Draft Life History of James and Mary Jane Sharp Rawlins
Compiled from available records, updated 25 July 1998
[Note: I had to compile this draft while I was unexpectedly away from home, with only the limited resources available on my laptop computer. Please send your additions and corrections to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. My mailing address is 2638 Eastwood Ave, Richland, WA 99352. By using the web site we can all contribute to this document, making it more complete than any of us could do by ourselves Stephen Rawlins.]
James Rawlins was born 6 Jan 1794, in Rutherford County, North Carolina, the son of Charles and Aristacia Gregory Rawlins. He had several brothers and sisters. His younger brother, Joseph, was his constant companion during his early years. Their father, Charles, either died or was missing in action in the military while his family was living in Warren County, Kentucky in 1800. Their uncle, Roderick Rawlins, apparently took the two boys six and four years old into his care. Roderick and the two young men came to Indiana in the year 1812, where they settled in what is now Lawrence County. An excerpt from the history of Lawrence County Illinois describes their relationship.
"The first settlers of Laurence Co. Ind, left Lee Co Va. in the spring of 1809. They came to Kentucky and stopped until 1810 when they came to this county. These families were succeeded in 1813 by Roderick Rawlins and his two nephews Joseph Rawlins Sr, another old Kentuckian who's birth dates back to 21 Apr 1796. He came here with an Uncle Roderick Rawlins and a brother in 1813 and settled on White River at the mouth of Mill Creek. He together with his uncle and brother made a clearing of about 15 acres, during the winter of 1813-1814 and fenced the same. In the spring they planted corn, potatoes and some garden vegetables upon it. In June they went to Charlestown, Ind. and joined the county rangers of which mention has been made. They made their general head quarters at Fort Harrison, 3 miles north of Terra Haute on the Wabash, but were engaged in scouting the country along the Wabash and White Rivers and their valleys very often going far into the interior of the State. They were discharged from the service about the first of June 1815. In coming back to the settlement they had made in White River."
Joseph stayed in Lawrence County Indiana, becoming a very successful merchant. Roderick later moved from Indiana to Illinois, and remained there until 1844, when he moved to Texas and settled on Ten-Mile Creek in the southern part of Dallas County. James and his older sister, Charlotte, also moved to Illinois, where they joined the Mormon Church, and moved to Utah two years after Roderick left for Texas.
Charlotte, James' older sister, and Amy, his younger sister, had also migrated to Indiana about 1815. Charlotte married Ezekiel Downs 2 Mar 1814 in Harrison County Indiana and raised a family. They too migrated to Illinois in the fall of 1828 and settled in Adams County in the spring of 1829, twelve miles below Quincy. Amy married James Lemmon 2 Apr 1818 in Orange County Indiana. James married Mary Jane Sharp (a daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Sharp, born 22 Mar 1794 in Barren County, Kentucky) on 19 Mar 1816 in Harrison County, Indiana. Both were twenty-one years old. Although most records show her name only as Jane, her patriarchal blessing shows it as Mary Jane.
Two children were born to them while they lived in at Crawford County Indiana Sara on 3 Mar 1817, and Lucinda on 12 Mar 1819. The family migrated to Whitehall, Greene County, Illinois, where two children were born; Elizabeth on 27 Feb 1821 and Joseph Sharp on 9 Apr 1823. They next moved to Applecreek in the same county, where two children were born, Harvey McGalyard on 14 Feb 1825, and Leah on 19 Sep 1827. In 1828 James' family moved to Quincy in Adams County, Illinois. They lived in Adams County the next fourteen years. Here four children were born -- Amelia (Millie) Jane on 16 Jul 1831, Elva Ann on 6 Jan 1834, Nelson in 1835, and Charlotte Melvina on 9 Feb 1837.
A land deed recorded Nov 19, 1835 in Greene Co. Illinois documents the location of James, Jane and his uncle, Roderick Rawlins, in 1834. This deed was for the sale of a piece of property in Greene County that James and Jane had acquired by a grant from the United States. The land was transferred 1 November 1934 by James and Jane Rawlins of Adams County, Illinois, to Roderick Rawlins and Rachel Morrow of Greene County Illinois. Roderick and Rachel were Executor and Executrix of the estate of Samuel Morrow of Greene County.
James' uncle, Roderick, with his second wife Milly Parks and their three children also moved to Greene County sometime after 1822. His first wife, Sara King, died in 1814 in Lawrence County Indiana. Ezekiel and Charlotte Downs also moved to Illinois in the fall of 1828 and settled in Adams County in the spring of 1829, 12 miles below Quincy. The autobiography of Ezekiel and Charlotte's son, James, states that they "bought calves and raised for market, bought land, fenced 160 acres, broke 100 acres and raised large crops of corn, wheat, oats, beans, potatoes, pumpkins, melons, and raised hogs for market." James Rawlins' younger sister, Amy, and her husband, James Lemmon and family also followed to Illinois in about 1830, moving to Greene County near her uncle, Roderick.
It was in Adams County Illinois that James' and Charlotte's families became acquainted with members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. These members were making their way from Missouri to Nauvoo. In his autobiography, Joseph Lafayette Rawlins, Joseph Sharp's son, reports on this event as follows:
"Born of such migratory families, it is not surprising then to find my parents in 1849 following Brigham Young on the trek to Utah, once they had been fired with the zeal of Mormonism. This had come about in the following fashion. When my grandfather resided upon the banks of the Mississippi some Mormons in dire distress, driven from their Missouri homes in midwinter, after crossing the great river upon the ice, sought and found refuge in his home. In sympathy with their distress he lent a willing ear to their teachings and became a convert to their faith. He was bidden to "come out of Babylon and join the Saints of Zion." Hence he sold out and removed to Hancock County in the vicinity of Nauvoo. His family including my father also became proselytes."
James became a member of the Church in April 1840, being baptized by Bishop David Evans. [Jane was probably baptized at the same time, but I do not have a record of it.] Lucinda was baptized the following November, and the next year, on the 22 Apr 1841 she married Andrew Cunningham, who had been baptized three years earlier -- in1838.
James Downs' autobiography documents a similar experience for his family. In the spring of 1838 as the Mormons were being driven from Missouri, they crossed the Mississippi River near their farm. Five families came to their place with one old wagon and a poor span of horses. They took them in, gave them work and helped to feed and clothe them. When their oldest son, James, heard the Elders set forth the first Principles of the Gospel he received it with joy and was baptized and confirmed in October 1840, also by Bishop David Evans.
James Downs states in his autobiography that in the fall of 1841 Elder Hyde was sent from Nauvoo to council the members in Adams County to swap farms with the anti-Mormons in Hancock County, and gather. The Downs moved to Noltums Settlement 12 miles below Nauvoo. In the spring of 1842, in accordance with Elder Hyde's counsel, and as Joseph Lafayette Rawlins reported above, James and Jane traded their farm in Quincy with a man named Richard Wilton, in Bar Creek, Hancock County. Both Amelia Jane and Elva Ann were baptized 13 Jul 1842, and Charlotte's daughter, Amy Emily, and her husband of two years, Absalom Smith, were baptized in August 1842. It was in Hancock County that Sara, James' and Jane's oldest daughter, died in September of 1842. Charlotte and Husband Ezekiel Downs and their daughter Susanna were baptized in 1843. Here, in Quincy, Joseph Sharp Married Mary Ellen Frost on 1 Feb 1844, and he, Harvey McGalyard and Leah were baptized 4 Jun 1844 at Bar Creek. In his life sketch, Harvey McGalyard Rawlins recalls:
"I first joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about the middle of June, 1844. On the 27th of the same month and of the same year our Prophet Joseph and Hyrum Smith were murdered at Carthage. As I was living only eight miles from that place, next morning at eight o'clock, myself and Brother Isaac Stuart went to the jail and saw them hauling the dead bodies of our Prophet and Patriarch Hyrum, and wounded John Taylor, and the blood on the ground where they set Joseph against the well curb."
"The next instant of much note was that of the burning of 1845 south of Nauvoo about 18 miles at what was called Green Plains and High Land Branch. The burning first began with the burning of a man's barn by the name of Durphy. He stepped out to see something about it and the mob shot and killed him. From that they kept on and burned people's dwellings, sent word to people to move out, they were going to burn their houses. There was a company to guard the settlement. I was one of that company, saw many houses burned and laying in ashes, their families sitting around the fire in the scorching sun. There are many more incidences of this burning I might relate but time and space will not permit."
Aerial A. Rawlins, Harvey's grandson, in a taped conversation in 1980 recalls his grandmother's, Margaret Elzirah Frost Rawlins, comments:
"At the martyrdom of the Prophet my grandfather was working for a contractor to split rails for rail fences. And when he heard what had happened he went to Nauvoo. The story that my grandmother told me when I was a boy that he was one of the few men that knew where the Prophet and Hyrum were buried. Those men took an oath that they would rather than divulge where those graves were they would forfeit their lives. My grandmother says, I asked her at one time, I said, "do you know where they were buried?" and she said, "Harvey never did tell me." And she says I knew better than to ask him. Up until about 1936 the world did not know where they were buried, but the Church did. But they never told anybody they figured it was no one else's business".
Ezekiel and Charlotte's family also suffered much during this period. Their son James reports in his autobiography:
"This was in the spring of '44 and in the month of June. I had been down to my fathers and as I was returning home I saw a body of armed men in a little town called Lima and supposed it was training day, but was soon informed that it was a mob gathering to make an attack on Father Morley's settlement that night about 3 miles distant but before I reached the settlement I saw a black cloud rising in the Northwest. I increased my speed and reached a house just as the storm set in. It blowed down fences uprooted trees and the rain fell in torrents and the next morning the road was so filled with timber I had to pick my way through the woods. I speak of this children, that you may see that the Lord chose the storm to save his people for the mob had laid their plans to an attack on all the settlements, as well as Nauvoo. When I got home I was told that all the able bodied men was called to Nauvoo. I went up with my old shotgun to see what was wanted. The Prophet rode along the ranks and saw some of the boys barefooted and he rode to some shoe shops and told them to let the boys have shoes and he would foot the bill, but he was pressed upon by his enemies, backed up by apostates, that he fled to Montrose across the river with the intention of making his way to the Rocky Mountains, but his wife Emy sent for him to come back and save the people. He then said he would give himself up and die for his brethren and sisters and as he went to Carthage Jail he said he was going like a Lamb to the slaughter."
"I can not describe the scene that followed. Mobs marched through the country. I told the brethren that if we did not raise men and take them out of prison that they would be slaughtered. And when the word came I went to the woods to pray to know who was to lead the Church and when I rose a still small voice whispered to me "Brigham Young" and that gave me comfort."
"The heavens seemed to weep over the horrible deed for it rained so much that it drowned the crops and all nature seemed to wear a gloom. In the spring of '45 we swapped farms with Eli D. Walker 4 miles east of Warsaw. Ours was the best but he wanted boot and said he would not trade and started off and I went to the woods and prayed that he might change his mind and return and trade with us. When I got to the house he rode up and said he would trade. My father moved up and put in a crop and in the summer the mob began to haul a wagon load of armed men past my father's door and fired their guns and yelled like demons and early in the fall old Co. Williams a Baptist Preacher raised 60 men, camped in the woods 2 miles from my father's place and commenced burning houses. He sent out 12 men armed with a bottle of whiskey in each pocket with orders to the Mormons to take their sick folks and leave. We done so, and let them burn. It was a frame, painted, and done off in good style with four good rooms and cost about $800.00 where labor was very cheap. We sold the farm for $1,133.00 less than half its worth and glad to get that to make an outfit to leave such civilization."
When Ezekiel learned of the Prophet's death he said, "Well this is the last, my best friend is gone, surely there is nothing to this after all. I am through." Their son James, in his autobiography recalls the personality difference between his mother and father: "My father was uneven tempered, rather the extreme both ways. My mother was even tempered, kind, affectionate. They were well respected by their neighbors. They labored and made a good living." Charlotte's faith never weakened and she brought her family to Utah and raised them, although it was a great trial to leave behind her husband and one son, who chose not to remain with the Church.
The history of Henry Eastman Day, future member of the Church and future husband of James' and Jane's daughter, Leah, also records his recollections of this tragic period:
"He [Henry Eastman Day] then went to Cincinnati Ohio where he got work. While there he heard a Mormon Elder preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, for the first time. On 3 Sept 1842 he started for Nauvoo in company with a member of the Mormon Church by the name of Elisha Turner. They arrived 1 Oct 1842. He was there hired to work in a livery stable, often grooming the horse that the Prophet Joseph Smith used to ride. He often remarked that he certainly made a noble figure mounted on a horse. He had some sort of majesty and imposing grandeur about him that seemed to inspire those who saw him. He there took up forty acres of land and built a house. He lived in that vicinity until 1844, at which time there was great excitement through out the country concerning the Mormon's. Mr. Day was then working on the road between Carthage and Warsaw, repairing a bridge that had washed out. While there he saw a large crowd gathering on the Prairie, out of that crowd some fifty-five or sixty men volunteered to go to the Carthage jail and murder the Prophet Joseph Smith, and the Brothern that were with him in jail."
"The mob soon came plodding along the road behind a poor team of horses and an old dilapidated wagon, and in the back of the wagon they had a barrel of whiskey and a tin cup hanging on to the side. They were drinking whiskey and cursing and swearing and threatening that they were going to kill "Joe Smith" and the Mormons that were in the Carthage jail. When Mr. Day heard their threats he stopped working on the bridge and would not complete it, but compelled the mob to go a long distance out of their way to get back on the road that led to the jail. They cursed and swore at him because he would not let them cross the bridge but did him no harm. After they passed on he completed the bridge, then went home. In about two hours the word came that the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum had been murdered by the mob."
"Early the next morning 28 June 1844 Mr. Day went to examine the jail where the Prophet was murdered. He there met a number of the brethern from Nauvoo who had come to get the bodies of the Prophet and his brother Hyrum, and take them back to Nauvoo."
James and Jane received patriarchal blessings from John Smith, patriarch, on 23 Aug 1845, and he and Jane were endowed Christmas Eve of that same year at Nauvoo. James was ordained a High Priest in 1846.
The family was among the first group to prepare to make their journey westward. In the spring of 1846 they left Illinois, crossed the Mississippi River on flat boats. Harvey tells about taking a herd of cattle across. They became frightened and rushed to end of the boat, and the boat dipped water. That frightened them more and they rushed to the other end, sinking the boat. Both men and cattle were thrown into the river and many came very near being drowned, himself being one of that number.
The Downs family also left at this same time. Their son James states that his father, mother, brothers and three sisters all traveled with the main body of the Church, and stopped at Council Bluffs to winter. The Rawlins family passed through Iowa and camped on the eastern side of the Missouri River, above what became Council Bluffs, on "Honey Creek."
That fall, in early December, Harvey McGalyard along with Joseph Sharp and his wife traveled to Nishnabotna (meaning "Place of good canoeing"), a place about sixty miles down the river from Council Bluffs. There on 3 Dec 1846 Harvey McGalyard was married to Margaret Elzirah Frost, youngest daughter of McCaslin Frost and Penina Smith. The men found employment, splitting rails for a man named Jones.
It was obviously not mere happenstance that Harvey ran into Margaret Frost at Nishnabotna. After all, they had left Honey Creek in early December, traveled sixty miles, and the couple was married by the 3rd of December a pretty short courtship if there been no previous romance. In her autobiography, Margaret explains that they had both previously lived in Hancock County, Illinois. Undoubtedly they must have known each other. Her father had rented a place about five miles from Carthage where they lived for several years until after the Prophet was killed. Her brother, Samuel Buckhamon Frost, had joined the Church earlier, and was sent on a mission. When he returned in 1842 he baptized his little sister Margaret. In May 1846 they left their home and started west, stopping at Council Bluffs, Iowa -- perhaps traveling with the Rawlins family? In the fall of 1846 her father and brother Samuel went about 60 miles down the river to Nishnabotna, where Samuel bought a place and the whole family lived there. Margaret was working at a neighboring home doing sewing when Harvey M. Rawlins "came after her." She must have had some expectation that he was coming, since they were married the same day that Harvey, his brother Joseph S., and wife, Mary Frost Rawlins arrived. Only after the marriage did the men hire out to split rails for Mr. Jones.
About the last of December they moved back to Honey Creek, where James and his children Harvey, Joseph and Lucinda and their spouses all lived close together. The men would go out hunting and got plenty of honey for the families for the winter. New Year's Day they were fortunate in killing two wild turkeys for their dinner.
About this time William Barger, Margaret Elzirah's brother-in-law, went to the Battalion, so Harvey and Margaret moved the sister, Fereba Frost Barger, to a home they built near theirs and supported her while they lived there. The men built a schoolhouse, and had a school during the winter of 1847.
The extended family remained at Honey Creek during 1846 and 1847, planting and gathering corn, potatoes and other food products, to provide for and last them until new homes could be found in the West. Joseph Lafayette Rawlins, again in his autobiography, recalls the following:
"Several things of interest and importance occurred while at Honey Creek. I remember my father's [Joseph Sharp] telling that once when he, his father and Uncle Harvey Rawlins, his brother, were encamped up the Missouri River hunting, with their horses staked out grazing nearby, a band of Pawnee Indians approached. While some of them engaged in parley or bantering for a horse trade, the others contrived to frighten and stampede the horsed into breaking tether and running away. Immediately all the Indians were in hot pursuit, and the horses gone beyond recovery.
"It was there, too, at Council Bluffs, in 1848 that my sister Helen was born. Her birth occurred only a few days before it was necessary to start on the westward trek. As a result of the hardships, my mother remained an invalid throughout the trip. But such was her faith, as well as my father's, in Mormonism that she endured the ills of the thousand-mile journey with a staunch uncomplaining courage which was to become typical of her throughout her whole life."
On the morning of April 30, 1848, a baby girl, Margaret Elzirah, was born to Harvey McGalyard Rawlins and his wife, Margaret Elzirah Frost. When she was only two weeks old they started their journey to the Rocky Mountains, with two yoke of cattle, three of which were wild. The first day out the cattle became frightened, ran over a stump, almost throwing the mother and babe from the wagon. Harvey had a strong rope on the leader's horns which aided him in controlling them. They were able to make their way as far as the Missouri River that first day.
Here they were compelled to wait several days until the company was fully made up and all were taken safely across. During this time Mary Frost, wife of Joseph Sharp Rawlins, was taken sick after the birth of a child referred to above, and it looked as if she could not recover. Margaret nursed both babies, her sister-in-law's (and cousin) and her own. She recovered a few days after they got started on their journey, and was soon able to take care of her own baby.
The entire third division, originally with Willard Richards as leader, was made up of the following: 502 white people, 24 Negroes, 169 wagons, 50 horses, 20 mules, 515 oxen, 426 cows and loose cattle, 369 sheep, 63 pigs, 5 cats, 170 chickens, 4 turkeys, 7 ducks, 5 doves, 3 goats.
They began their journey with the company organized with James Blake, captain of one hundred; Barney Adams, captain of fifty; and Andrew Cunningham, captain of ten. However, there was so much dissatisfaction that the company was divided after a few days into in three: Franklin Richards, captain of the first, Barney Adams, captain of the second, and Andrew Cunningham (James and Jane's son-in-law) captain of the third. Of course, the Rawlins family traveled with Andrew Cunningham's company.
They traveled so much faster than the others that in a few days they passed the first and second companies and arrived first in the Valley -- reaching Salt Lake City on October 12, 1848. In her sketch of Jane Frost Rawlins' life, Ina Burton Danielson states, "In this group were sixteen members of the Rawlins family as follows: James age 54, Jane Sharp age 54, Sarah age 31, Lucinda age 29, Elizabeth age 27, Leah age 21 Millie Jane age 17, Elva Ann age 14, Nelson age 12, Charlotte M. age 11, Joseph Sharp age 25, Mary Ellen F. age 21, Nancy Jane age 3, Harvey McG. Age 23, Margaret E F. age 18, Margaret E. and infant."
They stayed in the Fort that night. The next morning, Father James Rawlins, Harvey M., Joseph S. Rawlins, and Andrew Cunningham and families drove out to Little Cottonwood where they camped for a while. They went from there over into Big Cottonwood where Father James Rawlins built a house, Joseph S. a dugout, and Andrew Cunningham went back to Salt Lake City. Harvey M. went down on the Jordan River to help his brother-in-law, George Langley, with the cattle until the herd broke up. Then he came back and lived with Joseph S. while the men worked on a dugout for him.
In a taped conversation in 1980, Harvey and Elzirah's grandson, Aerial A. Rawlins recalls the following conversation with his grandmother, Margaret Elzirah Frost Rawlins:
"Their first home was a dugout in a bank. He had built a fireplace in the back of the dugout. How big it was, I don't know. Grandmother said she had often wondered why they didn't freeze to death that winter, and towards spring, why they didn't starve to death. They had very little. Grandfather tore his wagon box up and floored the dugout. One of the animals died, and he skinned it and made a door. He spent his time getting fuel for that fireplace to keep them from freezing to death. I guess it was a tremendously cold winter, a really tremendously cold winter. Next spring she said that if it hadn't been for the Indians to show them about Sego Lily bulbs, they would have starved to death. That's what they lived on for a long time, was Sego Lily bulbs. She said the country was just covered with them just thick. She says I guess that was there for us, it sure saved our lives."
They moved into their new home on New Year's Day which was surely a day of rejoicing for them, as it was their first home of their own. They lived at Big Cottonwood for about four years.
Charlotte's son James and the three girls located in Draper, Utah and all their farms joined. The girls and their mother remained there the rest of their lives, but James moved to Cache Valley.
Lyle Rawlins, on his Internet web site, has posted a "trail list" of the names of family members that made the trek across the plains to Utah. Those closely related to the James and Jane Rawlins family are as follows:
- Andrew -- husband of Lucinda Ann Rawlins, James' daughter.
- Amy Emily, James and Matilda Jane -- children of Charlotte, James Rawlins' sister.
[From Charlotte's history, it would appear that Susanna and Asa also came. Susanna was endowed in 1852 and Asa in 1857. It would appear that only Ezekiel and son Sidney stayed behind -- Stephen Rawlins.]
- McCaslin -- father to Margaret Elzirah and Samuel Buckhamon
- Margaret Elzirah -- husband of Harvey McGalyard
- Samuel Buckhamon -- brother to Margaret Elzirah.
- Hettie, Margaret Elzirah, Nancy and Sarah Georgina -- children of Samuel Buckhamon.
- Martha McKinney -- sister to Margaret Elzirah and Samuel Buckhamon.
- Nancy Ilewood -- sister to Margaret Elzirah and Samuel Buckhamon
- Archibald -- husband of Nancy Ilewood Frost.
- Robert Marion -- husband to Nancy Jane, Margaret Elzirah and Mary Ellen Rawlins -- daughters of Harvey and Joseph Sharp Rawlins.
- George Washington -- husband to Martha McKinney (Patsy) Frost.
- Charlotte -- sister to James
- James -- son of Charles, husband to Jane Sharp
- Amelia, Charlotte Melvina, Harvey McGalyard, Joseph Sharp, Lucinda and Nancy Jane children of James and Jane.
- Jane -- wife of James Rawlins
- Peninna Husband of James Frost and mother of Margaret Elzirah Frost Rawlins
On 8 Apr 1849, James was called to serve as second counselor in the Mill Creek Ward Bishopric, with Joel H. Johnson as the Ward's first bishop, and Reuben Miller as first counselor. In April 1851, Reuben Miller was called to be the Bishop with James Rawlins as his first counselor. He was released from the bishopric in 1852, apparently when they moved to Draper in Salt Lake County, where they lived for thirteen years, then to Spring City, Sanpete County, for six years. Washington Lemmon was chosen as second counselor, and this bishopric (Miller, Hill and Lemmon) stood intact for twenty-three years. James later appointed Reuben Miller and Washington Lemmon to serve as executors of his will.
James had a special relationship with the Lemmon family. In 1800 James Lemmon married Sarah Carr and lived in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Their son, Washington, was born in Kentucky in 1806. It was during James Lemmon's residence here that he volunteered for military service in the War of 1812. After his wife Sarah's death in 1815 he moved his family to Indiana, where he married James Rawlins' younger sister, Amy. Although Amy and James Lemmon followed Roderick Rawlins to Lancaster County Texas in 1844, James' son by his first marriage, Washington, ended up in Salt Lake City. Washington's son, Jasper, who was born in Quincy, Adams County, Illinois in 1835, married James' and Jane's youngest daughter, Charlotte Melvina, in Salt Lake City in 1858. Obviously there was a close connection between the families.
It was customary at that time to re-baptize those who had traveled across the plains. Many of the Rawlins family members were re-baptized. James was re-baptized and re-confirmed by Joel H. Johnson, his bishop, in Salt Lake City on 5 May 1850. Charlotte Melvina was baptized for the first time 13 Jul 1851 in Salt Lake City, two years before her future husband, Jasper Lemmon, was baptized.
When the Endowment House became available the married couples were sealed to their spouses Lucinda on 21 Feb 1851, James and Jane 14 Feb 1852, Joseph Sharp on 4 May 1855, and Harvey McGalyard on 26 Mar 1857.
Other members of the family found spouses in the valley. Leah married Henry Eastman Day 1 Jan 1852 in Draper, Salt Lake County. They were sealed in 1861. Amelia (Millie) Jane, married David Carson 31 July 1853, and was sealed 2 Oct 1857. Elva Ann married George Carson 31 Oct 1853 in Salt Lake City. George and his twin brother, David were out after the Indians and George was killed, so David took his brother's wife and raised a family for him. They were sealed in the Endowment House, 2 Oct 1857. Charlotte Melvina was married and sealed to Jasper Lemmon, the son of Washington Lemmon, on 17 Feb 1858 in the Endowment House.
Some of the family members died soon after their arrival in the Valley. Nelson, who apparently never married, died sometime after 1851 at a location unknown to the writer. Elizabeth died in Salt Lake City 9 Feb 1856, and mother, Jane Sharp, died 5 Apr 1858 in Big Cottonwood, Salt Lake County. Elva Ann died 20 Nov 1859 in Draper, just two years after her second marriage to David Carson. And, Leah died 31 Aug 1866 in Draper.
All his life James was a farmer and loved to work in the good earth to produce life-giving food. Although James and Jane were middle-aged when they left their home in the East they forged ahead and made for themselves a wonderful heritage in this great western land to which their God had led them. They raised a noble family. One of their grandsons, Joseph LaFayette Rawlins, became a United States Senator.
James married and was sealed to Harriet Hunt, former wife of James Wheat, on 16 May 1856, and also was sealed to Rachel Hammit, 28 April 1858, in the Endowment House.
At the age of 78, two years before his death, James, then a member of the Mill Creek Ward in Salt Lake County, filed his will -- with his old bishopric friends, Rueben Miller and Washington Lemmon, as executors. He directed that all of his property be appraised, and that it, along with his personal funds, be divided into twenty-seven equal shares.
These were divided as follows:
- His wife Rachel one share to be placed in the Big Cottonwood Store, and the interest of one hundred dollars to be devoted to her support. At her death, the principle was to revert to the other shares.
- Joseph Sharp, Lucinda, Harvey McGalyard, Melvina, and Leah, and their heirs were to receive four shares each.
- Elva's heirs, Armina and George Carson, were to receive one share each.
[Note: The copy of the will I have leaves out Charlotte Melvina. Only twenty-three of the twenty-seven shares are allocated, so I assume the remaining four shares were for her.]
On February 20, 1875, this will was probated, and written on the outside of one of the court records (in pencil) were the words:
"Agreement between Joseph Rawlins and heirs of Estate of James Rawlins consideration of $500.00 to provide for support and maintain Rachel Rawlins, wife of James Rawlins dec. during her natural life."
This generous gift to this sixty-eight year old woman, who was not their mother, says something about the character of the children James and Jane raised.
James died 16 Oct 1874 at Big Cottonwood, and was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery, (Buried 10-16-1874, Salt Lake City Cemetery, Plot F, Block 3, Lot 8, tier W, grave 4 (8th Avenue).