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|Jennings, Cyrus Morgan
Birth: 08-06-1849 Death: 09-07-1909
Headstone Location - Row: 3 Block: 11 Plot: 4
Wife: Hannah Jane Hansen
Children: Cyrus M., Elnora A., Henry, Lafayette, George, Emma
C., Sarah M., Julia M., Nellie M., James R., Anthony I., Lorenzo
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History of the Old Duzette/Jennings Bass Drum
A rare and interesting relic of historical importance is a large
bass drum, which was played in the Nauvoo Legion Band.
This drum was constructed under the supervision of Major
Edward Duzette, the Conductor of the band. It was brought
across the plains by the first company of Mormon Pioneers in
the year 1847.
At one time during the course of the journey, the wagon
carrying the drum was brought to a sudden stop. The tongue
of the wagon following in the rear rammed a large hole in the
body of the drum. Ralph Ramsey, the man who carved the
Eagle Gate in Salt Lake City dove-tailed a patch into the
drum, making the tear practically indiscernible.
The drum was no doubt often brought out to supplement the
campfire music which cheered the weary travelers on that
toilsome trek from Nauvoo, Illinois, to the Great Basin.
Likewise it was an important part of the band, which played
on all holiday occasions in the early settlements in Utah. It
was inscribed with the Beehive emblem of the State of
Deseret. This emblem still remains on the drum today, which
is in a fair state of preservation.
As Mormon colonization extended itself, the Virgin River
settlement of the Cotton Mission came into being. Here went
Edward P. Duzette, and with him, the Nauvoo Legion Bass
Drum. Edward Duzette settled in Rockville. He soon gathered
around him a group of musicians and organized a band. He
taught a young man by the name of Cyrus Morgan Jennings
to play the drum. When Edward Duzettte retired, he gave the
drum to Cyrus Jennings, who carried on as band leader.
When Edward Duzette passed away, Cyrus marched and
played the drum in his funeral procession with a muffled beat.
Handed down in the Jennings family along with the drum, is
the story of how in the days of the Nauvoo Legion, the
Prophet Joseph Smith would playfully hop over the drum
forward and then backward without turning around.
In April of 1887, Cyrus Jennings moved his family from
Rockville, Utah, to Taylor, Navajo County, Arizona. Along with
the Jennings family went the bass drum. The drum was
destined to play an important role in the isolated settlements
of the Little Colorado River basin. Cyrus Jennings was so full
of music and patriotism that, as the 4th of July came around,
he could not let the old drum remain silent. Before dawn on
the morning of our nation's birthday, the town was awakened
by the strains of patriotic music, as a wagon drawn by two
farm horses, drove all around the town conveying a band that
consisted of violins, a piccolo, an accordion, a snare drum,
and the old bass drum. Then at 10:00 A.M., as the citizens
assembled for a patriotic program, the band continued to
share its music. As the years passed, the band's popularity
increased, and more instruments were added. Band practices
were usually held at the Jennings home. As these practices
began, it was not uncommon to see children of all ages
hurrying from all directions, reluctant to mIss the fun. To
watch Cyrus Jennings beat the drum was something to
remember. His dexterous performance added zest to the
patriotic music. He often surprised the audience as the band
struck up some lively tune, by tossing his drumsticks high into
the air, and catching them as they came down without
missing a beat.
With the death of Cyrus Jennings these traditions went by the
wayside. The old drum got wet and fell into a state of
disrepair. In the early 1950's Renz L. Jennings, youngest son
of Cyrus Jennings, was able to restore the old drum. The
traditions of earlier years were reinstated, and for the last fifty
years the celebration of the 4th of July is the most important
occasion of the year in Taylor, Arizona. Renz Jennings
passed away a few years ago, but there is no lack of able
Jennings blood ready and willing to play the drum when the
4th of July comes around. The drum is housed in a Pioneer
Museum in Taylor when it is not a part of the Jennings Band
of the 4th of July.
JENNINGS AND HANSEN FAMILIES
This history was written with the emphasis to be on Cyrus Morgan Jennings
and Hannah Jane Hansen. I have included much information on their parents
and grandparents as back-ground for their stories. The history has been
compiled from information found in the CRAWFORD - HANSEN FAMILY BOOK,
in TAYLOR'S CENTENNIAL STORIES and James R. Jennings book, THE
JENNINGS OF HADDONFIELD. Also some information came from stories
written by family members.
Compiled by Janell Kleinman Nichols, Great Grand-daughter of Cyrus Morgan
Jennings and Hannah Jane Hansen
The Jennings Family came from England to New Jersey during the early
settlement of that state, and settled in Haddonfield. The first Jennings of this
family that came to America was Isaac. His wife was Judith (Possibly Bates).
Their son Jacob, born 22 Oct. 1741, married Mary Noris Smith, and later
married Ann Albertson Hopkins, a widow. Jacob and Mary had 6 children, the
last being James, born 23 Oct. 1774. James married Elizabeth Hopkins, a
direct descendant of Stephen and Elizabeth Hopkins, who were passengers on
James and Elizabeth moved to from New Jersey to Ohio in about 1811, where
the last four of their eight children were born, the first 4 having been born in
Haddonfield New Jersey. Their 5th child, a son, Henry, was born in Waynesville
on 6 Aug. 1812. As an adult, he was of the Quaker Faith and was a very devout
and conscientious man. He became a school teacher in Waynesville and the
story is told that when he applied for a teaching job, he was reminded of his
small stature, and that there were some big and tough boys in the school that
he might not be able to handle. Henry replied that he would handle them all
right. When school opened the first day, as student assignments were made,
Henry picked up a small bundle of willows he had obtained from the side of the
brook and from which he had stripped all the leaves. He walked up and down
the center of the room, holding the willows in both hands and cutting the air
with a stinging sound. After a few moments he placed the bundle of willows on
two pegs above his desk. There was never any trouble with the "bad boys".
Henry joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1842, and
moving to Nauvoo, he shared in the trials of the Saints. After the evacuation of
the Saints in Nauvoo, Henry returned to his home in Ohio, where he married
Ann Morgan on May 14, 1848.
Ann was from a prominent family in New Jersey, her parents being David
Blackwood Morgan and Elizabeth Clark Tomlinson. Their beautiful home, built
on a 5000 acre piece of land about 12 miles from Camden in 1756, was still
standing in 1956, and a commemorative celebration was held at that time. (I
have no information on the status of the home now, almost 40 years later.)
Henry and Ann were the parents of six children, four of whom were born in
When the Henry Jennings family decided to leave Waynesville and travel West
in 1855 they had two wagons, one loaded with furniture, household goods and
food, the other was loaded with implements, tools, grain and other supplies. A
cow was tied on behind to furnish milk for the children. They loaded onto a
barge near Cincinnati and floated down the Ohio River, thence on the
Mississippi River to St. Louis. Here they joined a wagon train that was being
formed for the trek across the "great plains". When they reached Wyoming,
Emma Cecelia was born at Fort Bridger on 23 Sep., 1856.
The family located in Provo, where they remained for several years, and were
engaged in farming and other pursuits common to the pioneers. Their last
child, John Jacob, was born in Provo, 30 Apr. 1860. A few years later they were
called to help settle Southern Utah, and moved to Rockville. Here they endured
many hardships and privations, but they were energetic and faithful church
workers. Cyrus, who was by then a young man, made several trips to the
Missouri River to aid the emigrants who were unable to provide transportation
for themselves for the trip to Utah.
Cyrus attended the Brigham Young Academy which was then the highest
institution of learning in Utah. In addition to his academic studies, Cyrus
attended a music and dancing class conducted by Major Edward P. Duzette,
who later presented Cyrus with his bass drum which he had used in the
Nauvoo Legion Band. The Major stated that he had many times seen the
prophet Joseph Smith playfully hop over that drum and back again. This drum
was highly prized by Cyrus and at the time of Major Duzette's death, Cyrus
played the funeral march with muffled drum.(The drum eventually was handed
down to Renz L. Jennings, son of Cyrus, who learned to play the drum and
played in the Jennings Band, the story of which will come later in this history.
Renz had the drum repaired and restored to its original beautiful condition, and
it is still in his family, and is prized by all Jennings family members. Poems and
articles of interest about Cyrus and his drum can be found in the book, Taylor
Centennial Stories, compiled in 1978.)
Cyrus taught school in Rockville for a period of time, and incidentally taught the
girl who would be his future wife, Hannah Jane Hansen.
Hannah Jane Hansen was the 6th child born to Nelson (Nils) and Marilla Terry
Hansen. Nils was born in Etne, Hordaland, Norway on 26 Mar., 1806. The
Norwegian name of the family is Vettestoe. His family seems to have been
quite a prominent family there and had considerable land holdings. Nils was
well educated in the schools of Norway, but when he came to America he did
not learn to read and write English. He and his family were of the Lutheran faith,
and were considered to be fine industrious people. He married, and came to
America, settling in Minnesota. He and his wife, Bertha Omundsen, born about
1807 in Etne, Norway, having moved to Illinois, were baptized into the Church
on a very cold winter's day. The story is told that Bertha took ill after the
immersion into the icy water, and died from pneumonia as a result, leaving four
children for Nils to care for. His son described his father as " a hard working
man. He was a successful farmer and was quick to adopt farming methods
that would improve his living and working conditions."
Marilla Terry was born in Albion, Ontario, Canada, on 2 Jul., 1823, the 10th child
of Parshall and Hannah Terry who were 1st cousins. One great grand-daughter
wrote that she feels that this relationship united more closely the strong blood
of the Terry family.
The Terry family had lived in Palmyra, but had moved to Canada in about 1818.
Thus, when the Mormon missionaries came into Albion in 1837, telling a
strange story of how Joseph Smith of Palmyra had received a vision and had
organized a church, the Terry family, having known Joseph previously, were very
interested, and were all baptized in February of 1838. They moved to Missouri
to gather with the saints there.
Marilla met and married John Crawford in 1841, when she was 18 years old.
They had 2 children, John and William. John died in infancy, and husband John
died in December of 1843.
Marilla and Nils met and were married in 1846 in the Nauvoo temple. Nils had
placed his children in homes of friends prior to moving to Nauvoo. He and
Marilla moved to Iowa and became the parents of 7 children all of whom were
born in Glenwood Iowa.
It is believed that the Hansen's and the Terry's went to Iowa to await an
opportunity to go to the Rocky Mountains.
Finally, in the year 1861 the family were to start their journey across the plains
in the pioneer company led by David H. Cannon. Nils had become discouraged
with the trials and persecutions of the saints and evidently left the Church, and
did not want to go to Utah with the family. He helped Marilla with the packing
and loading of her possessions, but did not plan to go along. He decided to
take his 10 year old son Andrew Jackson with him and go to California along
with some emigrants they had met up with who were headed that way. This
nearly broke Marilla's heart. He was never heard from by his family again. Years
later another son located his brother Andrew who told him their father had
joined the United States Army and had left him with a family in California who
had raised him and he had been trained for the ministry in the Methodist
Marilla went on to Utah with her children. With her was her son by her former
marriage, William Crawford, who was a great help to her in crossing the plains
and settling in Draper, Utah. Marilla and her children were later called to help
colonize the Dixie country. They were among the first families to live in
Rockville. Marilla is remembered by her children and grand-children as a
woman of faith and courage. She taught her children to live every principle of
the gospel to the best of their knowledge and ability, as she herself tried to do.
Hannah grew up in the pioneer environment that may seem difficult and
undesirable to us now, but was a most wonderful training in thrift and economy.
The hard work required to provide for and sustain family living, made men and
women. The children were expected to work, to save, and to use resources
wisely as well as the adults. In due time they grew up, married, reared families
and their training helped them in establishing homes and providing for their
Hannah Jane fell in love with a talented young man by the name of Cyrus
Morgan Jennings and they were married on February 4, 1873. About a year later
they went to Salt Lake and were sealed in the Endowment House. They lived in
Rockville for thirteen years. Seven children were born to them while living in
Rockville. These were: Cyrus Morgan Jr., 30 Nov. 1874, Elnora Ann, 16 Nov.
1875, Henry, 10 Oct. 1877, Lafayette, 29 Nov. 1879, George, 3 Dec. 1881,
Emma Cecelia, 30 Nov. 1883, and Sara Marilla, 2 Apr 1886. Cyrus Jr. died as
an infant and George drowned in an irrigation ditch at the age of two. Cyrus and
Hannah were completely devoted to rearing a fine family of girls and boys.
Cyrus and Hannah were active members of the Church and served many
positions in the Church organization there, The last few years of residency in
Rockville, Cyrus was the councilor to Bishop Charles N.Smith.
Because of poor health, and thinking that a cooler climate would be beneficial,
Cyrus and Hannah moved to Arizona in 1887, locating in Taylor Arizona. Within
their first year two more of their children died, these being Sarah Marilla in 1887
and Emma Cecelia in 1888.
With a lot of hard work and frugal living, Cyrus and Hannah secured a nice little
farm and built a good home in Taylor. Two more girls and three boys were born
to them. These were; Julia Myrtle, 8 Dec. 1888, Nellie May,16 May 1891, James
Riley, 28 Dec., 1893, Anthony Irving, 21 May, 1896 and Lorenzo, 5 Aug. 1899.
Cyrus was always interested in the betterment of the Taylor community and
worked hard to that end. He served as school trustee for many years. and gave
service as well as financial aid to the erection of both school and church
buildings. He was very active in church and held many church positions. He
was very patriotic and organized a band with a tradition of getting up very early
on the 4th of July and travelling around town on a wagon, shooting off an anvil
and playing patriotic songs. Many of the young people and children got up early
to follow the band around town as they played. This tradition still goes on in
Taylor to this day with many of the Jennings family participating along with
others who are not of Jennings descent, but who love the excitement of the
event and want to participate.
Hannah was a devoted wife, and good mother and a true Latter Day Saint. She
was a model homemaker and was both generous and hospitable, and was
said to have possessed a congenial, affectionate nature which enabled her to
make friends with everyone. Her home was a favorite gathering place for the
young people in Taylor. She could not see people in trouble or distress without
trying to do something to help the situation, especially when it came to the
After nursing her children through a long siege of diphtheria, her physical
strength was so weakened that she died on the 10th of December 1903.
After the death of his wife, Cyrus began to fail, and he suffered much the last
four years of his life. He died on September 7th, 1909. His memory will ever be
held dear by all who knew his sterling qualities, his nobility of soul and his