About the Collection

Daniel Sinclair Macfarlane

by Jeffrey S. Hardy

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Daniel Sinclair Macfarlane was born on 21 June 1837, in Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland to John Macfarlane and Annabella Sinclair.  Little is known of Daniel’s early life, but his parents accepted the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around 1845.  In 1850 tragedy struck when his father passed away.  In 1852 Annabella and her children, John, Ann, and Daniel, aged eighteen, sixteen, and fourteen, respectively, emigrated to America to be with saints.  Having received financial assistance from the Church through the Perpetual Immigration Fund they boarded the ship Ellen Maria on 10 February 1852 and landed in New Orleans, Louisiana, after a two-month voyage.

After arriving in America, Annabella and her three children traveled to Missouri to prepare for the overland trek to Utah.  On 1 June 1852, the Macfarlanes departed from Kansas City, Missouri in the Abraham O. Smoot Company, the first company of British saints to cross the plains with the help of the Perpetual Immigration Fund.  After a three-month journey they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on September 3.  In 1853 Annabella married Isaac C. Haight, the leader of their transatlantic emigrating company, and they subsequently moved to Cedar City, Iron County, Utah, a small mining community that had been settled two years previously.

In Cedar City Daniel found a love for the performing arts, and he joined the community dramatic society and choir in company with his older brother John.  He also served in the territorial militia as an adjutant in Company D of the Second Battalion.  On 12 February 1862 Daniel married Temperance Keturah Haight, who was born to Isaac C. Haight in Nauvoo, Illinois in 1844.  She bore him twelve children, two of whom died shortly after birth and a third at age seven.  The remaining nine survived childhood, and seven of them were alive when Macfarlane was called on a mission during the General Conference of the L.D.S. Church on 6 October 1876.

Daniel left for Great Britain on his mission on 14 November 1876.  After a few weeks in Salt Lake City, where he was set apart for his mission by Orson Pratt, Daniel began his trip east.  On 28 January 1877 he arrived in Liverpool, England, after crossing the Atlantic on board the ship Idaho.  There he was assigned to labor in his native Scotland, where he preached the gospel and assisted the saints arrange for emigration.  On one occasion he recorded in his journal: “[I am] feeling to thank my father for his continued goodness, for assuredly he has raised up friends to minister to my wants whilst endeavoring in my weakness to disseminate the truths of the everlasting Gospel.”1 On 2 December 1877 Daniel met with his first success, baptizing three souls into the church, on a day when the “Lord had tempered the elements” for it was “pleasant and calm.”2   Soon thereafter he remarked that “the spirit of the Lord is operating in the hearts of the people of this place.”3  Clearly he was a man of substantial faith that relied on the Lord.  Sometime in 1878 Daniel received his release to return home.

After returning from his mission, Daniel took a second wife in polygamy, Elizabeth Ford, on 24 June 1879.  She was also an immigrant from Great Britain and bore him ten children from 1880 to 1901.  Daniel spent the remainder of his life in Cedar City working odd jobs as a day laborer.  On 23 October 1914 Daniel Sinclair Macfarlane passed away at the age of seventy-seven.


1 Daniel Sinclair Macfarlane, “Journal Oct 1877-Feb 1878,” 18 October 1877, MSS 1629, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Library, Brigham Young University.

2 Ibid., 2 December 1877.

3 Ibid., 15 January 1878.


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Carter, Kate, ed. Treasures of Pioneer History. Vol. 3. Salt Lake City:  Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1954.

Larson, Gustive O. Cedar City: Gateway to Rainbow Land. Cedar City, Utah: n.p., 1950.

Macfarlane, Daniel Sinclair. “Journals, 1877–1929.” MSS 1629, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.

Macfarlane, L. W. Dr. Mac: The Man, His Land, and His People. Cedar City, Utah:  Southern Utah State College Press, 1985.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868. Salt Lake City:  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2003. 31 October 2003 available from http://www.lds.org/churchhistory/library/pioneercompanysearch/.

Shirts, Morris A., and Kathryn H. Shirts. A Trial Furnace: Southern Utah’s Iron Mission. Provo, Utah:  Brigham Young University Press, [2001].

Utah Census, 1850-90. Provo, Utah:  MyFamily.com Inc., 2003. 21 November 2003 available from http://www.ancestry.com/search/db.asp?dbid=3576.