Priddy Meeks correspondence
L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Priddy Meeks correspondence (MSS SC 2171). This collection contains forty-two documents, including handwritten correspondence and patriarchal blessings of family members. Most of the items were written in Parowan and in Orderville, Utah and relate to family matters.
Priddy Meeks was born in 1795, possibly in South Carolina. His father was Athe Meeks, who moved his family from South Carolina, when Priddy was about two or three years old, to Kentucky, and eventually to Indiana. Priddy Meeks married his first wife, Mary Bartlet, in 1815, and they had four children. Mary died in Spencer County, Indiana, in 1823. Three years later, Priddy married Sarah Mahurin Smith, widow of Anthony Smith. They had five children together. In 1833, the Meeks moved from Indiana to Illinois. In 1840, while in Page, Illinois, Meeks converted to Mormonism, as did most of his family, and in 1842 they moved to Nauvoo. Along with the rest of the Mormons, Meeks and his family were forced from Nauvoo in 1846 and migrated west, arriving in the Salt Lake Valley on October 1, 1847.
In 1851, Meeks volunteered to help settle Parowan, Iron County, Utah, where he lived for the next ten years. While here, in 1856 he married another wife, seventeen year old Mary Jane McCleeve, with whom he had ten more children. In 1861, he and his family moved to Harrisburg, Washington County, Utah, and in 1876 they moved to Orderville, Kane County, Utah, where they joined the United Order. Meeks was a strict observer of the Word of Wisdom, and practiced medicine somewhat after the “Thomsonian” school of herbal medicine, a popular form of medicine during the 19th Century.
Priddy Meeks died in Orderville on October 7, 1886.