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Isaac Jelliff Carpenter

Question: What happened to Isaac Jelliff Carpenter while he was with the Mormon Battalion Sick Detachment at Pueblo, Colorado in 1846?

Answer: Isaac Jelliff Carpenter was born 24 July 1827 in Neversink, Sullivan, New York, to

Samuel E. Carpenter and Antoinette Maria Jelliff. About 1839, Isaac’s parents became members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Isaac was about twelve at this time.

In May 1839, Samuel with his wife and seven children started for Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois, to join the Mormons there. They started from Thunder Hill, New York and arrived in Nauvoo about the middle of June 1839. Samuel Carpenter bought a hundred-acre farm, for one dollar an acre, about two miles from there in the town of Olive Green, in the same county. He built a house on it, and they remained there seven years. Isaac’s mother, Antoinette, died November 10, 1845, and was buried at Masadonia (Ramus), Hancock, Illinois.

In the spring of 1846, Samuel sold his farm, and the family started with three pairs of oxen, two cows, ten sheep, a year’s provisions, with wagons and tent, to make their way to Council Bluffs, Iowa and then to Winter Quarters, Nebraska. Samuel died 25 September 1846 at Winter Quarters, while Isaac was away with the Mormon Battalion.

While at Winter Quarters, Isaac, at age nineteen, was asked to serve in the Mexican War in the Mormon Battalion, Company C. He received his equipment in July 1846, under Capt. James Allen, and they traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico. When Philip St. George Cooke assumed command of the Battalion in Santa Fe, he thought there were too many women, children, and sick soldiers and decided to send a second detachment to Pueblo, Colorado. This group left Santa Fe October 18, 1846 under Captain James Brown. They arrived in Pueblo November 17, 1846, with 92 men, 19 women and 10 children. Isaac Jelliff Carpenter is listed with this group.

Excerpts from the 6 March 1895 medical examining board provide information as to Isaac’s current medical condition at that time. First, “He (Isaac) makes the following statement upon which he bases his claim for increase. While at Pueblo, rupture on right side, when a wagon ran across him producing the rupture. Has a gunshot wound of the right arm above the elbow received at Pueblo by the accidental discharge of a gun…’

Isaac wintered in Pueblo and in the spring followed Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company into the Salt Lake Valley, arriving there on July 29, 1847. Two weeks later, Isaac, with David Martin, were called as members of an advance hunting party to return to Winter Quarters. They were to supply an ox team of returning pioneers with meat on the return journey. Isaac is listed as one of the most successful of the hunters. They arrived in Council Bluffs in October and then went on to Pleasant Valley, where he went to the home of Absalom Perkins. He remained there and recuperated and obtained work.

Isaac married Nancy Adaline Perkins 23 April 1849, at Council Bluffs, Douglas, Nebraska. They were married by Ezra T. Benson, Minister of the Gospel. Nancy was the daughter of Absalom and Nancy (Martin) Perkins. She was born 12 December 1821. Isaac and Nancy’s first child was born in Iowa in February 1849, and they immigrated that same year to the Salt Lake Valley. They had one more daughter, Adeline, born in the Salt Lake Valley in 1852.

Isaac was one of the 39 men selected to participate in colonizing Fort Supply (Green River). Because of the conditions, the extreme cold, and inadequate food supply, the men left the mission and returned to the Salt Lake Valley. Because of this experience and being away from his family, Isaac and his family moved to Placerville, California, where his wife’s relatives were living at the time. He worked at mining and did timber work. Isaac and Nancy had six more children while living in California.

When production in the mines dropped off, Isaac returned with his family to Salt Lake. In 1870, his family moved to Carson City, Nevada. Isaac moved his family from Carson Valley, Nevada some time in 1872 to Pueblo County, Colorado where they remained until 1882. The family then moved to Heurfano County where they were living in 1887. Then sometime between 1887 and 1900 they moved north two counties and settled in Canon City, Fremont County, Colorado and then later lived in Florence, Fremont, Colorado.

Isaac and Adaline would spend the latter years of their lives in western Colorado, at first at Canon City and then in Florence. Canon City is approximately nine miles west of Florence, and Florence is only about 35 miles west of Pueblo, Colorado, where Isaac, as a Mormon Battalion member spent the winter of 1846-47.

Isaac died 18 July 1910 at Florence, Colorado, and was buried in the Union Highland Cemetery in Florence. Adaline died 6 September 1923 in Florence.

Source: Excerpts from “Obituary of Isaac J Carpenter,’; Sources on;

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