As promised, more on my Southern Utah Mountain Biking and Church History trip. Took a timeout to visit and tour Jacob Hamblin's house, located in Santa Clara, a pleasantly historic neighborhood located about four miles northwest of St. George. The SL Trib has a nice little writeup, with photo. Both myself and DW thought the kindly sister missionary who gave us the tour and spiel bore an amazing resemblance to my mother in both appearance and manners, which was probably God's way of discouraging me from asking nasty questions. I complied with this veiled hint from the Almighty. I'm surprised He knew I was coming and planned ahead; I didn't even know Jacob Hamblin *had* a house near St. George until last Thursday!
The most interesting material concerned the story of his first wife, Lucinda. They married in 1839 in Wisconsin, Jacob joined the Mormons in 1842, as did his wife sometime later. In 1843, they moved to Nauvoo. Then the story gets interesting.
Jacob took a second wife, Rachel, while Jacob was still in Nauvoo. After the fall of Nauvoo, the lot of them moved west, but (according to the LDS spiel) Lucinda "abandoned" Jacob and their four kids somewhere along the way. I have a hard time believing any woman would simply "abandon" her four kids. My guess (gut instinct, I can't locate any statements giving reliable details) is that she got wind of polygamy and Wife No. 2 (or just got fed up with the previously known arrangement) and wanted out but, surrounded by the uber-faithful in some Winter Quarterish Mormon village on the Plains, was unable to pry her children away from a Mormon patriarch, who headed off to Utah with Wife No. 2 and the kids. Alternatively, Lucinda was just a flakey wife who didn't eat her Pioneer Wheaties before heading out across the Plains. Incidentally, the LDS spiel also suggested Jacob didn't marry Rachel until *after* Lucinda had "abandoned" him and the kids, which appears to be incorrect.
My incomplete facts come from the 30 minutes I spent with the little Jacob Hamblin autobiography at the St. George Deseret Book (which didn't add much--he said precious little about wives and kids, but plenty about riding around being adventurous and dealing with Native Americans), and this nice little piece with a citation to the Utah History Encyclopedia that seems to confirm that Jacob took his second wife before leaving Nauvoo, but doesn't give enough detail to explain the full story of Lucinda Taylor Hamblin's decision to leave Jacob. I'm guessing the answers are in Juanita Brooks' biography of Hamblin entitled Jacob Hamblin, Mormon Apostle to the Indians (Westwater Press, 1980), but I don't have easy access to a copy.
Anyone with additional information or sources, please chime in.