William Asa Barton

December 3, 1802 - Before 1854


Asa Barton was born on December 3, 1802, the 6th child of William Barton and Nancy Hunter. He was born in Randolph, Orange County, North Carolina. His siblings were Esther Barton, Joel Barton, Candis Barton, John Barton, Hugh Barton, and Malinda Barton, born in Orange County, North Carolina; Mary Zebby Ezebbier Barton, Matilda Barton, Nancy L. Barton and Lewis Barton born in Kentucky; Lewis Barton, Phoebe Ann Barton, and David Barton born in Lebanon, St Clair County, Illinois.

William Barton and Nancy Hunter were my Great Great Great Great Grandparents on my father's side of the family: Richard Easton (1938) -> Ray Easton (1911) -> Eva Jane Barton (1879) -> John Hunter Barton (1858) -> William Barton (1821) -> John Barton (1796) -> William Barton (1762)

Asa Barton, son of William & Nancy, 1847 Travel History with Hunter Family 18 June 1847:

Asa Barton was traveling with wife, Mary, daughter, Sarah Barton DeWitt, and Sarah's husband, Martin DeWitt. On this date, they departed from the Elkhorn River, west of Winter Quarters, Nebraska, with the 1847 Daniel Spencer/Perregrine Sessions wagon company. The wagon company arrived at their destination, Salt Lake City, Utah, on 25 September 1847.

The Sessions company consisted of 75 wagons and 1885 pioneers going west. Asa Barton was chosen as a captain of ten. Included in the fifth ten, led by Asa Barton, was: Mary Barton, Elizabeth Harris Browett, Harriet Browett, Solomon Chase, Sarah Ann Dewitt, Elizabeth Gates, George Gates, Samuel Newton Henderson, Sarah Holden, Asa B.(Barton) Hunter, Jesse Hunter, Keziah Hunter, Martha Hunter, Mary B.(Barton) Hunter, Samuel Hunter, Elizabeth A. Matthews, Elizabeth Jane Matthews, Emma Louise Matthews, Ezekial Cunningham Matthews, John Lynn Matthews, Maria Marcissa Matthews, Nancy Melissa Matthews, Thomas Marion Matthews, William Matthews, James Kemp McClenahan, Nancy McClenahan, Armenus Miller, Silas Miller, Fanny Parish, Joel Parish, Priscilla Parish, Samuel Parish, Clarinda Pollock, James Pollock, Priscilla Pollock, Thomas Pollock, Aaron Dunham Thatcher, Alley Kitchen Thatcher, George Washington Thatcher, Harriet Ann Thatcher, Hezekiah Thatcher, Hyrum Smith Thatcher, John Bethuel Thatcher, Joseph Wykoff Thatcher, Katherine Mary Thatcher, and Moses Thatcher.

Ok, so now we know Asa Barton oversaw Jesse D Hunter's wife and kids during their trek west. Jesse (the father) wasn't with them during this journey. It seems at the time he was an officer in Brigham Young's Mormon Battalion from July 1846 until July 1847, during which his second wife, Lydia, accompanied him (Yes, he was a poligamist). When the Battalion reached Southern California (Source: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1626722/posts) it was disbanded and Jesse remained in California, where his family joined him later. Jesse fell in love with Southern California and felt it was a perfect place to settle. In correspondence to church leaders in Utah, Jesse suggested Southern California as a viable alternate settlement location for Mormons. "There is not a man, woman, or child, but would rejoice at the very idea of our settling in this country,." Jesse stated. Should the main body remain in the Salt Lake Valley, Jesse suggested a Pacific coast settlement where Mormons would have a port for trade. Brigham Young eventually established the Mormon settlement of San Bernardino in 1851.

Sometime after his family joined him, Jesse was appointed U. S. Indian Agent for Southern California and he moved to San Luis Rey (Source: http://www.sandiegohistory.org/journal/79summer/mormon.htm). By 1852, Jesse was living in the Mormon settlement of San Bernardino. After the Mormon settlement was abandoned, Jesse then moved to Los Angeles, where he became a brick manufacturer and businessman. In 1854, he bought and moved to Rancho Caņada de los Nogales in Los Angeles County (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rancho_Ca%C3%B1ada_de_los_Nogales).

So it's apparent the Bartons and Hunters knew each other closely enough to be family, but were they family? There isn't anything for that yet, but it certainly seems likely. Perhaps Jesse Hunter was a nephew or cousin of Nancy Hunter.

Perrigrine Sessions, Reminiscences and Diaries

....started on the 5 of June 1847[.] my sister sylvia and David started back to Lourry on the 9 of May[.] this seamed to bee all most our last look at them in this world[,] but to return to our journey at this time the Indians seamed to bee stured up against us and we dare not travil in small companies and had to keep up gards night and day[.] This caused us much trouble as men were scarse in camp as we were now six hundred men short in camp five hundred had gone to the Mexican war and over one hundred Poineers [Pioneers.] this left us with all most half the teams with out teamsters except females[.] this was a sene of things that looked hard indeed but go we must at this cricess [crisis] and under these circumstances and the God of Heaven only knew when our journey would end[,] but with a chearful heart with the whole camp we went out onto the trackless plaines with out a g[u]ide save the Allmighty whome we trusted in[.] camped about five miles with about thirty wagons[.] I was caled upon by P.P. Parley Paraley [Parley] P[arker]. Pratt to call out a gard for the night and untill otherwise directed this I done and in the morning severil wagons came up and we started with about forty wagons in my charg[e] to see that all kept there places and were redy for any atack of the Indians[.] made a good drive to a stream caled the Papeo [Pappea.] camped againe in a storm of hale and raine thunder and litening[.] the alarm was given that the Indians had scared the cattle[.] all turned out and ran after the cattle[.] we followed them by the li[gh]tening[.] when it litened we could see them plaine and then for a moment all was dark here[.] I had on shirt hat and shoes[.] went some mile and a half and back[.] got the cattle all safe in the morning[.] built a bridg[e] and crossed the stream and traviled to the Elk horn river this about thirty five miles[.] found it very high and about one hundred and twenty feet wide[.] here I selected ten men and left the rest in charge of the camp and went up the river some five miles[.] got some dry timber[.] built a raft to cross our wagons[.] in too [two] days we were all safe across[.] at this time the wagons came as fast as we could cross them[,] I then selected some fifteen men and went to build a Publick carel [corral] to put the cattle in too day[.] I had some ten acres well fenced[.] I then raised a Liberty pole about seventy feet high with a white flag here[.] the People gathered and Organized for there journey[.] there was captins of Hundreds fifties and tens[.] here I was apointed captin of fifty the first organized and in the Company was Father John Smith the Patriarch of the whole Church & Parley P. Pratt one of the Twelve[.] afternoon we were all Organized[.] in my company was eighty seven Wagons and fifty men over fourteen and four hundred souls in all and four hundred head of Stock[.] here we had some thirty wagons with out a Man to drive them but the females volunteered to drive them my Mother [Patty Bartlett Sessions] was one of them[.] They looked hard as we had no road[.] there was six hundred and sixty wagons in all the camp here[.] we had to wate for two pieces of canon that we had left[.] this detained us severil days dureing which time we caught plenty of fish for my company[.] here I found myself with a great responsibility to keep up gards and provide for other camp duties[.] when the canon came Parley P. Pratt with me and company were apointed to lead the whole camp[.] this was another task as we had no road only what we made here I was Obliged to direct allmost the move of the Whole camp[.] Brother Pratt and I had to go a head of the camp and that And on foot to hunt out the way build bri[d]ges hunt fords acrost the streams[.] this exposed us to the Indians more than any other men but we had not traviled far before one day as we were some four miles a head of the camp we found each of us a fine horse[.] one of them had a Sadle and Bridle on this gave us much joy and a thankful heart as we found it much easier to ride than to go a foot. I will say that this was a Blessing of God to us[.] when we reached the Platt[e] river we found fresh Indian tracks and the Body of a man or his bones that had been killed but too or three days but the wolves had eaten the flesh from the bones[.] we gathered them up and Buried him and set up a sign by it[.] this told us plane that we were in danger and put us more on our gard but we procseded on our journey killing some game[.] when we got to the Loop [Loup] fork of the Platt[e] river found it high and had to travel up some forty miles[.] here we found a place to ford the river altho we had to drive all our cattle severil times a crost to tamp the quick sand so that we could cross our wagons[.] the stream about one half mile wide this hindered us too days but all got safe over[.] we then had about thirty five miles without water over a sandy plaine[.] in the after noon it began to rain[e] this furnished us with plenty of water for the stock[.] camped with out wood[.] here we found plenty of Antilope[.] killed severil[.] continued our journey to Wood river[.] this is a fine stream of water runing through a level plaine and emptys it self into the Platt[e] river[.] here we found a sign of the Poineers [Pioneers] and a letter that gave us much joy[.] I will here say that once in a while we could find the trail of the Poineers here we found where they had killed eleven Buffalow but no new sign of Buffalow[.] saw but few Indians here[.] we were amongst the Paunieges [Pawnees.] continued our journey to elm crick [creek.] here we found Plenty of Buffalow[.] here the camped all staoped to hunt[.] I selected five men in my company and started about eleven Oclock and returned the next night with some twenty five hundred lbs of meet[.] this cheared the camp[.] continued our journey until near chimney rock when the cattle of our fifty took a stampeed and they lost many cattle[.] they stoped the whole camp and I had to let fourteen yoke of Oxen go out of my company[.] this weakened our teams so that we could move but slow as our lodes [loads] were he[a]vy and the cattle began to dy [die.] here we made slow headway when near Larime [Laramie] we met Curnel [Colonel] Cane [Thomas Kane] from California with a bout forty men[.] here we met Brother Jerry Miah [Jeremiah] Willey returning from the battalion or the Mexican war[.] here we herd from the Poineers[.] this gave us all much joy[.] continued our journey to Fort Larime [Laramie.] here we bought severil yoke of Oxen repared our wagons set tier [tire] &c found the Platt[e] river very low so that we could ford it with out difficulty[.] made our way over the black hills[.] here we struck the old Californy [California] road and we found altho a hilly road[e] that we could travil much easier yet our teams were worn out and many of the cattle dying and made slow headway[.] here we left the Buffalow that we had used plenty of them for the last three hundread miles but the antilopes were quite plenty and we killed many of them[.] this was great help to the camp for food made our journey more agreeable altho it pased off slow had but few axidents[.] one day as we were traviling one of Parley P. Pratts children fell out of the wagon and the wheal run over the childs body and it was picked up for dead but too or three elders were caled out laid there hands on the Child and it was made whole This is one among the many that was healed by the Ordinance of laying of the hands[.] we held metings on the sabath in our various companies and the Gifts of the Gospel atended the camp in all our travils[.] met with the Lamanites all most daley but they seamed friendly and glad to see us[.] when we arived at the up[p]er crossing of the Platt[e] we met severil of the Poineers [pioneers] on there way back after there families[.] this gave us fresh courage altho our teams quite feeble and hardley able to move the camp but by the blessing of God we continued our journey and met the first Presidency of the Church on a stream caled the little sandy[.] here we caled a halt and they gave us a brief acount of the Valey with many instructions pertaining to the coarse that the camp should persue when we got into the Valey[.] this was chearing to the camp as we had but about too hundread miles to travil before we could begin to build and inhabit[.] altho in the midst of the wild men of the mountains yet our Spirits were refreshed and it seamed as though our burdens were light altho we were woren out with the long and tedious journey[.] when we got to Big Sandy there fell about four inches of snow this was about the first of september and the wether cold the ground frozen some but after too or three days the wether turned warm and we were able to travil on[.] the most of the saints were obliged to walk on foot and many with out shoes but after a long journey of all most four months we landed in Great Salt Lake Valey on the twnety fourth of September 1847[.] All well and not a death had been while on the journey in my company of four hundread Souls yet severil children were born on the way.

Asa's brother Hugh Barton

Asa's sister Matilda Jane Barton

Asa's brother John Samuel Barton

Perrigrine Sessions, Captain of the Wagon Train


This page last updated on April 19, 2012 .