Biography of Isaac B. Nash

Isaac Bartlett Nash is one of the early settlers and highly respected citizens of Franklin, where he has made his home since 1864. He became a resident of Salt Lake City in 1849, and ‘s a native of Wales, his birth having occurred in Kedwelly, Carmarthenshire, on the 14th of June 1824. He was educated in his native country and spent seven years as an apprentice to the blacksmith’s trade, after which he worked at the business there until 1849.

In the year 1847 he was converted to the faith of the Latter Day Saints, and it was this which determined him to go to Salt Lake. He joined a company that started from Wales under the leadership of Captain Dan Jones and sailed in the ship Buena Vista, which was a new vessel, just starting on her first voyage. At length the company arrived at New Orleans, where they took passage on the old steamboat Constitution for St. Louis. The cholera was then raging in the latter place and twenty-one of the emigrants died during the first night and were buried in the morning. On the way to St. Joseph they buried sixty-four of their number. The burials occurred in the morning at eight o’clock and in the afternoon at four, and it was not infrequent that some of those who assisted at the sad rites of the morning were themselves cold in death at the time of the afternoon burial. Mr. Nash buried his grandmother in the same grave with eight others. Mrs. Nash and another lady were all who were able to assist in caring for the sick, and Mrs. Nash suffered an attack of the disease but recovered. Whole families were swept away by the dread plague, and the first experience of the emigrants in America was attended with great sorrow. From Council Bluffs they crossed the plains with ox teams. Mr. Nash came to this country in company with a Mrs. Lewis, who paid the expenses of twenty-four families from Wales to Salt Lake. He worked there for a time, and in 1852 went to the mines in Sonora county, California, where he met with moderate success, but when the floods came the work was all swept away and much suffering followed on account of the scarcity of provisions and the high prices demanded for all such commodities. Flour sold for a dollar and a half per pound, potatoes one dollar per pound, and everything else was equally high. The brother-in-law of Mr. Nash had a child sick with smallpox and offered a handful of gold dust for six crackers for the little one, but could not get them. Flour became so scarce that it could not be had at any price. A Mr. Ford, the owner of a store there, had a large amount of flour, which he was holding for higher prices. Another dealer offered him one hundred and fifty dollars per hundred, so that he could sell it and supply the people, but Ford refused the offer and demanded two hundred dollars a hundred. Failing to sell at the latter figure, the heavy rains leaked in upon his flour, and about the same time the Mexicans came with large amounts of flour, packing it with mules, so that Ford was finally forced to sell the flour which had not been ruined by the rain at five cents per pound, which seemed like a just retribution upon the man for his greed and inhumanity.

Later Mr. Nash returned to San Francisco and crossed the bay to Union City, where he purchased land, built a house and shop and carried on the blacksmith business there until 1856, getting six dollars for shoeing a span of horses. He made and saved money, purchased a span of mules and in 1856 sold his property there and returned to Salt Lake City. He had been married in Wales to Miss Eliza Morris, a native of that country, and she accompanied him in all his journeyings until they arrived in Salt Lake City, but finally she left him and went with another man, and in 1852 Mr. Nash married Hester E. Pool, from Prince Edwards Island, who has since been to him a faithful companion and helpmeet on life’s journey.

Mr. Nash continued to work at his trade in his own shop until 1859, at which time he returned to the states with the children that were saved from the Mountain Meadow massacre. In company with Dr. Forney he took them back, having been commissioned by President Young to accomplish that task, and acted as commissary on the journey to St. Louis. He remained in the latter city until 1864; working at his trade, and during the civil war was thrice arrested on account of things, which he said in favor of the south. In each case the British consul secured his release, and he finally took the oath of neutrality, after which he had no more trouble. Later he took the oath of allegiance to the government at Washington and became a naturalized citizen and a Republican. He returned to Salt Lake City and from there came to Franklin in 1864, since which date he has been the industrious village blacksmith at this place and an active and useful member of his church. In it he has served as elder, as one of the seventy, as high priest, and is now a patriarch. He has also been a very active Sunday-school worker and, possessing an excellent voice, has contributed much to the musical service of the meetings. When he first came to Franklin he purchased property and became the owner of a house and shop. He has made an honorable living through his efforts at the forge, and in addition to the income derived from that line of business he has that which comes from his forty-acre farm, which is planted to hay and grain.

While in St. Louis, as he and his wife had no children, they took three orphan children into their home. Two of them died, but the other, Ellen, was reared by them as their own, and they loved her dearly and she them. She is now the wife of William Parkinson, president of the stake at Pocatello. Twelve children were born to Mr. Nash by his present wife, of whom eight are yet living. The three sons are all blacksmiths and are partners of their father. They are Andrew B., Isaac H. and David, and the daughters are Estella, Emenetta, Rhodessa, Nellie and Laura. Mr. Nash and his family have a good home and enjoy the respect of all who know them.



Illustrated History of the State of Idaho. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company. 1899.

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1 thought on “Biography of Isaac B. Nash”

  1. So great to be able to read this.
    Isaac B Nash was my great great grandfather.
    You omitted one huge fact – he was a polygamist and had two wives. That was a big part of the reason he was put in jail.

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