C. Allen Huntington
Clark Allen Huntington was one of the young men who carried members of the Martin Handcart Company across the Sweetwater River in 1856. While the handcart companies traveled across the plains, the Saints were carried across rivers many times, but what is notable about the service of Clark and others is the extreme conditions of cold and wind and the time of year that the Saints labored under while they traveled toward Salt Lake City.
Clark Allen “Al” Huntington was born on December 6, 1831, in Watertown, New York, to Dimick B. Huntington and Fannie Marie Allen. Hyrum Smith taught them the gospel and the family was baptized. Al was baptized in May 1841. Like many of the Saints, the Huntington family first moved to Kirtland, Ohio, then to Far West, Missouri, then to Nauvoo, Illinois. Dimick helped construct both the Kirtland and Nauvoo temples. He was the coroner of Nauvoo and helped prepare the bodies of Joseph Smith and Hyrum after they were murdered. Al sometimes accompanied his father in his duties.
Al went with his father, along with the rest of the family, when he served in the Mormon Battalion. Al was 16 years old at the time. The family arrived in Salt Lake City in July 1847.
Al, at the age of 24, helped bring companies of immigrants across the plains. When he was eighteen years old, he was part of the group of men who were dispatched to help the Saints in the Willie and Martin handcart companies and the Hodgetts and Hunt wagon companies.
He wrote: “The people of the Martin Company were all very weak, and they had little strength to move. Large chunks of ice were floating on the river, and it seemed impossible to help these people across the river. It looked like sure death to step into the freezing stream. I saw men who had once been strong sit on the frozen ground and weep with their wives and children.
- George, David and I knew that the Lord wanted these Saints to get across this river. We plunged into the icy water, and we carried nearly every one of the members of this company across the frozen, ice-clogged stream. We know we were doing the work of the Lord, and the Lord gave us the strength to complete this task.
When President Brigham Young heard of the kindness and courage of the young men, he wept. He later said in public, “That act alone will ensure C. Allen Huntington, George W. Grant, and David P. Kimball an everlasting salvation in the Celestial Kingdom of God, worlds without end.”
Al was a Pony Express Rider and a body guard for Brigham Young; both for a short time.
He married Rosanna Galloway and they had seven children, three of which died young. He and his father, Dimick, served as interpreters, and helped strike a peace treaty with several Ute Tribes.
He relocated his family in Sulphur Creek, California, and lived in Sacramento for awhile. He traveled extensively in Southern Utah and Arizona. He wanted to return to Utah to be with the Saints, but his wife wouldn’t return with him. He worked as a hired hand at Lee’s Ferry on the Colorado River and later Kanab, Utah, at the end of his life. He was an associate of Buffalo Bill.
Clark Allen Huntington passed away November 16, 1896 at the home of Warren Johnson and was interred in the Kanab City Cemetery in Kanab, Utah.