Chris & Julie Petersen's Genealogy

David Stoker

Male 1795 - 1852  (57 years)

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  • Name David Stoker 
    Born 23 Mar 1795  , Wilkes (now Ashe), North Carolina, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 27 May 1852  Trader's Point (now Council Bluffs), Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried 29 May 1852  Graybill-Stoker Cemetery, Garner Township, Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I1851  Petersen-de Lanskoy
    Last Modified 27 May 2021 

    Father Michael Stoker or Stocker,   b. 24 Mar 1762, Frederick, Frederick, Maryland, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 27 Oct 1836, of, Caldwell, Missouri, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 74 years) 
    Mother Catherine Eller,   b. 6 Mar 1773, , Rowan, North Carolina, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 7 Aug 1856, Kane Township, Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 83 years) 
    Married 7 Feb 1792  of, Ashe, North Carolina, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F295  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Barbara Graybill,   b. 1 Apr 1792, , Wilkes (now Ashe), North Carolina, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Oct 1872, Summit, Iron, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years) 
    Married Feb 1814  of, Ashe, North Carolina, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Christina Stoker,   b. 24 Aug 1815, Bloomfield Township, Jackson, Ohio, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 May 1854, Mountainville (Alpine), Utah, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 38 years)
     2. John Stoker,   b. 8 Mar 1817, Madison Township, Jackson, Ohio, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Jun 1881, Bountiful, Davis, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years)
     3. William Stoker,   b. 26 Mar 1819, Madison Township, Jackson, Ohio, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 May 1892, Spanish Fork, Utah, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years)
     4. Nancy Stoker,   b. Oct 1824, Madison Township, Jackson, Ohio, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1840, of, , Illinois, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 15 years)
     5. Sarah Stoker,   b. 20 Jun 1827, Madison Township, Jackson, Ohio, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Mar 1908, Summit, Iron, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years)
     6. Catherine Stoker,   b. 24 Jul 1829, Madison Township, Jackson, Ohio, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Nov 1882, Summit, Iron, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 53 years)
     7. Michael Stoker,   b. 12 Sep 1833, Bloomfield Township, Jackson, Ohio, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Sep 1904, Junction, Piute, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years)
    Last Modified 28 May 2021 
    Family ID F834  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
      1. Many Stokers appear not to have got beyond Iowa and later became RLDS. See file for additional Stoker RLDS people of which I have not yet connected but are certainly related to the Mormon Stokers: Eliza; King E.; Luvina (Lavina), born 10 Dec 1846 in Pottawattamie Co.; Mary E.; Orson born 25 Jan 1843 at Hancock Co.

      2. Censuses:
      1800 US: Ashe County, North Carolina. The total population for Ashe County, North Carolina in 1800 was 2785, including slaves. The 1800 Ashe County Census was the first for the northwestern most county in the Tar Heel State. This county was formed in late 1799 and included all of Wilkes County west of the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountain. The 977 square miles that then composed Ashe County has been further divided, first in 1849 to form Watauga County, North Carolina and again 10 years later to form Alleghany County. This record includes families who may have been living in those areas at the time. The original census was in rough alphabetic order, and this does not facilitate the research of particular communities. I include all interrelated families of this time and place to better show relationships. A word of explanation on some of these families:
      A. Mary and Barbara Burkett who married Peter and David Graybeal, had a father named Christian - unsure as to which is correct of the two.
      B. Elizabeth Eller appears to be Elizabeth Dick, the wife of Peter Eller who had just died per his probate of 1799.The one daughter is probably Mary; unsure who the two boys are since there should be three: Jacob, Henry, and George. John Eller would be Elizabeth's eldest son and married to Susannah Kerns.
      C. Henry Graybeal would have recently married Celia Henson and also the eldest son of [John] Peter and Christina [Wampler] Graybill who also appear to be in this same census. Note that Peter evidently had owned slaves at that time - the census does not say how many.
      D. One of the William Hensons could be somehow related to William Henson who marries Nancy Graybill and to Celia Henson who marries Henry Graybeal.
      E. The two Koons are probably brothers and are sons of Devault Koon judging from their ages. This would make them uncles to George Koons who eventually marries Mary Eller.
      F. James Lewis, b. abt. 1790, marries Christena Graybill in 1807 - there may be a connection with these two James Lewis.
      G. William Pennington marries Barbara (or Elizabeth) Eller and may be the younger of the two here listed.
      H. Michael Stucker is a misspelling for Michael and Catherine Eller Stoker with their three oldest children: Polly, David, and Elizabeth.
      Head of Family; Males 0-9, 10-16, 16-26, 26-45, 45+; Females - 0-9, 10-16, 16-26, 26-45, 45+:
      Burkett, Christian; 1-2-0-1-0; 1-0-2-0-0
      Burkett, Christian; 4-1-0-1-0; 1-0-1-0-0
      Eller, Elizabeth; 1-0-1-0-0; 0-0-1-0-1
      Eller, John; 3-0-0-1-0; 1-0-0-1-0
      Graybeal, Henry; 0-0-1-0-0; 2-0-1-0-0
      Graybeal, Peter; 2-1-1-0-1; 3-1-0-0-1
      Henson, William; 0-1-1-0-0; 2-0-1-0-0
      Henson, William; 3-0-0-0-1; 1-1-1-0-0
      Koons, George; 0-0-1-0-1; 0-0-0-0-1
      Koons, John; 0-0-1-0-1; 0-1-2-0-1
      Lewis, James; 2-2-1-0-1; 4-1-0-0-1
      Lewis, James, Jr.; 1-0-1-0-0; 1-0-1-0-0
      Pennington, William; 0-1-0-1-0; 1-2-1-0-1
      Pennington, William; 0-0-1-0-0; 0-0-1-0-0
      Stucker, Michael; 1-0-0-1-0; 2-0-0-1-0

      1820 US: Madison Township, Jackson, Ohio, pg. 192, township had a little over 40 families; related families of Michael Stoker and Michael Graybill are in neighboring Bloomfield Township; columns are male 0-10, 10-16, 16-18, 16-26, 26-45, 45+// female 0-10, 10-16, 16-26, 26-45, 45+:
      David Stoker: 2,1,0,1,0,0//1,0,0,1,0.
      Peter Grabill: 1,0,0,1,0,1//0,0,2,0,1.
      Nancy Henson: 0,1,0,1,0,0//0,1,1,1,0.
      James McDaniel: 0,0,0,0,0,1//3,2,0,0,1.

      1830 US: Madison Township, Jackson, Ohio, p. 93a:
      David Stoker: Males 10-15:2; 30-40:1; female 0-5:2; 10-15:1; 30-40:1. [Appears to be David, his wife Barbara, and their children: Christina, John, William, Sarah, and Catherine; appears from children enumerated that Nancy may have been dead by 1830.]

      1840 US: Quincy, Adams, Illinois, the following related families living in near proximity to each other (with exception of John McDaniel and his wife Christina Stoker, all of David Stoker's siblings, children, and mother are accounted for and it confirms his father Michael was dead by 1840):
      P. 43a:
      David Stoker, males 5-10:1; 40-50:1//females 5-10:1; 10-15:1; 40-50:1. [David, his wife Barbara, and their children Sarah (13), Catherine (11?), and Michael (6). Note daughter Nancy not in census which means she was probably deceased by then.]
      Simeon P. Grabell [Graybill], males 0-5:1; 20-30:1//females 0-5:1; 20-30:1. [David's nephew: Simeon and his wife Amanda Hill and their two oldest children.]
      Jacob Stoker, males 20-30:1//females 0-5:1; 20-30:1. [Younger brother to David: Jacob and his wife Catherine and their oldest child.]
      P. 44a:
      Eller Stoker, males 20-30:1//females 0-5:1; 15-20:1; 60-70:1. [Youngest brother to David: Eller with his wife Margaret and their oldest child and probably their mother Catherine Eller.]
      James Walker [Welker], males 10-15:1; 15-20:1; 30-40:1//females 5-10:2; 40-50:1. [Living next door to Eller and ages work perfectly that this is James Welker and Elizabeth Stoker, who is David's sister.]
      John W. Stoker, males 0-5:2; 10-15:1; 30-40:1//females 0-5:1; 5-10:2; 30-40:1. [John and his wife Electa Sarah and their six oldest children.]
      John Stoker, males 0-5:1; 20-30:1//females 0-5:1; 5-10:2; 20-30:1. [David's son: John and his wife Jane and their children.]
      P. 52a:
      William Stoker, males 0-5:1; 20-30:1//females 20-30:1 (father-in-law Samuel Winegar is next door). [David's son William and his wife Almira with their child.]
      P. 55a:
      Michael Stoker, males 0-5:2; 5-10:2; 10-15:1; 30-40:1// females 30-40:1. [Michael, his wife Martha, and their five oldest children.]

      1850 US: Can't find.

      1851 Iowa State: Pottawattamie County. FHL film 1022203. The entire state was counted but only Pottawattamie listed everyone by name in the household and their ages; other counties only listed the head of the household and a numerical count without names of the various ages by sex in the household. No date is given when the census was taken but it was certified in Dec. 1851; however, the other counties show a Sep 1851 date which also appears more likely for Pottawattamie as well in light of ages given some children with known birthdays in October. Census return:
      Stoker: David 57, Barbary 57, Michael 17. [Note that the following related families are in this census and very close neighbors: Simeon P. Graybill, Michael/Polly Graybill with Polly's mother Catherine Eller Stoker, Eller/Margaret Stoker, Jacob/Catherine Stoker, Philip/Catherine Gatrost, David/Barbara Stoker, Edward/Sarah Davis, and William/Almira Stoker. Other relatives in same county but separated by several pages of census include the following families: Thomas/Hannah Pilling whose daughter Hannah, later marries William Lenore Graybill, Levi/Patience Graybill, John W./Sarah Stoker, Hannah Ford whose son Martin later marries Zibiah M. Stoker, and John/Sarah Smith.]

      1852 Iowa: the census has David Stoker in Kanesville, Pottawattamie, IA, p. 22. This census is statistical and only lists heads of household with numbers of males, females, and voters. It is not very helpful for families or positively identifying a given individual. The following Stokers are shown as being in the same area: David, Eller, Jacob, John, and William as well as Michael Graybill, Martin Ford, Philip Gatrost, John Smith, George Graybill, and Levi Graybill. This David could actually be David N. Stoker, a different individual in this database, because the David died in May 1852 which may or may not proceeded this census.

      3. The following information may have some bearing as to when David joined the LDS Church. From the book "Latter-Day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia," in regards to David's son John has a biography in which it states that John's baptism was 13 Nov 1836 by Seymour Brunson. (Note that Ordinance Index notes 1 Nov 1833.) The following information was found on Seymour Brunson in the same book, p. 331: "Seymour Brunson, one of the first elders of the Church, was born Sept. 18, 1799, in Virginia, the son of Reuben Brunson and Salley Clark. He served in the war of 1812, became a convert to 'Mormonism' and was baptized in January, 1831, by Solomon Hancock at Strongsville, Cayhoga county, Ohio; was ordained an Elder by John Whitmer Jan. 21, 1831, and labored as a missionary in Ohio, Virginia and other States, raising up several branches of the Church. He moved to Bloomfield, Ohio, in 1834, thence to the town of Tompkins, Illinois, and moved to Missouri in the spring of 1837. He located near Far West, Caldwell county, and passed through the persecutions to which the Saints in that part of Missouri were exposed. Being expelled from Missouri, he settled temporarily in Quincy, Illinois, and a few months later moved to Commerce (afterwards Nauvoo). When the Nauvoo Stake of Zion was organized in October, 1839, Seymour Brunson was chosen as a member of the High Council and served in that capacity until the time of his death which occurred Aug. 10, 1840." Even though the dates are uncertain, the Stoker baptisms around 1833 to 1836 are likely. Judging from Brunson's arrival to Bloomfield in 1834, Brunson could have been the one who introduced the Stoker family to the LDS faith, or at the very least was a participant in John's baptism. If the 1833 date for John is correct, then perhaps Brunson came through earlier as a missionary before settling. Judging from the 1837 date, it could also be likely that the Brunson family traveled with the Stoker family to Missouri from Bloomfield.

      4. FHL Book 929.273EL54h "George Michael Eller and Descendants of His in America," compiled by James W. Hook, 1957, also on FHL film 896571, item 2, pp. 17-31, clarifies early North Carolina counties and land grant practices:
      "Land grants in North Carolina originated with an entry application which was filed in the county where the land was situated and if not lost are now on file there. This was followed, sometimes soon and sometimes years later by an order from the land office for the tract to be surveyed. Sometimes soon and sometimes years later the survey was made and a surveyor's plat filed with the Secretary of State in Raleigh. Then came the grant which may have been issued reasonably near the date of the survey or sometimes several years later. These grants, orders to survey and the survey itself are on file now in the Secretary of State's office at Raleigh...
      Many counties were formed from what originally was Rowan County, namely Surry and Guilford in 1770, Burke and Wilkes in 1777, Randolph in 1779, Iridell in 1788, Stokes in 1789, Buncomb in 1791, Ashe in1799, Davidson in 1822, Yancey in 1833, Davie in 1836 and Yadkin in 1850. Some of these counties were grandchildren of Rowan County; for instance Wilkes was taken partly from Burke and partly from Surry, Randolph from Guilford, Buncomb and Yancy form Burke, Ashe from Wilkes and Stokes and Yadkin from Surry. These facts must be kept in mind when tracing early Rowan County families."

      5. From Sep 2006 Internet, It appears the Stoker family probably knew the Seymour Brunson family of nearby Lawrence Co., Ohio. Brunson had served with Luke Johnson in 1832. In 1833 he is again with Luke in the area as are Zerubbabel Snow and Amasa Lyman. He is also specifically in Bloomfield, Jackson, Ohio in Nov. 1834 when his son his born and also per letters he wrote. He appears generally in Kirtland thereafter. His journal notes that in July 1836 he visited the church in Bloomfield. He does note the baptism of John Stoker 13 Nov 1837. It was at his funeral in Nauvoo in 1840 that Joseph Smith first revealed the doctrine of baptisms for the dead.

      6. From the book "Our Stoker Family Histories 1731-1881," Vol. II, comp. and ed. by Elayne Stoker, 2004, printed by Stevenson's Genealogy Center, Provo, UT [Note: spelling corrected by myself.]. From an article entitled "A Brief History of Sylvanus Cyrus & Catherine Stoker Hulet":
      "Catherine Stoker was a daughter of David Stoker and Barbara Graybill (Graybull). She was born July 29, 1829, at Bloomfield, Jackson County, Ohio. The Stoker's (Stocker's) originated from Switzerland and lived for one generation in Maryland and the next generation in North Carolina before moving to Missouri. Barbara Graybill may have been a full blood Cherokee Indian or may have had a white mother and a Cherokee father.
      The Stoker's May have heard the gospel preached by a brother Luke Johnson on January 19, 1833. Having become "Mormons" during that early period of the Church they were subjected to the same persecution that other members of the Church are known to have had and were forced to move through the Missouri period and into Illinois...
      David Stoker, also, helped with the building of the Nauvoo Temple and some of the homes in the City of Nauvoo. The Hulets and the Stokers left Nauvoo with other Saints during the cold winter of 1846 and crossed Iowa. It was at Mt. Pisgah that Sylvanus met and fell in love with Catherine Stoker. They were married May 19, 1850, by a Reverend March. Evidently, the Hulets and the Stokers had been in some of the groups who had stayed to protect some of the villages as they were not in the first companies to go to Utah. However, it was soon after Sylvanus and Catherine were married that they started on their journey westward from Mt. Pisgah, with a company of Saints led by Aaron Johnson, who was appointed by President Young. At Winter Quarters Catherine's father, David Stoker, was laid to rest.
      Catherine's mother, her brothers John, William, and MIchael, and her sisters Christina and Sarah, and Sarah's husband, Edward David, were in the company of the Hulet's. It was the latter part of September when they arrived in Salt Lake City. They thought they had reached their journey's end, but President Young asked the Hulets to go on with some other families to Hobble Creek and help settle that area. It was the first week in October 1850 when they arrived at this place, later named Springville."

      7. Background information on early Jackson County, Ohio from the book "Early Jackson," by Romaine Aten Jones; various excerpts from pp. 8-13:
      The Indians probably knew of the saline waters of our creek and came here for centuries to hunt and to boil down the water for salt. They had many villages and burial places in Jackson County and even within the present boundaries of the town itself.
      There were several reasons why Jackson County attracted the Indians. It was on the Indian trace from Kanawha to the Great Lakes. The wilderness served as a habitat for the animals of the forest. Buffalo, bear, deer and elk roamed our forests and coming to drink of the salty waters of our springs, made this a popular hunting ground.
      There was a kind of truce between the Indian tribes and the White men coming to boil down the salty waters although there is authority for the belief that between the Cambrian and the one time Sulphur Springs just back of the little house on the northeast of Broadway and Water Streets, the Indians held their festivals, either to burn their white prisoners at the stake or initiate them into their tribes.
      The earliest settlers at the Salt Licks found many charred tree trunks still standing on the cleared ground which is now occupied by our public square. They were as so many monuments to white prisoners who had died at the stake.
      The most distinguished white captive at the Licks was Daniel Boone who was brought here after his capture in Kentucky and who made his escape to warn his friends in Boonesville, Kentucky, one hundred fifty miles away, of the intended attack on their settlement. Many are the tales we have heard of his thrilling leap from the rock named for him at Buzzards.
      The Shawnees, the last tribe to claim the Salt Licks, surrendered it to the Whites in 1795.
      Joseph Conklin was the first settler at the Licks. He lived in Kentucky but after the Greenville Treaty with the Indians (Mad Anthony Wayne's) he, with his family and several companions, set out for the Licks. This was in 1795.
      Water was drawn from the salt wells in wooden buckets with a sweep pole and boiled in common sugar kettles. It took several hundred gallons of water to make a bushel of salt. Salt was measured, not weighed. Twenty-four salt furnaces were in operation in 1806 to 1807.
      The wells were sunk to the depth of about thirty feet but the solution was very weak, requiring ten or fifteen gallons of water to make a pound of salt. The salt was sold to the inhabitants of various settlements for $4.00 per bushel as late as 1808.
      As is well known, the Scioto Salt Reserve Lands or Jackson was claimed by three countries- by the French as belonging to the Louisiana Charter, by the English through Virginia and Massachusetts and by the United States since 1783. After the Revolutionary War, the Whites in constantly increasing numbers came to the springs. Some built their cabins here.
      The salt springs forming our little Salt Creek today were too valuable to pass to private ownership. So necessary was the salt to the life of the pioneer that when Congress passed an act in 1796 for the sale of lands in the Northwest Territory, a tract six miles square surrounding the Salt Licks was set aside that could not be sold. Jackson is now situated on that tract. From 1803 to 1816 the State Assembly enacted a law annually regarding the Reservation.
      The first settlers did not care to settle at the Licks for they could not get good title to the land, so a squatter sovereignty prevailed and a small village called Poplar Row grew up between what is now Main Street and Salt Creek. Many deeds of transfer refer to the Scioto Salt Reserve and the name will remain.
      Since the organization of the Union it was under the control of the national government until 1802, and under that of Ohio until 1816. The title was held by the Director of Jackson until sold to individuals from 1817 to about 1826.
      A New County:
      Senator Robert Lucas presented the petition to form a new county from Ross, Gallia, Scioto and Athens to be called Jackson County in honor of General Andrew Jackson, who was just reaching the height of his popularity. Governor Thomas Worthington signed the bill and it became a law January 12, 1816.
      The County Seat:
      The organization of the new county involved the establishment of a county seat. The largest village was Poplar Row which had only one street extending from Diamond to the present county home. Its central location made it suitable for the seat of justice, but the land on which it stood belonged to the national government.
      The matter of securing the consent of the government to lay out a town in the Scioto Salt Reserve and to sell lots to raise funds to erect county buildings was pushed at once and the law passed in 1816.
      Jackson was laid out in 1817."

      1. The book "Pioneer Women of Faith and Fortitude" by the daughters of the Utah Pioneers: for Barbara Graybill Stoker, m. David Stoker 1814 (he died 27 May 1852 in Council Bluffs, Iowa), children:
      Christina, 24 Aug 1815
      John, 8 Mar 1817
      William, 26 Mar 1819
      Nancy, Oct 1824
      Sarah, 20 Jun 1827
      Catherine, 25 Jul 1829
      Michael, 12 Sep 1833
      The Wamplers, Graybills, and Stokers were of German origin coming to this country in the mid-1700's and settling in Ashe County, NC. They were neighbors and friends, and their children grew up together. Barbara was the fifth child born to her parents. When she grew up, she married David Stoker. After a forest area of Ohio was cleared in the early 1800's, the main body of Stoker and Graybill relatives crossed the border into Ohio on Christmas Day, 1815. While living in Ohio, the Stokers became members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1836, they moved to Missouri with the main body of the Saints, but great persecutions took place here and they were forced to flee to Illinois for saftey. Enemies of the church soon drove them from Nauvoo to Iowa. They then went to Council Bluffs where David and his brothers were operating a ferry across the Missouri River to obtain enough money for their journey west to Utah. On May 27, 1852 David Stoker died of cholera and was buried in the Stoker-Graybill cemetery at [near] Winter Quarters, Iowa. Barbara came West with her children in June, 1852, and lived with her children. On Oct. 3, 1872, she passed away at the home of her daughter in Summit, Iron County, Utah."

      2. Mentioned in the book "The Howard Leytham Stoker Von Dollen Family Histories," FHL 929.273 H833a, by Doris Lewis, 2017 So. 80th Ave., Omaha, Nebraska, 68124:
      P. 87: Michael Stoker, the son of (John) Michael Stoker, was a 28 year old bachelor in Wilkes County, NC when the US census was taken in 1790. The farm which Michael Stoker bought from John Dick was on the north fork of New River in Ashe County. (The boundary line had been changed from Wilkes.) In 1792 Michael married Catherine Eller, the oldest daughter of Peter Eller and Elizabeth Dick. The Ellers and Dicks were settlers in this same area and all of Michael and Catherine's children, except Eller, were born and raised among numerous family members in North Carolina. In 1815, the family joined a migration of relatives moving west into Ohio. This party of Graybills and Stokers, all ages from babies to the elderly crossed the border into Ohio on Christmas Day, 1815. Michael and his son David, who had just turned 21, took part in the first election held in Jackson County on April 1, 1816. John Michael Stoker, Michael's father, settled in Perry County, Ohio, about 60 miles north. While in Ohio the Stokers became members of the newly organized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In 1837 [error: Feb 1836?], Michael, Jr., who was now a man and a member of the Priesthood, baptized Eller's future wife and her mother, Margaret and Rhoda Judd. Pauline Stoker of Council Bluffs has Michael Jr.'s old notebook where he kept records of baptisms, birthdays and deaths. On October 27, 1836, Michael and Catherine Stoker sold their land in preparation of the move to Missouri where the Saints were gathering. Michael was then 74 and Catherine 63 years old. Great persecutions took place in Missouri during the next two years and the family had to flee to Illinois for safety. Michael was not among those who reached Illinois, and how or when he died is not known. Catherine was at Nauvoo, IL, when the Saints again had to flee in February of 1846. She settled in Pottawattamie County, living with her eldest daughter, Polly, where she died. She is buried in the Stoker-Graybill Cemetery east of Council Bluffs, Iowa." The above is almost verbatim also in the FHL book 929.273 P684pn: "Graybill/Stoker/Eller/Smith/Koons/Pitt Connections," by Norman E. 'Gene' Pitt, 1996. Is also notes that Herman

      3. From a typescript of an unknown source but most likely of the archives of the daughters of the Utah Pioneers (copy in my files) with pages hand-numbered 49-51. Text [with typographical corrections by me]: "Life of Michael Stoker. Michael Stoker was born at Bloomfield Twp., Jackson County, Ohio, September 12, 1833. He was the son of David Stoker and Barbara Graybill. He was the youngest child in a family of seven children, four girls and three boys. There was a period of time we don't know much about the family or where they first heard and became interested in the 'Mormon' Church. According to records, Michael was baptized into the LDS Church in the year 1848. He would have been fifteen years old then. The Stoker family spent some time at Winter Quarters, Nebraska. They were advised to stay a while and get better prepared for the journey West, so they were among those who planted crops and harvested them so there would be food for the saints who came later on the long trek to the Rocky Mountains. In the spring of 1882 [1852], a few days before their company started West, Michael's father, David Stoker, died and was buried at Winter Quarters, Nebraska. I think it is now called Council Bluff, Nebraska. Michael and his mother and brother and sisters came on to Salt Lake Valley... (See Michael's notes for full quotation.)"

      4. The book "Mormon Redress Petitions, Documents of the 1833-1838 Missouri Conflict," edited by Clark V. Johnson, contains a copy of the "Scroll Petition" dated 28 Nov 1843 at Nauvoo, IL addressed to the U.S. Congress by members of the LDS Church who had property destroyed by Missouri mobs in the 1830's. Included with over a couple thousand signatures is David Stoker.

      5. Part of the Stoker family group mentioned in sister Polly (Stoker) Graybill's biography in the FHL book 929.273 P684pn: "Graybill/Stoker/Eller/Smith/Koons/Pitt Connections," by Norman E. 'Gene' Pitt, 1996, pp. 17-24, note that this book has a considerable downline of the children of this couple: "Michael Peter Graybill, b. 14 May 1787, Jefferson, Wilkes Co. (now Ashe Co.), NC; d. 24 Sep 1856, Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie Co., IA; bur. in the Graybill-Stoker Pioneer Cemetery; Pottawattamie Co,., IA; md. 1811, Ashe Co., NC to Mary 'Polly' Stoker. Michael was the s/o John Peter Graybill and Christena Wampler. Polly was b. 24 Nov 1792, Ashe Co. [Wilkes], NC; d. 18 Feb 1864, Pottawattamie Co., IA; bur. in the Graybill-Stoker Pioneer Cemetery. She was the eldest child of Michael Stoker and Catherine Eller... Michael and Polly left North Carolina probably in early 1816, and settled in Bloomfield Twp., Jackson Co., OH. Michael's parents, Peter Sr. and Christena (Wampler) Graybill, accompanied them; also, Michael's brother Henry and sister Barbara who had married Polly's brother David Stoker. Polly's parents, Michael and Catherine (Eller) Stoker, and other Stokers also made the journey with them. [Also John Graybill?] In the early 1830's, the family was visited by Missionary John Fisher from Bloomfield Twp. and was introduced to the early Latter Day Saints church. Those who were old enough were baptized in 1833. Involved in the church, Michael Graybill Sr. and related families anxiously followed the news from Independence, MO. The wanted to gather with the Saints in Caldwell Co., MO to be part of Zion, the new Jerusalem. Michael sold his farm to his father, Peter Graybill Sr., who along with Henry, Michaels' brother, and sister Celia (Graybill) Henson, decided to stay in OH. In 1836, Michael and other relatives packed to make the trip to Far West, MO. They spent the winter with Stoker relatives in Monroe Co., IN, then arrived at Far West in September 1837. The family withstood the dangers and aggravations of mob attacks. They endured many hardships. They had their plows, wagons and horses taken and even their first crop was taken just before it was harvested. With no provisions of food for the coming winter, Michael's sons, Simeon and Levi, left to look for work. They found jobs chopping railroad ties for the Eastern Railroad in Hannibal, MO. But they were unable to collect their pay until the following spring of 1839, when they were allowed to take the amount of their earnings out in goods. This allowed them to obtain wagons and horses and move the related families to Quincy and Nauvoo, IL. Michael Sr. and his family, Simeon's family and Catherine (Eller) Stoker's lived eleven miles southeast of Quincy, IL. After the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith in 1844, Simeon went to Nauvoo to help guard the secretly hidden bodies of Joseph and Hyrum. Fearful that the anti-Mormon mob might try to do further violence to Joseph's and Hyrum's bodies, their caskets were filled with sand for the public burial. By 1846, most of Nauvoo had been vacated. Michael Sr.'s and Levi's families had gone west and settled in Kanesville, now Council Bluffs, IA. Some of the related families went on to UT. Michael Sr.'s daughters, Juliana and Mary Ann, were among those who went to UT. Michael Sr.'s sister Barbara (Graybill) Stoker went to UT later. Michael's and Polly's children were David, Catherine, Simeon Peter, Joseph Levi, George Washington, William Lenore, Juliann or (Julia Ann?) Michael S., Jr., Mary Ann, Elizabeth, Sidney Rigdon and Christina."

      6. FHL film 702: "Journal of John Stoker, b. 1817; Journal starts November 1, 1869." John was the son of David Stoker and Barbara Graybill. The first 35 pages detail his mission taken from Utah to Virginia and Tennessee through Council Bluffs, Iowa, which I have summarized and included with his notes in this database. Pp. 36-227, the balance of John's journal, are genealogical notations of family. Many pages are blank. Besides family, the journal also notes many other unrelated Stokers who were probably gleaned from books and other sources. It appears as if maybe his son David may have taken over the book later. Many entries are repetitive at different times. Pertinent data for this family or individual is quoted verbatim as follows on pages:
      98: Michael Stoker/Catherine Eller, born Mar. 9, 1773 [the 9 is overwritten over the 6]. Children:
      Polly Stoker, born Nov. 24, 1792, died Feb. 7, 1864.
      David Stoker, born Mar. 23, 1795, died May 27, 1852.
      Elizabeth Stoker, born Feb. 28, 1800.
      John W. Stoker, born May 16, 1803, died Aug. 2, 1857.
      Michael Stoker, Jr., born Feb. 10, 1805.
      Rebecca Stoker, born Mar. 19, 1807.
      Catherine Stoker, born July 19, 1809.
      Jacob Stoker, born April 7, 1812.
      Eller Stoker/Margaret, born July 28, 1816, died July 18, 1855.
      101: Catherine Eller, wife of Michael Stoker born Mar. 6th 1773.
      John W. Stoker, son of above parents, born Mar. 16, 1803, died Aug. 2, 1857.
      David Stoker was born 23 March 1795, died May 27, 1852.
      Polly Stoker (Graybill), born Nov. 24, 1792, died Feb 7, 1864.
      Michael Stoker, born July 10, 1805.
      Jacob Stoker, born April 7, 1812.
      Eller Stoker, born July 28, 1815, July 18, 1855.
      Elizabeth Stoker (Walker), born Feb 28, 1800.
      103: David Stoker, born Mar. 23, 1795, died May 27, 1852. Barbara Graybill wife of David Stoker and daughter of Peter Graybill and Christenia Wampler, died Oct. 3, 1872, Summitt, Utah. Children:
      John Stoker, born 8 Mar 1817, died 11 June 1881 Bountiful, Utah.
      Sarah Stoker, born 26 Jun 1827, married Edward H. Davis.
      William Stoker.
      Michael Stoker.
      189: Barbara Stoker, daughter of Peter Graybill and Christenia Wampler and wife of David Stoker died October the 3d, 1872, at Summet Creek, Iron County, U.T., aged 81 years.
      Edward Davis, husband of Sarah Stoker, the daughter of Barbara Stoker, died Jany 9th, 1873 of Putrid Sore throat, Iron Co., U.T., Summet Creek
      189: David Stoker, son of Michael Stoker and Catherine Eller and father of John Stoker, died May 27th, 1852 at Trader's Point, Potawatamie Co., Iowa. The family emigrated to Utah the same Spring.
      190: Sarah Davis, daughter of David Stoker and Barbara Graybill was born June 26th 1827, State of Ohio, Jackson Co., Bloomfield Township. Baptised by Wm. Stoker Feby 1850.

      7. Per the book "A History of Jackson County, Ohio," by D.W. Williams, vol. 1 The Scioto Salt Springs, Jackson, Ohio, 1900, pp. 99-100: "BLOOMField - The election in this township was held at the house of Judge Hugh Poor, which stood in a central location. the officers were... Thirty-seven electors cast their ballots, the name of Reuben Long being the first registered. the others were: Theophilus Blake, Henry Humphreys, John Hale, William Keeton, Morris Humphreys, Ellis Long, Benjamin Long, Azariah Jenkins, Joshua Stephenson, Thomas Barton, John R. Corn, John Scurlock, John Dickerson, Sharp Barton, George Campbell, Hugh Poor, Hugh Scurlock, Moses Hale, Arthur Callison, Christopher Long, Benjamin Hale, Robert Irwin, Moses Gillespie, DAVID Stoker, Nimrod Arthur, Allen Rice, Michael Stoker, James LACKEY, Martin Poor, John Stephenson, Sr., Samuel McClure, Andrew Donnally, John Stephenson, Jr., Robert G. Hanna and Alexander Poor. There was considerable excitement at this voting place, occasioned by a number of free fights, growing out of a feud between membersof the Long and Hale families. The origin of the trouble is unknown, but at some time in the day Joel Long and John Hale started the ball rolling by agreeing to 'box and fight each other at fisticuffs.' The well known code of the backwoods was no doubt followed to the letter in this fistic duel, but the result did not give satisfacaction. Blood was up, and some words led Christopher Long to assault Moses Hale, and, according to the indictiment, did 'strike, beat, wound and illtreat, to the great damage of the said Moses Hale.' John R. Corn interferred in behalf of the latter, and Long promptly gave him a dose of the same medicine. At this point James LACKEY got mixed up in the affair, and Benjamin Long then took a hand and assaulted him. These contests furnished some of the grist for the first term of court in the following August, John Hale and Joel Long being fined $12 each, and Christopher Long $6 under each indictment. Benjamin Long's affair with LACKEY was not adjusted until the November term, when Long plead guilty and was fined $10 and the costs."

      8. Per the book "Southern Ohio Taxpayers in the 1820s: Gallia and Jackson Counties," comp. by Marilyn Adams, Heritage Research, Atlanta, 1979, contain the following names arranged by name, county, land location by range-town-section if given, township, page number of either land tax or chattel tax. Note that these lists are important in that they list personal property owners even if they were living with another related family, which gives more information than censuses of the same time period which only lists head of households:
      Graybill, John - Jackson County:
      1826, 17-7-4, Madison Twp., p. 31
      1828, same location, Madison Twp., p. 35
      Stoker, David - Jackson County:
      1826, chattels Madison Twp., p. 35
      1828, chattels Bloomfield Twp., p. 4
      Stoker, John - Jackson County:
      1828, chattels Bloomfield Twp., p. 3
      Stoker, Michael - Jackson County:
      1826, chattels Bloomfield Twp., p. 5
      1828, chattels Bloomfield Twp., p. 4
      Stoker, John W. - Jackson County:
      1826, chattels Bloomfield Twp., p. 5

      9. From the book "Our Stoker Family Histories 1731-1881," Vol. II, comp. and ed. by Elayne Stoker, 2004, printed by Stevenson's Genealogy Center, Provo, UT:
      "David Stoker and Barbara Graybill. For the story of David and Barbara information from previous researchers was included and augmented.
      The Early Years
      David Stoker was born on 23 March 1795 in the Appalachian Mountain Range of what was then Wilkes County, North Carolina. He was the first son of Michael Stoker and Catherine Eller. We know little of his childhood era as many of the records for the area have been destroyed. It is known that David was raised on a farm with members of his extended family within the area. Catherine Eller's relatives and some of David's cousins from the Fah family, relatives from his Grandmother's side, were also located within the area. (Wilkes County, North Carolina was divided in 1799 forming Ashe County.)
      In 1814 David Stoker married Barbara Graybill. It is probable that it was in North Carolina as Barbara also was born and raised in North Carolina. (At the time of this writing the day and place of their marriage is unknown. The North Carolina court house for this area and its records were burned during the Civil War. Also no records have been found in Ohio for their marriage.)
      Barbara Graybill was born on the 1 April 1792 in Wilkes County, North Carolina. She was the seventh child out of ten. Barbara's parents were John Peter Graybill and Christina Wampler. The Graybill family also came from the same Germanian background as did the Stoker family.
      In the beginning era of the United States the people settled in towns and regions where their old world backgrounds/languages were a common element. After the Moravian Church moved many of its members from Maryland to northwestern North Carolina the German population was in the thousands.
      By August of 1815 David and Barbara had settled into family life in Bloomfield, Jackson County, Ohio. It was on the 24 August 1815 that their first child was born: Christine Stoker. By the spring of 1816, David's parents had also joined them on the new frontier of the Ohio River Valley. David and his father, Michael, are listed on the Jackson County, Ohio, voting registry for an election that was held on 1 April 1816. Also, David's youngest brother, Eller, was born in Bloomfield, Ohio.
      John Stoker, second son of David and Barbara, was born north of Bloomfield. He was born on 8 March 1817, in Madison Township, Jackson County, Ohio. William, their next Child, was born 26 March 1819 in Bloomfield Township, Jackson County, Ohio:
      [1820 Census:]
      David Stoker- Head of Family
      One female age 26-45, (Barbara Graybill age 28),
      One male age 16-26 (David age 25),
      One male 10-16 yrs (unknown),
      One female and two males under the age of 10 (Christena age 5, John age 3 and WIlliam age 1).
      The record also indicates that four people were engaged in agriculture. Two of these were probably David and Barbara. The record also listed two male slaves. The slaves were listed as one male 26-45 yrs of age and one male under the age of 14.
      It is interesting to note that between 1815 and 1824 that the family residential township changed four times. It is unknown why this occurred. Madison and Bloomfield Townships are located next to each other. It is probable that one of the following reasons accounts for this:
      The boundaries continually shifted during this time.
      The family lived on the border line of the two counties and which one was recorded depended on the person recording the event.
      The family was constantly on the move.
      After William, the rest of the children of David and Barbara were born in Bloomfield County, Illinois [KP: typo for Ohio?]:
      Nancy Stoker- October 1824 (No information on what day)
      Sarah Stoker- on 20 June 1827
      Catherine Stoker- on 24 July 1829
      Michael Stoker- on September 1833
      David and his family are not listed on the 1830 census records for Ohio or Indiana. (The family of John Stoker listed on the 1830 census in Ohio is that of David's brother, John W. Stoker.)
      A Change of Religion
      Between the years of 1830 to 1836 David and Barbara Stoker along with some of the extended family received missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some of these missionaries were: Seymour Brunson, John A. Fisher, and Luke Johnson. All baptized members of the Stoker family into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. John Stoker (David's son) was baptized by Seymour Brunson and Luke Johnson in 1834. David's younger brother, Michael Jr., baptized Barbara in 1836. ('LDS Biographical Encyclopedia.' Andrew Johnson Vol 2 pg. 252. Luke Johnson, Autobiography in 'Millennial Star' 1864, Lewis p 92)
      Some members of the Graybill family also joined the church as their baptismal dates and offices they held within the church are listed in the records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
      An article in the local paper records that there was strong religious persecution against members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Vega area. This fighting lead to some families leaving Vega. ('Jackson Herald,' Friday, February 27, 1959 and cited in Jim Stoker's Stoker history 1993)
      It was in the fall and winter of 1836 that David Stoker, his father, Michael, with their families and some of the Graybill families left the Ohio valley traveling west. On the 15 August 1838, David bought 52+ acres of land in Harrison County, Indiana. His brother, William, bought 120 acres in Madison County, Indiana. (Bureau of Land Management- Eastern States- General land Office, records of the Ohio River Valley Survey)
      Other members of the extended Stoker family were already living in Indiana. David's sister, Elizabeth and her husband, James Welker, were married in Henry County, Indiana in 1828, and it's possible that their first son was born there. Albert Koons, a relative of Catherine Eller (David's mother), lived in Henry County, Indiana along with other Eller families.
      (The Indiana connections need to be fully researched to understand the detail of the different families movements.)
      The census records and genealogical family groups sheets illustrate some of David and Barbara's journeys. The history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints records members of the Graybill, McDaniel, and Welker families migrated west staying with the main body of the church to settle in Caldwell County, Missouri, near the town of Far West.
      [Picture, pg. 61: "Caldwell County, Missouri. Township 55 North of the base line. Range 28 west of the 5th principal meridian.
      Section 8 NW 1/4 of the SE 1/4 John W. Stoker's land -1837.
      Section 8 SW 1/4 of the NE 1/4 James Welker's land -1837.
      Section 9 SW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 Eller Stoker's land -1837.
      (From the map archives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)")
      The Stoker family and their relations were active church members as they held offices and received callings. The families stayed close to their church and suffered through the recorded trials and hardships of the early church members while in Missouri. (The trials and hardships the families went through have been researched compiled by others. Their works have been included at the end of this book.)
      David and Barbara's first born Child, Christena, married John McDaniel on 8 Feb 1835 in Jackson Co., Ohio. John married Jane McDaniel in 1836 probably in MIssouri. (I have found no official marriage record.)
      Persecutions in Missouri
      During July of 1837 three families of the Stoker clan filed forty acre land deeds in Missouri. They were located seven to eight miles southeast of Far West, Missouri in the Grant Township near Log Creek. They were: James Welker (brother-in-law to David), Eller, and John W. Stoker (David's brothers). (Vital statistics indicate other family members were in this area, but no land records have been located at this time.)
      In October of 1838 David's second son, William, married Almira Wingar in Farr West, Missouri.
      The next notable record of David and his family are found in the 'Redress Petition' to the United States government on behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This petition listed all those who lost property and effects due to the "Mormon Expulsion" order given by the governor of Missouri. This order simply stated that all of the Mormon church people had to immediately leave or die. Groups of raiding parties against the church members ensured the order was carried out to the extreme. The Stokers and their relatives reported that these 'mobs' had stolen their plow, wagons, tools, mill wheel, beehives, pigs, and horses. Their furniture was damaged, guns and rifles taken, and crops and homes were burned. There are 36 family members listed on the petition. ('History of the Church,' Vol 4)
      The following is one journal recounts how volatile the Log Creek area became: "A sketch that I was an eye witness to in the State of Missourie Charles C. Rich on the 24th of October 1838 Messengers Come into Farwest stating that the mob was on Log Creek burning houses and Loaded waggons and threatening the lives of the people those was a few men Sent out to ascertain the movements of the mob these men returned a bout eleven O clock at night Stating that thare had been considerable Damage Done and also that they had taken three of the Brethern prisoners and intended to kill them..." (Stoker 1993).
      David's nephew and the son of Polly Stoker Graybill, recorded this time also: "I went with my father's family and others, to Caldwell County, Missouri, in the autumn of 1837, and was with the Saints there in their time of terrible trials. We planted a crop which we were never allowed to harvest. I was a member of the State Militia under Colonel Hinkle. The mob came upon us near Farr West, in October, 1838... for weeks they had been stealing and driving off our stock, taking a team of horses from my father, and all the horses I owned" (ibid).
      By 1840 the Missouri Governor's expulsion order had forced every member of the church to leave their homes, many fled into Illinois for safety. David's father, Michael, died during this event. One family tradition is that he was buried in the "Saint's Cemetery" in Far West. (There have been no records found as to when and where he died or is buried.)
      It was also in 1840 that David and Barbara's sixteen year old daughter, Nancy, passed away. Some ancestral records state that Nancy is buried in Vega. For this to be possible she would have been with her Aunt Catherine at the time. Catherine was living with or near her in-laws, the Lackeys. (I have not located at this time Nancy's actual death or burial record.)
      After David's father died, his mother, Catherine, resided with her daughter Mary and (Polly's) husband Michael Graybill. They settled in southeast area of Quincy, Illinois. (Graybill Sr.)
      Other church members fled into Adams County, Illinois as the local citizens promised them safety. David, his brothers, and brother in law found work on farms south of Columbus, Illinois.
      The 1840 census records for Adams County, list David, his son John, and their extended families. After taking time to restock and restore, the Stoker families moved further west as did the body of their church; into the state of Illinois. Their prophet and leader, Joseph Smith sent word to all church members to gather in and around the town of Commerce, Hancock County, Illinois where they could homestead new land and start over. It was a piece of swamp land on the bend of the Mississippi River heavily infested with disease carrying insects. The people drained the swamp land and built a city that housed thousands of church members. The name of Commerce was changed to Nauvoo. Tax and historical records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints show that some of the Stoker families settled a few miles south of the city of Nauvoo.
      David's grandson, David, (son of John Stoker and Jane McDaniel), was born in Nauvoo. David's brother, Eller Stoker, owned land along the "Carthage road" between the cities of Nauvoo and Carthage. Most of the family members settled in the Bear Creek Township twenty miles south of Nauvoo. (Historical Records, Nauvoo, Illinois)
      County historical records list "Bear Creek" as the name of a city, township, and river but all names encompass the same area. Bear Creek was used as a timber and corn producing area.
      Today corn and soybean farms still cover all of the prairie flats with old trees growing along the water ways. Bear Creek is itself a slow moving creek; with steep banks in places giving indications of the water power the creek can have in flood stages. Residents of the farm town of Basco, Hancock County, Illinois still refer to this area as Bear Creek.
      Basco's official records begin in 1876. Today Bear Creek city and towns are only a remnant of it's former size as the settler's descendants are forced to move out to the larger towns to earn a living.
      Early Church references to Bear Creek are:
      1. Missionary town where the Saints lived among non-Mormons included Carthage, Bear Creek, La Harpe, and Fountain Green. ('Historical Atlas of Mormonism,' p.56)
      2. Went to Bear creek, visited the Saints, held meeting, and preached on the subject of the building of the Nauvoo House and temple;... (Watson p.131)
      3. Went to Knowlton Settlement on Bear Creek... (Watson p.160)
      [Picture, pg. 67: "Log Creek Today. This is the general area of what would have been some of the Stoker families holdings. Located south of Kingston, Missouri."]
      [Picture, pg. 67: "Trees in the background line Log Creek today. Except for the creek all is farm land."]
      The Final Expulsion Order
      Religious persecutions again plagued the fledgling church. During the winter of 1846, the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were again asked to leave. Peaceably at first, but eventually they were driven out in the same fashion as from Missouri. Members were forced to leave their newly built homes and anything they could not put in the wagons or carry. This time they fled across the Mississippi River into the unknown Iowa territory. Mormon journals from the residents living in Bear Creek record the trials they went through. Mobs were again burning homes to force the Saints to leave even though they were not fully prepared for a journey.
      The Bear Creek region is close to the town of Warsaw, Illinois, a place where these mobs could gather and/or flee for safety. Listed below are journal entries from people who lived in the Bear Creek area. I have included this information to give the reader a sense of what the Stoker families endured.
      1. "...On reaching a point midway (between Warsaw and Carthage) they were informed of new depredation by the mob. The sheriff then sent his family to Nauvoo under a small guard and proceeded to the scene of the mobbers. The mobbers saw them coming and took a flight, the posse pursuing with orders to arrest them if possible, if not to fire upon them. After pursuing them for some distance the posses fired upon them and killed two, and wounded it is believed others. This was on Bear Creek about two o'clock this afternoon." (Hosea Stout p39, 40)
      2. "On Saturday, the 5th inst., as Pres. Joseph Smith was on his return from Quincy, to which place he had accompanied Pres. Hyrum Smith and William Law, on their mission to the East, he was arrested, at the Bear Creek Hotel,..." (Times and Seasons, Vol 2., p447)
      3. "...I made ginger beer to sell this summer and I tended the Nauvoo House meat market, good guard, etc. until the 1st of September [1845] and then there began to be trouble in the regions of Bear Creek, Carthage and Warsaw, so that we had to fly to arms again to protect ourselves against the mob..." (Allen Stout p.23)
      4. "July harvested my wheat, which was on ground rented of Mr. Ezra Chase. It was very heavy, but owing to the heavy rains all summer, there was not so good a yield as was expected. During the fall and shortly after harvest, there were a great many buildings burned in the southern part of the county, belonging to the brethren on Bear Creek and Morely settlements. I went on one or two expeditions to repel the burners. To go through a thickly settled portion of country and see where had stood houses, barns, stacks, but now burned to the ground and some tragedies enacted amongst a nation claiming to have attained to the height of civilization. I was not surprised nor grieved to hear that the mob had said that we must, as a people, leave the ensuing spring, as soon as grass grew and water runs and that the authorities of our church had assented to these proposals." (Lorenzo Brown Journal BYU-S p.10)
      5. "This is the number as usually stated, Gregg says: "For a week the burning continued until the whole of Morley-Town was in ashes, with many other residences in the Bear Creek region and that of Green Plains. In all it is stated that as Many as 100 or 125 houses were burned and their occupants driven off." (History of Hancock County p.340)
      6. "In a very few days afterwards, bands of organized mobbers commenced the work of burning our houses in Yelrom, Green Plains and Bear Creek settlements, and throughout the country." (George Albert Smith p.22)
      7. "Governor Ford puts the number at 175, houses and hovel that were burnt the inmates having to flee for their lives." (History of Illinois p.407)
      Sheriff Jacob Backenstos of Hancock county, Illinois wrote many statements to the mob trying to halt the problems:
      "No 1.
      To the Citizens of Hancock County
      Whereas, a mob of from one to two hundred men under arms, have gathered themselves together in the S.W. part of Hancock county, and are at this time destroying the dwellings and other buildings, stacks of grain and other property, of a portion of our citizens, and in the most inhuman manner compelling defenceless children and women to rise from their sick beds, and exposing them to the rays of the parching sun, there to lie and suffer, without the aid and assistance of a friendly hand to minister to their wants in their suffering condition.
      The riotous spare not the widow not the orphan; and while I am writing this proclamation, the smoke is rising to the clouds, and the flames are devouring four buildings which have been just set on fire by the rioters. Thouseand of dollars worth of property have already been consumed; an entire settlement of about sixty or seventy families laid waste, the inhabitants thereof fired upon, narrowly escaping with their lives, and forced to flee before the mob.
      And I hereby call upon, and likewise command every able-bodied man through out the county, to arm himself in the best possible manner, and to resist any and all further violence on the part of the mob, and not to permit a further destruction of property, and threatening of lives; and, I further command that the posse commitatus repair to the nearest points invaded by the rioters, and to defend at the point of the bayonet, and at all hazards, the lives and property of the peaceable citizens, and again reinstate the supremacy of the laws.
      J.B. BACKENSTOS, Sheriff of Hancock County, Illinois, Sept. 16th, 1845. Half-past two o'clock. (Roberts 1965)
      Later the Sheriff wrote that the mob had been forced from the county and once again peace settled in the land.
      "Since firing upon the mob at Bear creek on the 16th instant (September 16th, 1845) they were in the act of burning houses, two were killed and others were wounded, there had been no burning of any houses, barns grain stacks, not anything else, that has come to my knowledge. The mobbers, rioters, and other outlaws have principally fled without the limits of this county. Peace and quiet, law and order have been restored in Hancock County." (Ibid)
      Outside of the town of Nauvoo's historical district little remains of the area as it was in the days of the early Mormon church. After the church moved out, the remaining people rerouted roads and boundary lines. The names of the many newly formed towns were quickly changed erasing out most of the Mormon occupations. History books of the area were written lightly gliding over this chapter of the state's history. Mother nature has also had a significant hand in the redefining of the landscape. (One local historian told this author that to a point these feelings still hold true today, but they are trying to overcome the problem thereby recording both the good and bad of their history.)
      "The tornado which passed through Bear Creek township on the evening of July 3, 1878, was not only very destructive, but was attended with peculiar characteristics. There had been wind and heavy rain all over the middle and southern portions of the county during the day, but the tornado proper began about three miles west of Basco, and held an easterly course towards Bently, where it became less violent. It was, without doubt, accompanied by fire as parties who were in it remember a sensation of heat, and some say a smell of sulpher" (Gregg p401, 02).
      (One of the few original buildings left standing outside the old city of Nauvoo is the Carthage courthouse and jail. They have been restored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a memorial to their fallen leaders.)
      The final exodus from Nauvoo began the infamous 'Mormon Migration' that ended with the establishment of Salt Lake City, Utah. It is known by this writer that all of David and Barbara's immediate family along with some of John W. Stoker's family migrated to Utah with the early pioneers. Descendants of other family relations also came to Utah after becoming members of the church. However, there were many members of the Stoker/Graybill families which remained in the newly settled in territories along the way. A few family letters still exist with some of John Stoker descendants. They illustrate how the widely scattered family tried to keep in touch up through the first half of the 1900's.
      Traveling West into the Unknown
      Recorded in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints history files is a "Bill of Particulars." Church leaders put together these instructions to prepare the congregation to go west. The following is a copy of these instructions:
      "Bill of Particulars. For the emigrants leaving this government next spring. Each family consisting of five persons, to be provided with-
      1 good strong wagon well covered with a light box.
      2 or 3 good yoke of oxen between the age of 4 and 10 years. (2 oxen per yoke)
      2 or more milch (milking) cows.
      1 or more good beefs.
      3 sheep if they can be obtained.
      1000 lbs. of flour or other bread, or break stuffs in good sacks.
      1 good musket or rifle to each male over the age of twelve years.
      1 lb. Powder.
      4 lbs. Lead.
      1 do. Tea.
      5 do. Coffee.
      100 do. Sugar
      1 do. Cayenne pepper.
      2 do. Black pepper.
      1/2 lb. Mustard
      10 do. Rice for each family
      1 do. Cinnamon.
      1/2 do. Cloves
      1 do. Nutmegs.
      25 lbs. Salt.
      5 lbs. Saleratus. (Baking Soda)
      10 do. Dried apples.
      1 bush. of beans.
      A few lbs. of dried beef or bacon.
      5 lbs. dried peaches.
      20 do. Pumpkin.
      25 do. Seed grain.
      1 gal. Alcohol.
      20 lbs. of soap each family.
      4 or 5 fish hooks and lines.
      15 lbs. Iron and steel.
      A few lbs. of wrought nails.
      One or more sets of saw or grist mill irons to company of 100 families.
      1 good seine (large fishing net) and hook for each company.
      2 sets of pulley blocks and ropes to each company for crossing rivers.
      From 25 to 100 lbs. of farming and mechanical tools.
      Cooking utensils to consist of bake kettle, frying pan, coffee pot, and tea kettle.
      Tin cups, plates, knives, forks, spoons, and pans as few as will do.
      A good tent and furniture to each 2 families.
      Clothing and bedding to each family, not to exceed 500 pounds.
      Ten extra teams for each company of 100 families.
      N.B.- In addition to the above list, horse and mule teams can be used as well as oxen. Many items of comfort and convenience will suggest themselves to a wise and provident people, and can be laid in a season; but none should start without filling the original bill.' (Nauvoo Neighbor 1845)
      High ranking church leaders with about four hundred families first crossed the frozen Mississippi on the 11th of February, 1846.
      "Governor Thomas Ford, in his History of Illinois, states that in 1846 there were 16,000 Church members with the Twelve on the plains of Iowa, while the 1,000 that remained, a small remnant, were those who were unable to sell their property, or who having no property to sell, were unable to get away. (History of "Reorganized" Church) And this remnant followed as soon as they were able." (McConkie 1945)
      David, Barbara, and their grown children with their families, moved in to Central Iowa settling at a temporary camp the church called Mount Pisgah. They stayed long enough to replenish their supplies and help others as they could. It is noted in John's record (David's son) that some family members were in Mount Pisgah for nearly two years.
      Mount Pisgah
      Mount Pisgah is located on top of a large knoll. Local residents state that early farmers had removed some of the headstones from the many small cemeteries that dotted the hill. When the railroad came through it built its grades on top of the wagon roads, but there still are many remaining signs of the large community buried in the soil. Dugout depressions can still be seen in the hillsides, while cabin outlines are scattered around the area. The Mormon settlers built many small cabins, fenced in the settlement around the north and east sides down to the Grand River. Gardens were planted, communications centers set up.
      Today local volunteers from the neighboring towns, in cooperation with the current land owners, are working to map, restore, and provide some tour trails through the area. One local volunteer told this author that some believe there are a lot more graves there than are known. One of the schools has, as part of a history project, a working to find and map out the old rock wall fence. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owns some land on the hilltop and has reconstructed a cabin and take care of the small cemetery. This area provides a small visitors center.
      Most of the hill top area is currently private land and is used for grazing purposes only. The land owner is aware of the history of his land and stated he did not have the heart to plow the area under. It has been left for nature to take care of it.
      In 1847 David's son, John, was asked to join with church leader Lorenzo Snow and leave Mount Pisgah. They would help supervise one of three groups of saints moving on that summer to the next gathering spot for the church: Winter Quarters, Nebraska, on the Missouri River.
      One bright note of this time span for David and Barbara was that two of their daughters were married at Mount Pisgah. Catherine to Sylvanus Cyrus Hulet in May of 1850 and Sarah to Edward Horace Davis also within the same year. Also some grandchildren had now made their appearance into the family.
      In James R. Clark's 'Messages of the First Presidency,' he states "Knowing the designs of our enemies, we left Nauvoo in February, 1846, with a large pioneer company, for the purpose of finding a place where the Saints might gather and dwell in peace. The season was very unfavorable, and the repeated and excessive rains, and scarcity of provision, retarded our progress, and compelled us to leave a portion of the camp in the wilderness, at a place called Garden Grove, composed of and enclosure for an extensive farm and sixteen houses, the fruits of our labor; and soon after, from similar causes, we made another location, called Mount Pisgah, leaving another portion of the camp, and after searching the route, making the road, and bridges over a multitude of streams, for more than three hundred miles, mostly on lands then occupied by the Pottawatamie Indians, and since vacated in favor of the United States lying on the south and west, and included within the boundary of Iowa, we arrived near Council Bluffs, on the MIssouri River, during the latter part of June..."
      Between 1847 and 1851 all of the Stoker's along with their extended families, arrived into the Council Bluff area on the Iowa side of the Missouri River. They settled south and east of Council Bluff in the area known as Traders Point on a bend in the Missouri River.
      [Picture, pg. 75: "Dugout depressions at Mount Pisgah. This one is located on private land."]
      [Picture, pg. 75: "Replica cabin built at the Mount Pisgah Memorial site."]
      The land where Winter Quarters was established was very promising. Wild pea vines and rushes grew everywhere. This would be the necessary food for the stock animals to graze on.
      "The land that was to be occupied was beautiful, consisting of alternating stretches of prairie and woodlands, and cut into many parts by streams that wound their way to the river. The great Missouri, meandering between the sharply cut bluffs, afforded stretches of scenery along its bottom lands that were unsurpassed in beauty. The town itself was to be located on a high plateau overlooking the river...The city was to be a planned city. It was laid out in forty-one blocks and 820 lots. Streets and byways were regularly constructed and the spacing of building properly supervised... Each full block was to contain twenty lots. Young proposed that the brethren build their homes on the outside of these blocks, leaving the inner area for yards and gardens. Five wells to a block were d