With the approach of Johnston's Army in 1857, he participated in the Utah War councils. After moving his extensive families to Provo in the Move South, he assisted in the peaceful settlement of the dispute and the establishment of the army at Camp Floyd in Rush Valley, west of Lehi.
In 1860 he was called to preside as stake president over the settlements in Sanpete County, where he served seventeen years, until the time of his death. He was elected and served twelve years in the Territorial legislature, the last part as the president of the Utah Senate. In 1861 he recruited and sent fifty Sanpete families to settle St. George, Utah. In Sanpete he was a wheat farmer and Indian agent, and he fought in the Black Hawk Indian wars, finally helping establish peace, after the deaths of more than 100 whites. During this period he made frequent trips to Salt Lake City to participate in territorial and church councils.