Isaac Morley, Sr was born 11 March 1786 in Montague, Franklin County, Massachusetts to Thomas Morley (1758-1844) and Editha Marsh (1762-1843) and died 24 June 1865 Fairview, Sanpete County, Utah of unspecified causes. He married Lucy Gunn (1786-1848) June 1812 in Massachusetts. He married Hannah Blakeslee Finch (1811-1872) 14 January 1846 in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois.


Isaac Morley (March 11, 1786 – June 24, 1865) was an early member of the Latter Day Saint movement and a contemporary of both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. He was one of the first converts to Smith's Church of Christ. Morley was present at many of the early events of the Latter Day Saint movement, and served as a church leader in Ohio, Missouri and Utah Territory.

Morley was born on March 11, 1786 in Montague, Massachusetts, one of nine children of Thomas E. Morley and Editha (née Marsh). He served in the War of 1812 from 1812–15, and later held the position of captain in the Ohio militia.

In June 1812, Morley married Lucy Gunn in Massachusetts, with whom he had seven children. Some years after becoming a member of the church in 1830, he practiced plural marriage, taking Leonora Snow (the older sister of Lorenzo and Eliza R. Snow) and Hannah Blakesley (also found as Blaixly or Blakeslee) as his second and third wife in 1844 in Nauvoo, Illinois. Blakesley bore him an additional three children. Other wives included Hannah Knight Libby and Harriet Lucinda Cox, married 1846 in Nauvoo, Hannah Sibley and Nancy Anne Bache (also found as Back).

Cambellite Commune

Morley was an early settler in the Western Reserve wilderness area of northern Ohio, and created a productive farm in the region near Kirtland, Ohio. While in this area, he joined the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement (aka the Campbellites), under the ministry of Sidney Rigdon, and was a leader of a utopian group that practiced communal principals, holding goods in common for the benefit of all. Members of this group included Lyman Wight, and Morley's brother-in-law Titus Billings. Eight additional families joined in 1830. The society was sometimes called the "Morley Family," as Rigdon caused a row of log houses to be built on Morley's farm, where a number of the society's members could live periodically.

This commune became a key focal point in Nov 1830 in the growth of the LDS Church, when four missionaries arrived here and many joined this new movement. Joseph Smith (1805-1844) moved the main body of the church here the following spring.

Today the Isaac Morley Farm is a recognized historic site of the LDS Church.

Manti Utah Settlement

A view of Manti Cemetery from Temple Hill

Manti was one of the first communities settled in what was to become Utah. In 1849, Brigham Young dispatched a company of about 225 settlers, consisting of several families, to the Sanpitch (now Sanpete) Valley. Under the direction of Isaac Morley (1786-1865) the settlers arrived at the present location of Manti (Sanpete County, Utah) in November. They endured a severe winter by living in temporary shelters dug into the south side of the hill on which the Manti Temple now stands. Brigham Young named the new community Manti, after a city mentioned in the Book of Mormon.

Marriage and Family

1st Marriage: Lucy Gunn

Both Isaac and Lucy grew up in the same town, Montague, Massachusetts. They married while he was serving in the War of 1812.

  1. Lucy Diantha Morley (1815-1908) - she married Joseph Stewart Allen (1806-1889), a veteran of Zions Camp and they followed Isaac to help settle Sanpete County, Utah.
  2. Editha Ann Morley (1818-1893)
  3. Cordelia Calista Morley (1823-1915)


Offspring of Isaac Morley, Sr and Lucy Gunn (1786-1848)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Lucy Diantha Morley (1815-1908) 4 October 1815 Kirtland, Geauga County, Ohio, United States 19 October 1908 Orderville, Kane County, Utah Joseph Stewart Allen (1806-1889)
Editha Ann Morley (1818-1893)
Cordelia Calista Morley (1823-1915) 28 November 1823 Kirtland, Geauga County, Ohio, United States 9 June 1915 Manti, Sanpete County, Utah, United States Frederick Walter Cox (1812-1879)




Footnotes (including sources)