Articles published in the Blue Mountain Panorama

This blog was created to preserve digitally, articles written by Janet Wilcox for the Blue Mountain Panorama. This newspaper is published in Blanding, Utah by Neil and Becky Joslin. By publishing digitally, more photographs can be added, and your comments and corrections can be quickly noted. Thanks for reading my articles in the newspaper, as well as on the Internet. If you have ideas for stories, please contact me at

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bayles Posterity Builds Cabin at Bluff Fort --Easter 2011

by Janet Wilcox  and Peggy Bayles Palmer (Granddaughter of Hanson and Evelyn Lyman Bayles); All photos by Peggy Bayles Palmer

Dwight Bayles family

When Hanson Bayles received the call to join other Latter Day Saints establishing a mission along the San Juan, he didn’t hedge or hesitate, but joined the cause.  Neither did dozens of his descendants flinch when they united 131 years later to build a commemorative Bayles cabin at the Bluff Fort to recognizing the sacrifice and courage of their common ancestor. 

Their grandfather, Hanson Bayles was born Nov 27, 1857 in Parowan, Utah to Herman Daggett and Anna Frederikka Easter Bayles.  On April 1879 when he was 21 years old, Hanson was called by the General Authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to accompany an exploring party to find a southern route to the San Juan . He left his sweetheart Mary Ann Durham behind in Parowan. Crossing at Lee’s Ferry and traveling through Northern Arizona, they reached the present site of Bluff, Utah in June 1879.  He then returned back home to Parowan.  

Later that fall the full expedition set out again for San Juan with Hanson herding some of his own cattle while he helped manage the large herd of livestock that accompanied the party.  In April, 1880, the weary pioneers finally pulled into Bluff after their grueling six month journey. Next to the San Juan River they built a fort, their cabins, and established the San Juan Mission.  This trek was named the Hole-in-the-Rock expedition. 

In the fall of 1880 Hanson returned to Parowan to marry Mary Ann in Oct. in the St. George Temple. By December they were back in Bluff to start their life together, true pioneers.   Sadness struck when Mary Ann died in 1888, leaving him with four small children.  He eventually married Evelyn Lyman, a daughter of Platte Lyman in 1897, and they had nine children. Hanson became a successful livestock man eventually owning 6000 sheep and several hundred cattle.  He was also Bishop of Blanding when the South Chapel was built.

Cabins Built to Honor Early Pioneers

Peggy Bayles Palmer family 
Fast forward to April 2011, and you would have seen a huge assemblage of Hanson Bayles’s descendents energetically working together to build a cabin in his honor at the Bluff Fort site.  The Bayles cabin is #14 in a series of new cabins announced in 2007 when the Hole-in-the-Rock Foundation sent out a request asking for cabins to be built around the outer perimeter of the original Bluff Fort site. At that time there was only the original Barton Cabin on site.  Families who wanted to commemorate their ancestors were invited to build and adopt one of these cabins which would cost approximately $15,000-$20,000.  It was an ambitious challenge, but Hole in the Rock descendants rose to the occasion.
Donald Bayles, oldest grandchild
History of the Bluff Fort Cabins:

By Oct. of 2008 three cabins had been raised: the Thales Haskell cabin, the Barton Blacksmith Shop, and the James Monroe Redd cabin. 
The next year, 2009, the Lemuel H. Redd Jr. Cabin was built in April, George Hobbs Cabin in May, and the Lymans (Platte, Walter, Joseph & Edward) and Perkins (Hyrum and Ben) cabins were built in June.  In October of 2009, unbelievably, three cabins went up: Frederick Jones cabin; Samuel Wood cabin; and Parley Butt cabin.  Everything was finished in time for the dedication of the John Taylor monument Oct. 24. 2009.

By May of 2010 two more cabins were built by descendants of Jens Nielson and Charles Eugene Walton and that fall the Deckers joined forces to honor their ancestors (James, Cornelius, Nathaneal & Zachariah Sr. and Jr.) with a cabin. By spring of 2011 the Bayles’s were ready to fill the final spot.

Bayles Descendants Build Cabin

Pouring the Foundation
On the morning of April 21, 2011, after an early breakfast prepared by the wonderful folks of the Hole-in-the-Rock Foundation, construction began on the Hanson Bayles cabin at the Bluff Fort.  What turned out to be the work project by Hanson’s grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren turned out to be a Hanson Bayles labor of love project.  A large number of family members with their construction tools and skills flocked to the Bluff fort and immediately went to work on the construction as well as doing other tasks to help the Fort.

Granddaughters painting Pet Rocks
Grand children of Hanson attending were Marian Bayles, Jon Bayless, Donald Bayles, Lloyd Bayles, Gaye Holt Passey, Merene Holt Buck, Willa Rae Holt, Joselyn Bayles Johnson, Dwayne Bayles, Peggy Bayles Palmer, Joel Bayles and Georgia Bayles Black.

All family attending had an awesome three-day experience.  Everyone was kept busy working on the cabin, helping in the kitchen, working in the garden and on the new restrooms.  


Dwayne’s family out did themselves entertaining the little ones keeping them busy with activities making rag dolls, pet rocks, cowboy hats, listening to stories, playing marbles, making pioneer covered wagons with Twinkies, and working their little hearts out chinking, mudding and staining on the logs.  The dolls were donated to the Fort gift shop to be sold, which helps with their operating expenses.
Chinking between logs
Reed Palmer skinning the logs

Fitting the logs

Mudding the roof

Dwayne Bayles conducted the dedication services held in the meeting house on Saturday morning.  Kevin Palmer gave the opening prayer, Lloyd Bayles gave a history of Hanson, Mary Ann Durham and Evelyn Lyman and their families.  Mark Bayles, the first patriarch in Hanson’s family gave the dedicatory prayer.

The brand on the cabin door reflects
 130 years of  Bayles ranchers
The finishing touches to the cabin made it all come alive with portraits of Hanson, Mary Ann and Evelyn brought by Jon Bayless.  The quilt on the bed was made by Mikki Palmer and she lovingly named it Mary Ann’s garden.  Before they left, they even heated up the forge at the Barton Blacksmith Shop and branded the door. No question as to whose cabin it was with the HB brand on the front door. Saturday afternoon the family went to San Juan Hill and also up to the cemetery.
Bayles Brothers: Mark, Lyman, and George

The family of the Hanson Bayles family wants to express a special thanks to Corrine Roring and the Hole-in-the-Rock Foundation for providing us this opportunity to be a part of this spiritual event honoring our ancestor and his families in his calling to the San Juan Mission.  Thank you, Corrine for allowing our family to be a part of your vision of the Bluff Fort.  It was an incredible and awesome experience and gave us chance to get reacquainted with our family.  The hospitality was great and the food prepared by the Hole in the Rock Foundation was the best.

The Final Touch on the cabin were a collection of single trees and pioneer tools used by the Bayles family
By Mildred Bayles Palmer 
Mary Ann was my great grandmother Mary Anne Durham Bayles who died in childbirth

South of here on a rocky bluff,
There is a grave.
It is not a lonely grave,
There are others there.

A lovely girl came to a lonely, barren place,
To make a home for the man she loved.
To follow the destiny of mother, wife.

She bore four children,
I wonder if she ever spoke of pain.
One day when her only son was five,
In childbirth she died.

Her grave is sand and rock,
A marble marker placed with love is there.
Even so, I wish she could be
By the one she loved
Where it is cool and green.

(The son was my grandfather Hanson D. Bayles Her husband is buried in the Blanding cemetery.