David Buel Dille is my great great grandfather. I had a copy of his journal at one point, but that was years ago. As I recall he spoke mostly of his time as a Mormon and didn't mention much about his early life. He wrote about his conversion to the Mormon church when he met Joseph Smith in a mercantile in Ohio. Joseph Smith gave him a Book of Mormon and that precipitated his conversion.
He did move to Kirtland, Ohio to be with the Mormons there. Shortly thereafter however the Mormons were driven from Ohio and he helped to establish Nauvoo, Illinois and as mentioned worked as a stone mason in building the Nauvoo Temple.
When the Mormons were forced to leave Nauvoo he followed along and was actually a personal body guard to Brigham Young on the first trek west. He became hill half way across Nebraska and returned home to his family who were waiting on moving west after the first group had established a community out west.
The story of his marriages was fairly complicated. His first wife was the love of his life. He loved her dearly and upon her death was extremely grief stricken. She passed away while he and his large family were making their way west to Utah. Another fellow traveler was widowed along the way as well and since they traveled by family group, it made sense to all concerned for David Buel Dille and this widow woman to join forces and they were married trail side as they ventured westward. This did not turn out to be a happy marriage and it eventually ended in divorce. He had been sent to England for a 3 year mission only to come home and find her nursing a newborn baby. She claimed it was his, but he knew there was no way she could have been carrying a child for 3 years. Arguments ensued and eventually the couple was divorced.
He married a total of 5 times. My great great grandmother was his fifth wife. My memory is unclear, but I believe that my great grandmother was born a short time after he was sent on his 3 year mission to England. This time the paternity of the child was clear and it was his child. He informed his 5th wife to name the child (my great grandmother) after his first wife, the love of his life, which she did. In his older years David Buel Dille mentioned in his journal that he couldn't understand why the United States government was so adamantly against the practice of polygamy (men having more than one wife). David Buel Dille had a total of five wives, but the first wife died before he married the others and he was divorced from the second wife. He did remain married to the other three until his death. He mentioned that there is no difference between what he was doing being married to three women at once than what others were doing by having one wife and then mistresses on the side. He felt that the only difference was that he took responsibility for what he was doing and provided for the other women as well, which those in supposedly monogamous relationships were not doing.
A point of interest to my branch of his family tree, David Buel Dille is my ancestor on my mother's side of the family. While he was in England he converted several families, among whom was a Morgan family from Gloucestershire. When he returned from England he sponsored the Morgan family to come to settle in Logan, Utah where he was living at the time. As it turns out this Morgan family were my father's great grandparents, so my mother's great grandfather was instrumental in bringing my father's great grandfather to America.
Once arriving in Utah, David Buell Dille helped to found Salt Lake City. He leant a hand in building the Salt Lake Temple, but as he was aging he ended up donating his stone cutting tools to the effort for others to use as his strength wasn't what was needed to cut the huge granite blocks that were being used to build the temple. He was sent to Logan, Utah where he was one of the founding settlers and it was while living there that he brought the Morgan family to Utah. A short time later he was assigned to establish a colony in Neeley, Idaho which was very close to present day American Falls, Idaho. This is where he resided for the remainder of his life. That colony did not prosper like other towns. All that really remains is a couple of houses and the cemetary. American Falls was relocated to higher ground when the American Falls dam and reservoir was constructed and this moved the town closer to Neeley and eventually most of Neeley's residents moved to American Falls, or totally left the area.
The last I heard his house is still standing in Neeley, although it has been abandoned since his death. He actually had three houses standing side by side there, one house for each wife. My mother grew up in the smallest of the three which was burned down in the late 1970's as a Halloween prank.
He died in Neeley and is buried in the Neeley City Cemetary, just outside American Falls, Idaho.
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