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James Tillman Sanford and Eliza Allred

Question: Did Eliza Allred join her husband, James, in the Mormon Battalion when she was expecting a baby?

Answer: James Tillman Sanford Allred (or James T.S. as he was called) was born 28 March 1825 in Bedford Co., Tennessee, a son of James and Elizabeth Warren Allred. James T.S. wrote in his journal:. “In June 1834, the Prophet Joseph Smith arrived at my father’s house on his journey up the upper part of Missouri with a company of two hundred of the brethren known as Zions Camp…In the winter of 1835, fathers family, Uncle Isaac and Uncle William and families moved up to Clay County, Missouri, and during that winter, I was baptized by William O. Clark and confirmed by Martin C. Allred.’

On the 23 November 1845 James T.S. married Eliza Bridget Mainwaring. Eliza was born in Prestign, Herefordshire, England, 23 November 1821, the daughter of Edward and Margaret Nash Mainwaring. She was forced to leave her home when she joined the Church. She was a good seamstress and worked until she earned enough money to come to America. She arrived in Nauvoo in 1842. She worked in the Mansion House for the Prophet Joseph Smith and while living there she met James T. S. Allred. They received their Endowments in the Nauvoo Temple 9 January 1846. Just one month later 9 February this young couple, along with Father James and Mother Elizabeth and the rest of their sons and daughters and their families, joined the exodus from Nauvoo.

They arrived at Council Bluffs on the 15 July 1846. Two weeks earlier a United States Officer had ridden into Council Bluffs with a letter from the War Department asking for 500 young men to take part in the war against Mexico. The 500 men were appointed and then organized into what is known as the Mormon Battalion. On the 16 July, one day after arriving at Council Bluffs, James T.S. joined the Battalion and was assigned to Company A. At noon on the 21 July 1846, 500 men, accompanied by 80 women and children began the long march. James T.S.’ wife, Eliza, five months pregnant, was one of these women.

On the 1st of August the Company reached Fort Leavenworth, 200 miles from Council Bluffs, leaving there a few days later for Santa Fe, New Mexico. This part of the march became very severe, and by the time they arrived in Santa Fe on the 15 of October, most of the women and children and 100 of the men were on the sick list, so the Commanding Officer ordered them to head north to spend the winter at Pueblo, Colorado. They left Santa Fe on 18th of October. Eliza was sick most of the way. She gave birth to a premature baby boy which died shortly after birth. The Company could not stop while James T.S. buried the infant.

On the 17 November after plodding along 300 miles from Santa Fe through severe winter weather, they arrived in the small Mexican town of Pueblo where they spent the winter. In the spring they resumed their journey westward and arrived in the Great Salt Lake Valley on the 29 July 1947, just one week behind the Pioneers.

Quoting his own words, James T.S. said, “My wife and I suffered a great deal on our journey but as soon as we arrived in the Valley, we started to put in grain and make adobes to build our houses. The second year we raised quite a bit of products, more than the first year, but the crickets destroyed a great deal of the crops.’

On the 28 February 1848 a daughter was born, they named her Eliza after her brave Mother. In May 1849 President Brigham Young sent James T.S. and 10 other men back to the Platte River to establish a ferry for the Saints who were on their way to the Valley. They ferried wagons across the Platte at the rate of 70 wagons a day. He was gone three months. When he returned from that assignment, he was called to go to the Sanpete Valley to help make a new settlement.

On the 22 November 1849 after another cold, hard, tiresome journey, this little band of pioneers, 224 men, women and children, with their flocks and herds, arrived at what we call today, the Manti Temple Hill. Their only hope for survival was to dig caves in the south side of the Hill.

Two months later, 13 January 1850, in one of those dugouts, a baby girl was born to Eliza and James T.S. They named her Ellen. During the first summer the main diet for the little group was pigweeds which grew abundantly on The Hill. Sego bulbs were also quite plentiful. Early in 1851 James T.S. built his family a log cabin. It was 16 feet square. This little cabin was moved by ox team 7 different times as the family was called to settle in different areas.

About the end of October 1851 President Brigham Young sent father James Allred, his wife Elizabeth, and others from Salt Lake to Manti to join their son, James T.S. and his wife and 2 small children. This was the first time they had seen each other in five years.

Soon after, President Young called the Allred families to begin a new settlement 16 miles north of Manti. The place was called Spring Town (later named Spring City). James T.S. brought his cabin from Manti by ox team. The Allred Pioneers had no sooner begun to break up the land than the Indians started making raids on the little settlement. By July 1853 when President Young advised them to move back to Manti. A short time later President Young again called the Allred families and 40 Danish convert families to begin a new settlement, this time 7 miles north of Manti. They began immediately to build a Fort and the place was called Fort Ephraim.

In April 1855 James T.S. was called to go on a mission to Las Vegas to preach the Gospel to the Piute Indians. He went to Salt Lake and was set apart by President Orson Hyde on 28 April 1855. He became a good interpreter of the Indian language. A baby son was born in Las Vegas 5 September 1856. They spent two years in the Indian mission, and James T.S. baptized many Indians. After he was released from this mission, they returned to Ephraim.

On the 20th of April 1866, Eliza gave birth to her 10th child, Margaret Bridget. Six hours after Margaret was born, this brave Mother, died. There is a marker for her in the Spring City Cemetery but she is buried in an unknown grave in Circle Valley. Later in the year, James T.S. took his family and returned to Ephraim. In January 1868 he moved to Spring City.

James T.S. Allred was a polygamist. He had four wives, Eliza Bridget (10 children); Margaret, a sister to Eliza Bridget (5 children); Fannie Shantaquint an Indian woman became his third wife (3 children); and Paulina Allred was his fourth. James T.S. Allred died 29 March 1905, the day after his 80th birthday. He is buried in the Spring City Cemetery, Sanpete County, Utah.

Source: Excerpts from “James Tillman Sanford and Eliza Bridget Mainwaring Allred,’ compiled by Yvonne Heyborne Church,;

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