• Home
  • MSS 8665
  • Norma Elliott collection of Jefferson Hunt materials

Norma Elliott collection of Jefferson Hunt materials

This site is in the process of being replaced. It no longer contains current data and will be sunset by April 30, 2020.
The new site is available at http://archives.lib.byu.edu

Norma Elliott collection of Jefferson Hunt materials

Dates: Approximately 1950-1985

The collection contains biographical sketches of Hunt, along with the research materials that lead to them; genealogy research notes, and Mormon Battallion research and stories. Materials dated approximately 1950 - approximately 1985.

  • Extent: 1 box (0.5 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Elliott, Norma Larson, 1916-2009. -- Hunt, Jefferson, 1804-1879
  • Call Number: MSS 8665
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; 20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84602; http://sc.lib.byu.edu/
  • Access Restrictions: Open for public research.
Languages and Scripts
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Norma Elliott collection of Jefferson Hunt materials must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Preferred Citation
Initial citation: MSS 8665; Norma Elliott collection of Jefferson Hunt materials; 20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: MSS 8665, LTPSC.
Custodial History
The materials in this collection were created and gathered by Norma Larson Elliott, who gave them to her sister, Dorothy Lisonbee. Lisonbee then donated them to the library in 2014.
Acquisition Information
Donated; Dorothy Lisonbee; 2014.
Related Material
There is more information about Jefferson Hunt in the collection Norma Larson Elliott family papers, MSS 8264.
Subject Terms
Social Life and Customs; Home and Family; Immigration and American Expansion; Pioneers; Overland Journeys to the Western United States; Frontier and pioneer life; Elliott, Norma Larson, 1916-2009; Hunt, Jefferson, 1804-1879; United States. Army. Mormon Battalion
Genre / Form
Biography; Compact discs; Genealogies
Processing Information
Processed; Margaret Weddle, student manuscript processor, and John M. Murphy, curator; 2015.
Appraisal Information
Utah and the American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (20th century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy, 5.VII, 2007).
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Elliott (Norma) collection of Jefferson Hunt materials
Finding Aid Author
Margaret Weddle
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2015-09-09 15:39:45 -0600.
Finding Aid Language
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

Norma Larson Elliott (1916-2009) was a Mormon family history specialist in Arizona.

Norma Larson Elliott was born on May 30, 1916 to Margaret Smith and Alof Pratt Larson in Lakeside, Arizona. She studied family history at Brigham Young University in 1962, and it remained a passon for her whole life. She not only found much of the genealogy that is listed for the Larson, Smith, Hunt, and Marsden families, but also collected their histories. She also maintained records about her parents' homestead businesses, Latter-day Saint missions, and lives.

She had no children of her own, but was a motherly influence in the lives of her nieces and nephews.

Elliott died on June 5, 2009 in Tempe, Arizona.

Biographical / Historical

Jefferson Hunt (1804-1879) was a U.S. western pioneer, soldier, and politician; captain in the Mormon Battalion; brigadier general in the California State Militia; California State Assemblyman; and representative to the Utah Territorial Legislature.

Jefferson Hunt was born on January 22, 1804, in Bracken, Kentucky, to parents John and Martha Jenkens Hunt. He married Celia Mounts (1806-1897) on December 1, 1823, and together they had eleven children. He also married Matilda Jane Nease (1827-1865) on February 7, 1846, and together they had eleven children.

Jefferson and Celia Hunt joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1834; two years later, they sold their land holdings in Illinois and joined the early Saints in Missouri and Illinois. He served as a body guard of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and was sent home shortly before Smith was martered with the reasoning that the Lord had a great mission for him yet to perform. He was hardly out of sight when the fatal shots were fired, and bore the sad news to Nauvoo. Jefferson Hunt was later called as an Assistant Marshall. He served as a Major in the Volunteers (which later became the Nauvoo Legion), and participated in the Battle of Crooked River. The family moved again with the Saints to Illinois where they settled twenty miles outside of Nauvoo, Illinois.

In 1846, while encamped at Council Bluffs, Iowa, he joined the Mormon Battalion, which was formed at the request of the U.S. government for participation in the Mexican-American War. He was commissioned as a Captain, and was placed in command of Company A. Two of his sons also enlisted, and served under his command. He temporarily commanded the entire battalion when its commander died, until a replacement arrived. During the Mormon Battalion's journey Hunt's company made the first known gesture of peace between Mexico and the United States in what was called "The Exchange at the Presidio". The exchange took place very close to what is today Tucson, Arizona. His entire family journeyed with the battalion as they completed what may be the longest march in U.S. military history, ending in San Diego, California.

After being discharged from the Mormon Battalion, Hunt and his family settled in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1847. Soon thereafter, Hunt proposed traveling back to California to bring food and supplies for other recent Utah arrivals. Church authorities approved this proposal, and Hunt undertook this journey with Porter Rockwell, several former Mormon Battalion members, and two of his own sons. Later he guided several parties of gold prospectors from Utah to California. One of the groups he led to California became impatient at his slow progress, and many of the party members elected to abandon Hunt's group, and follow their own route to California. They became the infamous Death Valley '49ers. Those staying with Hunt made the journey without serious incident. He briefly represented Iron County in the Utah Territorial Legislature in 1851. He was not a resident of Iron County, but he happened to pass through the county as elections were held, and he was chosen by the locals.

In 1851 he was called by the church to help create a Mormon colony in San Bernardino, California. This colony was the first American settlement in California after Statehood. In that settlement he organized the building of a log fort which is the largest log fort ever built in California history. From 1853-1857 he served as a member of the California State Assembly. Elected to represent Los Angeles County, he introduced legislation in his first year in office to create San Bernardino County, which passed. Upon the creation of San Bernardino County he became the county's first Assemblyman. He is honored as the "Father of San Bernardino County", which is the largest county in the contiguous United States. In 1856 he was appointed as a Brigadier General in the California State Militia.

In 1860 he founded the town of Huntsville, Utah. He served as a representative to the Utah Territorial Legislature in 1863, representing Weber County.

Hunt died on May 11, 1879, in Red Rock, Idaho.

comments powered by Disqus

Site Navigation

Search this Collection

Collection Arrangement

Yellow highlight indicates current location in collection description

Print View

Help with this Collection

Ask us a Question

John Murphy
Curator - 20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts