David Sanger (1782-1851)
David Sanger was born on 17 September 1782 in
Framingham, Massachusetts, the son of
David Sanger (born 1751) and Rheuhama Nutt (born 1753),
who married in 1779. David moved to Littleton, New Hampshire, where
he married Mary (Polly) Palmer (1783-1854) on 8 July 1806. After
the birth of his older children, the family began a long migration westward
following the work of building canals, a task that included
felling trees, removing stumps, excavating the channel (often through
solid limestone), and building locks and aqueducts. Already living in
western New York in 1816, he began in 1817 on the western sections of the
Erie Canal with a contract at Rochester, where the
aqueduct over the Genesee river was completed in 1823, then at
the western terminus on the Niagara River, until the canal was
completed in 1825. During these years the older children
attended schools in Genesee County (near Rochester) and
at Black Rock (near Buffalo), while Polly continued to bear
additional children. In the fall of 1826, the family removed to
Pittsburgh, where David began heavy construction on the Western Division
of the Pennsylvania Canal. This project lasted five years, proceeding
from Pittsburgh to Blairsville and on to Johnstown, where canal
boats were loaded on the Allegheny Portage Railway for the journey
eastward. During these years the family settled in Blairsville, where
the oldest children were married, Lorenzo in 1830 and Laura in 1831.
On completion of the canal, David and his family continued westward
to Ohio and Indiana, where further opportunities opened up in canals
and other construction. In 1836 David and his sons were living in St.
Joseph, Michigan, engaged in bridge building and general mercantile
business. In that year contracts were let for the Illinois
and Michigan Canal, connecting the Illinois River at Lasalle with
Lake Michigan at Chicago. Sanger and his associates, including his son
Lorenzo, began in the rock sections near Lockport and Joliet, continuing
westward to Lasalle. Among their main accomplishments were Lock 15 and
the 464-foot-long Fox River Aqueduct,
carrying the canal over the river
at Ottawa. This project, begun in 1838, was the greatest engineering feat
on the canal, and the pinnacle of David Sanger's career. Upon its completion
in 1842 he and Polly settled in Ottawa, where they spent their remaining years.
David and Polly were converts of the Latter-Day Saints, endowed at
Nauvoo on 24 January 1846. David Sanger died on 1 May 1851 and is buried
in Ottawa Avenue Cemetery. Polly died in 1854. Their children were:
- Laura Sanger, born in Littleton 2 September 1807, married newspaper
editor Benjamin Andrews of Blairsville, Pennsylvania on 21 August 1831; in
1860 they lived in Hambden, Ohio.
- Lorenzo Palmer Sanger (1809-1875).
- William Alonzo Sanger, born in Littleton 9 August 1810, married
Mary Miles (born 1812) of Newburgh, Ohio in 1833 and settled in Lima (now
Howe), Indiana. Their children were Charles Miles Sanger (1834-1904),
married Mary Jane Patton, and Mary Elizabeth Sanger (1836-1917), married
Furman G. Crane. Dr. William A. Sanger was a physician and farmer. He and
Mary were both converted by the Latter-Day Saints, and lived at Nauvoo,
Illinois, where they received their temple endowment on 18 December 1845.
They did not go to Utah, but returned to Indiana. They later moved to Earlville
(by 1860), Joliet (by 1866) and Frankfort, Illinois (by 1869). He died on
11 December 1887 in Florence, Kansas.
- Mary Louisa Sanger, born in New Hampshire on 26 March 1813, settled
with her parents in Ottawa, Illinois. A woman of a strong will and bright
intellect, Louisa Sanger was a convert of the Latter-Day Saints, and was
reportedly sealed in plural marriage to Hyrum Smith (1800-1844), older
brother of Joseph Smith. She supported the claims of James
Jesse Strang after the death of Joseph Smith, but broke with
Strang by 1849. She died in Will County, Illinois in 1877 and is
buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Joliet.
- James Young Sanger, born in Sutton, Vermont on 26 March 1814, was a
businessman in Chicago. He married Mary Catherine McKibben (1818-1904) in
Lockport, Illinois on 5 April 1841. Their children were Harriet Amelia
Sanger (1843-1922) who married industrialist George
M. Pullman in Chicago on 13 June 1867; James McKibben Sanger (1844-1877),
married Alice Eudocia Foster; and Frederick William Sanger (1852-1896),
married Minerva Cooper. James Y. Sanger died on 3 July 1867, and is buried
in Graceland Cemetery, Chicago.
- Lucian Palmer Sanger (sometimes written Lucien), born in Perry, New York
on 14 March 1816, came to Illinois with his parents. In 1843, while engaged
in his brother Lorenzo's stagecoach business in Dixon, Illinois, he had
occasion to help Mormon leader Joseph Smith escape arrest. On 17 September
1851 he married Elizabeth B. Reynolds (born 1830), daughter of Martin Reynolds
and Elizabeth Hitt; they had an adopted daughter Ella (married Hugh White)
and a son Edward B. They settled in Ottawa, Joliet and later in Frankfort,
Illinois, where he operated an iron foundry making corn shellers and
agricultural implements. After 1870 the family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah,
where Lucian was involved in the mining business. He died after 1880. His
widow was living in California in February 1904, when she traveled to Mexico
City after visiting her niece Hattie Pullman in Pasadena.
- Harriet Aurelia Sanger, born 1 May 1819, married in 1841 Dr. John A.
Henricks (1811-1876) of South Bend, Indiana; she died before 1854. Their
son, Edward William Henricks (1849-1924), was associated with George Pullman,
and served as the first Town Agent of Pullman, Illinois.
- Emmaline Sanger was born on 13 April 1821 and died 1 January 1826
at the age of four.
Elmer Baldwin, History of La Salle County, Illinois. Chicago:
Rand McNally & Co., 1877, p. 251
David Sanger, from Massachusetts to Ohio, to near Lockport, Illinois,
in 1836, and to Ottawa in 1838. He was contractor for building the canal
acqueduct [sic] across the Fox river at Ottawa, under the firm of
D. Sanger & Sons. He died in 1851; his widow died in 1854. His children
were: Lorenzo P.; Dr. W. A.; J. Y.; Lucien P., who has resided at Ottawa
and Joliet, is now in Utah; and two daughers: Louisa; Harriet, married
Dr. Henriks, of Indiana, both deceased.
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