“I was born Daniel Lewis at Caio, Carmarthenshire, South Wales, on September 22, 1834, son of Joseph and Mary Morgan Lewis. I lived out my early life in Wales working in and around the coal mines , until I immigrated to the United States.  I never did attend school but when I was 28 I started to educate myself with the help of my wife Karen Marie (who had a very fair education). I then was considered one of the best theological teachers in the Summit Stake.

“I joined the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Wales and was baptized by Elder Jacob Davis who also confirmed me on October 15, 1954. My older brother, Morgan, had joined the church four years earlier. 

“I sailed from Liverpool April 19, 1858 on the ship “Samuel Curling”  with 707 Saints, under the direction of Dan Jones, arriving in Boston May 23, 1856.

With my brother Morgan and his family, who had sailed in February on the “Caravan”, I went to Pennsylvania and then to Illinois, where where Morgan and I worked in the coal mines for a time to earn money to make the crossing to Utah. 

“I travelled in 1861 and stayed in Salt Lake City where I met Mary Elizabeth Davis from North Wales, 120 miles north of my hometown. We were married on July 19, 1862 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City. After this marriage I went to Hoytsville where I joined with my brother Morgan and his family for a short time working for Samuel P. Hoyt as a farm hand. Encouraged by a new friend Thomas Rhoades, Mary and I moved from Hoytsville to Rhoades Valley (now Kamas), Utah. I was one of the early pioneers of that Valley. I helped to build the fort and lived in that fort for a time. Then I bought a city lot on the northeast side of the present Kamas town site.  

“In 1866, Karen Marie Sorensen, a young woman from Denmark, was visiting her sister in Marion. On November 5, 1866 we were married in the Endowment House. 

“During the year of 1868 the people of Rhoades Valley had to escape to another, larger fort in the northern part of the valley in what is now Peoa. Then after 1870 we all moved back again to the old fort at Kamas since the Indians were not so bad.

“In the spring of 1870 we took up a homestead of 160 acres 2½ miles north of Kamas. The town is now called Marion. As my work was on the farm, I spent most of the time there with my second wife, Karen Marie, and her children. At first we lived in a slab shanty I built with a dirt floor and sod roof until I was able to build a house nearby. Four of our children were born in that shanty.

 My first wife, Mary, had no children and lived in the house in Kamas.

“Besides farming, I also hauled logs and freight to Park City. Sometimes in the winter my feet would freeze. Many times I had to have my children pull my boots from my feet because they were so frozen that I could not get them off by myself. But then I would get better and go out again to provide for my family. I never went in debt. And I only signed one note in my life. That was for a sewing machine for my wife.

“Although I was generally in good health, just after arriving in this country I came down with smallpox. My aunt who helped to nurse me told me that for six weeks that they had to loosen the sheets from my body. My body was almost covered with pox marks, but my face was hardly marked at all.

“On May 6, 1885, I was set apart by Franklin D. Richards to serve a mission to Great Britain. I was 51 years old and all six of our children were still at living at home, the youngest just three years old. I was president of the South Wales Conference for 1½ years.

On my way home again I was able to be in London to attend the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, celebrating fifty years of her reign as Queen of England.

“In 1888 I was arrested for co-habitation (plural marriage), as were many men in the Valley. Judge Safford of the Third District Court of Salt Lake City sentenced me to sixty days in prison and a fine of sixty dollars. 

“I lived my life by the the golden rule of “do unto others as you have them do unto you” and always told my children that we do not know about other people‘s lives and until we were very sure, we had better not repeat or say anything. I tried to always be charitable, and I would not use or tolerate course language. I did not use tobacco, liquor, tea or coffee, and did not much enjoy parties or dancing. 

I was a faithful member of the Church and taught theology at Sunday School. For many years I was President of the Elder’s Quorum, which often involved traveling long distances – up to eighteen miles on horse or ox team – to meetings once a month in different wards. I also served as a Stake Home Missionary for many years and sometimes it could take two days to fill an appointment.”

In November 1905 Daniel went for mail on a horse that ran away with him. It was a cold day with a bitter wind. He became ill from the trip and died three weeks later on December 11, 1905. He is buried in the Marion Cemetery. At the time of his death, he had seven living children. His eldest son, Daniel Junior, married Laura Woolstenhulme and settled in Marion, where many of his descendants still live. 

After Daniel’s death, the rest of his family moved to Idaho, taking Karen Marie with them. She died in 1923.

Mary Elizabeth remained in the Valley where she died in 1914. She is also buried in Marion.

Written by Mary Lewis and Deborah Lambert