Leah Rawlins Day

Leah Rawlins Day was born on September 19, 1827, at Green County, Illinois. She was the daughter of James and Jane Sharp Rawlins. She came to Utah with her parents in 1848. They settled at Millcreek, or Big Cottonwood, Utah.

Leah married Henry Day on January 1, 1852, at Millcreek, Utah. They were married by Bishop Ruben Miller; nine years later, in 1861, they were endowed and sealed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Henry Day built the second house in South Willow Creek, now known as Draper, Utah, and they moved there and suffered the hardships of pioneer life. Leah was the first wife of Henry Day: It has been said that he came to Utah because of Leah; he joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on July 13, 1851. He was baptized in the Big Cottonwood creek, by Elder Berryman.

He helped build the fort in Draper for the protection of the people from the Indians. He was called to go as a guard at the time of Indian troubles, leaving Leah alone with her small children. When word came that Johnston's Army was on their way to Utah to destroy the Mormons, it became necessary for him to move his family to Mountainville, now Alpine, Utah. While there, their third child, Leah Jane, was born in a dugout or cave. Henry Day belonged to the Nauvoo Legion and when word came of Johnston's Army, he was called under Samuel Bennion to go to Fort Bridger with a company of fifty men and he was appointed captain of ten men. When peace was negotiated, Mr. Day returned home and moved his family back to their home in Draper, Utah.

Leah, like other pioneer mothers, did the cording of wool, spinning and weaving of wool to clothe her family. She was the mother of seven children, two of whom died in infancy, (Charles Eastman and Derias Rawlins). Leah's parents were considered to be well-to-do people when they Joined the Church. When Leah married, she had good clothes and when it became necessary for her to have hired help with her little family, she often paid them by giving one of her nice dresses.

In 1862, her husband married Elizabeth Cottrell. Leah died at Draper, Utah, on August 31, 1866, leaving five small children: James Henry, Joseph Elisha, Leah Jane, EInora Anjaline, and Harriet Lucinda. Harriet died a few years later. The other four children grew to maturity, married, and became prominent men and women in the communities in which they lived.

Elizabeth said of Leah, "She was a kindly lovable person and I looked upon her as a mother." Leah died as she had lived, in full fellowship in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at Draper, Utah, and was buried in the Draper Cemetery. Elizabeth mothered and cared for Leah's five children as she did for her own nine, and all her grandchildren dearly loved Grandmother Elizabeth.

Leah Jane Nelson Jeppson,
from history written by Leah Jane Day Fitzgerald

Draper Historical Society. The History of Draper, Utah, Volume One: People of Draper 1849-1924. (Salt Lake City, UT: Agreka History Publishing, 1999), pp. 225-226, Draper Library.

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