Early Mormon Pioneer
In memory of Isaac Behunin,
Mormon Pioneer, Early Utah Settler and
Credited with the naming of Zion Canyon. Isaac Behunin was born October 20, 1803 in Richland, New York to Albert and Nancy Lord Bohanan (Bohannon). He was involved in the thrust westward, frontierism and the religious revival of early America. In addition to being a farmer, he helped build the Erie Canal as well as other canals during the “Canal Craze” of the 1800s. He married Meribah Morton in 1823 and joined the Mormon Church in 1833. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Kirtland, Ohio to join the main body of the church. Meribah died in Kirtland, leaving Isaac three small boys to raise; Philo, Isaac M. and William. He married Elmina Tyler in 1834, and over the following 19 years they had nine more children. He knew the Prophet Joseph Smith and at times served as one of his body guards. He helped build the Kirtland and Nauvoo Temples. In 1840 he was ordained an Elder and later a Seventy and High Priest. He served a short mission to Iowa. He and his family suffered the losses, hardships and persecutions of the “driving of the saints” through Ohio, Missouri, Illinois and Iowa from 1833 until 1850 when he migrated to Utah.