The Life History of Joseph William Rawlins
I am the son of Harvey M. Rawlins and Margaret Elzira Frost Rawlins. My parents were a few of the Pioneers that came over in the year of 1848. They settled in the County of Draper Utah. We stayed in Draper for two years, after which we moved to Sanpete Utah, we were there about three years and then moved to a settlement called Big Cottonwood.
After a matter of years we moved up to Richmond, Utah this was in Cache Valley County in the year 1870. I was then about 5 years old. We then moved to Lewiston Utah where father homesteaded some ground. That year we didn't raise any crop and we moved back to Richmond for the winter. In 1871 we moved to Lewiston to stay. We couldn't raise much crop for two years because of grasshoppers and crickets. I could only go to school a few months at a time in the winter and then I would go to work on the farm with father. I attended school with Will Lowell and Sam Allen as my closest friends. We went to school at Mary Bairs house. I walked about three miles to her house. I attended that school for about two years. During that time I was ordained a Deacon of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Then I worked on the farm with my father for a few summers. We worked on the Lewiston Canal to bring the water in until I was about 13 years old. Father then took a contract on the Utah Northern Railroad east of Preston Idaho. I followed my father at building the grade on the railroad track. When I became the age of 15 they ordained me an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I followed grading on the railroad until I was 18 years old. When I came back that summer I went to work at ______. Then I went home about the fall of that year, I gathered the winters supply of fire wood and the following summer I worked for father on the farm until I was 21.
At that time I married Mary Ann Pope. We were classmates at school. We were married in the Logan Temple on June 24, 1885. The Temple was just completed in the year 1884. When we went to get married I took a team and a white top buggy and started for Logan. We stopped at one of the stores there and Mary Ann's Mother said to her father, "Oscar you will have to get Mary Ann a pair of stockings", he didn't say anything or make a move to get out. So I jumped out and went in the store and bought Mary Ann a pair of stockings. We then went up to the Temple. We were married and through about four o'clock in the afternoon. We then went up to Lewiston to her Father's place and had supper. Her mother said she had a sick head ache so we couldn't stay there that night. The kids were on our trail and was going to have a lot of fun with us. So we went down and got one of my horses and went to Ike Wright's where the Devil wouldn't have thought of going. Uncle Ike said he would protect us and would see that no one would trouble us that night.
The next day we got on the horse and went down to my sisters at Bear River and we stayed there all night. The kids happened to see my briddle and horse and they came right over to the window which was just over our bed. They were going to crawl through and had the window partley raised when I reached up and grabbed it to lock it shut. They made their brags that they were going to take us way down in the forks of the River and separate us for the night. They were also going to dip us in the ditch of water until I told them to go home and go to bed and I would meet them the next morning up in town. They didn't show up so they went off and let us alone and never bothered us again.
We built a nice little home on a lot that was given to me by my father-in-law. After which I sold that home and built another little log house. While we lived in Lewiston we buried three children. I traded my land in Lewiston for land in Cornish in the year of 1903.
The first two years I was in Cornish I raised big crops of grain, after that they got the canal and I was drowned out for four years with Alkali water. I suffered with that water until we moved to Logan. While we were in Cornish in the year of 1924 I was gored with a bull. I laid in the hospital for 11 weeks with my legs elevated up in the air. Mother would come and see me two or three times a day, although she was a very busy woman. She was taking care of the Fraternity House, the boys all told her to fix up a bedroom for me and that I should come and stay with her. She did, and I stayed there about two weeks. The Doctor asked Mother if she would let them amputate my legs, Mother said she would talk to me and see. I said "No, if I am going to die I would rather die with them on." I had to walk on crutches for about two months but even then they would swell up and Mother __________.
While we were still living in Cornish we buried three more of our children. My days work at Cornish consisted of farming, raising beets, milking eight head of cows and gathering milk in Cornish and hauling it all over to Richmond Dairy. The only means of carrying milk was by team and wagon. During this time I was also ordained a High Priest in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, under the hands of Bishop Butler. I have remained a Ward Teacher ever since I was 18 years old, no matter where we happened to live.
After we sold out in Cornish and moved to Logan in the year 1926 we lived in peace and harmony for a little while. Mother took a Fraternity house to cook for. After my legs were beginning to get a little better I would go and help Mother out what little I could do. Mary Ann was house Mother for 18 years. Then she took sick and gradually became worse, until she had to quit the work all together.
We celebrated our Golden Wedding Anniversary on June 24th 1935, we had been married for 50 years. We had a big program and dance over to the 7th Ward Chapel. All the children and grandchildren were there. Also our many friends. We had a lovely big cake and everything was grand.
While we were living in Logan the year 1942, I went up to Idaho and was running a Hay Bailer for one of my cousins. I happened to hit a ditch and the jar threw me off and underneath the bailer. If the horses would have moved one more inch it would have killed me by breaking my neck completely. They didn't take me to a doctor up there, but put me in a car and we drove 100 miles with my hands holding my head up all the way. When I arrived home Mary Ann called Doctor Hale, he came right down to the house and told me that I had a broken neck. I laid in bed flat on my back with my neck in a cast and a 5 pound bucket full of rocks hung on the back of the bed around my neck to straighten and hold it put. I laid in this position for one month or longer. After I was able to get up and walk around I had to wear a leather collar around my neck for many months.
Mary Ann and I were both active in the Church all our lives where ever we went, until Mother became worse and had to give up her church work all together. I was Superintendent of the High Priests Quorum for two years and I have remained active in the Quorum every since. Mother and I were also active in the Old Folks parties, taking part and dancing the ____________ ever they would play a tune for us. In the Pioneer meetings sometimes they would have me play the Accordian. I would play anything to amuse the crowd. I always tried it seems as though I did attend every meeting of our Church regular unless something would come up that I possibly couldn't.
When I reached the age of 80 years old on March 4th 1944, we had open house at our home. Many friends, relatives, and the family came. It seemed as though all our friends were there and we had a lovely time. During my life at Logan I have been a Temple Worker for years. It seems as though I have done 100's of endowments and many many sealings. I enjoyed my Temple work very much.
Mother and I lived together for 64 years and 9 months. Then Mother took sick, we did everything that we could. We had two or three doctors to see her, but it seemed as though everthing was hopeless. Mother passed away on the 2nd day of March 1950 and we buried her on the 6th of March 1950. We had a wonderful service and everything was fine. Since then I have been spending my time with my children. It is a very hard and lonesome life.
Grandfather passed away on the 27th of July 1950 almost 5 months after we lost Grandmother. We buried him on the 31st of July 1950 next to Grandmother in the Lewiston Cemetary. We had a wonderful service for Grandfather and they were both laid with many happy memories in all of our minds.