WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
(road builder, rancher, farmer, merchant, miner)
BIOGRAPHYIsaac Duffin was born December 31, 1826 in Bankhouse, East Crompton, Lancashire, England.
Isaac's father died when he was eleven years old. The next year, the family joined the Mormon Church. His mother began working at merchandising to support her children and stepchildren, and Isaac was a willing helper. Isaac was described as five-feet seven inches tall, strong and stocky, weighing 15 ? pounds with blue eye, light hair and clear rosy skin.
Isaac served a mission in England from 1843-1848.
In 1848, he met and courted Mary Fielding. He soon sailed for America and lived near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, working for funds to send for his brother and sweetheart. Isaac and Mary were married June 8, 1849 at Manayunk, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, the day she arrived in America.
Isaac & Mary went west, Mary by boat to St Louis, Isaac and his brother by land, meeting her there. He purchased a covered wagon and they crossed the plains to the Great Salt Lake Valley in 1850. Isaac built an adobe house and worked as a brickmaker in Salt Lake City.
The next year, he was enlisted in J. A. Hunter's Company for one month; he and nine others were sent to retrieve the Church cattle from Sanpete County. While camped at Clover Creek, Juab County, they skirmished with Indians and he was wounded in one knee, shattering the knee cap, which caused him problems all his life.
Isaac was called on a mission in 1853, to Fort Supply, a re-supply station for those travelling west.
The family lived in Ogden, Weber, Utah Territory, in 1856, then moved back to Salt Lake City. In 1860, Isaac was a laborer, living with Mary and six children in Salt Lake City. He was actively engaged in building roads until 1862.
In 1862, Isaac was called to go to Dixie to engineer the building of roads there. He sold his house and all his holdings in Salt Lake City and moved his family to Toquerville. He started a mercantile business and engaged in stock raising and farming. He also freighted produce to Pioche, Nevada. He sponsored a silver mine (Duffin mine) five miles southwest of Toquerville, near the Virgin River. He shipped his ore to Pioche until the mills opened at Silver Reef. He made grindstones from slabs quarried from the famous Tecumseh Ledge in Silver Reef, hauling some of them to Pioche. It is claimed that it was one of his grindstones that included silver ore and led to the discovery at Silver Reef. Isaac was made a naturalized citizen in 1865, and served one term in the Territorial Legislature of the Utah Territory. In 1866, he enlisted and served six months as 3rd Lt. in J. D. L. Pearce's Company of the Utah Territorial Militia. In 1870, he was a farmer, living with Mary and eight children in Toquerville (at that time, part of Kane County). He served as Kane County treasurer in 1874. In 1880, he was a farmer, living with Mary and five children. He was an authorized agent for the Salt Lake Daily and semi-weekly Herald newspapers. He operated the Duffin Store in Leeds.
He was called on a mission to England in 1880 or 1881, however after eight months he returned due to ill health.
Isaac died February 26, 1883 in Toquerville. He was buried in the Toquerville Cemetery.
Mary died September 18, 1905 in Toquerville. She was also buried in the Toquerville Cemetery.
A research report by Elaine Young, PhD.
Find-A-Grave entry for Isaac Duffin
Find-A-Grave entry for Mary Fielding Duffin