The Journey of Harvey McGalyard Rawlins, Sr.
Harvey McGalyard Rawlins, second son, and fifth child of James and Jane Sharp Rawlins was born at Applecreek, Green County, Illinois, February 14, 1825, where he lived until three years of age. They then moved to Adams County, which place was their home for the next fourteen years.
In the spring of 1842, his father, James Rawlins, traded farms with a man named Richard Wilton, thus making it necessary for the family to move, this time to Bair Crick, Hancock County, Illinois, where they lived for four years. It was while here at Bair Crick that Harvey M. was baptized into the Church in the early part of June, 1844.
He was at the jail the morning after the Prophet Joseph and brother Hyrum were killed. He suffered with the rest of the Saints in persecutions by the mob and burning of homes. In 1846 he left his home and went to Council Bluffs, Iowa. That fall, in early December, he, together with his brother Joseph S. and wife, went to Nishnabotna, (meaning "Place of good canoeing") a place about sixty miles down the river from Council Bluffs and there on December 3, 1846 Harvey M. was married to Margaret Elzirah Frost, youngest daughter of McCaslin Frost and Penina Smith. Here the men found work splitting rails for a man named Jones. About the last of December they moved to a place called Honey Creek, where on New Year's Day they were fortunate in killing two wild turkeys for their dinner. They were also able to gather plenty of wild honey for their winter use.
They endured hardships with the rest of the Saints as well as trouble with the Indians. Harvey M. related one incident when he and his brother Joseph S. went hunting up the river, the Indians attacked them, took away their horses, Harvey's overcoat and some other things, but the men were unharmed. The men took turns herding their cattle across the river. About this time William Barger, Margaret Elzirah's brother-in-law, went to the Battalion, so Harvey M. and wife moved the sister, Fereba Frost Barger, to a home they built near theirs and supported her while they lived there. The men built a school house and had a school during the winter of 1847.
On the morning of April 30, 1848, a baby girl, Margaret Elzirah, came to gladden the home of Harvey M. and wife and 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 start was not without its dangers as the cattle became freighted, ran over a stump, almost throwing the mother and babe from the wagon. The father had a strong rope on the leader's horns which aided him in controlling them so that 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 S. Rawlins was taken sick and it looked as if she could not recover, Margaret nursed both babies, her sister-in-law or cousin's 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.
They began their journey with the company organized with James Blake, Captain of 100; Barney Adams, Captain of 50; and Andrew Cunningham, Captain of 10. However there was so much dissatisfaction that the company was divided after a few days in three:
Franklin Richards, Captain of 1
Barney Adams, Captain of 2
Andrew Cunningham, Captain of 3.
Andrew Cunningham's Company being the one our ancestors traveled in. They travelled so much faster 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 and 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 came back and lived with Joseph S. while the men worked on a dugout for him. They moved into their new home on New Year's Day which was sure a day of rejoicing for them as it was their first home of their own. They lived at Big Cottonwood for about four years.
Sketch of the Life of
Harvey McGalyard Rawlins, Sr.
I am giving a sketch of my early experience of the Church. 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.
In the spring of '46, left Illinois, crossed the Mississippi River in a flat boat, (became frightened) with a herd of cattle. 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, myself being one of that number, but all were saved.
I then came on with a company of Saints to Council Bluffs, and stopped. 'Twas then the call came for five hundred volunteers to go fight the Mexicans, in what is known as the Mormon Battalion. I was away on business at the time, got back just in time to see them before starting away. I stayed there until the spring of '48 and then started to Utah.