D.U.P. Marker #485 (see the others here.)
The first written account of the exploration of Long Valley was given by John D. Lee in 1852. Coming from Parowan, the explorers were under the direction of Bishop John R. Smith. James Lewis kept the records. The others were John D. Lee, John Steel, John Dart, Solomon Chamberlain, Francis T. Whitney and Dr. Priddy Meeks.
The party entered the Sevier Valley, followed the Sevier River south, over the divide and down the east fork of the Virgin River through Long Valley. Stopped from going further by Zion Canyon on the west they retraced their tracks returning to Parowan.
In the summer of 1862, a group guided by Dr. Priddy Meeks, John and William Berry came to Long Valley looking for grazing and farm land. In the spring of 1864, this group with others again returned to the valley. Priddy Meeks became the first white settler in Lower Long Valley when he and his family built a dugout in the hill behind this marker. The town was first called Windsor then changed to Mt. Carmel by Joseph W. Young because the cedar covered hills resembled the country of Mt. Carmel in Palestine.
Sarah Deseret, daughter of Dr. Meeks and Mary Jane, was born in 1864 in Berryville. She was the first child born in Long Valley and present day Kane County. The settlers had to leave Long Valley during Indian difficulties, but returned to stay in March of 1871.
DR. PRIDDY MEEKS
Pioneer Doctor, Community Leader
Born: August 29, 1795, South Carolina – Died: October 7, 1886, Orderville, Utah
Converted to the LDS Church in 1840 in Brown County, Illinois where he served as Bishop. Joined the Saints at Nauvoo, Illinois from 1842 to 1847. Blessed by the Prophet Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith that he would have children and sons to carry on his name. They requested that he name his sons after them. Donated his ox team and wagon to the vanguard Mormon pioneer company. Later outfitted, he arrived in Salt Lake Valley in October 1847. Assisted with settlement of the city. Served as first presidency of “Society of Health” which trained the saints in better medical practice.
The remainder of his life was spent in colonizing Southern Utah. He assisted in the first settlements in Parowan (1850), Leeds – Harrisburg (1862) and Berryville, now Glendale (1846). His family was the first in Mt. Carmel (1864) living in a dugout at this site. They joined the United Order and moved to Orderville in 1879. He was the father of nineteen children including sons named Joseph and Hyrum. Descendants of Dr. Meeks and former patients continue to use many of his herbal remedies.
Mary “Polly” Bartlett Meeks
Died: January 24, 1824, Spencer, Indiana
Married Priddy Meeks in 1815. He was 20, she age 22. He called her “my beloved Polly”. Together they carved out a farmstead out of Indiana Territory. She died at age 31 having sacrificed all to build a better life for her family on the American Frontier.
Children Lovin, Eliza, Athe, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth married Edward Dalton, Marcy 6, 1848 in Salt Lake City. They moved with Priddy Meeks to Parowan, Utah in 1851, where they helped settle that city.
Sarah Maurin Meeks
Born: December 12, 1801 Grayson County, Kentucky
Died: August 17, 1900, Orderville, Utah
The widow of Anthony Smith. Married Priddy Meeks December 24, 1826. Sarah’s daughter, Susan Smith, joined the Meeks family and later married Orson Adams. Sarah made a splendid step-mother to Priddy’s children.
The Meeks and Adams family were converted to the LDS religion and moved to Nauvoo, Illinois in 1842. They were part of the Mormon pioneer trek to the West, arriving in Salt Lake Valley October 1847.
Priddy said of Sarah, “I must pay a tribute of praise for my ‘better half’. She never left anything unturned that would contribute to our comfort, either in body or mind. She neither murmured or scolded. She bore everything in patience like a Saint of God. She truly proved a helpmeet (sic) to me.”
Children Sarah Jane, Sarah Angeline, Steven Mahuren, Hilda, Margaret Jane.
Margaret Jane married Samuel Hamilton.
Mary Jane McCleve Meeks
Born: August 21, 1840
Died: January 19, 1933, Orderville, Utah
Baptized a member of the LDS Church in the Irish Sea at age of 10. In 1856, her family sailed to America and joined the second Mormon Handcart Company. She painted “9” on their cart as the number trekking in her family. Her father, John McCleve, died two days before they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. Married to Dr. Priddy Meeks, November 14, 1856, by President Brigham Young.
Priddy wrote of her “Mary Jane was nearly seventeen and I sixty-two. If there was ever a match consummated by the providence of God, this was one; she has borne me ten children and they were well formed and intelligent. If I had picked the territory, I could not have suited myself as well as in Mary Jane.”
She learned the art of healing from Priddy and delivered over 700 babies without loss of life. Mary Jane was widowed at age 46. She did not remarry.
Children Joseph, Nancy Jane, Hyrum Smith, John Priddy, Sara Deseret, Mary Ellen, Heber Jesse, Charles Mason, Elizabeth Dalton, Alfred Randall.