They came to Salt Lake City with the Capt. Daniel Millers Ox team Co .. There were 282 people, 70 wagons, 27 horses, 470 cattle, 153 sheep. They left camp at Winter Quarters, June 9, 1853. They endured great hardships, having to walk a great deal of the way. Food was rationed out to them, they all shared alike.
After their arrival here Sept. 9, 1853, they settled in Bountiful, Utah. He helped build the Spanish- type wall around Great Salt Lake City, Utah, for protection against the Indians. It was during this year that Chief Walker waged war against the new citizens of Utah and many lost their lives.
On Dec. 29, 1853, the Church Chronology, (paper) states that the so-called Spanish Wall would be 12 feet high, 6 feet thick at the base, tapering to 2 feet 6 inches at a height of six-feet above the ground, and keeping that thickness to the top. It was to be six-miles ill length and made of adobe and rock. He was a veteran of the Echo Canyon war and also assisted in bringing emigrants to Utah. After 1860 the practice of sending wagons and teams from the valley to carry the emigrants from the East, eliminated the need for handcart travel after that year.
Many people who could not afford to purchase wagons and teams were able to make the 1,300 mile journey by this cheaper mode of travel. James and Sarah also helped to settle a town at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, it is now known as Brighton, utah. He was a hard worker and very strong. In 1858, they moved south, then came back in 1862 and settled in Logan, Utah.
In 1862 a large emigration arrived from Europe. The Church sent teams to the Mississippi River to bring the Saints across the plains. James Denning drove 4 yoke of oxen in this train also. He and his family were missioned to Bear Lake in July of 1864. Later on they settled at Montpelier, Idaho. They went through many hardships. I have heard Mother Denning tell of making moccasins out of cowhide. There were no shoes to be had. The snow was so deep that they could not get out until spring. They had to cord, spin and weave their own clothes. Most of this work fell to the women. The men worked hard too and together they prospered, even though the wheat: froze every year during this Ume. They had 13 children, all but one grew to manhood and womanhood; his name was William and he died when two years old with the croup.
The family moved to Malad and is buried at St. John Cemetery, near Malad, Idaho. Two headstones mark the graves of James and his dear wife Sarah; on these two headstones are the engravings of two-clasped hands. On hers it reads; "Sarah Merrifield, wife of James Denning, born Aug. 19, 1832, died Jan. 9, 1900--She was a kind and affectionate wife and a fond mother and a friend to all". On the headstone of James Denning, born March 2, 1830, died May 2, 1898, is written;"Amiable and beloved father, Farewell. Not on this perishing stone, but in the Book of Life and in the hearts of Thy Afflicted Friends is thy worth recorded". The headstones were placed there by their son, James Henry Denning. What greater tribute could a son give to his beloved parents.