|Issac Williams employed some Battlion soldiers to work on his Chino Rancho. He had over 1,000 acres of wheat to harvest. The soldiers were eager to make a little extra money while not on duty.
By early 1847, Issac Williams was ready to sell his property. He had lost his wife and much of his fortune during the War with Mexico. But the Rancho was still prosperous. In addition to wheat, beans, peas, barley and grapes were profitable crops. Although many had been taken during the war, there were still cattle and horses. There was also soap factory on the property.
The vanquard group of Mormon immigrants was just arriving in the Salt Lake Valley. Thousands of other immigrants were still in temporary shelters stretching across Iowa and into Nebraska. It didn't seem to be the time to travel another 1,000 miles.
Brigham Young had identified Salt Lake as the gathering place fro members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He instructed Hunt to decline the offer.