William West Lane was born 29 August 1797 in Sumner County, Tennessee, United States to James Lane (1769-1846) and Mary Phipps (1775-1851) and died 8 July 1852 Hall County, Nebraska, United States of unspecified causes. He married Mary Willis (1806-1840) 22 July 1821 in McLeansboro, Hamilton County, Illinois. He married Maria Burr (1806-1852) 1842 in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois.

1852 William Lane Wagon Company


Numbered amoung the participants in the William Lane 1852 Pioneer Company, a early Mormon pioneer wagon train traveling from to Salt Lake City in the early summer. Consisting of approximately fifteen families who had lived since spring 1851 at a welfare "poor farm" forty miles north of Kanesville, Iowa, called Lanesborough, were organized into this company under the leadership of their bishop, William West Lane (1797-1852). While the plains of Nebraska this party was hit hard by a cholera epidemic killing Bishop Lane, his wife and several other members of the company.

Trail Death - Cholera

Clark, Davis, Autobiography, in Erold Clark Wiscombe, The Descendants of Maria Burr, John Clark and William West Lane, [1975], 12-14.

[Trail Excerpt William West Lane Company (1852) Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah]

"In the early spring of 1852, Apostles Orson Hyde and Ezra T. Benson came to the Grove and counselled all to move to the Salt Lake Valley. Bishop Lane acted accordingly and on the 24th of June 1852 the Clark-Lane families crossed the Missouri River to head west.

Bishop Lane was in charge of the 51st Company with Jacob Bigler and Lorenzo Johnson as counselors. The group traveled only a few days when cholera broke out in camp and several died. Bishop Lane was stricken ill and the camp halted at Look [Loup] Fork for two days to allow him to recover. He felt somewhat better, so the company moved on. Three days later Davis' mother, Maria Lane, became ill with the cholera. She became sick about 9 o'clock in the morning after the company had started. They had to keep moving to reach the next water spot but the wearisome journey proved too much for her in this condition and she passed away at 4 p.m. that afternoon, 5 July 1852. This was on Davis' 20th birthday. The family peeled the bark off from a cottonwood tree to make a coffin for her. She was buried along the trail three days journey west of Loop [Loup] Fork.

For the second time Bishop Lane had become a widower. The next day the wagon train moved on, but Bishop Lane's condition grew worse. On the 8th of July, just three days after the death of his wife, he too died. The train took some good boxes and patched them together to make a coffin for him. Twelve others, besides Bishop Lane and his wife, died of the cholera. Two other men were shot by Indians.

Davis now found himself the foster father of a younger sister and brother, Flora and Enoch; four step sisters (children of Bishop Lane by his first wife); and five little half sisters, the eldest 10 years and the youngest barely three years old. A family of 12 at the age of 20, and not even a wife to assist him. The four step sisters were cared for by others, but he continued to bring the five half sisters on to Utah."


Offspring of William West Lane and Mary Willis (1806-1840)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Margaret Lane (1822-)
Martha Lane (1823-)
Lewis Lane (1825-1850)
James Lane (1829-)
William Phipps Lane (1831-1900)
Catherine Mariah Lane (1832-1882)
Nancy Phipps Lane (1833-1902)
Merrill Lane (1837-1865)
Lucretia Lane (1838-)

Offspring of William West Lane and Maria Burr (1806-1852)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Lavina Lane (1843-1853)
Sarah Jemima Lane (1844-1912)
Cecelia Lane (1847-1924)
Cordelia Lane (1847-1936)
Emma Lane (1850-1942)



Footnotes (including sources)