May Belle Thurman Davis was the regent of the Daughters of the Mormon Battalion and the first to sign the document.
Document containing the petition by the Daughters of the Mormon Battalion that a memorial be built to honor the members of the Mormon Battalion, given to Governor H. M. Spry in January of 1915. He ordered that 200 copies of the petition be printed at the state's expense for distribution to members of the State Legislature. The petition was written by a group of 6 women, including: May Belle Thurman Davis, Mary Jones Clawson, Kathleen Ferguson Burton, Hattie Jones Pickett, Laura Coon Cutler, and Isabel Karren Thurman, who listed their reasons for why a memorial should be built. They told of how the battalion had been enlisted by the United States Government on July 16, 1846 while the pioneers were at Council Bluffs, Iowa. The enlistment notice asked for 500 volunteers, which was answered accordingly. More than 500 men marched over 2,000 miles to the Pacific coast. The men were given $42 each for a year-supply of clothing, but many of the men sent the majority of the money back to their families at Council Bluffs to assist the journey to the Salt Lake Valley. The petition includes a copy of a letter of congratulations from Col. Cook to the battalion when they reached San Diego. Col. Philip St. George Cook was the head of the Mormon Battalion and in the letter he describes the harsh conditions of the march, as well as the great contribution of the men. The collection contains a seven-page typewritten petition in good condition. At the top of the document is a hand-written note telling of how the petition was given to Governor Spry and circulated among the legislators, with the initials M.B.T.D. signed underneath. The note also says, 'Several days later he recommended that a monument in honor of the Mormon Battalion be erected upon the Capitol grounds.' Each line of the document is numbered and double-spaced, making it highly legible. The women of the Daughters of the Mormon Battalion Memorial Committee stated their purpose as desiring a 'site [to] be designed upon the capitol grounds for a memorial commemorating this first military incident of State,' at the nearing completion of the capitol building. The women felt it was only fair that the first military action of the state of Utah be given a memorial, especially since the battalion assisted many to enter the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847. The women gave many other reasons why they memorial should be built. The troops dug wells along the way to California, thus helping many others who would follow them with a steady supply of water. They also pioneered a road from the Cajun Pass into the Salt Lake Valley, a distance of 500-600 miles. The battalion participated in the discovery of gold in California, thereby opening much of the west to settlers. Ten of the members of the battalion were even selected to be bodyguards to General Kearney as he traveled. 143 sick and disabled soldiers spent the winter in Pueblo, then entered the valley July 29, 1847. Upon arrival in the valley, the battalion built the first public edifice of the community, the 'Bowery' on the temple grounds. President Brigham Young thanked the soldiers publicly at City Creek for their services.