Sgt Orson B Adams was born 9 March 1815 in Alexander, Genessee County, New York, United States to Elisha Bennett Adams (1778-1845) and Asenath Lucy Camp (1783-1864) and died 4 February 1901 Leeds, Washington County, Utah, United States of unspecified causes. He married Susannah Smith (1819-1892) 20 March 1836 in Grayson County, Kentucky, United States. He married Margaret Jane Meeks 20 November 1852 in Parowan, Iron County, Utah, United States. He married Dorothy Martin (1825-1877) 10 November 1856 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States. He married Charlotte Elizabeth Gingell (1841-1849) 21 July 1859 in Paragonah, Iron County, Utah, United States.


Mormon Battalion

History - Orson was a member of the Mormon Battalion, Company, traveling with his wife. In Oct 1846, he became Sergeant of Sick Detachment under Captain James Brown, leading the group to Pueblo, Colorado.

He and his wife Susannah lost two children at birth then adopted a son, John S. Page Adams. John did not go on the march with them and grandparents cared for him. Susan had been raised in the home of a doctor and was able to bring much comfort to the company.

Utah Pioneers

Orson and Susann Adams, who came from Pueblo with detachment of sick of the battalion that came to the valley in the summer of 1847. John was was three came on to the valley with mule team in Jedediah M. Grant's company. They reached Salt Lake City in the autumn of 1847. His parents arriving a few days before him. Orson & Susann built them a home out on Mill Creek near the great old cedar, the one tree of which the valley could boast. His father O.B. Adams put up the first sawmill on City Creek.

In the second summer of the settlement the crickets came and food was scarce. The soldiers wages were almost exhausted. He spent fifty dollars for a hundred pounds of flour and the same amount of shorts. One morning Orson Adams came in and announced to his wife his determination to go to the States for supplies. He asked for food enough for his first lunch. For the rest he had his gun and trusted to it and a kind providence for sustenance.

Parowan Settlement

In the early winter of 1851, the Adams family took their cattle and goods in response to call and went with George A. Smith and company to settle on Little Salt Lake, a colony known as Parowan, Utah.

Harrisburg Settlement

Orson Adams Historic Site in Harrisburg UT.

In 1863 Orson B. Adams was called to Harrisburg to preside. From 1864 until the early 1890s, Orson B. Adams, his wife Susannah, two sons, and eventually two granddaughters lived in this two-room sandstone dwelling. They were among the nine families "called" in 1861 by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to settle at the confluence of Leeds and Quail Creeks; the new settlement was named Harrisburg.

Willard G. McMullin, a master stone mason, arrived here in 1862 and constructed the Adams home, as well as many of the other residences of Harrisburg, during the period between 1863 and 1865. The settlers raised livestock and farmed, constructing a system of irrigation ditches to divert water from the two creeks. Between 1875 and 1888, the nearby mining boom town Silver Reef created a cash market for the agricultural products of Harrisburg, helping to sustain the settlement. (During the winter of 1866, prospector John Kemple- the discoverer of the ore deposits at Silver Reef - boarded with the Adams family in this small already crowded house.


Offspring of Sgt Orson B Adams and Susannah Smith (1819-1892)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Mary Jane Adams (1838-1838)
Martha Jane Adams (1841-1841)
John Smith Page Adams (1844-1935)
Susanna Adams (1853-1931)

Offspring of Sgt Orson B Adams and Charlotte Elizabeth Gingell (1841-1849)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Caroline Augusta Adams (1861-1938)
Oliver Randolph Adams (1864-1938)





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