Wesley Adair was born 18 February 1820 in Greene County, Alabama to Thomas Adair (1774-1858) and Rebecca Brown (1776-1846) and died 5 May 1903 Nutrioso, Apache County, Arizona of unspecified causes.


Wesley Adair was a veteran of the Mormon Battalion. It appears that he was married twice, but had no surviving posterity. Only Harriet bore one child that only lived for about one year.

Wesley Adair enlisted in the Company C of the Mormon Battalion where he probably marched alongside his nephew, Benjamin Richey (1823-1849). Mormon Battalion histories and US Census records list him as G. Wesley Adair or J. Wesley Adair.

Conversion to Mormonism

Major autobiography with lots of references to Mangums, Richeys, and Adairs and their history by James Richey [see notes of James Richey for a couple of varying versions of his story] mentions his grandmother: [Appears she was probably baptized in 1844.]. The typographical errors are per the original: After staying with my friends a few days Itawamba County I went to Chickasaw Co. to where my Uncle Thomas Adair lived and preached to them the Gospel in that vicinity. I then returned home to my father's house in Noseuher County. After resting a while I started out in company with elder Daniel Thomas on preaching tour. We went into the northwestern part of the state of Alabama on the Butteharhe River. From there we went to Itawamba in the state of Mississippi and preached to the people in the neighborhood of Where my relatives lived. A number of them believed and was afterwards baptized into the church. We then went to Chickasaw County in the state of Mississippi and preached into the church. The names of those that were baptized are as follows Thomas Adair and wife, John Mangum and wife, my grandmother, Seli Rebecca Adair and John Wesley Adair. After this I returned home and gave my attention to work of preparing to remove with my fathers friends to the city of Nauvoo in the State of Illinois to which place we removed in the year of 1845. After we arrived in the City we had much sickness in the family. While I was gone up the river to help to bring down a raft for firewood. My oldest sister Rebecca was taken sick and died in my absence, which was a heavy blow to me as well as the rest of the family. In the course of the year my brother Robert and sister Martha Ann also died with malaria. In the course of the summer I returned to the State of Alabama for my grandmother Rebecca Richey but her son kept her money from her so I failed in that part of my mission."

Mormon Battalion Service

Per the book "The Mormon Battalion, US Army of the West", by Norma Ricketts, G. Wesley Adair was a private in the Mormon Battalion, Company C marching with his nephew, Benjamin Richey (1823-1849), and as of March 1882 was a farmer in Arizona. He made it to California and was part of the Hancock-Los Angeles company of about 150 men who travelled up California's Central Valley to Sutter's Fort. Many went on to Salt Lake City immediately, but Wesley was one of the 105 who remained behind and worked for Sutter. Wesley contributed $10.00 to the purchase of two small decorated brass parade cannon from Captain John Sutter to take to the leaders of the Mormon Church. The cannon had been left behind in Moscow as the defeated Napoleon fled during the winter of 1812-13. Later the cannon were brought to Fort Ross in northern California, the Russian fur trade outpost. Sutter purchased the cannon from the Russians, along with other supplies, when the Russians closed Fort Ross. The two brass cannon, a four pounder and six pounder, were put on runners and carried in a wagon by the Holmes-Thompson company to Great Salt Lake Valley of which Wesley was a part. The group of 39 veterans and some others arrived between 24 Sep. and 6 Oct. 1848 in Salt Lake. It is not known where the cannon are today. (Possibility of them having being used for pile drivers at the St. George Temple site.) Wesley was one of thirty soldiers who later settled Arizona and contributed greatly to the colonization of Arizona.

LDS Journal of History, 1 May 1848: "May 1848, A number of Battalion brethren and others in Sacramento Valley, California, subscribed $512.00 and bought two brass cannons of Captain John A. Sutter, to be taken to the Great Salt Lake for the benefit of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Following are the names of the donors: [46 names listed including the following: John Wesley Adair - $10.00.

Settlement of Utah Dixie

Two monuments erected in Washington, Washington, Utah / The Adair, Mangum and Richey family jointly played a prominent role settleing here and later in Apache County Arizona: Adair Spring, The Birthplace of Utah's Dixie, Washington City, Utah - Erected by the citizens of Washington City & The Washington City Historical Society, 1996. In early 1857 Brigham Young called a group of Southerners on a cotton mission to Southern Utah to raise cotton. Samuel Newton Adair [this is a mistake; should be Samuel Jefferson Adair], the leader of ten families, arrived at this spot April 15, 1857, after leaving Payson, Utah on March 3. They camped here a short time and then moved down near the Virgin River on what became known as the Sand Plot. Apostle Amasa M. Lyman who was passing through the area recommended they move back to the spring area which they did. Robert Dockery Covington arrived here May 5 or 6, 1857, with 28 more Southern families. They left the Salt Lake area shortly after the LDS Spring Conference held around April 6. On May 6 or 7 a two day meeting was held at this site under the direction of Isaac C. Haight, President of the Parowan Stake. They sang songs, prayed and selected Robert D. Covington to be the President of the LDS branch, and Harrison Pearce and James B. Reagan as assistants. Wm. R. Slade and James D. McCullough were appointed Justices of the Peace, John Hawley and James Matthews as constables, G.R. Coley as stray pound keeper and Wm. R. Slade, Geo. Hawley and G.W.Spencer as school trustees. They named their city Washington. It was too late to plant wheat, so they prepared the ground for corn and went right to work making dams and ditches to water their crops. Their homes were their wagon boxes, willow and mud huts and dugouts dug in the bank east of this monument. Their new home soon was called 'Dixie'. Those who came in the spring of 1857 were: 43 names listed "and others; the following names are those related: Adair, George W.; Adair, John M.; Adair, Joseph; Adair, Newton (L.N.)[Samuel Newton]; Adair, Samuel Jefferson; Adair, Thomas; Mangum, John; Mangum, William; Price, John; Rickey [Richey], James.

Utah's Dixie - Washington City Founded 1857. Erected by the Washington City Historical Society, November 1994. This monument is erected in honor and memory of the founders of Washington City. The settlers who arrived in 1857 were sent here by Brigham Young, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, for the purpose of grwoing cotton to clothe the Mormon pioneers and to colonize the territory. Those early pioneers named their city on May 5 or 6, 1857 in honor of George Washington and also called the area 'Dixie' in remembrance of their former homes in the South. Living in the arid desert proved extremely difficult. Reocurring challenges such as malaria (ague or chills and fever), the lack of food, poor water, and other diseases disabled and decimated the settlers. The Virgin River, providing water to irrigate fields, was crucial to the settlers. However frequent flash floods, washed out the dams built to divert water from the river to the fields. This resulted in starvation and undue hardship. It took the pioneers thirty-four years to conquer the mighty "Rio Virgin" doing so with the completion of the Washington Fields Dam in 1891. [Pioneer names arranged into three groups; 43 'and others' in 1857, 19 in 1860, and 26 'and others' in 1861-62. The names that follow are only those related.]

    • 1857: Adair, George W.; Adair, John M.; Adair, Joseph; Adair, Newton (L.N.)[Samuel Newton]; Adair, Samuel [Jefferson]; ** Adair, Thomas; Mangum, John; Mangum, William; Price, John; Richey, James.
    • 1860 US: Adair, Wesley; Mangum, Cyrus; Mangum, Joseph M.
    • 1861-62: [none]."

The book "Utah's 'Dixie' Birthplace", by Harold P. Cahoon and Priscilla Cahoon, pp. 272-276, has a map and lists landowners as of the resurvey of 1873. Names are spelled as recorded. Relations included are:

  • John M. Adair, blk. 15, lot 3. [SE corner of Main and 1st S.]
  • John Price, blk. 34, lot 8. [SW corner of 2nd N and 1st E.]
  • Wesley Adair, blk. 34, lot 10. [ 4th lot N on W side of 1st E halfway between 1st and 2nd N.]
  • Samuel [J.] Adair, blk. 35, lots 1,11,12. [NW corner of 1st N and 2nd E.]
  • Samuel N. Adair, blk. 35, lots 3,4. [2nd and 3rd lot N on E side of 1st E between 1st N and 2nd N.]
  • Levi W. Hancock, blk. 41, lots 1,2,3,6. [Southern 2/3 of block between 1st and 2nd W and 2nd and 3rd N.]
  • James Richey, blk. 34, lot 2. [NE corner of Main and 1st N.]

Robin Adair indicates he was a member of Major John Wesley Powell's 1871 expedition support.

Indian Mission

In 1863, Wesley traveled with famous LDS Indian missionary Jacob Hamblin and 9 others on a special mission called by Brigham Young (1801-1877) to visit the Hopi Indians of Northern Arizona.

Settlement of Apache County Arizona

From the book "Nutrioso and Her Neighbors," by Nina Kelly and Alice Lee [bracketed notes by myself]:

  • p. V: "Nutrioso has never been a large town, perhaps no more than 800 at any one time." [Photo of Nutrioso in 1896 is included with article.]
  • p. 31: "Alpine is about 8 miles southeast of Nutrioso, elev. 8,000', at the head of the San Francisco River. It is on the SE side of the Continental Divide while Nutrioso is on the NW side of the watershed."
  • p. 61: "John Wesley Adair (son of Thomas Jefferson and Rebecca Brown Adair) b. 1820, TN; died May 1903, Nutrioso, AZ. He married Rebecca Mangum, (dau. of John and Rebecca Knowles Mangum) b. 1814, TN. They did not have any children. Rebecca (Becky) had three children by a previous husband, Joseph Adair (son of James and Rebecca Adair). John Wesley Adair was a member of the Mormon Battalion. He was a brother to Samuel Jefferson Adair. He marched from the Missouri River through Southern Arizona, to Los Angeles. After they came to Nutrioso, he would entertain the children by telling of his experiences in the Battalion and of the mobs in Nauvoo, Illinois." The children were:
    • Joseph Newton, d. young.
    • Rebecca Frances, m. Jeremiah Staynor.
    • Lucinda, m. Orin Sherwood.
  • pp. 222-223: "Judge George H. Crosby wrote a column in the St. Johns Observer for a time and among his articles was a lovely one on Nutrioso 40 years before. He called it Nutrioso As It Was." Some quotes follow: "Then there was George Adair, the best hunter of all those mountain settlements, and incidentally one who always knew all the community news. And Mrs. Lucinda Wilkins and Aunt Francis Mangum, who soon after, became widows and who have spent their lives caring for the sick -- both had hearts of gold."
  • pp. 251-256: Hand drawn plot and block land map with the following comments: "Wesley and Rebecca Adair lived on 9-2, a one-room log house south from Lime Hamblin. Wesley had been in the Mormon Battalion. He lived 20 years in Nutrioso and died in 1903."

US Census Records

1830 US Census

1830 US: Pickens Co., Alabama, roll 2, pages 111- 112. The first three related families all on the same page and the next four related families are on the next page:

  • Thos. Peeks, males 0-5:1; 5-10:1; 20-30:1; females 0-5:1; 5-10:1; 10-15:1; 30-40:1.
  • John Mangum, males 5-10:1; 10-15:2; 15-20:1; 60-70:1; females 0-5:1; 5-10:1; 10-15:1; 30-40:1.
  • Cyrus Mangum, males 20-30:1; females 0-5:1; 15-20:1.
  • Saml. Carson, males 20-30:1; females 20-30:1; 80-90:1.
  • Saml. Adair, males 20-30:1; females 20-30:1.
  • Thos. Adair, males 5-10:1; 10-15:1; 15-20:1; 50-60:1; females 0-5:1; 5-10:1; 10-15:1; 40-50:1.
  • Daniel Clark (next door), males 0-5:1; 30-40:1; females 0-5:1; 20-30:1.

1860 US Census

Washington County, Utah/1860 U.S. Census - Neighbor to several other Richey, Adair, Mangum families. Washington, Washington, Utah, enumerated 27 Jul 1860, page 1035 indicates house #1285 and family #1110 (Samuel Adair, Thomas Adair, Wesley Adair, James Richey, Geo. W. Adair, James Mangum, John Mangum, Valentine Carson, John Price, William Mangum, Cyrus Mangum, Samuel N. Adair are all listed as neighbors):

  • Wesley Adair, 39, farmer, $150 real estate, $175 personal property, AL.
  • Rebecca, 44, TN.
  • Frances, 8, UT.

1870 US Census

Washington, Washington, Utah, enum. 6 Jul 1870, Roll 1613 Book 1, p. 412a, household 45, family 45 (related neighbors out of a total of 108 homes include the following heads of households: John Wesley Adair, Charles Searles, John Milton Adair, Valentine Carson, William Mangum, Jeremiah Stayner, and Samuel J. Adair):

  • John W. Adair, 47, farmer, $500 real estate, $300 personal property, Alabama.
  • Rebecca, 55, keeping house, TN.

1880 US Census

National Archives film T9-0036, p. 28D for St. Johns Village, Apache, Arizona:

  • Wesley Adair, Farmer, Self M M W 59 AL Fa:unk Mo:unk
  • Rebeca Adair, House keeping, Wife F M W 65 TN Fa:VA Mo:PA

Note: Several Adairs listed as neighbors in Apache county.

1900 US Census

Nutrioso, Apache, Arizona, Roll 45, Book 1, page 28:

  • Wesley Adair, b. Feb 1820, age 80, single, b. AL, fa. b. TN, mo. b. TN.

Note: Living with Winnie Martin family and he is listed as Grand Uncle. Winnie is a widow and dau. of Frances Mangum (mother). Frances was born Oct 1843 in Mississippi of parents who were both born in Alabama.




#g1: Offspring of Thomas Adair (1774-1858) and Rebecca Brown (1776-1846)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Margaret Ann Adair (1804-1852) 7 February 1804, Laurens County, South Carolina 10 February 1852, Manti, Sanpete County, Utah William Richey (1796-1879)
Samuel Jefferson Adair (1806-1889) 28 March 1806, Laurens County, South Carolina 6 July 1889, Nutrioso, Apache County, Arizona Jemima Catherina Mangum (1809-1848) + Nancy Fountain White (1811-1880) + Ludinca Unknown + Rachel Hunter (1810-1882) + Roxanna M. (1794-1860) + Anne Catherine Lauritsdatter (1815-1884)
Fairby Adair (1809-1836) 1809, Tennessee 1836, Pickens County, Alabama Daniel Clark (1800-1832)
Eliza Jane Adair (1811-1892) 11 November 1811, Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee 16 August 1892, Washington, Washington County, Utah Samuel Carson (1805-1836) + Moses Pearson (1810-) + John Buren Price (1815-1893)
Sophia Adair (1812-1877) 1812, Tennessee , Joseph Allison (1801-1852)
Thomas Jefferson Adair (1814-1895) 31 May 1814, Indiana 19 September 1890, Show Low, Apache County, Arizona Frances Rogers (1818-1847) + Mary Vance (1820-1918)
Sarah Ada Adair (1815-1852) 27 December 1815, Tennessee 3 July 1852, Loup Fork, Platte County, Nebraska William Mangum (1811-1888)
George Washington Adair (1818-1897) 18 March 1818, West Carthage, Smith County, Tennessee, United States 26 August 1897, Orderville, Kane County, Utah, United States Miriam Jane Billingsley (1829-1912) + Johanna Freestone (1849-1903)
John Wesley Adair (1820-1903) 18 February 1820, Greene County, Alabama 5 May 1903, Nutrioso, Apache County, Arizona Rebecca Frances Mangum (1814-1890) + Harriett Cordelia Williams (1829-1907)
Mary Ann Adair (1822-1892) 5 July 1822, Pickens County, Alabama, United States 9 May 1892, Georgetown, Kane County, Utah, United States John Mangum (1817-1881)
Laney Ann Adair (1824-1881) 2 July 1824, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States 29 June 1881, Johnson County, Texas, United States John Ellis Ewing (1822-1905)


Footnotes (including sources)