Elijah may have been among the small group of men who remained behind at Devil's Gate until spring to guard the personal belongings of the emigrants who had been rescued. His name is listed with the rest of the group in the minutes of the meeting taken by John Jaques. However, Dan Jones' journal, written many years later, notes the name of Elijah's father, John, instead of Elijah. It is uncertain whether Jones is mistaken or if at Elijah was initially selected, but later replaced by his father. Further, no evidence has been found to indicate that John Chappell even made the trip West.
A church ordinance record (June 5, 1861) documents his presence in Utah at that date, as does an 1863 Third Judicial District court record, Utah Territory Executive Department, proving he was in Utah County at that time.
His name also appears on the California Great Registers, 1866-1910 in 1880, which is a voter registration.