Margaret Elzirah Frost Rawlins
Margaret Elzirah Frost, the youngest child of McCaslin and Penina Smith Frost was born 28 of April, 1830 at Knox Co., Tenn. Her early life was spent much as other Saints, moving about from one place to another, wherever work could be obtained.
When a small child, she moved to Hancock Co. and from there to Jefferson Co., Iowa, and it was while living in the latter place that her sister Martha McKinferson Co., Iowa, and it was while living in the latter place that her sister Martha McKinney married Harmon Akes in the spring of 1840. A wild turkey came to the door the day before and was shot by the father and used for the wedding feast. The reception was held at night so little Margaret was left home alone, save for a large dog to protect her from prowling Indians.
She had very little opportunity for schooling due to unsettled conditions, but she took advantage of all she could. We find a note to the effect that she attended school in 1842 and Rebecca Frost and Abigal Pond were among her early teachers.
Her brother, Samuel B. Frost, had joined the church in Nauvoo, and shortly after the sisters wedding, he came from Bear Creek, Illinois, preaching the Gospel and converted his father, mother, sisters and husband Archibal Kerr, Fereba and husband William Harrison Barger, and Martha and husband Harmon Akes. His sister Isabella and husband didn't believe the gospel then, so were not baptized when he returned in a short time to baptize his father and family. Margaret, however, was not baptized when the others were, probably because of her age, but when he returned home for another visit in 1842 he baptized his little sister, and Henry Miller confirmed her at the water's edge.
Father Frost rented a place five miles from Carthage and lived there several years, still living there at the time of the martyrdom of the Prophet. Shortly after, they moved to another rented place but in May mobs began burning homes and causing so much trouble they left this place and went to Council Bluffs, Iowa where they spent the summer.
In the Fall of 1846 the father and Samuel B. went to Mishmebotany, a place about sixty miles further down the river, where Samuel B. bought a place and they all lived there for a time. There Margaret E. found work helping take care of a sick lady and looking after her house work. One day the man of the house tore a large hole in his coat while going through the brush, so Margaret E. offered to mend it and did such a good job, being so neat and particular with all kinds of hand work, that he was well pleased and let others know, so that the neighbors brought hand work for her to do.
It was while she was living at this place that Harvey M. Rawlins, his brother Joseph S. and wife Mary Frost Rawlins came after her and here on the 3rd of Dec. 1846 she became the wife of Harvey M. The men found work splitting wood and old jobs to support their families, while they all live quite close together in order to furnish education for their children.
Margaret's first child, a little girl Margaret Elzirah was born on April 30, 1848, and when but two weeks old they start ed west to make the journey to the Rocky Mountains. This journey was not accomplished in a day and not without its hardships. They suffered considerable from sickness and other troubles common to pioneer traveling over unbroken roads and fording streams of water so that it was not until October.12, 1848 about six months after beginning the journey that they arrived in Salt Lake City. They only remained there over night then went south of the city to locate a home, choosing one at Big Cottonwood, about fourteen miles south of the city. However, they only remained there a short time when they went to Draper to make their home. In fact, they were among the first settlers in Draper and it was while there that most of their family was born.
They endured the hardships with other early settlers in a new country, but their home was always open and nearly always full of others less fortunate than themselves. It must have tried their power of management to the utmost to find room for so many ones and to find food to feed them, but they accomplish ed all, cheerfully and without complaint. Margaret did her own work, cooked the meals, carded and spun the yarn, wove the cloth and made the clothing for the family, and even found time to aid those in need. She had numerous sick spells, herself, as well as her family, and proved herself to be an excellent nurse.
In April 1864 they sold their place in Draper and went to Spring City to help in settlement of that place, but only stayed there a few months and in October 1865 came back to Draper. As they had no home they now lived with their father James Rawlins for about a month when on November 1st, they moved to Richmond.
Here they purchased a lot, built a house and lived there until the spring of 1870 when they again sold, this time to the School Trustees who wished to build a district school house on that particular corner. We find our relatives again taking up their abode to help pioneer a new community. They purchased land, built a house and moved the family to Lewiston, Utah in 1870, which place is still owned by members of the family.
Here as in other places they sheltered, fed and nursed their own family and any others who needed their care. Summers were spent in Lewiston, winters in Richmond until April 1, 1871, they came to Lewiston to stay. When they first came to Lewiston the native grass stood three feet high, waving in the breeze and dotted here and there with wild pea flowers, presenting a most beautiful sight, so that it was no wonder Richmond felt bad to see Lewiston being settled as they lost their wonderful pastures that they had used for their cows.
William H. Lewis was appointed to preside over Lewiston in 1872-73. In 1873 Margaret E. got wool from Caroline Allen and spun and wove it into cloth, giving back half of the cloth for pay for the wool. It was this same winter Harvey M. Jr. went freighting on the road to Montana.
Lucinda R. Cunningham, John and Patsy (Martha M.)Wiser, Hyrum, and Martha Karren all lived here on the flat, while Archy and Nancy Kerr lived down on Bear River. Margaret's father, McCaslin Frost, lived with her the last few months of his life, dying at her home May 12, 1873. Shortly after his death Archy and Nancy Kerr came and made their home with the Rawlins family for about a month. The summer of 1874 was a hot, dry, windy one and two boys in Richmond were killed by lightening. There were about eighteen or twenty families living here now and as they felt the need of water to irrigate their crops, they made a ditch from Worm Creek to carry water, which ditch served the purpose for a few years until the larger canal was built from Cub River.
As the settlement grew, and more families came they felt the need of more organization in the community. Therefore, on 6th of Jan., 1876 the Relief Society was organized with Margaret E. as president, Lucinda R. Cunningham as 1st Counselor, Martha Lewis as 2nd Counselor, Susan Terry as Secretary and Caroline Allen, Treasurer and with twenty three members.
The brethren donated to start a fund. Margaret E. served the Society as best she could, visiting the sick, preparing the dead for burial and trying to comfort the broken hearted. Later Martha Lewis was released and Martha Karren put in her place, Lucinda R. Cunniwas set apart as Bishop and June 10, 1877 his counselors, William Hendricks and Hans Funk was sustained.
April 28, 1880 Margaret's 50th birthday, the Relief Society gave her a surprise. They pitched a tent and set tables for over fifty people and all had a very nice time. A few days later her husband and some of her children went, with team, to work on the Railroad leaving Margaret and four children to tend to the farm. In the summer, however, the husband came home, hired a header to cut the grain, then returned to his work again, where they remained until they finished the Railroad work in November.
Franklin A. and Leonna Leavitt were married December 18, 1879 and lived with Margaret E. and husband while building a home of their own. The summer of 1881 found Margaret E. sick for several months with a pain in her stomach. About this time they built their barn and purchased a header and cut grain for custom. Harvey M. became trustee of the school in connection with George Leavitt.
The Logan Temple was dedicated May 17, 1884 and these good people were able to attend That same summer was dedicated May 17, 1884 and these good people were able to attend That same summer the Relief Society purchased a lot for $100.00. Later they fenced it and built a granary. Margaret E. spent much time with her children or had them with her during their sickness or trouble, which was quite often, until she was in dread all the time. January and February 1891 she helped lay out six children in F. M. Stephenson's family and two in Benjamin Cherry's family, and two others, all dying of Dyptheria on April 26, 1891 her grandson Murl Rawlins died with membraneous Croup and a few days or a week later George F., his brother, was taken sick with Dyptheria and for a long time he lay at the point of death, but finally overcame the disease.
Margaret E. attended a conference meeting in Richmond, January 20, 1893 and while she was up speaking word came to the meeting that her grandson James H. Kerr (her eldest daughter's son) was killed in a gravel pit. This news was a great shock and shattered her nerves so that they were never quite the same after.
Margaret E. and husband were also permitted to attend the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple in April 1893 and on July 10th of that same year the Relief Society was organized by law under the direction of L. John Nuttel, making it a national organization. She was called Syracuse, Utah to the death bed of her sister Nancy Kerr, where she nursed her for a time before she died March 16, 1901. She also took care of Lucinda R. Cunningham for two weeks until she died in 1901. That same summer the Relief Society built a house on their property to provide a home for the poor or widows, that the Ward had to care for Eliza C. Champion, who had emigrated here and been given a home in the Rawlins home, was put in this widow's home to live. On August 26, 1902 Margaret E. Buried another sister, Martha Wiser. She was released as President of the Relief Society April 29, 1902 having served in that capacity for nearly twenty-six years. The last trip she went on the train was to attend the funeral services of her great grandchild, son of James Roy Leavitt on November 1, 1902.
Then on August 7, 1903 Arvilla was born to her son Franklin A. and Leona Leavitt, the mother Leona dying and leaving the new baby to the care of Elzira. The food didn't agree with the baby so Cora B., wife of Jasper A. Rawlins took the baby to nurse, but it was sick and so delicate it died Oct. 6, 1903. In November 1903 Margaret E. fell and broke her hip and suffered a great deal and was in bed a long time, but by faith and prayers she was healed and in the spring 1904 was able to walk a block to Eva Leavitt's home by taking a chair and sitting down every little way.
During the twenty-six years she was President of the Relief Society she cared for at least 125 or more bodies for burial. December 3, 1911 she celebrated her 56th year of married life with 38 children and grandchildren present at her home. At that time her posterity numbered 12 children, 92 grandchildren, 21 great-grand children, 97 of whom were living and all faithful Latter Day Saints. Another event which happened during her life time and was enjoyed by her was a Frost Reunion held on McCaslin Frost's birthday Dec. 11, 1906, There were 200 present.
In the spring of 1908 she and her husband moved in the northwest room of the old home to be by themselves and their son. A. (Alf) and wife occupied the rest of the house. Here she did her own work and cooking for herself and husband, caring for him during his sickness and death which occurred Sept. 9, 1913 at the age of 88 years 7 months. The funeral was held in the Opera House on Friday and 6 of their grandsons were pall bearers. Her health was failing quite rapidly and she was also very lonely after losing her companion, who had been quite a care for the last few years, especially since he went blind. She first noticed a rough place on her face which kept getting worse until it developed into a cancer, which caused her several years of intense suffering and was finally the cause of her death which occurred April 4, 1920.
History taken from her own notes and compiled by Nellie L. Rawlins