Lucy Gunn, 26
Isaac Morley and Lucy Gunn were both originally from Montague, Franklin County, Massachusetts, and were civilly married there in 1812, before moving to Kirtland, Ohio, where they joined Alexander Campbell’s restorationist movement. In 1830, they were among the first converts to Joseph Smith’s Church of Jesus Christ and, within the year had relocated to build Zion in Independence, Missouri, where Isaac served as a bishop. The family endured several years of anti-Mormon attacks before joining the Latter-day Saints’ forced exodus to Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1839. Their marriage became polygamous most likely in the fall of 1843 when Isaac and (Abigail) Leonora Snow Leavitt were sealed for eternity.
Leonora Snow was born in Massachusetts, but at an early age her family moved to Mantua, Ohio, about thirty miles south of Kirtland. She was civilly married to Enoch Virgil Leavitt in late 1821. After having three children together, Abigail left Enoch in 1830 for unknown reasons. Several years before, she had joined the Campbellite movement along with her siblings and parents and certainly knew the Morleys. Her sister Eliza R. Snow was one of the original leaders of the women’s Relief Society and her brother Lorenzo later became president of the Church. Leonora seems to have relied on her close ties to family for support rather than remarrying during the many difficult years from Kirtland to Far West and eventually Nauvoo. No later than December of 1843, she was sealed for eternity to Isaac Morley in Nauvoo.
In 1844, Isaac was sealed for eternity to his second plural wife, Hannah Blakeslee Finch Marriam. When her first husband, Edwin Parker Merriam, died at Nauvoo in 1842, Hannah was likely a relatively new member of the church. Originally from Connecticut, Hannah had married Edwin in 1831 and the couple had three children. By 1840, they were living in Springfield, Illinois, a likely indication that they were not Latter-day Saints at the time of their settlement in Illinois, since the main body of Saints had put down roots in Hancock County.
Isaac would not marry again until January 1846, when he was sealed for eternity to four women and for time to a fifth, during the preparations to leave Nauvoo. Hannah Knight Libby was a Methodist from Maine who joined the Church of Jesus Christ in June 1834, with six of her nine living children by husband John C. Carter. Hannah and John left Maine in 1842 and purchased property in Morley Settlement near Nauvoo. When the Saints were forced to go west, Hannah elected to go with them and her children and John refused to join, thus effectively ending their marriage. Before leaving she was sealed for eternity to Isaac Morley. John too would marry again, twice. She crossed the plains with her eldest son’s family and, upon arrival lived near Isaac and some of his other wives in Sanpete county. In her later years she moved to Provo to be near her son until her death at age eighty-one.
Originally from New York, Harriet Lucinda Cox married Charles Jackson in 1840 in Portage County, Ohio. Though information is sparse, it appears that Harriet joined the church and came to Nauvoo without her husband, who remarried in 1850. After her sealing to Isaac Morley, Harriet migrated to Utah sometime before mid-1851, living with the Morley family until her death in 1854.
Nancy Ann Bach and her Irish husband John Buchanan III were baptized on September 8, 1835 along with all of their children. They moved to Missouri and were included in the subsequent mobbing. By late 1839, they had moved again to Lima, Illinois, three miles south of Morley Settlement where John died at the age of fifty-three. The following year Isaac Morley was appointed as stake president of Lima. Nancy moved her family thirty miles to Nauvoo to escape the violence beginning in the outlying settlements. Widowed for seven years, Nancy was sealed to Isaac for eternity in the newly dedicated temple on eve leaving Nauvoo in 1846. With her adult children, Nancy travelled west and arrived in Utah in 1852. She settled Manti, in proximity to the Morley clan and her own children, until her death in 1884. After her death, the family amended her marital status by sealing her to their father, John Buchanan III, by proxy in the Manti Temple, June 17, 1896.
New Yorker Ellen Mills Tuttle was the widow of shipbuilder Terry Tuttle who died in 1826. Three of their five children lived to adulthood. She joined the Church in 1836, as did her children, and they left for Missouri in 1838. According to family history, the Tuttles then settled in Lima and when burned out of that farm by mobs, Isaac Morley sheltered them. Ellen was sealed to to Isaac Morley in Nauvoo in 1846; she crossed the plains with her sons and their families in the summer of 1852. Isaac invited them to settle Manti and the family agreed. Like Nancy, Ellen lived the remainder of her life in proximity to both her Tuttle children and the Morley family.
Elizabeth “Betsey” Bradford Pinkham and her family were living in Quincy, Illinois by 1839, when her first husband Nathan died there. In January 1846, Elizabeth was sealed for eternity by proxy to Nathan Pinkham and for time to Isaac Morley, perhaps contemplating joining the westward trek to the Utah territory. Although her daughter Elmira migrated to Utah, in the end Betsey chose to stay with her daughter Caroline and son Nathan Jr. who both remained in Quincy. She died there in 1866.
After migrating to Utah, Isaac was sealed for eternity to at least one woman and possibly two. Ann Dayer Spooner, a widow, who immigrated in 1854 to Utah from Wales with her three children. In 1856 she was sealed for eternity to Isaac Morley. In 1875 she was married to Daniel Symonds Andrew. She died in Mesa, Arizona, in 1886.
Very little is known about Sarah Scott, except that she was an immigrant from Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, who had one child in 1815 who died shortly thereafter. Sarah joined the church in 1845 and married Isaac Morley in 1862. She died, most likely in Utah, in 1880.
As for Isaac’s first plural marriages, Hannah Marriam and her children migrated to Utah in 1848 and helped settle Sanpete County in 1849 when Isaac was called to lead the first Latter-day Saint settlement there. Hannah remained in Manti until her death in 1874. Leonora Snow Leavitt did not travel with Isaac to Utah in 1848. She was still living in Illinois in 1850, though she appears to have migrated to Utah sometime between then and 1854, where she settled far to the north in Brigham City near her brother Lorenzo. She died in Brigham City in 1872. Isaac’s first wife Lucy Gunn became ill at Winter Quarters and died in January 1848. Isaac died in Fairview, Sanpete County in 1864.
Bergera, Gary James. “Identifying the Earliest Mormon Polygamists, 1841–1844,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 38, no.3 (Fall 2005): 1–74, 15–16.
Beecher, Maureen Ursenbach, and Paul Thomas Smith. “Snow, Lorenzo,” s.v., in The Encyclopedia of Mormonism. https://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Snow,_Lorenzo. Accessed 13 Aug 2020.
“Chronology,” The Discourses of Eliza R. Snow, https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/eliza-r-snow/events?lang=eng. Accessed 13 Aug 2020.
“Dayer, Ann (LD34-FTD),” “Mills, Eleanor (KWJ5-GTW),” “Morley, Isaac (KWVM-MGR),” “Scott, Sarah (LD34-N9S),” FamilySearch, https://www.familysearch.org/
“Morley, Abigail Leonora Snow Leavitt Morley,” The First Fifty Years of Relief Society, https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/the-first-fifty-years-of-relief-society/people/abigail-leonora-snow-leavitt-morley?letter=M&lang=eng
“Morley, Isaac,” The Joseph Smith Papers, https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/person/isaac-morley