Sharing our Links to the Past
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
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 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.
By John R. Pyper
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)
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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