DILLINGHAM HORTON ELLEDGE and Elizabeth Nations Elledge were converted to the LDS Church in the late 1870's in northern Georgia. With their family they moved to the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado, together with other converts from the Southern States Mission, who came there by train in organized "companies," under the direction of LDS Church leaders.
In doing some research, I found a book called MORMON COLONIZATION OF THE SAN LUIS VALLEY, COLORADO, 1878-1900; which was a BYU Master's Thesis. Reference to "D.H. Elledge" (Dillingham Horton Elledge, my 3rd great-grandfather) occurs a couple of times in the thesis about the San Luis Valley: first, that he purchased a flour mill for the colony at Manassa, in partnership with Silas S. Smith, a cousin of the Prophet Joseph Smith, who came from Utah to the San Luis Valley in 1880, after being appointed president of the newly created San Juan mission (Silas S. Smith led the expedition down through Hole-In-The-Rock in 1879, with Platte DeAlton Lyman, son of Amasa M. Lyman and Eliza Maria Partridge, as assistant captain).
The second reference to D.H. Elledge in the BYU thesis states that he was one of the Stake High Council, called in early June 1883 when the stake was first organized, under direction of Joseph F. Smith, Wilford Woodruff, and Brigham Young, Jr. The number of Saints in the valley had grown to over 800 by this time, and Manassa, Ephraim, and Richfield were each established as wards, and the settlement of Los Cerritos was made an independent branch.
"Since early 1881 it had become evident that a bad feeling was growing between the Saints from Utah and those from the South, because of the differing customs and cultural backgrounds of the two groups." The Saints from Utah had been placed in most of the leadership positions in spite of being much fewer in numbers, and many of them spoke their native Scandinavian languages much better than English, and tended to congregate with their own kind. The Saints from the South, being native-born Americans, found it difficult to be subjected to patronizing instruction on everything from church doctrine to farming and irrigation practices from the Scandinavians, many of whom tended to be rather stern, overbearing, inflexible, pessimistic, and quick-tempered; opposite to the Southerners' generally easygoing, genial, and sociable ways. It appears that the social habits and customs of the Scandinavians were perceived by the Southerners as being very unfriendly, unkind, and cold. One of the southern Saints in the valley, H.P. Dotson, wrote numerous letters to the Deseret Evening News during the course of 1881, generally reporting on the progress of the settlements in the valley; however, several of them also contained remarks which gave indication of disharmony among the Saints. On one occasion he wrote,

"Some of the brethren here speak of returning whence they came. They say they cannot make a living here, and truly the prospect looks a little gloomy at times, especially to those who have no money to purchase supplies. There is another drawback to many who have gathered to this valley. They expected to find a people -- all who call themselves Latter-day Saints -- purer, more refined, and especially clearer of what are vulgarly called 'cuss words,' than any other people; but when they hear those professing to be Latter-day Saints use such words as 'd--n,' 'h--l,' etc., unsparingly upon trivial occasions, it throws a damper upon us, to say the least. But a little reflection will show that we should not expect to find all who call themselves Saints, just what they should be."


The ill-feeling and lack of co-operation between the two groups soon caused a noticeable reduction in the rate of spiritual and temporal progress in the Colorado settlements. In February 1883, William L. Ball was released from his position as Presiding Elder over the Manassa Branch because of apostasy. He had gone on a mission to the Southern States but then returned to Manassa and began stirring up disaffection. Also anti-Mormon opposition began being stirred up by the press in Colorado in 1884, especially in the Denver Tribune. Apostate members of the Church (especially ex-Bishop Ball, angered at being excommunicated), fed false information to the press about the Church, claiming that, among other things, political corruption and manipulation was going on. The combination of frontier hardships, opposition from without, and dissension from within took its toll in the form of a large number of Saints who desired to disassociate themselves from the Church. In 1884 a total of 60 persons were excommunicated from the Church, mostly at their own request, and quite a few more had become totally inactive in the Church. It is not known to what degree the Elledge family was affected by these events, but it appears that they remained active and faithful, except for one or two of their children.
Dillingham Horton Elledge's wife, Elizabeth Nations, had at least one brother (Thomas J.) and a sister (Frances) who also joined the LDS Church. In the book HOUSE OF NATIONS / GATHERING OF THE NATIONS, it tells of the circumstances of Elizabeth's brother Thomas Jefferson Nations coming to Colorado.

After his first wife died in Georgia, leaving him a widower with three children, Thomas Jefferson Nations "left his children temporarily with their grandparents while he went to Colorado to seek a better way of life (his older sister Elizabeth Nations Elledge had already settled there). Life there was also hard, but there were opportunities for work. He established a freight line from Antonito to Manassa, and life was better for him. (He was baptized into the LDS Church in 1882 in Colorado, and after remarrying in 1883 to Amanda Echols) ... he brought his children from Georgia to a new home in Manassa.
Because the winters were so severe in Colorado, the family moved to Pima, Graham County, Arizona early in 1886. The Nations family lived in Pima from 1886-1892. During this time, Thomas J. continued to use his freight teams and wagons. Now the freight line was from Wilcox to Globe, across the Apache Indian Reservation. The Apaches were very hostile at this time, so the route was extremely dangerous. From 1892 to 1895, Thomas J. operated a sawmill on Mt. Graham, and the family lived in Thatcher, a short distance from Pima. In 1895, Thomas J. and his brother-in-law Benjamin Echols moved to the Duncan Valley on the Gila River, and took up homesteads. Thomas J. kept his teams busy by contracting to build reservoirs for the cattle ranchers in the area, and by building the Model Canal to carry water from the Gila River to the homesteaded land. The settlement created by the homesteaders was called Franklin."


Interestingly, one of Thomas J. Nations' daughters, Annie Nations, born in 1889 in Pima, AZ; married in 1908 in AZ, Homer Byron Elledge. He had been born in 1885 in Grand Junction, Colorado, the son of George Washington Elledge and grandson of Dillingham Horton Elledge and Elizabeth Nations. So apparently many of the Elledges had moved to Arizona along with the Nations. Dillingham H. Elledge had died in Manassa, Colorado in 1895, and his widow Elizabeth Nations Elledge died in Franklin, Arizona in 1912. This tiny town is on the Gila River east of Thatcher and Safford, near the Arizona-New Mexico border. It appears that after the death of her husband, Elizabeth moved to Arizona to be near some of her children's families, several of whom had moved to the Gila River Valley. Apparently none of the Elledges or Nations stayed in the Manassa area.
I wish I knew more about these families. I just recently discovered that Dillingham H. Elledge, who is buried in Manassa, had served as an officer in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He was over 40 years old at that time, and served as a Captain (commander of 100 men) in G Company of the 36th Infantry Regiment of Georgia. His military records state that he was from Whitfield County, Georgia, and enlisted on 20 Jan 1862, serving for about 21 months before resigning his commission Oct 15, 1863 because of a disease of the liver (possibly acute hepatitis).


Information Compiled
by Karen Bray Keeley

INTERNET Adaptation
by Sandra S. Bray