Question: Were Reuben Warren Allred and his wife, Elzadie, members of the Mormon Battalion?
Answer: Reuben Warren Allred was born 9 November 1827 in Bedford County, Tennessee to Martin C. Allred and Mary (Polly) Heskett. Reuben’s parents and grandparents joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when Reuben was a small boy. He was baptized in 1836 in Missouri at the age of nine.
As religious persecution mounted, Reuben and his family fled from Missouri and migrated to Quincy, Illinois and then to Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois. Here both of Reuben’s parents died in 1840. It is believed that his father, Martin, died from the exposure and inhumane treatment received while he was imprisoned in Richmond, Missouri. He died in May 1840 and was only 33 years of age. Reuben’s mother died when giving birth to her eighth child in July 1840.
In Nauvoo, Reuben attended the Nauvoo Fourth Ward and received his endowments in the Nauvoo Temple in December 1845. On 15 February 1846, Reuben married Elzadie Emeline Ford. She was born 2 December 1827, at Harmony, Chautauqua, New York, the daughter of William Martin Ford and Hannah Lucille Mayo. Reuben and Elzadie were both eighteen years of age at the time of their marriage.
Continual religious persecution caused the young couple to leave Illinois and move to Iowa Territory. In Council Bluffs, Reuben enlisted in the Mormon Battalion, and Elzadie volunteered to be a laundress for the men. They were in Company A. At noon on the 21 July 1846, 500 men, accompanied by 80 women and children began the long march. During his enlistment, Reuben contracted rheumatism, which plagued him the remainder of his life. He also fractured his back when lifting a wagon from the mud. Because of his deteriorating health, he and Elzadie were assigned to the sick detachment to winter at Fort Pueblo, Colorado.
On the 17 November 1847 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 Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company.
Reuben did not remain long in the Salt Lake Valley because of his desire to find gold in California. Unfortunately, years in the gold fields at Sutter’s Mill proved financially unprofitable and Reuben returned to Utah.
On 6 October 1853 at the General Conference in Salt Lake, Reuben was called to gather fifty families to form a settlement in Sanpete County. These families settled in Mt. Pleasant and Reuben remained with them until 1864 when he moved to Wallsburg, Wasatch, Utah. From Wallsburg, Reuben moved to Fort Ephraim, Sanpete County, where he was the first Presiding Elder. He was later appointed Bishop of the Ephraim Ward in the South Sanpete Stake.
In 1878, when his son, John Warren, contracted rheumatic fever, Reuben moved his family to Gila Valley, Arizona. They hoped that the warmer climate in Gila would be conducive to John’s recovery. In Gila, Reuben purchased stock in the Buttermilk Point Ranch, a few miles from Matthewsville. Unfortunately, while fording his cattle across the Colorado River, he lost the entire herd. Reuben then spent the next five years milking cows and selling butter to soldiers at Fort Thomas. He then sold his ranch in Gila Valley and moved to Pima, Graham, Arizona, where Reuben and Elzadie lived until Elzadie’s death in 1887. Reuben then resided with his son, John, and his two daughters, Rosabelle and Mary Lily.
In 1893 Reuben was thrown from a horse, dislocating his right shoulder blade and breaking his collarbone. He never fully recovered. Reuben died 21 August 1916 in Thatcher, Graham, Arizona at the age of 88 and war buried in the Pima Cemetery. Reuben and Elzadie had nine children, with four reaching adulthood.