A Resident of Old Fort Harmony



Rufus Chester Allen was born in Delaware County, New York, on October 22, 1827. When he was seven years old, his family moved to Caldwell County, Missouri, and later to Nauvoo, Illinois. As a young man, he was called on by the leaders of the Church to assist in ferrying people across the Mississippi River during the winter of 1845-1846.

Rufus joined the Mormon Battalion and traveled to Los Angeles. After his enlistment was completed, he returned to Iowa and helped all remaining family members to Utah.

At the age of twenty-two, Rufus accompanied Apostle Parley P. Pratt on the Southern Expedition, exploring the region of what is now Southern Utah. He volunteered to stay with the wagons and oxen when Parley and the forward company traveled the St. George Loop, and also stayed with the wagons near Fillmore, Utah, when part of the company was forced to rest the animals and return in the spring.

Following the trek, Rufus traveled with Elder Pratt on a mission to South America. They both returned to Salt Lake City in 1852. In March of 1853, Rufus married Lavenia H. Yearsley and they made their home in Ogden. They became the parents of three children. Soon after his marriage, he was called on another mission, this time, to the Indians of Southern Utah. He served on this mission for three years. While on this mission, he married Margaret McConnell, by whom he had one son, Chester W. Allen. Following this mission, he returned to Ogden. He later served in the Utah War of 1857-1858, and spent much of his time guarding Echo Canyon.

In 1966 Rufus drove teams east and west, bringing immigrants to Utah. He assisted in found Paragonah, but later settled in St. George. He also moved his family to Kanarra, Harmony, Pinto Creek, Cottonwood Creek, La Verkin, North Creek, and lastly back to Ogden. He labored for fourteen years in the St. George Temple after its dedication and was set apart as a counselor in the Ogden First Ward. Rufus died in Ogden, sometime during the winter of 1888-1889.1