Youth in Kaysville 


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Children and Teens

Who Helped Settle Kaysville

Crossing the Great American Plains

Of the group of settlers who were living in Kay’s Ward by 1851, most had originated in England, but some came from New England while a few were from the southern states. They came primarily as family groups including children of all ages. Sadly, some young people had lost their parents in what was known as Indian Territory, on sea in the Gulf of Mexico, or crossing the plains. Having been orphaned, they traveled on their own or were incorporated into family groups.   Most walked across the plains, but some were young enough to be carried by their parents. Very few were allowed to ride even a portion of the way. After having walked so far, it is easy to imagine that the majority of young people would have wanted to make this mountain desert home, but some parents moved their families on in search of more land. And so, the children either helped to build a home along the creeks of what is now Kaysville and Fruit Heights or picked up and trekked on.

Follow name links to read stories about some of the earliest children in Kaysville located below. Learn about how they lived. Those considered to be pioneers came across the plains before the railroad in 1869.

1851 Roll Call of Honor 

The first children to come to the area north of Blooming Grove were those that belonged to the Phillips, Green, and Kay families. They had come by wagon, horse and foot until they reached a creek that was first named Sandy but later changed to Kay’s Creek. Everyone was busy building shelters and planting crops. Other people learned that this would be a good place to settle so soon many new children had arrived. A year later there were almost 100 unmarried boys and girls under the age of twenty in the area.




9 years







19 years

Mary Holmes

18 years

James Burrup

Thomas Carlos

Ellen Gadbury

Horton Haight

17 years

Oliver Holmes

Everett C. Van Orden

16 years

John Adams

Frances Beavans

 15 years

Julia Bernhisel

Ann Green

William Haight

Joseph Harris

Martha Henderson

Augusta Hawkins

John Hill

George W. Holmes

14 years

Ann Adams

Henry Roberts

Mary L. Taylor

Sarah Van Orden

Chauncey G. Webb


13 years

George Adams

Catherine Halford

Elizabeth Harris

Mary Ann Kay

 12 years

Catherine Adams

Maria Van Orden

Mary M. Wilch

Harriet Beavans

Martha Clifford

James T. Kay

Charlotte Green

Susan Coleman

Edward M. Webb

Joseph Hill

William Taylor

11 years

Mary Woolley

William Blood

William Harris

Caroline Roberts

Alice Hill

 10 years

Thomas Harris

Mary Beavans

Joseph Adams


9 years

Elias Adams

Caroline Adams

Louisa Driggs

Sarah Taylor

William Haight

Mary Woolley

Joseph Robins [Halford]

8 years

Robert Green

Phebe A. Roberts

7 years

James Green

Hannah Driggs

Enoch Harris

 6 years

Ann Eliza Webb

Sarah A. Hunter

Sarah Paine

Elizabeth Layton Smith

 5 years

Maria Driggs

Sarah Harris

John D. Phillips

Clarissa Taylor

4 years

Jennifer Kay

Marinda Roberts

Mary Taylor

Nancy M Taylor

John M Bernhisel

3 years

Elizabeth Woolley

Mary Ann Phillips

Elizabeth Green

Elizabeth Robins

2 years

Adelia Curtis

Mary Paine

Daniel Harris

Sarah Kay

John Green

Joshua Adams

Mary A. Grant

Margaret Hunter

Joseph Taylor

1 year

Louisa Holmes

Edward Phillips

Sarah O. Grant

Jane Driggs

William A. Taylor

Harvey G. Taylor

Clarissa Taylor

Harriet Roberts


Edward Curtis

Joseph Woolley

Deborah Kay

James Robins

Mary Robins

Susan Paine

Emily Stewart

1846 – 1932

She was five years old when her family came to the United States by ship. Her recollection of the Mormon Cricket invasion was recorded in autobiographical notes and compiled into a book by her son and titled The Grim Years.

Charles Barnes as Teenager

Charles Barnes


Born in England, he with his family emigrated by ship. Falling into a flour barrel upside down was one scary moment forever imprinted on his memory because at five years old he couldn’t get out by himself.

James Robert Burton

1863 – 1939

He was newly arrived in Kaysville at the age of two. Mostly he remembered eating bread and molasses, but occasionally some potato or squirrel meat.  He wore made over clothing until he was sixteen, went barefoot from spring until fall while herding cattle and plowing fields. 

Horton David Haight

1832 – 1900

Born in New York, he trekked across the plains in 1847 when fifteen years old while taking care of the oxen. His family was the first to settle on Haight’s Creek in Blooming Grove but later moved to Farmington.

Daniel Harvey

1860 – 

Having emigrated in 1863 at age three, he and his father herded sheep on the mountainside. They had much trouble with coyotes and bears killing the animals. He recalled often meeting Native Americans of the Washakie and Little Soldier bands picking choke cherries on those foothills.


Susannah Ellen Ellison

1855 – 1938

At the age of 13, while helping make molasses, her right arm was ground in the cogwheels of a machine. Before a doctor could reach her, gangrene had set in. She endured extreme pain, but with the doctor’s skill and her parents’ faith, her arm and her life were spared.  

Martha Simmons

1865 – 1936

Her family arrived in New York by ship from England on New Years Day, but had their pockets picked and worked for another five years while sometimes begging on street corners to earn enough to cross the plains. After arriving in Kaysville at the age of ten, the children were so hungry that a stolen raw potato seemed like a feast.

James Burrup

18?? – 19??

He was eighteen years old when his extended family left England for Utah. Accompanied by his elderly grandmother, he was the male head of the house. He moved with two uncles and their families into Kaysville as the first permanent settlers and later married one of the daughters of the man for whom Kaysville was named. 

Rebecca Phillips

1853? – 1942

She was said to have been the first white girl child born in Kaysville. This description implies that indigenous babies were born in the area previously. When grown into childhood, she attended public schools and attended a singing school conducted in her home where the music professor boarded for free so the children could learn cultured activities. Later she attended the University of Deseret, now the University of Utah. 


Thomas Evans

1846 – 19??

Born in Wales, he was five years old when his father and step-mother brought him to America. He arrived in Kaysville at the age of ten having walked with the assistance of a cane all the way. He had broken his leg when younger and it had not been set correctly, leaving him with a limp. His aged grandmother accompanied him step for step as she set the pace he would need to keep as the handcart company proceeded.

Mary Ann Matthews

1850 – 19??











Joseph Barton

1848 – 1932

All children dream of what they will be when the grow up. He became a pioneer, surveyor, railroad construction engineer, Utah State legislator and railroad superintendant. For fun he also became a member of the Kaysville Brass Band. He was eighteen years old when he was selected to be the band’s captain and musical director.

William Wilkie Galbraith

1838 – 19??

Just as he was leaving his teenage years, he and his friend William Blood were called to meet Johnston’s Army. He had no shirts he could take so his mother cut up a tablecloth and made blue and white checked shirts. The two young men were told to burn everything in town if the army approached.

Martha Ann Henderson

1835 – 1922

She was an orphan when she crossed the plains in the summer of 1847, her parents having died in Nauvoo, Illinois. The children were divided up amongst relatives and friends so she pioneered with one family and was said to have been a ward of another. She was able to meet up with her uncle when she arrived in Kaysville at age fifteen.

George Tilton Hyde


Christmas in Kaysville when he was about twelve was a time George remembered. He came down the cold stairway, reached around the corner and took down his stocking from the fireplace mantlepiece. His presents that year were a jelly doughnut, a singing top, an orange and some peanuts. He and his siblings had cornmeal mush for breakfast with milk and cream and hot biscuits. For dinner they ate turkey, beef, and mince pies which his sister made.

Everett C. Van Orden

1834 – 1911

When an older man, he told his son that he wore out his shoes while walking across the plains and was forced to continue barefooted, leaving a trail of bloody footprints. His span of horses got loose one night and the next morning he followed their tracks for about two miles. A native on horseback returned the animals, having apparently seen the footprints. The horseman generously gave him his own moccasins which were worn through the rest of the journey.


1. Barnes, Claude T. The Grim Years or The Life of Emily Stewart Barnes. Inland Printing Company: Kaysville, Utah; 1964.

2. Census Enumeration of Kay’s Ward section of Davis County, Utah Territory. Unmarried and under twenty years old.

3. Imaginative graphics of children created by AI on CanvaPro. 


We welcome content suggestions. Those who know other stories about early Kaysville children, send by email to