James R. Rawlins

I was bom in Draper, on March 5, 1869. My father was Joseph S. Rawlins and my mother was Hannah Stringfellow Rawlins. My mother was a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was baptized by George Q. Cannon, who was a missionary in England at the time. My father and mother were early pioneers. At the call of Brigham Young, my father acted as captain of three trips to bring the Saints from Winter Quarters to Salt lake City. He served as bishop of the South Cottonwood Ward for many years. He also served as county commissioner for six years and was chairman of the board when he died. His death occurred in 1900, My mother died in 1896.

I attended the public schools in Draper and the Brigham Young Academy in Provo. I graduated from the academy in May or June, 1889. After graduation, Bryant Hinckley and I attended the LDS College in Salt Lake City, and continued our studies in science under James E. Talmage.

My first teaching experience was in the Fourteenth Ward seminary in Salt Lake City, where I taught one year. The next year I spent in the Oneida Stake Academy in Idaho. Following that I taught one year in the Davis Stake Academy. I finished my teaching career after nine years as the principal of the Draper schools and entered the farming and livestock industry.

Following my retirement as a teacher, I served eight years on the Jordan School Board, and during that time the board bought twenty acres of land on which they built the Jordan High School. At the same time the board built the Park School in Draper.

I helped organize the Salt Lake County Sugar Beet Association and also the Utah State Sugar Beet Growers Association. I served as president of these two associations until I had to resign because of poor health in 1942.

I made quite a number of trips to Washington, D.C. in the interests of sugar legislation. I also served as vice president of the National Beet Growers Association.

I served as director of the Utah Poultry Cooperative Association and also a member of the State Board of Agriculture. I served five and a half years as commissioner of Salt Lake County, two years of which I was chairman of the board. I entreated the move to Commissioner Quinn to get a better lighting system from 2100 South to Murray. In conference with the State Road Commission they agreed to buy the material for the lighting system and the county agreed to make the installation. Commissioner Press Peterson recommended the sodium vapor lights, that met with the approval of the state and county officials.

During my term as commissioner, the Salt Lake County Library was established. I served as the first chairman of the library board. We built the fine county library building in Midvale. The library has proven a fine contribution to the educational system of our county.

I was appointed by the late Governor Blood as chairman of the draft board of District 16, which included all the territory south of Murray. This term lasted six years.

In 1893, I married Augusta C. Swalberg of Gunnison. She died on July 17, 1915. To this union three children were born: Portia, Janice, and Alton. Portia died in Hawaii and Alton was killed on a horse while just a young man. Mrs. Janice R. Johnson of Draper is still alive.

On May 27, 1917, I married Mrs. Angie V. Frisbey. To this union one daughter was born, Mrs. Maxine Stringfeliow of Draper. I also have one stepdaughter, Mrs. Geralee Gardner of West Jordan, one living sister, Mrs. Hannah Terry of Draper, and two grandchildren from my daughter Maxine.

James R. Rawlins

Draper Historical Society. The History of Draper, Utah, Volume One: People of Draper 1849-1924. (Salt Lake City, UT: Agreka History Publishing, 1999), pp. 514-515, Draper Library.

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