mr. John Lefler, was very anxious to see one of these witnesses, and to hear his testimony. I went down to Richmond with him. We got to Mr. David Whitmer’s a little after dark. I told Mr. Whitmer that I was from Utah. ‘From Utah?’ said he. ‘Yes Sir.’ ‘Well, you have a good deal of trouble, I suppose, in Utah?’ Oh, not very much, I told him. He got up from his supper and went out of the house, and I followed him. I told him I wanted to have a few moments’ talk with him. He said he had not time, he wanted to see after some horses, and his son was sick. But I hung to him, and followed him in the street, and told him that this gentlemen, Mr. Lefler, who was with me, had come from Caldwell County, to see if that which was written in the Book of Mormon — the testimony of the witnesses — was true. Mr. Whitmer turned round to the Gentleman and said: ‘God Almighty requires at my hands to bear record of the truth of the Book of Mormon. That book is a true record; it is the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, translated by the gift and power of God through Joseph Smith.’ He then talked to Mr. Lefler, who also asked him a few questions. Then Mr. Whitmer talked a little to me about Utah. I asked the gentleman if he wanted any more conversation with Mr. Whitmer? He said, ‘No,’ he was quite satisfied, and we got on to the cars and went back to Caldwell County the same evening; “I am glad that I, with my brethren, can also bear witness with regard to the truth of the Book of Mormon and the establishment of the kingdom of God upon the earth, and that this is the kingdom established through Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. I am as satisfied of it, and I know it as well as I know that I am talking to this large congregation. Amen.”

Moon Park in Farmington, Utah
The Primary was organized for the children of the church on August 25, 1878 right there in Farmington by Aurelia Spencer Rogers. Sister Rogers recorded the names of all 224 children who attended the first meeting. Temperance and Mary Ann both had children who attended this historic event. The names of Temperance’s children who attended are: Rowene, 13; Henry, 10; Edmund, 8; Philip, 6; and Mary Ann’s children: Orson, 9 and Amanda, 8.

Henry moved Mary Ann and her family to Woodland, Summit County, Utah in 1881. Henry’s second son, Joseph Henry purchased land there in Bench Creek in 1874. The family had another farm to start so the whole family — Lydia and Temperance’s children along with Mary Ann’s — worked together cutting brush and picking rocks to clear the land. Henry claimed a homestead in Woodland for the purpose of going into the stock business. His land lay along the Provo River in Summit County. It was the ideal place for cattle and sheep because of plenty of free range grass. Woodland proved to be better for ranching and timbering than farming because of its short growing season. The 6,580 foot elevation meant hard cold winters. It wasn’t rare to have the fences covered up with snow.

Getting back and forth from Farmington to Woodland was sometimes very difficult during the winter months. The first families in the area took up land claims on the south side of the Provo River called Bench Creek in Wasatch County. Before long, people lived on both sides of the river that ran down through the valley, which acted as a dividing line for the two counties of Wasatch and Summit. Woodland was a six-mile strip of farmsteads on the north side of the Provo River. The mile-wide valley provided fertile ground to raise feed for their animals. Mary Ann’s parents, John and Sidney Thayn(e), probably moved from Salt Lake to Woodland sometime during this time. Many of the same family names in the Salt Lake 1st Ward Records show up in the Woodland Ward Records. Woodland was near the forested mountains that supplied trees for John Thayn(e)’s steam saw mill and the lumber business.

When the time came for a ward to be organized in Woodland, Daniel H. Wells presided at a meeting held in a two-room cabin on Sunday, July 24, 1881. He created the new ward and suggested they name the ward “Woodland” because of all the cottonwood trees that covered the valley. Elder Wells ordained and set apart Henry to the office of Bishop. John Thomas Moon, Henry’s oldest son, and William R. Smith were sustained as his counselors.While Henry served as Bishop in Woodland, he organized the Sunday School, YMMIA, and Primary. The Relief Society was already functioning.

Moon Circle, Farmington, Utah
At one time Henry wanted to move Temperance and her family to Woodland so he could have the two families together, but Temperance was comfortable in her four room adobe home in Farmington. She loved her roses, trees and garden and couldn’t bear to leave. Even though Temperance chose to stay in Farmington, it is likely that Henry took the children back and forth from Woodland to Farmington on his various trips. Temperance’s son Phillip said in his later years, he would rather go to Woodland than Disneyland. He had very fond memories of his early adventures in Woodland.

Henry owned big orchards and lots of land in Farmington and Woodland so his children were all taught to work in their youth. There were no idle hands around the homes. Hours were never set for the children, but they worked early and late. In Woodland, the children attended school in one room log building with one teacher. Amanda said, “I think it is a wonder one did secure any education at all under the circumstances.

The Edmunds Act was passed in the U.S. Congress on March 14, 1882 aimed at trying to stop the Mormons from practicing polygamy. Polygamy was now officially against the law and U.S. Marshals were sent to arrest those breaking it. The fact that Temperance and Mary Ann lived in distant towns at that time was probably good.

Henry suffered a stroke in 1888, a year after his last baby, Nephi, was born and a year before the Manifesto was issued. The stroke rendered Henry an invalid for the last six years of his life. All Nephi remembered about his father was “he was quite feeble.” What a hardship this must have been for the two wives who still had young children in their care. No government aid such as Social Security was available to them. After Henry had the stroke, he remained in Farmington with his wife, Temperance, who nursed him. Henry Moon’s undaunted spirit finally gave up and passed from this world to the next on November 14, 1894 at the age of seventy-five. Henry was buried in the Farmington City Cemetery next to his son Franklin.

Henry told his daughter Amanda, “All my life has been spent in service for others and I am not sorry for it, for after all we get the most pleasure in doing good.” In Henry’s words, he says, “I am happy and I want you to be happy. I am for peace, rightness, happiness and every other principle that is for the happifying [sic] of the human family and to increase and grow in the knowledge of the truth and to rise until I attain to the perfect stature of a man in Christ. How can that be done? By being faithful obedient to those holding the holy priesthood, keeping the commandments of God in all things. We are only sent here on a mission. We ought to fulfill that mission aright. The old ship Zion will land us safe if we will keep on board, but a great many jump off and that is the reason they get lost. If I had jumped off when I came to New York, the captain could not have landed me safe. It is just so with those that obey the gospel.”

Written by: Maureen Moon LaPray December 1999. It can be found in the book The Family of Henry Moon: Mormon Pioneer 1819-1894.


  1. Thank you so much for recording this and sharing. Being a descendant of Henry Moon, I absolutely enjoyed learning more about him. I feel so grateful for his faith and diligence so that I may have the joy of the gospel in my life.

  2. I want to thank you for all the information you have provided on Henry Moon and his family and children. I also am related to Henry Moon and Mary Ann Thayne, my great grandmother, Amanda Jane Moon Duncan was their youngest Daughter. I did not have much information but a few dates on the Moons, so your page here has been able to fill in a lot of dates and life stories that I needed to fill in my own Moon/Duncan history. thanks again.