Sharing our Links to the Past
by Wally and Frances Gray

Cyrus Daniels, Theodore Turley's First Son-in-Law
and  Frances Amelia Turley Daniels

Webmaster's Note: This article, written by John R. Pyper, appeared in the Theodore Turley Family Newsletter, Volume 17, June 2000, and is reprinted with his permission. Footnotes are cited in partentheses.

By John R. Pyper

In the Theodore Turley Family Book and in LDS Ancestral File, Frances Amelia Turley, eldest daughter of Theodore Turley and Frances Amelia Kimberley, is married to a Cyrus Daniel of Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, born about 1822. But aside from this data, there is no other evidence for such a person. He does not appear in other Family History Library Files or church documents including most notably Susan Black's compilation, LDS Membership 1830-1848. A search of the Infobase CD-ROM library of more than 2,000 LDS books found not one reference of a Cyrus Daniel. Moreover, there is another problem with this marriage data which is that the date and place, 24 Jan 1846, at Winter Quarters, is impossible. So something is amiss.

The solution turned out to be close at hand, only a letter of difference we might say. When the Infobase CD-ROM library was searched, Cyrus Daniels was discovered. He is mentioned several times in the History of the Church and in several personal journals. Mention of him begins in the first year of the Restored Church. He was intimate with the Prophet Joseph Smith, in particular at Liberty Jail. He was closely associated with Theodore Turley in Nauvoo with police work and defense actions regarding Nauvoo. Indeed he is mentioned in Judd's biography of Theodore Turley. Theodore rendered first aid to him in 1844 when his right arm was shattered by a bullet.(1)

The Temple records in Nauvoo and the Burial ground records in Winter Quarters clearly record that it was Cyrus Daniels, friend of Theodore Turley and two years his junior, who became his first son-in-law. In Susan Black's LDS Membership 1830-1848 it is Cyrus Daniels who was endowed on January 8, 1846 and sealed to Francis A. Turley on January 24, 1846. On the Winter Quarters Burial (2) record of Francis A. Daniels her spouse was recorded as "Cyrus Daniels (d)". The "(d)" very likely indicates that he was "deceased".(3)

Cyrus Daniels was born in Nelson, Madison, NY on September 12, 1803 to Aaron or Adam and Phoebe Daniels. How and when he died as yet has not been found out. But the information that is available about Cyrus paints a picture of a man of great courage and deep commitments. The first mention of Cyrus Daniels in LDS church history was by Mary Lightner, one of the early members of the church.

In the fall of 1831, in company with Bishop Partridge, Father Morley, W. W. Phelps, Cyrus Daniels and their families, mother and myself, my brother Henry and sister Caroline, under the guardianship of Algernon S. Gilbert, left Kirtland for Independence, Jackson County, Missouri. (4)

Next is brief mention by Thomas B. Marsh that Cyrus accompanied him back to Kirtland in the beginning of 1832. (5) Cyrus is not mentioned for several years, in the InfoBase library, until 1839 when he was involved with Erastus Snow, David Holeman, William D. Huntington, Alanson Ripley and Watson Barlow in an attempted breakout of the Prophet Joseph and companions from Liberty jail on the 7th of February 1839. Things went awry and all but Cyrus were locked inside the jail, who scrambled away taking two guards with him backwards down the stairs, one on each arm. He stumbled in the dark which may have saved his life from a gunshot. (6) Later, on the 5th of March 1839, he was one of six witnesses of a petition of Joseph Smith to the Missouri Supreme Court.

In February of 1844 he is mentioned in conjunction with the efforts of the Church to obtain timber from the Indians in the Wisconsin Territory. In the dairy of Hosea Stout from October 4, 1844 to May 12, 1845 in Nauvoo, he is mentioned a number of times as he was a policeman under the supervision of Bro. Stout. (7) On Sept. 21, 1844 Cyrus received approval of a plan which he had devised to watch and regulate some matters north of town up the river. But the next day

in attempting to execute the arrangements they were fired upon and Cyrus Daniels was shot through the right arm, just above the elbow. Whereupon, myself and Brother [Joseph Bates] Noble went with him to assist him home. We, however, did not find him till he had traveled to Colonel [Theodore] Turley's. When we got there we found him in a desperate condition, his arm was shattered to atoms, the ball passed just above the elbow and both bones were broken and his arm in a sling. We had to tear his coat to pieces to get it off of him, after which Brother [Theodore] Turley set the bones as well as he could. And then Dr. J. [John] M. Barnhisel [Bernhisel] was sent for, who undone his arm and set it over again, during which time he suffered the most excruciating pain.

Hosea mentioned in his journal several times the pain that Cyrus suffered. He finally reports on January 13 that Cyrus' arm was such "that he could walk out".(8) On Saturday March 1, 1845 the Council of Fifty discussed "Joseph's measures originally adopted in this Council by going West to seek out a location and a home where the Saints can dwell in peace and health, and where they can erect the ensign and standard of liberty for the nations, and live by the laws of god without being oppressed and mobbed under a tyrannical government, without protection from the laws." Samuel Bent was selected to lead a group of seven men that included Cyrus Daniels. The others were Jonathan Dunham, Danial Spencer, John S. Fullmer, Charles Shumway, Albert Carrington, and John W. Farnham. These brethren were expected to start immediately after Conference and proceed from tribe to tribe, to unite the Lamanites and find a home for the saints. They would accompany Lewis Dana who was a member of the council and a Lamanite of the Oneida nation. On Tuesday March 11, 1845 the Council of Fifty met all day and Cyrus Daniels was admitted as a member. (9) This is the last mention of Cyrus found so far. Cyrus Daniels presents a picture of a courageous man, a dependable man and one that was called to be in the vanguard of activities, many of them dangerous.

Frances Amelia Turley Daniels

By John R. Pyper

What little we know about Frances Amelia Turley Daniels clearly suggests that she and Cyrus were a matched pair in the courage department. In the Judd biography, in the Turley Book (p. 50) there is one paragraph about Theodore's wife, Frances. But in two of the four episodes, "her father" is referred to, suggesting that these two episodes surely must be about Frances, the daughter, rather than Frances, the mother, whose father never left England and was long dead! (10) The two episodes are as follows:

Once when the mob were stealing stock in Far West, Frances told her father to give her Old John, and she climbed on him with a loaded blackwhip (handle loaded with buckshot). She rode into the herd and got the stock and hit one of the mobbers with the blackwhip. She brought back the cows and the bull. Another time Frances took her father and his friends to a meeting in Nauvoo in a sleigh and on her return the buffalo robe blew up in front of the horse, causing him to run away. She jumped on the horse and brought it to a stop. A man that watched the procedure joked with Theodore and offered him a thousand dollars for Frances. At this it is said that Theodore acted very indignant. (11)

So Frances, when only 14 years of age, went up against the mobbers and got her cows and bull back and whopped one of the mobbers with the blackwhip! In the second incident, a few years later, in Nauvoo, she was perhaps 18 or 20 years old. She must have been quite a formidable woman as a thousand dollars was a handsome sum!

Prior to leaving Nauvoo, Frances received her endowment with her parents (and sister Mary Ann) on the 20th of December 1845. She and Cyrus were married January 24, 1846. Tragically, Franny died only 10 months later, on December 1, 1847 in Winter Quarters while giving birth to her first child and the first grandchild of Theodore and Frances, who also died. Frances was 21 years and 11 months of age when she died. Mother and child were buried together in grave site #20. Nine months later, on August 30, 1847, her dear mother died "of scurvy" and was joined with them in death in the same grave site.(12)


1. See p. 49 of the Theodore Turley Family Book.

2. FHC fiche #6031588 Records copied by Ethel B. Kirby from Early Church Records loaned the Genealogy Society of Utah by the Historian's Office.

3. Which seems reasonable, particularly since it was only used with spouse designations, but a professional staff member of the FHL, in SLC would not conclusively confirm that interpretation.

4. Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 17 (July 1926) and also Backman, Milton V. Jr., and Keith W. Perkins, ed. Writings of Early Latter-day Saints and Their Contemporaries, A Database Collection.

5. Jenson, Andrew, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia.

6. This account is in several sources including Lucy Mack Smith's History of the Prophet Joseph Smith and a letter of Alexander McRae to the Deseret News, Oct. 9, 1854.

7. Hosea Stouit, Diary, BYU Special Collections and also Backman, Milton V. Jr., and Keith W. Perkins, ed. Writings of Early Latter-day Saints and Their Contemporaries, A Database Collection.

8. Lyman Littlefield in his Reminiscences in 1888 [on Infobase] thought that Cyrus Daniels was wounded in one of his arms in the attempted jail break from Liberty Jail in 1839, but had "no means of knowing as to the correctness of this." Perhaps he confused two events of quite different times.

9. Ehat, Andrew, "It Seems Like Heaven Began on Earth": Joseph Smith and "Constitution of the Kingdom of God," BYU Studies 20.3:269-70.

10. I discussed this with cousin Ella Mae Judd, biographer of Theodore Turley, and she agrees that these incidents must be about the daughter.

11. Ernest Turley Interview.

12. Winter Quarters Burial grounds records.

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