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Isaac Behunin

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 Ephraim.
"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

Meribah Morton Behunin

Meribah Morton was born March 16, 1804 to Isaac and Nancy Morton in
Williston, Vermont. The Mortons retained their Vermont property, but due to
harsh winters between 1820-1820, they moved with a general exodus to uppper
New York. On December 28, 1824, at the age of 19, she married Isaac Behunin
who was then 20 years of age.

After Meribah and Isaac married, they moved back to Williston for about two
years, where, according to a family story, Meribah gave birth 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 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.

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