Utah History to Go
Welshman Dan Jones Was One of Zion's Busiest Bees
Overland Migrations
Bartleson-Bidwell party
Nancy Kelsey
Bryant-Rusell Party
Harlan Young Party
Hastings Cutoff
Donner Party
This is the Place
Mormon History
Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company
Handcart Companies
A Girl Triumphed Over Handcart Tradegy
Many Mormon Immigrants Delayed Their Journey
Settlement and Exploration
Colonization of Utah
Salt Lake City
The Founding and Naming of Moab
Hole-in-the-Rock Trek Remains an Epic Experience
What Made the Mormon Landscape Unique?
Snowslides Devastated Northern Utah in 1875
A Fatal Snowslide in Provo Canyon
Those Pioneering African Americans
The Lives of Six Pioneer Girls
He Was an Outsider in Utah But Not For Long
Forty-Niners in Salt Lake Valley
Utah Farmer and the Pike's Peak Gold Rush
Emma Lee Endured Many Hardships in Pioneer Utah
Alice Parker Isom Faced Challenges WIth True Grit
19th Century Utah Women Spun Yarn and Dug Ditches
Hilda Anderson Erickson, Working Woman
Oliver B. Huntington and His Bees
A Policeman's Lot in Early Salt Lake CIty
A Blind Man and His Harp
Fanny Brooks Helped Establish the Jewish Community
Reverend McLeod and Building of Independence Hall
Jenny Baker Stanford Bridged Mormon-Gentile Gap
Welshman Dan Jones Was One of Zion's Busiest Bees
The Case of Grave Robber Jean Baptiste
Slavery in Utah
History of Polygamy
The History of a Pioneer Utah Cottage
The Pioneer's Cost of Living Versus Today's
Coins and Currency
The Sego Lily, Utah's State Flower
Pestiferous Ironclads: Grasshopper Problem in Utah
From Pioneer Fort to Pioneer Park
Ensign Peak
Temple Square
Virgin River Doused Cotton Mission Settler's Hopes
Gardner Mill and the Birth of the Valley's West Side
The United Order Movement
The Beginnings of the University of Utah
Arrival of the Episcopal Church
Ben Holladay, the Stagecoach King, in Utah
The Pony Express Added a Colorful Chapter in Utah
Mark Twain's Utah
Pony Express in Utah
The Telegraph Was Information Highway of the 1860's
The Steamboat Era Was Glamorous But Brief in Utah
Cowboys and the Cattle Industry
Old La Sal Was Once a Thriving Cow Town
Preston Nutter Made Utah Home of His Cattle Kingdom
Robbers' Roost Was a Haven For Outlaws
Utah Had Hollywood Style Western Gunfights
Just Who Was the Outlaw Queen Etta Place?
Josie Bassett-Jensen's Remarkable Woman Rancher
Military in Utah
Utah War
The Civil War in Utah
Mountain Meadows Massacre
Fort Douglas
Fort Duchesne
Camp Floyd
The Colonel Orders a Grand Review

Becky Bartholomew
History Blazer, February 1996

One of Utah's more colorful founders was Dan Jones, so beloved by Mormon immigrants from Wales that he was called "the Welsh apostle." As a speaker he was said to have captivated audiences for up to three hours at a time, wrenching tears and laughter from believer and nonbeliever alike. He saturated Wales with thousand of pages in pamphlets, tracts, and translations of Mormon texts so that anyone who read Cymric must have found it difficult not to be aware of Mormonism.

Jones was born in northern Wales in 1811. He went to sea as a teenager, sailing five oceans and learning a smattering of many languages, including Hindi. Arriving in America at age 29, he and a partner built the Maid of Iowa and began steaming freight and passengers up the Mississippi. After Jones dealt kindly with a passel of immigrants to Nauvoo, Joseph Smith said of him, "God bless this little man."

In 1843 Jones became a Mormon. He was one of five men who stayed with Joseph and Hyrum Smith their last night in Carthage Jail. The next day, while Jones was away fetching a lawyer, the Smiths were shot and killed.

In 1844 Jones and his wife returned to northern Wales where they had small success reviving a handful of Mormon branches. Then they transferred to the urban south. There Jones began publishing his monthly magazine, the Udgorn Seion ("Zion's Trumpet"), and baptizing converts by the score. Once an entire Protestant congregation was baptized after hearing Jones preach. On another occasion he disarmed, solely through oratory, a police band sent to arrest him for disturbing the peace. When the Joneses left Wales, 55 Mormon branches boasted 3,603 members.

In late 1848 some 2,000 Welsh converts sailed to America with the Joneses. By then the main body of Saints was in Utah, so Jones followed, arriving in the summer of 1849. Initially, he established his followers on the west bank of the Jordan River. He himself was soon on the road again, accompanying Parley P. Pratt to central Utah on a scouting expedition for likely settlement sites. During this 800-mile trip he met the Utah chief Wakara.

Wakara had asked Brigham Young to send settlers to Sanpete Valley, perhaps hoping that Mormon cattle could substitute for the bison Utes were traveling all the way to Colorado to hunt. In response, Isaac Morley colonized Manti. Two years later, with the Utes and Shoshones warring, Mormon settlers were advised to fortify their communities. So Jones added his Welsh group to the struggling Manti settlement. He helped build the fort, ran a store, procured and operated a wheat threshing machine, and served as Manti's first mayor.

In 1852 Jones returned to Wales where he made 2,000 more converts by preaching in homes, schools, theaters, inns, chapels, blacksmith shops, rented halls, public squares, and on river banks and bridges. When he left Wales again, it was with a company of 700 English, Welsh, and Irish Saints headed for Boston.

Back in Utah, Jones for a time operated Brigham Young's Great Salt Lake boat, The Timely Gull. In 1859 he settled in Provo. He was involved in a proposal to freight coal from Wales, Sanpete County, by wagon to Utah Lake and from there by boat to Salt Lake Valley, the latter leg under his direction, but nothing came of this project. He died in 1861, leaving three wives and six children and having lived several lifetimes in his 49 years.

Sources: Ronald D. Dennis, The Call of Zion: The Story of the First Welsh Mormon Emigration (Provo: Brigham Young University Religious Studies Center, 1897); Wendell J. Ashton, Theirs Is the Kingdom (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1948).


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