Make your own free website on
Lyman Smith Hutchings (1828-1889)

Lyman Smith Hutchings,  born July 3, 1828, Orange, Cuyahoga Co. Ohio, eighth child of Elias Hutchings and Sarah Smith, died Sept. 22, 1889, Watsonville, California.  He married (1) Susan Charlotte Palmer, who was born Oct. 15, 1835 in Castile, NY to Abraham Palmer and Patience Delila Pierce.  The marriage was canceled  June 20, 1853.  She died Oct. 3, 1853 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  He married (2) Jan. 22, 1854 in Salt Lake City to Elizabeth Mills.  That marriage was canceled Aug. 10, 1854 with no issue.  He married (3) Jan. 22, 1854 in Salt Lake City to Mary Rigby who was born Oct. 21, 1836, in Stockport, Cheshire, England to James Rigby and Jane Lovinia Littlewood, then of Augusta, Iowa, who died Dec. 7, 1917 in Watsonville.

Lyman Smith received his endowment in the LDS Church in 1846 in the Nauvoo Temple at the age of 18 years.  On July 4, 1849, he left for Salt Lake City in the 118 wagon company of Ezra Benson.  Lyman had a cow and one gun.  His mother was also in the same company with a wagon and two oxen.  They arrived in Utah in 1849, however, the lure of gold and adventure enticed him on to the gold fields of California.  With exciting hope he arrived there in 1850 and located for a time in Placer Co. where he engaged in mining with more than average success.  Thinking he had obtained all the money he could ever spend, he determined to return to his old home in Iowa.  He therefore entered into a contract to ride a pony-express as far as Utah.  After several narrow escapes from Indians, he gave up the pony-express and remained in Utah until 1856.

During his stay in Utah, he married Susan Charlotte Palmer on Dec. 18, 1852.  The marriage was canceled on June 20, 1853, and a daughter, Susan Delila Ann, was born on Sept. 17, 1853.
On Jan. 22, 1854, he married (2) Elizabeth Mills and the same day took as his third Mormon wife, Mary Rigby.    The marriage with Elizabeth Mills was canceled on Aug. 10, 1854, without issue.  A son, Lyman Elias, was born to Lyman Smith and Mary Rigby in 1855.  A year later, Lyman Smith took his family to California and made their home in Stockton.  They soon moved to Gilroy and then to the Pujaro Valley.  After 12 years in California, Lyman Smith became critically ill and afraid that he might not recover, he decided to move his wife and six children back to his wife’s family in Iowa.  They started for Iowa and after reaching San Bernardino remained there beside the old Mormon Trail for a time during which Lyman served as sheriff.  Finally after many delays and difficulties with the Indians, they arrived in Iowa and settled at Plumb Hollow in Freemont County.  They arrived in time to spend the severe winter of 1867-68 and that was enough to make Lyman determined to return to the milder California area.  In the spring he sold his farm and with the same team of mules which had brought them to Iowa the year before, they again started West.  He soon headed a wagon train on the trail to California.  His family still has copies of the permits he received to pass from one military post to another with the names and destinations of the wagon train members.

Three notable events marked this trip for the Hutchings family.  The first occurred late one night when the family was startled to find a young Indian crawling into their tent.  The fear of the event was soon lost when it was discovered that he had come to warn Lyman of an impending Indian attack on the train.  The warning was a favor in return for Lyman having saved the boy from torture by white renegades during a previous trip.  As captain of the train, Lyman formed the wagons into a defensive circle and in the middle of the night, warded off the attack.  Also during the return trip to California, Lyman and Mary had a son, Ammon, born at Summit Creek, Utah, in April 1868.  Because of the lack of milk, the child was fed with small amounts of whiskey.  It must have agreed with him for he lived to a ripe old age and later died in San Jose, California.  The members of the wagon train also witnessed the driving of the golden spike that joined the west to the east when the transcontinental railroads were completed at Promontory, Utah.

Once back in California, Lyman acquired a portion of the ranch at 350 San Miguel Canyon Road which was later passed on to his son, Moses.  On this land he built a two-story house of virgin growth redwood cut in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Later a second house was built on the section of the ranch on Lewis Road.  He expanded his original 70 acres into 195 acres where he raised strawberries and other fruits.  He lived on this farm until his death in 1889.  Mary continued to live on the farm and later turned it over to their son Moses.  Lyman and Mary had eleven children.

Their son, Lyman Elias, was educated in the public schools of Watsonville and vicinity and remained at home with his parents until he was 21 years of age.  After that he worked for wages for about 3 and a half years while he laid by sufficient money to purchase a team and outfit of his own.  He then engaged in farming near Hollister for about five years.  On Aug. 16, 1885, he rented land in Yolo County, Sacramento Valley, California and raised from five to seven hundred acres of grain.  For cutting the crop he used a combine harvester which made a fourteen foot cut.
In 1891, he located on the old 320 acre Vansee place, three miles southeast of Woodland, California and also rented another 320 acres in the same vicinity.  At the time he also owned 147 acres of land three miles northeast of Woodland, which was in grain.  Though he made a speciality of general farming he raised fine draft horses and cattle.

Lyman Elias supported the Republican platform and was very active in politics as a member of the executive board of the Republican central committee.  He was also a trustee of the Spring-Lake school district for 12 years and a member of the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows, Rebekahs, Woodmen of the World and Elks.  As Yolo County supervisor he built the road between Woodland and Elkhorn, without the need for a special tax.  He was a man of a rugged constitution and practiced thrift and economy.

back to homepage    back to stories page