Mount Carmel in Kane County, Utah — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Meribah Morton Behunin and Elmina Tyler Behunin
Mormon Pioneer, Early Utah Settler and
Credited with the naming of Zion Canyon
Early Mormon Pioneer
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
First Settler of Ephraim, Utah
Isaac and his family were sent to Provo within a few days after arriving in Salt Lake City in September 1850. His ten children were listed in the 1851 Utah Census as Philo, age 22; Isaac M., 18; William, 16; Andrew, 15; Alma, 13; Nancy, 10; Stephen, 7; Hyrum, 5; Elijah, 3; and Almina, 6 months. In 1852 Isaac moved to Sanpete County and was the first settler in Ephraim. He and his family lived alone on Pine Creek in a dugout during the winter of 1852. They farmed 40 acres of ground during the summer of 1853 and then were forced to Manti because of Indian trouble. Isaac and his sons served in the Sanpete Militia. They helped build "The Little Fort" and later, a larger fort in Ephriam [sic]. "Behunin's Ditch" ran kitty-corner through the little fort. Isaac and his sons also helped to build the small and the large fort in Manti. Isaac's son William was killed by Indians while serving a mission at Elk Mountain near Moab. His sons Isaac Morton, Stephen Mosiah and Elijah Cutler became well known early pioneers in Sanpete, Emery and Wayne Counties. Isaac lived in Sanpete County until 1861 when he was called to the "Cotton Mission" in Southern Utah.
Gave Zion Canyon Its Name
Isaac was one of the early settlers
Meribah Morton Behunin
Meribah Morton was born March 16, 1804, to Isaac and Nancy Morton in Williston, Vermont.
After Meribah and Isaac married, they moved back to Williston for about two years, where, according to a family story, Meribah gave brth to twins who died in infancy. In 1826 they returned to Richland where three sons were born: Philo M. in 1828, Isaac M. in 1831, and William M. in 1833.
Meribah quick-claimed [sic - quit-claimed] her Vermont property to her mother in 1832. She and Isaac joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) in 1833 and moved with the Saints to Kirtland, Ohio. On July 8, 1834, Meribah died in Kirtland due to unknown causes. She was only 30 years of age. Speculation is that her death was due to health problems, coupled with the hardships of frontier life.
Elmina Tyler Behunin
Elmina Tyler married Isaac Behunin October 1, 1834, at the age of 23; he was 31 years of age. The third of eleven children, Elmina was born to Andrew and Elizabeth Cummins Tyler on April 23, 1811, in Soponias, Cuyuga, [sic - Sempronius, Cayuga County] New York. She was the sixth generation of Tylers in America, and her progenitors were among the first immigrants from England.
In addition to rearing the three children from Isaac's first marriage, Elmina gave birth to nine children of her own: Andrew, Alma, Polly, Nancy, Meribah, Steven Mosiah, Hyrum, Elijah Cutler, Almina, and Benjamin. Polly and Benjamin died in infancy. She taught her children to read, write, and understand the scriptures. Reports indicate that Isaac would say in the evenings, "Mother, read that scripture to us again." Other accounts state that she sometimes taught school.
Elmina, a hearty pioneer woman with stron religious convictions, endured the hardships of the "driving of the Saints" from Ohio to Utah. During the 46 years of her married life, she moved and setup households at least a dozen times in frontier communities under very adverse conditions. She died September 29, 1883, at age 72 and was buried in Ferron, Utah.
Dedicated October 2, 1993 by Fenton Moss
Erected 1993 by Isaac Behunin Memorial Committee.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Churches & Religion • Exploration • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 37° Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Mount Carmel UT 84755, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Settlement of Long Valley and Mt. Carmel / Dr. Priddy Meeks (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Historic Dixie-Long Valley, Utah Pioneer Trail (approx. 2.3 miles away); Cemetery at Orderville (approx. 2.4 miles away); United Order Industries (approx. 2˝ miles away); Old Rock Schoolhouse (approx. 2.6 miles away); Orderville Bell (approx. 2.6 miles away); Glendale (approx. 6.2 miles away); The Berry Family (approx. 6.2 miles away).
Also see . . . Isaac Behunin Grave Site. (Submitted on February 22, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 6, 2020. It was originally submitted on February 22, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,675 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 22, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. 7. submitted on June 21, 2014, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. 8. submitted on February 22, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.