He was a member of the Mormon Battalion and was with workers who found gold in Sutter's Mill.
Henry was a member of the Mormon Battalion, and as a result he initially traveled to the Salt Lake Valley from California with the Jonathan H. Holmes/Samuel Thompson Company in 1848, as indicated in Henry’s reminiscences.
At the end of a mission to the Sandwich Islands in 1855, he traveled with the William McBride Company as sergeant of the Guard and company historian. His obituary erroneously states that he returned to Utah in 1854. Company sources make it clear that Henry did travel in 1855 with the McBride company. Upon reaching Utah, he married Cynthia Jane Whipple, who also traveled with the McBride company.
At the end of another mission to the Sandwich Islands, William traveled home with the Frederick A. Mitchell Company in 1858.