James Davenport and Almira Phelps

Again I was surfing the internet for family histories and found this one at the following link. I have copied and pasted it below.


James was born in 1802 in Vermont, and Almira was born in 1805 In New York. They were married in 1822 in New York when he was twenty and she was seventeen. They had eleven children. Shortly after the church was organized, they were baptized. Unfortunately, nothing more is said of their actual conversion, although their life after baptism shows a great amount of faith.

James worked as a blacksmith and a farmer in Nauvoo before leaving for Winter Quarters with his wife and small children in order to escape persecution. It was in Winter Quarters that Brigham Young invited James to join the first company of Pioneers going to the Salt Lake Valley. This meant that James had to leave his family behind until he could return for them.

Although James was in the Pioneer Company, he did not enter the Valley with Brigham Young. He served as a blacksmith for the company and was among nine men left to operate the upper ferry of the Platte River, later known as Fort Casper. This group was instructed to ferry the companies across and charge those who could pay.

Late in July, after the ferry had ceased operations due to the end of the high water season, James headed back to Winter Quarters for his family. In 1850 they joined with another company and went west to settle in Grantsville, near Tooele. James traveled across the plains twice more to help bring wagon trains of converts.

The family later moved to Wellsville, and finally Richmond, in Cache County, Utah. Some of the children did not come west, and James and Almira spent some time visiting with them in the Midwest. Both died and were buried in Richmond.


James Nephi Davenport Timeline – 1802-1883

History of
James Davenport

Updated: 08-Jun-2003

This is not really a history, but a timeline. But I thought it would be a good place to capture events in anticipation of writing a history, if I don’t find one first.

View original source by clicking here

Date Event
1800 The Squire DAVENPORT family is living in Danville, Caledonia, Vermont.
1 May 1802 James DAVENPORT, son of Squire DAVENPORT and Susannah KITTRIDGE, is born in Danville, Caledonia, Vermont.
23 Jan 1805 Almira PHELPS, daughter of John PHELPS and Mary RIDER, is born in Canajoharie, Mongtgomery, New York.
1813 It seems James’ family probably lived in Danville while he grew up. James’ brother marries in Danville, Caledonia, Vermont. A sister marries there about 1814. Another about 1816. Other brothers married there about 1822, 1825 and 1829.
4 Sep 1823 James DAVENPORT marries “Almira Phelps September 4, 1823 at Ocean Point, New York where he set up a blacksmith shop and also farmed.” (DUP) Family records also specify the marriage took place 4 Sep. 1822 in Olean Point, Catgus, New York.
27 Feb 1824 Mary Marion DAVENPORT, daughter of James and Almira, born in Covington, Genese, New York.
25 Feb 1826 John Squire DAVENPORT, son of James and Almira, born in Granger, Harding, Kentucky. (John will get his endowments in Nauvoo.)
14 Dec 1828 Almen DAVENPORT, son of James and Almira, born in Indiana. He dies in 1830.
1830 A Squire DAVENPORT family is living in Greene Co., Illinois. (Roll M19-24, p. 14.)
A Squire DAVENPORT family is living in Morgan Co., Illinois. (Roll M19-24, p. 95.)
5 Nov 1832 Alfred Phelps DAVENPORT, son of James and Almira, is born in Granger, Medina, Ohio.
14 Oct 1834 Martha Ann DAVENPORT, daughter of James and Almira, is born in Granger, Medina, Ohio.
Jul 1835 James is baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“Shortly after the Mormon Church was organized, James and his family joined.” (DUP)
22 Nov 1836 Sarah Mariah DAVENPORT, daughter of James and Almira, is born in Fentonville, Genesse, Michigan. (She will come west.)
1 Jul 1838 Lucinda Melissa DAVENPORT, daughter of James and Almira, is born in Farmington, Wayne, Michigan.
14 Aug 1841 James Nephi DAVENPORT, son of James and Almira, is born in Walnut Grove, Knox, Illinois. (He will come west.)
2 Sep 1843 Anteneete DAVENPORT, daughter of James and Almira, is born in Nauvoo, McDonnough, Illinois. (He will come west.)
1845 “Records show he was located in Nauvoo, Illinois where he was ordained an Elder in the Church.” (DUP)
14 Dec 1845 Heber DAVENPORT, son of James and Almira, is born in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois. He only lives six days.
31 Dec 1845 James and Almira receive their endowments in the Nauvoo Temple. This is barely more than two weeks after the death of their child.
3 Feb 1846 James and Almira are sealed together in the Nauvoo Temple.
Spring 1846 “In the spring of 1846, James DAVENPORT, his wife and children left Nauvoo, Ill., with the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They came with a company to Council Bluffs, Iowa, and a little later crossed the big muddy to what is now Florence, Nebraska. Just north of the place now immediately adjoining the city of Omaha.” (Thompson)
11 March 1847 “While Brigham Young and many of the other Mormons left in the spring of 1847, for Salt Lake City, Almira PHELPS DAVENPORT, and her children remained in Florence, and it was here that her daughter, Almira DAVENPORT was born on March 11, 1847. James DAVENPORT, was on the road to Utah with the Brigham YOUNG company.” (Thompson)
16 April 1847 “Friday. Brigham Young today organized the Camp of Israel into traveling companies, groups of ten pioneers, each with a captain, and a specific marching order. The plan accommodated the 143 men and boys, three women and two children comprising this Mormon vanguard. They assembled at the rear of Young’s wagon this morning and counted off. He appointed Stephen Markham and Albert Perry Rockwood as captains of hundreds; Tarlton Lewis, James Page, John Pack and Shadrach Roundy as captains of fifties.” James Davenport is assigned to the 11th Ten, with John S. Higbee, captain along with John Wheeler, Solomon Chamberlain, Conrad Kleinman, Joseph Rooker, Perry Fitzgerald, John H. Tippetts, Henson Walker, and Benjamin W. Rolfe. (Schindler, 16 April 1997Since this link exits to a different website, it will be displayed in a new window.)”He was called to go with the first company, rendering service as a blacksmith along the way.” (DUP)
3 May 1847 “As expected, the Camp of Israel will remain here at the head of Grand Island one more day to concentrate on replenishing the company’s meat supply, completing blacksmith repairs on damaged wagon wheels, and shoeing some of the horses, mules and oxen. It was cold and again there was ice in the water pails. … Two blacksmiths, Thomas Tanner and James Davenport, have been all day at the forges, anvils and bellows repairing wagons, setting tires and shoeing animals. One topic of conversation concerned the prairie dogs. There are thousands upon thousands of acres of land honeycombed with prairie dog burrows. A number of the rodents have been killed by the pioneers and are esteemed to be good meat, similar to squirrel. Some other returning hunters have brought in three calves. The day passed without accident or further incident. Wind was from the south. The cannon was fired at 9:00 p.m., more to let the Indians know the camp is alert, than anything else.” (Schindler, 3 May 1997Since this link exits to a different website, it will be displayed in a new window.)
22 May 1847 “One of the incidents related concerning the journey across the plains occurred on the evening of May 22, 1847. There was a full moon which made the campsite nearly as bright as day, some said that the white tops of their wagons looked almost like the billowing sails of a ship at sea. The members of the camp were gathered around listening to the strains of the violin. ‘Then we had a mock trial at 9 p.m. in the case of the camp vs. James Davenport. He was charged with blockading the highway and turning ladies out of their course. We laughed until our sides split at R. Jackson Redden acting as presiding judge. Edson Whipple was the attorney for the defense and Luke S. Johnson as attorney for the people. This wonderful evening is the climax of a day filled with work, vigilance and weary travel but also filled with a sense of accomplishment.’ ” (DUP)”There is some levity in camp this evening. A mock trial was conducted in the case of the Camp of Israel vs. James Davenport for blockading the highway and turning women from the road. (Precisely what Davenport did to ‘blockade the highway’ and turn the women away was not mentioned in Clayton’s journal.) Return Jackson Redden was appointed presiding judge; Edson Whipple was named defense attorney, and Luke S. Johnson prosecuted.

“Clayton said, ‘We have many such mock trials which are amusing enough and help pass away the time during leisure moments.’ He did not report the outcome. … Distance for the day: 15 ½ miles, 440 miles from Winter Quarters in five weeks and 3 ½ days.” (Schindler, 22 May 1997Since this link exits to a different website, it will be displayed in a new window.)

18 June 1847 This afternoon, the pioneers finish constructing a new ferryboat for use at the upper crossing of the North Platte River. “In council, Brigham Young suggested that nine men remain at the crossing with the new boat and ferry over any emigrant wagons they could at $1.50 each. Named to stay behind with the ferry were Thomas Grover, John S. Higbee, Luke S. Johnson, Appleton M. Harmon, Edmund Ellsworth, Francis M. Pomeroy, William Empey, James Davenport, and Benjamin F. Stewart.” (Schindler, 18 June 1997Since this link exits to a different website, it will be displayed in a new window.)
19 June 1847 The pioneer party finishes crossing the river about noon. “James Davenport was blacksmithing for the Missourians when word came that a young man, Wesley Tustin, eighteen, had drowned five miles below the upper crossing while trying to swim a horse across the river.” (Schindler, 19 June 1997Since this link exits to a different website, it will be displayed in a new window.)
20 June 1847 “At the Mormon ferry at the upper crossing of the North Platte River, B.F. Stewart and William Empey took four horses and a wagon back to Deer Creek for a load of coal, primarily for James Davenport’s forge. While there, they posted this sign:”To the ferry 28 miles. Ferry good and safe. Manned by experienced men, blacksmithing, horse and ox shoeing done. Also a wheelwright. [Signed] Thomas Grover” (Schindler, 20 June 1997Since this link exits to a different website, it will be displayed in a new window.)
31 July 1847 James Davenport, one of the ferrymen [from the Last Crossing of the Platte?], heading East back to the Missouri with several traders, met [Jedediah Grant’s] the Big Company. (Stegner, p. 178.)
1847-1850? “He returned to Nebraska and remained there until his daughter was three years old. Then they came across the plains, with a company of saints and settled in Grantsville, Tooele County.” (Thompson)”After a short stay in the Valley, Mr. Davenport returned to Winter Quarters for his family. Another child had been born shortly after his departure for the west. It was almost three years before he was financially able to bring his wife and children to Utah. After a short stay in Salt Lake, he settled his family in Grantsville.” (DUP)
1850?-? “James Davenport worked for Heber C. Kimball, for several years.” (Thompson)
1857 “The family returned to Florence again.” (Thompson)
Fall 1860 “They again crossed the plains and this time moved to Wellsville.” (Thompson)”James made two more trips across the plains to assist in bringing converts to Utah. A daughter, Sarah Mariah, married John Maughan, son of Peter Maughan, Cache Valley colonizer, so Mr. Davenport moved his family to Wellsville.” (DUP)
Fall 1861 In “Wellsville … they stayed for a short time, and in the fall of 1861, moved to Richmond. Here they lived in the old fort with many other saints. This shelter protected them from the Indians. James Davenport, was very poor at that time and the children had to do all they could to help get the necessities of life.” (Thompson)
10 Oct 1865 James and Almira’s daughter, Almira, becomes a plural wife of William Dorris HENDRICKS. (Thompson)
Jan 1868 After her marriage to William Dorris HENDRICKS, their daughter, Almira, lives with James and Almira until the birth of her triplets. (Thompson)
Winter 1868 The winter of 1868 was very cold, and James and Almira again went back east, as some of their children were there. They remained in the east one year. (Thompson)
1869? James and Almira return to Utah “and stayed two years, with their daughter.” (Thompson)
28 Dec 1881 Almira PHELPS DAVENPORT dies in Richmond, Cache, Utah where she was buried 31 Dec 1881.”Later he moved to Richmond, Utah where he died July 23, 1883, and was buried there by the side of his wife who had passed away in 1881.” (DUP)
23 Jul 1883 James followed his wife in death, also dying in Richmond and being buried there 26 Jul 1883.
“They died in the house now occupied by Martha Alysworth.” (Thompson)When did James marry his other wife, Mrs. Catherine Tuttle?


  • DUP – Our Pioneer Heritage, International Society, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Salt Lake City: Infobases, Inc., 1996. As republished on Ancestry.comSince this link exits to a different website, it will be displayed in a new window..
  • Schindler – The Salt Lake Tribune, “Mormon Trail”?, Harold Schindler, April 5, 1997-July 24, 1997. Harold Schindler daily column commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Mormon Pioneers’ original trek from Winter Quarters to the Great Salt Lake. As republished on http://historytogo.utah.govSince this link exits to a different website, it will be displayed in a new window..
  • Stegner – The Gathering of Zion, The Story of the Mormon Trail, Wallace Stegner, 1964.
  • Thompson – “History of Almira Davenport Hendricks, A Utah Pioneer of 1846, a history of unknown authorship found in the Book of Remembrance of Wanda THOMPSON WISER, granddaughter of Almira DAVENPORT.”