Hyrum Henry Taylor lived in Vernal, Utah since his early childhood. He was a hard worker and saved up $800 by the time he was 22. Hyrum bought 200 acres and 100 head of cattle and horses. He then married his “Little Red Bird,” Eliza Jane Bird on July 24, 1892. Hyrum and his wife prospered and began a family.
Then in 1897, Hyrum caught a bad cold, due to exposure, while attending to his livestock. He went with his brother to find a warmer climate. They thought California would be good for him, but it was too moist. Finally, it was decided to move to Arizona. The family arrived in Mesa on July 15, 1898. They camped under some cottonwood trees and began a new life. In 1900 Mesa would boast a population of 722 people.
Hyrum Henry Home. Gilbert and Broadway (Mesa, AZ).
Then, just 12 days after their arrival, Eliza gave birth to a son whom they named Hyrum Henry, Jr. He lived only 2 days. It was a difficult start to their new life in the deserts of Arizona. Eventually they would buy some land a couple miles outside of town near what is today Gilbert and Broadway Roads.
Founding of Lehi, Arizona
Daniel Webster Jones led the original settlers of Lehi, Arizona.
In January 1877 a party of 13 Mormon families were organized at St George, Utah and sent south to settle the Arizona Territory. Two months later, on March 6, 1877, this group, led by Daniel W. Jones, arrived at a spot on the Salt River where they determined to settle. Later that fall some of the original settlers moved on. They settled along the San Pedro in what is now St. David, Arizona.
The settlement was called by several names including Utahville and Jonesville. The name of Lehi was formally adopted May 26, 1882 when a post office was established there. In this arid climate water was the most important resource and the settlers immediately began work on a canals to divert the water from the Salt River for irrigation. They also built a school for the education of their children. Soon they were cultivating corn, grain, fruits, and vegetables.
New Neighbors: Mesa, Arizona
In 1878 another group of Mormon settlers arrived in this area from Paris, Idaho. Additional families had joined them as they traveled through the Salt Lake Valley. They decided not to settle along the river bottom. They went about 4 miles to the South and West up on the mesa. This was the future location of Mesa, Arizona. This site was a major intersection of North-South and East-West travel. These 2 nearby communities of Mormon settlers would have a strong influence on each other.
In 1970 Lehi was annexed by its larger neighbor. Although it no longer has its own post office, the old residents still refer to this area as “Lehi.” Just across the river to the North lies the Salt River Indian Reservation. The Taylor and Tiffany families had a long relationship with the Indian Reservation as well.
Hyrum and Eliza’s Family
Hyrum Henry Taylor Family, circa 1913
In all, Hyrum and Eliza were blessed with 13 children, 10 of whom lived to adulthood. After the heartbreaking loss of Hyrum Henry Junior, 9 more children would join their family. Ida Taylor was born in 1899. She married William Charles Jarman. William and Ida would become my mother’s (Mary Lou Jarman) grandparents. Ida had a younger brother named Alma Reeves Taylor. As mentioned in my post last week, he and his brother James (Jim) had a double wedding. Alma married Florabel Tiffany. Alma and Florabel would become my father’s (Alma Reeves Taylor III) grandparents.
When my parents married they immediately blessed our family by reducing the family history research we need to do by 1/8! Thanks Mom and Dad! The Taylor clan continued to grow and make an impact on the Valley of the Sun.