History of Benjamin Cazier Sr.
By Helen Cazier Norton
In the spring of 1844 missionaries for the LDS Church came
through their area. Most of the family was baptized in August of
that year. The records show that Benjamin's baptismal date was
December 1 1844, performed by George Best. Benjamin's mother,
Pleasant Drake Cazier, died at Council Bluffs, Iowa in November
of 1846 from the hardships the Saints who took refuge there had
The marriage of Benjamin and Olive Lucy Shaw, daughter of John
and Polly Maria Fox Shaw, took place on March 7 1848. Both
families has resided at LeHarpe, Illinois. He states in his
journal that on May 19, 1848, in company with Ezra Chase, John
Shaw, C. H. Bryan and Mertillo Shaw they started from Highland Grove, Iowa. They were in the Lorenzo Snow Company.
His obituary in the Deseret News says, "He built near Salt Lake
City at first but in 1849 moved to Weber County, first settling
on the Ogden River at what is now known as Farr's Fort." Their
first child, Frederick, was born January 3, 1950 in a one room
log cabin just west of the present site of the Old Mill near the
mouth of Ogden Canyon.
A group of Saints in 1851 decided to try to re-establish a
settlement at North Ogden, three miles north of Ogden City. It
had previously been necessary to abandon the one started by the
Campbell brothers because of Indian troubles. Benjamin's second
wife, Isabel, often told her family that he and his first wife,
Olive Lucy, were one of the first three families to arrive at the
scene. The date of March 4th is always celebrated by North Ogden
as its founding date. Credited with being there by 1852 were
Thomas Dunn, Lemuel Mallory, John Riddle, Benjamin Cazier, Newton
D. Hall, Newman Blodgett, Enoch Burns, Solomon Campbell, David
Garner, Gideon Alvord, Amos Andrus and Bailey Lake.
The Cazier history parallels that of the North Ogden community.
The North Ogden history in the Church Historian's office tells
that a common school was started in 1852 with a widow by the name
of Gheem as the school teacher. Good crops were gathered that
In 1854, the history continues, the Indians became so bad that a
fort was constructed. Benjamin and Lucy's land, about 27 acres,
was in the heart of the settlement, a narrow strip from the
present 2600 Street to 2100 Street with the eastern border being
about 575 East. Accordingly several families built their homes on
the Cazier property inside the southwest corner of the fort. The
old Cazier home was located on the east side of what became known
as Pioneer Street. It was back of the southeast corner of the
present garage at the present address 2568 North 550 East. Their
first two large rooms were of adobe. Later a brick addition of
two more large rooms were added.
Olive Lucy's parents originally located on the east side of
Washington Blvd. Canyon Road was their south boundary line and
the center of Mill Creek the north line and east eighty rods.
Their sons, Myrtillo and William located there also. Ambrose
located on the west side of Washington in that same area. Later
John and Polly built by Benjamin and Olive Lucy's flowing well
across the street from their home at the present address of 2557
North 550 East.
Quoting again from the North Ogden history, peace was established
with the Indians that year but close watch was kept until the
snow got deep enough for protection. Warm weather in the spring
of 1855 hatched out hordes of grasshoppers. The settlers tried
vainly but not enough grain was saved to provide seed and food.
People lost nearly all their cattle because they had nothing to
feed them. The winter ahead was unusually severe and the snow
covered the ground until nearly the end of April. People, with
hardly any exceptions, divided what they had. They dug sego
roots. None died of starvation. In the spring they ate the early
weeds and vegetation. The year 1859 was a prosperous one for
account in the Deseret News in 1864 states that Independence
Day was celebrated with considerable enthusiasm in North Ogden
that year. There was artillery firing at dawn, national flag
ceremony and martial music at sunrise. Then followed the
procession, reading of the Declaration of Independence, oration
by Henry Holmes, speeches by Major Benjamin Cazier of the Utah
Militia, George Rose and Major Jefferson Hunt. Afterward there
was a sumptuous dinner served beneath the bowery. Three veterans
of the Revolutionary War were present but their names were not
The militia used to drill down on the barrens west of Pleasant
View near the Hot Springs. The Joseph Cazier family has placed
the coat Major Benjamin wore in the Daughters of Utah Pioneers
Museum at Salt Lake City. Benjamin, Jr.'s family was given the
sword as a keepsake and William's family the hat.
It was Benjamin's privilege to keep the flag at his home. His
fourth son, Joseph, could hardly sleep the night before any
important occasion because he was afraid he might oversleep and
miss the glorious experience of going with his father to run up
the beloved flag at sunrise.
Like many other North Ogdenites, Benjamin took a contract to work
with his teams and equipment on the railroad which culminated in
the Golden Spike connection at Promontory Point. When the work
was completed it was found the railroad did not have enough money
to pay in full. Inasmuch as the railroad was a great boon to the
future of Utah, Brigham Young advised the people to accept the
settlement offer of twenty-five cents on the dollar. They surely
could have used that other seventy-five cents cash but the
eventual progress made up for it.
Benjamin and Olive Lucy had seven children: Frederick, Olive Ann,
Viola, Celestia, Permelia, Benjamin Jr., and Pleasant Polly. On
14 September 1861 Olive Lucy died in childbirth. The baby
Pleasant Polly lived 13 days, until 17 September. They were buried in her parents lot in Ogden City Cemetery. A Mrs. Mallory
took Benjamin Jr. into her home. The Shaw family took care of
Celestia and Permelia.