Mathew Henry Daley, son of William and Mary Ann Graham Daley, was born July 1, 1844 in Nauvoo, Illinois, three days after his parent's beloved prophet had been martyred.
William and Mary Ann Daley had emigrated from Scotland after joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1841. They traveled to Kirkland, Ohio to be near the prophet Joseph Smith. Then the Saints were driven from Ohio and settled a swampy land near the Mississippi River, called Nauvoo. Here Mathew Henry Daley was born. He was the fifth of nine children, however, Mathew was the oldest living child.
Mathew's father, William Daley, was an active member of the L. D. S. Church in Nauvoo. He was a member of the local military group called the Nauvoo Legion and also donated his time to build the temple. But even before the temple was completed, the Saints were pushed from their comfortable homes in Nauvoo. One of the last things William and Mary Ann did before they left for the wild country, was to go the Nauvoo Temple for their endowments on 31 January 1846.
Two-year-old Mathew and his parents took what little belongings fit into a small wagon, across the Iowa mud and stopped in Mosquito Creek, near Council Bluffs. Mathew's father left his small family with the Saints in Iowa and went down river to work as a tailor in St. Louis, Missouri.
The William Daley family stayed in Iowa for five and a half years. Matthew's two brothers were born here, John Moffatt and David James. In 1852, the Saints still in Iowa were advised by Brigham Young to proceed to Utah.
In July of 1852, Mathew's family packed two wagons and headed west, to Utah. Eight-year-old Matthew drove the cattle behind the wagons. In one instance, on the wide flat prairie, a large herd of buffalo veered toward the wagons near the river. The cattle were hurriedly moved away from the wagons, away from the buffalo herd. Several of the large creatures were shot just short of the wagons. There was enough meat for several weeks. The company arrived in Salt Lake Valley in September 1852.
The William Daley family was directed south, to Provo. Here, Mathew's father homesteaded near Rock Canyon and the foothills northeast of Provo. They built an adobe house in the center of Provo. Here Matthew spent his boyhood.
As a young man, Mathew worked for Orrawell Simons on a thrashing machine. One day Matthew got his foot caught in the machine. It tore off his boot, but his foot was saved. In 1862, Orrawell Simons, mayor of Payson, sent Mathew to meet the wagons of the Wightman and Dixon families who were coming from Kirtland, Ohio.
Orrawell, a relative of the wagon train members, told Mathew that he could have his pick of the fine daughters on the wagon train. Mathew met them at the Point of the Mountain, between Salt Lake City and Provo. On that wagon was a refined young woman named Mary Elizabeth Wightman.
Mary was the daughter of Charles Billings Wightman and Mary Ann Dixon Wightman. She was born the August 22, 1846 in Kirtland, Ohio. Her family stayed in Kirtland after most of the Saints had left.
Mary told her children about living near the Kirtland temple. Mary also met and heard Martin Harris tell about seeing the angel and the gold plates of the Book of Mormon.
Mary's family emigrated to Utah in 1862. Mary, age 16, told her children of the Indians they met along the wagon road. The Indians spread their blankets near the camped wagons. Mary gave them crackers that had been packed for that purpose.
Mary's father, Charles Wightman, was a blacksmith by trade. His forge was often called on during the journey to fix wagon wheels or ox and horse shoes. Mary said her father drove the entire distance to Utah “without wearing the popper off the whip” used to drive the oxen. Once her baby brother crawled into the campfire, burning his hand, leaving it crippled for life. The Wightman family made the trip with Mary's uncle and family, Christopher D. Dixon. It was an adventure she shared with her cousins. They arrived in Salt Lake Valley on September 16.
Mary remembered that a young man named Mathew Daley met her wagon train at the Point of the Mountain, south of Salt Lake Valley. Matthew stopped, and put his leg over the saddle horn and rolled a cigarette. This was the first cigarette Mary had ever seen.
Mary became Mathew's girl of choice. The two were married less than a year later on March 1, 1863 in Payson. It was a snowy March day and they rode in a sleigh. There was a large crowd of relatives at the wedding. After their marriage, Matthew worked in the blacksmith shop of Mary's father, Charles Wightman.
In 1864, Mathew drove his two four-horse teams and wagons to Missouri to help bring Saints who had no means to emigrate to Utah. He left his bride and six-month-old child, William Charles, to go serve others. Mary had her family to help her, but it was a hard summer. In September of 1864, their first born son died. This probably happened before Matthew returned from Missouri.
A year after the death of their son, Mathew and Mary were sealed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City on September 2, 1865. Mathew and Mary had a total of 12 children, three of whom died as children.
In 1866, Indians in Sanpete County had killed some settlers and taken several hundred cattle. The U.S. Military would not send troops, so Brigham Young called for volunteers. Mathew and several other men from around Payson, joined the Utah Militia Volunteers under Captain Abram Conover to fight in the Black Hawk Indian War. He left Payson with John Tanner, Enoch Monk, John Staheli, Hyrum Elmer, Race Calkins, Bill Loveless, Al Bagley, John Moore, Elijah Hancock and others.
The Militia camped on San Pitch, east of Gunnison where they had a battle with the Indians at Gravely Ford. It was a dangerous fight. Matthew “nearly had his head popped off by one of the Indians.” Eventually Black Hawk was wounded. Race Calkins said Matthew did it, but Matthew said Race did it. Neither one would accept credit.
Captain Conover's cavalry followed the Indians east and south through Grass Valley, over the mountains to Fish Lake. They waded along the lake where the grass was so high they could not see a deer run through it. They camped on the Fremont River where the explorer John C. Fremont had camped. They crossed Rabbit Valley where you could see a rabbit run from one side of the valley to the other. Then south to the canyons and gullies of Wayne's Wonderland. In September 1866, the Captain Conover division was sent home.
Mary, Mathew’s wife, spent the summer of 1866 living with her sister, Jane Wightman. She told her children about a big calf that stole the milk from her and Jane.
In 1871, Mathew built a house north of Payson. Then they moved to a little white house behind Heber Curtis's home in Payson on today’s 400 North. Their family soon numbered four children, Amy Adella, Matthew Henry Jr. (nicknamed Judge), May Isabell, and Lillie Florence.
In 1875, Mathew decided to homestead a tract of land northwest of the Union Pacific Depot in Payson. Here two sons were born, David James and Joseph Arthur. David, however died as an infant. Matthew built a nice adobe house and set out 1,000 fruit trees. The rabbits and pets invaded the orchard, causing havoc for Matthew. Then, as the trees began to bear fruit, Matthew lost his irrigation water to farms up stream. The trees withered and died. He finally sold the land to Jesse Knight for 80 cows.
Mathew, Mary and their growing brood of five children then lived in a log home Matthew built in Thistle Valley. When their cows were stolen, Matthew moved his family and the log house to Provo. In Provo, another son was born, Graham Little.
In 1879, the Mathew Daley family, with others, took their cattle and loaded wagons toward Arizona. During the trek, one of the other family's wagon tipped over and Mr. Colvin was killed. Then Indian troubles caused them to abandon the trek to Arizona and to settle in Grass Valley in Sevier County, Utah. This was the beautiful valley that Matthew had seen while following Indians during the Black Hawk War.
They arrived in Grass Valley in November 1879. Mathew sold a few cattle and bought some land from the Hancock, Brown and Hatch families. That following winter was known as the hard winter. Snow piled high, and many cattle died. But spring did come, and with it the hard work of clearing the land of sage brush.
Mathew built a two room log house in Koosharem. Here, two more children were born, Caroline Elizabeth (nicknamed Dolly) and Wilford Franklin.
The Daley family drove their wagon up to Fish Lake where a local L. D. S, Conference was held. In 1880 President Wilford Woodruff visited and spoke on Bowery Creek. Matthew had a strong testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and often read the Book of Mormon aloud to his family.
Then they moved to Burrville and bought the George Rust home, with his cattle and sheep. The sheep herders had trouble with bears, so a wagon box was hung in a tree so the sheepherder would have a safe place to sleep at night. They built a big church and rock school house in Burrville. It, however, soon collapsed.
After about two years, they moved back to Payson. Here a baby son named Hyrum was born and died. Mathew sold this house for 200 French merino sheep. He instructed his son, Arthur, and Philo Wightman to herd the sheep on the foothills of Payson. But in 1886, having too many sheep to feed, Matthew drove the sheep down to Grass Valley.
Mathew had part interest in a dairy on the Hancock ranch. For two years, he used his cows to make cheese. One summer he left his older children at the dairy while he and Mary went back to Provo to haul water-soaked ties out of the Provo River.
In July of 1888 their last child, Effie Jane was born in Provo. When the baby was three months old, Mathew and Mary started back to Grass Valley to be with their other children.
Mary's health began to decline. She was very ill for a long time. She often spoke of a blessing that Eliza R. Snow gave her.
In 1890, Mathew bought another ranch known as the Frying Pan at Fish Lake. Here he built a large one-room house and ran a dairy. He also traded his large herd of sheep for 120 acres below the Koosharem Reservoir. He used that land for pasture.
Mathew also drove freight. His cheese sold for 12 to 15 cents a pound. He gathered deer hair from where the Indians tanned their deer hides. This was sold in Salt Lake City to a harness shop to make collars for horses. His turnips were also sent to the Salt Lake market.
In 1892 he drove his cows from Grass Valley up to Payson, rented the Dixon ranch east of Payson and made cheese to sell. Matthew built another home on the south end of Main Street in Payson. The brick for this home was made in Payson, but the lumber was from Grass Valley. This home had a blacksmith shop in the rear and dewberries and fruit trees all over the lot. His son Arthur Daley bought and lived in this home most of his life. It was later purchased by his son Donald Daley who remodeled and updated it for his family. It was later sold and the home was demolished and replaced by Red Rock Orthodontics.
During the summer of 1893 Mathew drove a mule team to Grant County, Oregon and worked on the mining claims. On the road he met Coxey's Army (protesting unemployed men) on their way to Washington, D.C. He thought the “army” would take all his food, but he made it to Oregon unscathed. After working in the mines all summer, Matthew arrived home on Thanksgiving Day.
Mathew tried to live in Payson and let his sons live on the ranch in Grass Valley. But, he put in most of his time on the road traveling back and forth. In 1897, Mathew moved to Eureka and Knightville to work for Jesse Knight as a guard. He kept the claim lines from being moved forward or backward. He was also a blacksmith for the smelter in Homersville Canyon.
In 1906 Mathew bought 40 acres of land from Jesse Knight, west of Payson. But he only raised 15 to 20 bushels per acre. About 50 years after the Black Hawk Indian Wars, the government gave the volunteers back pension money for their service. Matthew used this extra money to purchase a home on South Main Street. He fixed it up and landscaped it nicely. His granddaughter, Blanche Whitelock later bought it and lived there with her family for many years.
Mathew Henry Daley always did his part in civic affairs. He opened his home to all people, especially the poor. He endured many hardships of pioneer life. But most of all, his testimony of Jesus Christ was strong. He passed away on June 30, 1921 in Payson, Utah. Mathew and his wife are buried in the Payson City Cemetery.