Cedar City
Iron County, Utah

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Historical Overview

Historical overview coming soon.

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Timeline

Theodore Turley and many of his family members evacuated the Mormon colony of San Bernardino in Southern California during the winter of 1857-1858. The Turley family initially settled in Cedar City, Iron County, Utah.

1858
February 14: Theodore was appointed to a committee of five chosen to draft a statement of support on behalf of the residents of Cedar City for Governor Brigham Young “putting the Territory under martial law, and of preventing armed forces under whatever pretence, from entering our Territory.” Theodore also spoke at the meeting, held in the Cedar City Tabernacle, where the “preamble and resolutions were read and unanimously adopted.”1
April 8: Theodore’s daughter-in-law, Amelia Louisa Counsell Turley, was one of a number of sisters who bore “testimony and felt to rejoice in the work of the Lord” at the April meeting of the Cedar City Relief Society. “It was moved and seconded that Amelia Turley… become [a member] of this Society, carried Unanimous.”2
May 13: “Sister A. Turley,” Theodore’s daughter-in-law, bore her testimony at the May meeting of the Cedar City Relief Society.3
May 22: Theodore Turley was mentioned in the ledger of the Deseret Iron Company. His account was debited $5.00 for “2000 lbs Coal at Bank.”4
May 29: Theodore Turley was mentioned in the ledger of the Deseret Iron Company. His account was credited $2.00 for “an order by Bosnell.”5
June 10: “A. Turley,” Theodore’s daughter-in-law, bore her testimony at the June meeting of the Cedar City Relief Society.6
June 12: Theodore Turley was mentioned in the ledger of the Deseret Iron Company. His account was credited $2.00 for helping the moulder for one day and exploring for ore.7
June 19: Theodore Turley was mentioned twice in the ledger of the Deseret Iron Company. His account was credited $3.00 for a day of “Fitting Bards[?] on Blast tap &c.” His account was also credited $9.50 for “overseeing brick making &c” for 4.75 days.8
June 26: Theodore Turley was mentioned in the ledger of the Deseret Iron Company. His account was debited $3.20 for use of the punching machine.9
August 6: Erastus Snow and John D. Lee dined at Theodore and Ruth Turley’s home in Cedar City.10 Erastus Snow was one of the missionaries that had introduced Theodore’s wife, Ruth, and her sister to the gospel in Essex County, Massachusetts, in the early 1840s.11
September 30: Theodore Turley was mentioned in the ledger of the Deseret Iron Company. His account was credited $2.00 for his “boy breaking limestone” for one day.12
October 11: Theodore Turley was mentioned in the ledger of the Deseret Iron Company. His account was credited $2.00 for the work of his son, Isaac, chopping wood for one day.13
October 18: Theodore Turley was mentioned in the ledger of the Deseret Iron Company. He directed his account to be debited $24.05 and the funds sent to the “Cedar Tything Office.”14
October 28: Theodore Turley was mentioned in the ledger of the Deseret Iron Company. His account was debited $0.75 for an error in calculation.15
November 4: Theodore Turley was mentioned in the ledger of the Deseret Iron Company. His account was debited $5.37 for “2150 lbs Coal @ Bank.”16
November 11: “Sister Amelia Turley,” Theodore’s daughter-in-law, bore her testimony at the November meeting of the Cedar City Relief Society.17

Iron production ceased in Cedar City in October 1858, which may have been a factor in the Turley family’s decision to relocate to the one-year-old town of Washington in Washington County, Utah.

Places to Visit

Historical places/markers related to the life of Theodore Turley

  • Deseret Iron Works Marker – next to Pioneer Iron Works Blast Furnace marker at intersection of 100 East and 400 North, Cedar City.

This monument marks the spot where on Sept. 30, 1852 the first iron was manufactured west of the Mississippi River by the Mormon Iron Missionaries sent by Brigham Young.

This 5½ ton ore body was obtained from the iron deposits used by the Iron Workers located about seven miles west of Cedar City in the Three Peaks area; it is about 61% Fe. The smaller specimens are some that were actually hauled by horse-drawn vehicles to this site and were found during excavation. The Blast Furnace, Foundry, Pattern Shop, Coke and Charcoal Ovens, Waterwheel and Offices of the early Pioneer Iron Works were located North, South, and East of this monument.

The technology of using coke was brought by these early iron workers directly from England where the use of charcoal had been out-lawed and which was a relatively new idea, especially in American iron manufacturing. In spite of floods, which inundated the Iron Works, the undependable water source, and other natural and man-made difficulties, considerable iron was produced here until 1858, making the iron industry one of the leading factors in the economy of the Utah Territory.

Dedicated November 11, 1978 (Cedar City’s 127th Birthday)

Deseret Iron Works Marker in Cedar City, Utah

State Register – Utah Historic Site
PIONEER IRON WORKS BLAST FURNACE
To satisfy an urgent need for manufactured iron products, a small group of English, Welsh, Scotch, Irish and American pioneers answered a call from Brigham Young to become “Iron Missionaries” to settle Iron County and to make iron. They arrived in Parowan on January 13, 1851 and produced the first iron west of the Mississippi on September 30, 1852 on this site. Due to economic, social, environmental and technical problems, the Iron Works was closed down in October 1858.

Pioneer Iron works blast furnace marker in cedar city, utah
  • Frontier Homestead State Park & Museum – “Relive the pioneer and early industrial history of Cedar City, Iron County, and southwest Utah through hands -on activities,an extensive horse-drawn wagon collection, historic buildings, Native heritage, antique sawmill and replica blast furnace.” Also includes information about the nearby “Old Irontown” historic site. (Irontown was created in 1868, after Theodore Turley left Cedar City.)
  1. “Mass Meetings, The Deseret News , Wednesday, 10 Mar. 1858, p. 6, col. 2-3, Utah Digital Newspapers.
  2. “Cedar City Ward Relief Society minute book, 1856-1875 and 1892,” LR 151 22, images 30-31, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets?id=d8e94c43-3953-48fc-a8d6-6237271f89c9&crate=0&index=29, accessed March 2021.
  3. “Cedar City Ward Relief Society minute book, 1856-1875 and 1892,” LR 151 22, image 32, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets?id=d8e94c43-3953-48fc-a8d6-6237271f89c9&crate=0&index=31, accessed March 2021.
  4. Deseret Iron Company Account Book, 1854-1867, p. 492, digital image at Fold3.com.
  5. Deseret Iron Company Account Book, 1854-1867, p. 493, digital image at Fold3.com.
  6. “Cedar City Ward Relief Society minute book, 1856-1875 and 1892,” LR 151 22, image 32, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets?id=d8e94c43-3953-48fc-a8d6-6237271f89c9&crate=0&index=31, accessed March 2021.
  7. Deseret Iron Company Account Book, 1854-1867, p. 496, digital image at Fold3.com.
  8. Deseret Iron Company Account Book, 1854-1867, p. 497 and 498, digital image at Fold3.com.
  9. Deseret Iron Company Account Book, 1854-1867, p. 498, digital image at Fold3.com.
  10. “Sat, 6th. The investigation continued till near Night. Bro. E. Snow & I Dined with Bro. Theodore Turleys.” Robert Glass Cleland and Juanita Brooks, eds., A Mormon Chronicle: The Diaries of John D. Lee, 1848-1876 Vol. 1 (San Marino, Calif.: The Huntington Library, 1955), 179, digitized at HathiTrust.org.
  11. Ruth’s sister, Mary Meek Giles, was baptized by Erastus Snow on 4 Sep. 1842 in Essex County, Massachusetts. Jennifer Mackley, “Fifth in a Series on Wilford Woodruff’s Wives: Mary Meek Giles (September 6, 1802-October 3, 1852),” WilfordWoodruff.info, http://www.wilfordwoodruff.info/2013/02/third-in-series-on-wilford-woodruffs.html, accessed March 2021.
  12. Deseret Iron Company Account Book, 1854-1867, p. 508, digital image at Fold3.com.
  13. Deseret Iron Company Account Book, 1854-1867, p. 510, digital image at Fold3.com.
  14. Deseret Iron Company Account Book, 1854-1867, p. 512, digital image at Fold3.com.
  15. Deseret Iron Company Account Book, 1854-1867, p. 516, digital image at Fold3.com.
  16. Deseret Iron Company Account Book, 1854-1867, p. 522, digital image at Fold3.com.
  17. This was the last mention I could find of Amelia Turley in the Cedar City Relief Society minutes. “Cedar City Ward Relief Society minute book, 1856-1875 and 1892,” LR 151 22, image 36, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets?id=d8e94c43-3953-48fc-a8d6-6237271f89c9&crate=0&index=35, accessed March 2021.