Photograph of William Casto

My great-great-great grandfather, William Casto, was born in 1816 in Missouri. He and his family joined the Mormon church in 1822, and moved to Nauvoo, Illinois with other Mormon settlers. Citizens of other nearby towns persecuted the LDS, and forced them to move to Iowa before eventually moving to Utah. In 1848, after the start of the Mexican American war, William joined the Mormon Battalion to prove loyalty to the United States. He was a lead scout on the expedition to settle Utah, and once there, traveled back and forth from Iowa to Utah to serve as a sort of mail service. He ended up taking 4 wives, keeping with the early Mormon tradition of polygamy, and fathered 9 children. He was a farmer and horticulturalist, and introduced peaches and peonies to Utah.This is a photograph from circa 1860. My family has been here for generations (since the Mayflower), and the most recent immigration story was from an Irish immigrant born in 1841. William Casto's story is more indicative of my place in America's history. Both sides of my family have ties to Mormonism, and intranational migration is not something unfamiliar to us. William Casto is somewhat of a legend in my family, and his story is one I'm happy to share.

Year: 1860

– Annabelle Gary

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more