Deseret News Obituary, 2 Sep 1855
At Parowan, Iron co., on Sunday, Sept. 1, 1855, of billous fever and apoplexy, DAVID LEWIS, son of Neriah and Mary, born in Warren (now Simpson) Co., Kentucky, April 10, 1814. Ages 41 years and 4 months.
David Lewis became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Mar 21, 1835. In August, 1835 he was ordained an elder under the hands of his brother Benjamin Lewis, then President of a branch in Simpson county, Ky. He gathered with the church in the fall of 1836, and took up land among the saints in Caldwell co., Missouri, near Hann's [sic] mill; here with his brothers Benjamin and Tarlton, on the 20th Sept. 1838, he shared in one of the most brutal, cowardly and bloody massacres that ever was perpetrated by men on their fellows. Out of about 35 men, besides women and children, 16 saints were killed on the spot, and 2 died soon after and 15 were wounded. Benjamin Lewis, his eldest brother, was shot in several places and died that evening.--- His second brother, Tarlton Lewis, was wounded by a bullet in the shoulder, and his clothes riddled in many places, but now lives and is Bishop of Parowan.
David Lewis, the subject of this memoir, had three ball holes in his pants and two in his coat, yet escaped further injury. One three of about twenty that fled, the blacksmith's shop the better to keep the mob at bay, that the sisters and children might escape, were spared alive in the shop, and a few that fled wounded.
I now copy from his journal: --"I am willing to bear my testimony to all mankind, that God will save and deliver those that exercise an unshaken faith in him, for at that time I did exercise an unshaken faith in him, and fully believed that I would make my escape and my life be spared. And then I said, O Lord thou hast delivered me for some purpose, and I am willing to fulfill that purpose, whenever thou shalt make it know [sic] to me, and to do all the duties that thou magest [sic] enjoin upon me, from this time, henceforth and forever;" amen.
At this time, this small band, on their way to Far West, were attacked by about 250 to 300 Missourian mobocrats. About three weeks after, he was again taken prisoner and remained in their custody some days; he was there sick of chills and fever, had two guns taken from him, and a cow, and finally had an order to pass out of the State eastward, as a negro would have had, but being in the winter he declined going at that time.
In February, 1839, he romved with his family to Quincy, Illinois; staying there one month, he took his wife and children to Kentucky, where with her father they remained while he went on his first mission eastward, and preached the gospel as he went. "Aiming to go to Virginia, I turned in to Overton county, Tennessee, where meeting with Julian Moses, we preached together, baptized many and organized a branch of the church." Here he met with much opposition, but bore a faithful testimony among them till the fall, when he returned to his family in Kentucky, who accompained him in the spring of 1840 to Illinois.
In 1841 he reached Nauvoo and mingled with the saints there for five years. During this time he and David Evans, how [sic] Bishop of Lehi city, traveled in the south east of Illinois, and raised up a branch there; also in company with Jefferson Hunt.
In 1846 he left Nauvoo for Winter Quarters, and from there accompanied Bishop Milled to Punks, and returned in 1847; but being short of means went to Missouri with some others and in 1851 was enabled to cross the plains and join the saints in Great Salt Lake City.
At the October conference 1853, he was called to go on a mission to the Indians---and during the winter with many others studied the Spanish language under P.P. Pratt, and on the 10th April, 1854, his 40th birthday, in the organization of a company of missionaries to the Pahute Indians of Harmony and the south, he was appointed first counselor to R.C. Allen.
In this calling he has been diligent, making several visits among the Indians on the Rio Virgin, Santa Clara and the head waters of the Sevier. By his discreet course among them he gained the confidence of Walker and many of their chiefs, and finally was stationed in Parowan and vicinity as Indian trader, where disease and death overcame him.
He died in full faith and fellowship, leaving a numerous family, and many sincere friends longing in hope for a reunion.