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Samuel J Adair was a Mormon Convert from Mississippi who followed Brigham Young the Mormons to Utah. In 1857, Young called him to lead a group of about 10 Southern families on a Cotton Farming mission and settle Washington, Utah.
The couple married in lived in Pickens County, Alabama until about 1840, then they had three children born in Itawamba Co. About 1845 they moved to Illinois/Iowa area where the last two children were born.
Samuel J. Adair was born March 28, 1806, in Laurens County, South Carolina. The Adair and Mangum families were closely associated, with both families moving to Pickens County, Alabama about 1828-29. Samuel married Gemima Mangum and five children were born to them while in Alabama. This same group then moved to Fulton, Itawamba County, Mississippi. It was here they first learned of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, becoming members in 1845. Shortly after they moved to Nauvoo, they were forced to leave the area in the winter of 1846. They then made residence in Iowa, and while there, due to improper food, unhealthy drinking water and general unhealthy living conditions, many died. Three of Samuel's children, his wife Gemima and mother, Rebecca Brown Adair, passed away.
In 1852 the group left and traveled to Utah with a large company of Mormons. They endured the usual hardships of the trek across the plains. Before they left Iowa, Samuel took David L. Sechrist, an orphaned child, to raise. While on the plains he adopted two more children that apparently had lost their parents. These children were Alfred and Ann Catherine Chestnut (Kerry Petersen’s note: actually he found three including Sarah and raised Alfred and Ann). When they arrived in Salt Lake City, Alfred recognized his real father's team of horses, but the supposed owner told Samuel to shut the boy up or he would shut him up himself. Some real skullduggery had to have taken place in Iowa. Samuel Adair raised these three children as his own. The Adairs and Mangums, after arriving in Utah, first settled in the Payson-Nephi area.
1857 Cotton Mission
While living there, they were called by Brigham Young to go south to settle the southwest part of the state and grow cotton. Being Southerners, they had grown cotton or at least had seen it grown. Samuel J. Adair was the leader of this group consisting of ten southern families.
They left the Payson area in March 3, 1857 and arrived in "Dixie" on April 15, 1857. The group explored the area and in May 1857 they met with the Covington group at what is now called Adair Springs and laid out the town of Washington, naming it after President George Washington. Samuel and his family resided in Washington for 20 years. During this time they called the area "Dixie" after their southern homeland. Samuel's brother, Thomas J. Adair and Mary, Thomas's wife, are given credit for having the first white child, a girl, born in Washington City. Their daughter was born on the same day they entered the area, and she is recognized as the first white child born in Washington, Utah. They named this legacy baby, Mary Elizabeth Adair. The Adairs owned six lots of land in Block 35 in Washington on which they built homes for their families. Samuel J. was one of them. Only John Milton Adair's home still remains.
Samuel Jefferson's son, Samuel Newton Adair, became a well-known Washington citizen and Indian missionary. The records show that Samuel Jefferson had three children from Anne Catharine Laustdatter (Mattisen) in Denmark between 1839 and 1846 [Kerry’s note: this is incorrect - he married her after getting to Utah and never had any children with her]. He remarried her in Salt Lake City in 1864. This was no doubt to fulfill his belief that he needed to do this to satisfy his church's creed. Anne Catharine also appears in the Washington City census of 1870, showing she lived a long life with Samuel. He was the father of twelve children and raised three adopted ones. During his stay in Washington he did some traveling. On one trip to Payson in 1858 his son Rufus was inintentionally killed, by a pistol shot. He went to California in 1860 and stayed there until 1861 [Kerry’s note: incorrect -- he never went to California]. Later in life he moved to Nutrioso, Arizona, to settle that area. He passed away in Nutrioso on July 6, 1889. One of his last statements to his children and friends was that he never raised his voice against the authorities of his church; neither did he fail to fill any mission to which he had been called. He died as he lived, a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. None of the Adairs appear in the 1880 Washington census. They had gradually moved or had been called to resettle other areas including Minersville, Utah; Beaver, Utah; Panaca, Nevada and Nutrioso, Arizona. Even though the Adairs left the Washington City area in the 1870s, a large posterity of this family lives today in this same general area and the western part of the United States.
1830 US Federal Census
1830 US: Pickens Co., Alabama, roll 2, pages 111- 112. The first three related families all on the same page and the next four related families are on the next page:
- Thos. Peeks, males 0-5:1; 5-10:1; 20-30:1; females 0-5:1; 5-10:1; 10-15:1; 30-40:1.
- John Mangum, males 5-10:1; 10-15:2; 15-20:1; 60-70:1; females 0-5:1; 5-10:1; 10-15:1; 30-40:1.
- Cyrus Mangum, males 20-30:1; females 0-5:1; 15-20:1.
- Saml. Carson, males 20-30:1; females 20-30:1; 80-90:1.
- Saml. Adair, males 20-30:1; females 20-30:1.
- Thos. Adair, males 5-10:1; 10-15:1; 15-20:1; 50-60:1; females 0-5:1; 5-10:1; 10-15:1; 40-50:1.
- Daniel Clark (next door), males 0-5:1; 30-40:1; females 0-5:1; 20-30:1.