DANIELS FAMILY NARRATIVE
Nathan Daniels (1834-1897) was born in Geuga County, Ohio to Abigail Warren and Sheffield Daniels, who were married in Madison County, New York. By 1831, the family had joined the Mormon Church and moved with their family to Missouri.
Sheffield Daniels was engaged in the battle of the Big Blue (Independence, Missouri – 1833) and the Battle of Crooked River (1838), when the Mormon Church members fought against the government that eventually drove them from Missouri. Sheffield was put in prison along with Joseph Smith and 50 other men, facing charges against the state of treason, murder, burglary, arson, robbery, and larceny. Sheffield was one of 23 men discharged and was released from prison in 1838. The Daniels family moved on to Illinois and then Nauvoo, Iowa by 1844, where Sheffield Daniels died.
Nathan’s mother, Abigail, married Christopher Williams, a widow, in 1844. With many of their children, they migrated to Utah with Brigham Young. The family is listed in the Lorenzo Snow Company, leaving Winter Quarters, Nebraska on 6 June 1848, arriving in the Salt Lake Valley on 20 September 1848. In 1850, Nathan Daniels is found living with his mother, Abigail and her new husband, Christopher, in Greater Salt Lake.
Nathan and his sister Susan Daniels Winfield left for California. Susan and her family settled in Ferndale, Humboldt County, California. Nathan settled in Marin County, moving to Point Arena by 1866. While on the coast he worked as a teamster and a farmer. In 1873 he purchased 160 acres of land neighboring the Bourn and Robinson holdings at the north end of present-day Gualala, where he lived. The Gualala Mill Company built a railroad running through Nathan Daniels property.
By 1880, Cornelius W. Olmsted, and his wife Lucinda were living with Nathan Daniels on his land north of Gualala (see the Olmsted family narrative for more information about the relationship between Nathan and the Olmsteds). In 1883, Nathan purchased another 157 acres adjacent to the property they lived on, and immediately granted C.W. Olmsted fifty percent undivided ownership in the property for $1,000.
On the morning of 25 August 1897, Nathan Daniels did not rise for the day at his usual time. Someone living in the household had been sent to check on him and found him dead. Nathan’s death was ruled a suicide by poisoning, the result of ingesting carbonic acid found in his closet. Nathan Daniels was buried in the Gualala Cemetery in a plot subsequently shared with Lucinda Olmsted, who died in 1904. It is unclear when or by whom a headstone was purchased for Nathan Daniels. His probate record indicated that all burial and estate expenses were being taken care of by various friends in the community.
After Nathan’s death, Cornelius Olmsted produced a will written by Nathan Daniels in 1870, which left any land he owned anywhere in the world to Cornelius and Lucinda Olmsted. Ironically, at the time said will was written, Nathan Daniels did not own any land. Cornelius sold the land to Gualala resident Robert Tait for $3,395 and he, along with Lucinda, moved to Point Arena.
Interestingly, Nathan Daniels was a third cousin to Josephine Daniels, the wife of Civil War veteran James Curtis Field. The Fields are buried in a separate plot at the Gualala Cemetery. It is not known whether they knew each other or knew that they were related, as Nathan was born in Ohio, and Josephine was born in New Hampshire, the Daniels family splitting up to join the Mormon Church.
Research compiled by Kelly Richardson, APR, AG, Anchored Genealogy