THE LIFE STORY OF GEORGE FRANKLIN RAWLINS
My father, George Franklin Rawlins, was born December 4, 1880, at Lewiston Cache County, Utah, in a two roon house that his father built. He was the eldest son of Franklin Archable Rawlins, who was born January 22, 1857, in Draper, Utah. He was the son of Harvey McGalyard Rawlins and Margaret Frost. Dad's mother, Leona Leavitt, was born in Centerville1 Davis County. Utah, September 25, 1860, a daughter of George Leavitt and Janette Brinkerhoff.
Father was blessed February 3, 1881, in the Lewiston First Ward by H. J. Talbot, Sr. He was baptized December 4, 1888 by his father F. A. Rawlins in Cub River, and confirmed December 6, 1888 by William L. Allen. He received his patriarchial blessing February 23, 1897 by 0. N. Lilinquist and later received a blessing by Richard G. Larnbert, February 21, 1924.
He began school September 1887 in the little old school house where the Lewiston First Ward Chapel now stands. In the days when be went to the schools, the grades were not graded and apparently didn't start the work of grading until he was in the eighth grade. Some of his teachers were: George M. Thomson, Nellie Thomas, Hugh Nelson, Robert Fife, William G. Raymond, Bessie Moorehead, Roxey Smith, Joshua P. Terry, and others.
He began his schooling at the Brigham Young College in Logan, Utah, September 1896. He started again in 1897 and only went as long as March 17, 1898 and then had to come home as grandfather was called to go on a mission to California. He started back to school in 1900 but never did graduate. William J. Kerr was President of the college when he started to school and when he went back in 1900 James H. Linford was President.
He had many childhood memories of hearding cows and the time spent on his father's farm in Cornish, Utah.
As a child, Dad was thrilled when the circus came to town. The only time he was able to attend one, he spent enjoyable hours watching the antics of the animals; but when he returned home he found his mother had died - never again would he go to the circus.
He remembered crawling under the piano before he could walk and humming the tunes that were played. He had a high tenor voice and sang along with the sopranos. He disliked his high voice so much he almost ruined his voice by trying to sing lower.
Father was ordained a deacon February 13, 1894 by William Waddoups, and later a teacher December 10, 1895 by William H. Lewis. He served in this capacity until September 29, 1901 when he was ordained an Elder by William Waddoups and later a Seventy by Joseph Hyer, January 19, 1904, just a year before he received his call to labor in the Southern States Mission.
He left for his mission March 29, 1905 and returned May 25, 1906, on account of ill health. Mother tells the story as to how Father got a cold and the lady of the house or a negro mammy got him into a sweat to break the cold and some people came for father to administer to a sick one and he got up and went as he felt it was his duty. He, however, contracted mbre cold, which seemed impossible to get rid of, so they finally had to send him home.
He was ordained a High Priest April 20, 1913 by Robert N. Egbert. He had been a member of Primary, Sunday School, and M.I.A. He also served as a teacher in the Sunday School for a short time, also as Chorister for one summer.
Father got Diptheria in April 1891 and was so sick that when he had recovered sufficiently to be up and around, he had to learn to walk all over again. On February 22, 1919, he came down with Typhoid Fever while working at the Amalgamated Sugar Factory, and was not able to get around until June. After his illness he had an abscess on his wrist that got so bad he had to carry his arm in a sling for about a year.
On November 28, 1936 father was taken to the Budge Hospital where he was treated for twenty one days for Prostate trouble and was then brought home for a month and then back in January when he was operated on and then stayed there for twenty-one days.
Father's favorite sport as a boy was riding his pony. For his amusement he went to dances. He played the clarinet in an orchestra for about ten years for the dances. As a small boy he played in the Primary Harmonica Band.
He was put in as Ward Clerk on March 4, 1909, to serve Bishop A. L. Hyer, and then later served under G. A.Hogan, William A. Hyer, Saul E. Hyer. He was set apart July 31, 1932, by Apostle Joseph F. Merrill as Ward Clerk to David 0. Hendricks. He also served as clerk for Bishops Dow Lewis and Victor Waddoups. He was the Ward Clerk for a total of thirty-six years and was released two weeks before he became sixty-five years of age.
He served as city clerk for six years then finished a term for H. Verne Wiser when he left to go to school. He later served two years 1936 and 1937 under Bert Pond, Mayor. Dad was clerk for the Cub River Irrigation Company having started with them in March of 1924. He was secretary for Camp #63 of the Sons of Utah Pioneers.
When I was little, my father rocked me a lot. This was always a favorite time with all us children.
Dad stands out in my mind as a most unforgettable acquaintance. To me, he was everything that was wonderful and good.
Dad learned early that the best things in life are not free. It takes hard work to achieve your goal; a person gains only what he is willing to contribute.
When he was a young boy, he had diptheria and was extremely ill. Day after day, he sat hunched over in the rocking chair. The rocking motion seemed to comfort him a great deal, but, because his bones had softened, he was left with a permanent deformity. He had a hunch on his back.
Through the years, people have not always been kind, many an unkind remark has been made about his back, but never once did dad retaliate with the old "eye for an eye, tooth for-a tooth."
My father made hundreds of friends, and was highly spoken of by every member of the community. He was a friend to one and all; their problems were his problems. While he had few faults of his own, he was not so narrow minded that he couldn't tolerate the faults of others. I have never known my father to gossip or make an unkind remark about anyone.
Dad loved the cultural things. He was talented musically and for several years sang in a quartet as well as played with the orchestra.
Indebtedness and tardiness were two of his "pet peeves". From the time we could walk, he taught us the virtues of being on time for every meeting and appointment. He always maintained that to be really happy one must stay out of debt. We did without a lot of luxuries, but the shadow of heavy debts did not hover over us.
I think the memories that are instilled in my mind the most, however, are the times we spent rocking with dad in front of the fire, and as I grew older, the long walks I had with my father. If I ever had to work late or walk home in the dark, he was always there to walk with me.
Dad's health was not so good in the last years of his life. He had erythema Nodesum and was left with a heart block as a result. He was to live with this condition for twelve years before his death. His eye sight gradually became worse from cataracts his one desire was to have his eyesight restored, but, because of his heart condition felt 1t unwise to submit to an operation. He developed shingles shortly before his death. The doctor said that his death was not a cause of any one thing but a gradual wearing out. Death came April 20, 1957.