Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network

Pioneer 1848-1868 Companies

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1859 (age 27), Haight, Horton David (Captain - Biographical Sketch)

Moravia, Cayuga county, New York was the birthplace of Horton David Haight where he was born to Hector Caleb and Julia Van Orden Haight in the year 1832. The Haight family heard of a new religion called Mormonism and that the leader of the church was Joseph Smith who had translated golden plates called the Book of Mormon. Isaac Haight, another son of Caleb, was selected to go to Nauvoo, Illinois and investigate. He became so convinced of the divinity of its teachings that he accepted the gospel and was baptized. Returning home he interested the entire family in its principles and soon they migrated to Nauvoo where all the other members of the family joined the Church.

On February 6, 1846 the Mormon people began their journey westward to the Missouri River, among them the Haights. Although new converts yet they never hesitated to cast their lot with the older members. Horton undertook the duties of the camp and the oxen with equal skill and when called to do so, assisted the older men. The second company to come into the valley, September 22, 1847 included the entire Haight family. They settled on a stream which they called Haight Creek. This place was later named Farmington in Davis county. In 1852 Horton married Louisa Leavitt. She was an excellent housekeeper, self reliant and hospitable.

A colony of Latter-day Saints had established a settlement at Fort Lemhi in the northern part of Idaho. For a time all went well but the Indians became troublesome so others were called to strengthen the mission. It was on one of these expeditions that Horton was called to help settle the difficulties. In 1858 he served under the command of Lot Smith in an effort to prevent the U. S. Army from marching into Utah.

It is said that Mr. Haight crossed the plains fourteen times, either as a member of the expedition or as one of the captains in the train. In 1859 he was appointed captain to lead a company consisting of one hundred and fifty four people, seventy-one wagons. They left Florence, Nebraska in June and arrived in Salt Lake City September 1st. Two things stand out as characteristic of Captain Haight's leadership, namely, his kind treatment of the people under his supervision, and his humane treatment of the oxen and horses. Many men remarked how clean and well fed the animals of the Haight train appeared after being brought home from a three thousand mile trip. He had a great capacity for understanding the Indians. Ofttimes before the company reached an Indian camp he rode alone to meet them always bringing presents and food which never failed to win the respect and confidence of the redmen. He had such blue eyes and light hair they called him Pi-up Anicum. Besides the trips east he went to Carson City, Nevada for flour and supplies for the Church. In 1872 he was captain of a company assisting in the colonization of Arizona.

Mr. Haight occupied himself with farming and civic work. He was a member of the first Provisional Legislature for Utah Territory. In 1887 he was named as the first president of Cassia Stake, Idaho, which extended north into the Wood River Mountains over a hundred miles, eastward to Oneida Stake, westward no limit, and south into Utah and Nevada. While visiting different wards in the stake Hotton and his counselors took camping equipment for several weeks" journey.

Hotton David Haight died January 19, 1900. An old Indian called Captain Jim who had often talked to Captain Haight, came to view the body. No one knew just what the old fellow thought of Mr. Haight. Standing by the coffin he cried unashamedly, saying: "My good white father is dead." On his tombstone are inscribed these words, "Father where thou goest we will go, thy people will be our people, Thy God, our God."

Source: Our Pioneer Heritage © Carter, Kate B., ed. 20 vols. Salt Lake City: International Society, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1958-1977. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. Documents and images are exerpted by permission from the LDS Family History Suite CDROM from Ancestry.