George D. Snell, 1836

An incident in his life from Tullidge History Vol. 3 Page 143.

George Dixon Snell

When the news reached Utah of the coming of Buchanan's army to invade Utah the citizens of Spanish Fork were stirred with the spirit of 1776 and some of the sons of sires who had fought for American Liberties were found amid the settlers of Spanish Fork, and on the call of Lt. General Wells for the militia of the Territory to take the field, a company of about eighty men under the command of A.K. Thurber, went out for service in Echo Canyon.

As an illustration of what "young Mormondom" was in that generation and what it is likely to be in the next, we will here embody a portion of a biography of the Hon. George D. Snell, who for many years served Spanish Fork as the Bishop of the Ward and Mayor of the City.

Young Snell with his brother Cyrus, was at this time, July 1857, in California. News arrived there of the coming of Johnston's army to subdue the Mormons and perhaps exterminate them from the Territory which they had founded.

Young Snell at that time was not a member of the Church. However, he resolved to return to Utah to help defend the people with whom he had been reared. Having resolved to do this, one Sunday morning he took a horse and rode fifteen miles to the place where his brother Cyrus was living. He wanted to know if his brother would be in agreement with his decision. The brothers agreed perfectly in their feelings to return home to Utah and defend their people. They started from Sacramento on the 5th day of July 1857. They stopped at Carson City, Nevada on the way and waited for a company which was then forming in Eagle Valley. This company was composed of Mormon families who were returning to Salt Lake City on the breaking up of the Carson Company. There was also a company from California, a father Thatcher, his wife, his daughter Harriet and his two sons George and Joseph. The combined company consisted of about 30 teams and teamsters with their horsemen, 10 of them including the Snell Brothers. When the company were crossing a bench land, while traveling up the Humbolt River, a band of Indians came out of a canyon and charged furiously toward them. Captain Peregrine Sessions promptly gave the command for the wagons to close together. The women and children were to get inside the wagons to be out of sight, the teamsters were to take arms and walk beside their teams, prepared. While the horsemen were ordered to the front to meet the Indians as they came. When the Indians came up opposite the advance guard thur thrown out, suddenly halted about a hundred yards from the road and formed a line facing it. The horsemen of the company also halted, drew out of the road, faced the Indians with leveled guns while the wagons passing behind them kept traveling on. The horse guard followed, eeping their rifles on the enemy, until they were out of range. Meanwhile the Indians huddled together for a brief consultation after which they wheeled about and returned riding as wild and hard as they came.

On arriving at the river the Mormon Company found another Company from Missouri camped in the bend of the river. They had been there for three days guarding their stock. They were afraid to go on, as the Indians repeatedly appeared on the bluffs as if threatening an attack. As the Mormon Company approached, the terrified women from the camp ran and met them, imploring their protection. In the terrified camp the brethren found a young fellow, who with his brother and an old man, had left a company further back on the road. The three had been attacked by the Indians five days previous and two of them were killed, but the younger man fled and met the Missouri Company. Not being able to tell whether his brother was killed or not, the Mormons sent out half of their number into the hills to save bodies of the murdered emigrants and brought them into camp and buried them in the presence of the two companies. Captain Sessions took two of his own blankets. On one they laid the bodies, covering them with the other blanket. On the end gate of one of the wagons the brethren wrote how and when the victims were killed. this end gate they put at the head of the grave as a head board. The Mormons encouraged the Missourians to proceed on their journey which they did. The Mormon Company continued on their way toward Utah and the Snell Brothers reached Spanish Fork in the latter part of August.

It was soon after they arrived home that there was a call for volunteers to go on the "Echo Canyon Expedition." George Snell volunteered for the service. Colonel A. K. Thurber said, "You are a Mormon,: and asked if Snell dared to go. "Yes, I dare, if you dare," replied the boy who had come home to Utah for California for that very purpose, to defend Utah against the invasion. "Get ready then and come on, " said Thurber, and Snell got ready quickly and went to Echo Canyon with the Volunteers of Spanish Fork, They stayed out until November when Johnstons army went into Winter Quarters at Fort Bridger. The companies of volunteers were ordered in for the season,m leaving only a sufficient guard to watch the movements of Johnston's troops.

After returning from Echo Canyon, George Snell went down to the river, broke the ide and Bishop Thurber baptized him into the Church of Jesus christ of Latter-Day Saints. They worked together for the benefit of the people of this community.

Snell was the Mayor of Spanish Fork and the Bishop for several years during the latter part of 1880 and till wards were divided in 1901.