Abraham and Patience Delila Pierce Palmer

Patience Delila Pierce was born 15 February 1809 near Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence, New York, the daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth (Taylor) Pierce.  Her grandfather was a Revolutionary War soldier as was her husband’s father.

Her husband, Abraham Palmer, the son of Noah Palmer and Tirzah (Whitney) Palmer, was born in Sherbourne, Chenango, New York.  They were married in 1825.

In 1834, two elders came to their home in St. Lawrence Co. bearing testimony that God had spoken again from the heavens and restored the fullness of the Gospel to the earth again.  They were baptized on 14 February 1835 in a hole made through the ice.

Abraham Palmer was appointed president of a small Branch of the Church.  In May 1838, the Branch, consisting of 8 families, started with their teams and wagons to gather at Far West, Missouri.

Patience Delila Pierce Palmer wrote, “It was in the Fall of 1838 when the eight families of us were on our way from New York to Far West, Missouri, where many of the Saints were gathered.  In our journey we had our wagons searched by mobs and our books and guns taken from us.  When we came to Shoal Creek, we could go no further on account of the surrounding mobs, so we camped there four miles below Haun’s Mill, the night before the massacre.  At the mill, the Saints and the mob had made a treaty that neither party should molest the other.  The day was beautiful and warm and in the afternoon the other sisters and myself were washing clothes in the creek.  The children, with shoes and stockings off, were playing about when a boy on a horse came riding furiously down the creek.  He told us that the mob was killing the Saints at the mill.  What were we to do?”

“There were no arms in camp, so we were unable to defend ourselves.  Without stopping to put shoes or stockings on our children, we hastily fled toward the woods and our husbands remained.”

“I had six small children at my side and a baby at my breast .  We ran over brush and hill and hollows.  As our children ran over the rough untrodden ground, stains of blood were left from their tender feet.  We would stop for a short rest.  Mothers would take off their clothes from their backs to lay on the ground for the children to stand on and warm their cold, raw feet.  Once, for a rest while in the woods, we crawled under a tree that had fallen down.  During the night we traveled through the woods and over burnt prairies.  In the morning we heard the call of our husbands and returned with them to camp.”

“The mob at the mill killed 18.  Instead of coming down to our camp as they had intended, they became frightened lest an army of Saints from Far West were coming down the creek, so they fled over a twenty mile prairie that night.”

“After our return to camp, our husbands went to the mill to prepare the dead for burial.  While they were away, we saw a mob, armed and on horseback, approaching us.  They rode down toward us to the brow of the hill a short distance away and stopped.  Another sister and myself went to them and the captain with drawn sword advanced.  I asked him what they intended to do with us.  To our surprise, he said  that his company would not hurt us, but told us to leave the vicinity, for a mob of furious men were coming.  He told us of an unguarded back road from which the guard had been removed and also of a man who could act as a guide.  He then requested us to promise we would not reveal what he told us, for if it became known, his life would be in danger.”

“We did as advised, broke camp, and started for the woods.  When we had traveled about 15 miles, we stopped for several days waiting for orders from Far West.  While we were there one of the brothers arrived with the news that the Saints had agreed to leave the state.  We then moved on.  Our food soon gave out and we had nothing to eat.  My husband got some corn and then we ate it and it was all we had for three weeks.  We would parch the corn and then eat it, but the small children could not do that; we had to partly chew it ourselves–it having been parched–and feed it to them.  We lived in this way three long weeks before our corn gave out.  Then we were without food of any kind for two days and a half.  On the night of the third day we procured a sack of flour.  We lived several days on spooncakes made by mixing flour with water and baking in dry skillets.”

“During all that time our children neither murmured nor complained.  Had it not been for the help of the Lord, we never could have endured as we did.”

“The reason for our company living for three weeks on parched corn was not due to our having no money, for there was money in the camp.  We repeatedly tried to buy provisions from the settlers as we moved along our weary way, leaving the state of Missouri.  In compliance with the Governor’s extermination order, the whole county was stirred to a fever heat in persecuting the Saints, and the people would not sell us food.  For example, my husband wanted to get a horse shod that had become so tender-footed that he could not travel further without shoes.  He took him 5 or 6 miles in advance of the company to a small village.  As he was not known, they shod his horse and took him in the house for dinner.  While they were eating, our company passed.  The women and larger children were walking, holding up their skirts while wading through the mud and slush, which was ankle-deep in many places as it had rained and snowed nearly all the time.  The woman of the house, seeing us go by said, “I wish I could see old Joe Smith tied to a pile of wood, and I have the privilege of kindling it.  O, I would say to the fire, burn slow!”

“During that never-to-be forgotten journey coming out of Missouri, we traveled through mud, snow, and ice nearly all the way.  All except the little children were on foot as we had already traveled a thousand miles that summer to get to Missouri.  Our horses were almost worn out and it was all they could do to slowly move our wagons.”

“One day a company of mobbers went to Far West, surrounded and called us to halt.  The leader, with drawn sword, asked for the captain of our company.  My husband stepped out to him.  The leader told us he had orders from the Governor to search our wagons and take our guns and books.  My husband told him our wagons had been searched and our guns taken from us and showed a receipt to that effect.  Then they rode on, and as they did so, one man placed the muzzle of his gun almost against my breast and said, “I swore I’d kill a G__ D___ Mormon when I left home and now is my chance.”  I looked at him fearlessly in the eyes and when the captain told him to put his gun down, he did and then rode on.  One man, a more humane one, said as he passed me, “Good woman, you had better go and get into your wagon.  You will catch your death wading through this water and mud.”  Then they rode to the top of the hill they had just descended and simultaneously fired off their guns, making the air ring with yells.”

“One day, I remember, we traveled over a prairie.  It was covered with ice, slush and snow.  One step the ice would hold us up and the next we would break through over our shoe tops.  Thus our feet were wet all day long.  At night we camped by a stretch of water with timber and brush along its banks.  We parched our corn, of which we made our supper, after which some of the men cut down brush to sleep upon to keep their beds out of the water that was running everywhere.  Some slept in the wagons which was a little better as the covers had become worn and torn from our long traveling.”

“Next morning, I woke and looked around.  My husband had a fire burning and was thawing out his clothes so he could put them on.  I saw my little children covered with snow that had fallen during the night.  Everything was dreary.  Snow was sifting into my bed.  I knew when I got up with my little ones shivering around the campfire, I would have nothing to give them to eat but parched corn; and realizing that our supply was becoming short, my heart sank within me and I burst into weeping.”

“What had we done to be thus treated by our fellow man?  My husband’s father had suffered untold hardship all through the Revolutionary War; had fought and bled to establish American Freedom; so had my grandfather.  They had labored and suffered that all men might enjoy religious liberty in this land, and there we were fleeing before a relentless and blood-thirsty mob, composed of American citizens sent out by the Governor to compel us to leave the state.”

“Marvelous to say, notwithstanding all this exposure and the privations we endured, our health did not fail nor our strength depart us, for the Lord was always with us and blessed us.  We had a positive knowledge that Joseph was a Prophet of God and that we had been born of the water and of the spirit, and had received the truth as it is in Jesus Christ.  That testimony is still with me to this day.  I have been a member since 1835.  Now I am 83 years old and still bear testimony that I do know that we have the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that this Church and Kingdom is God’s work and will stand forever.”

“To return to where we were camped on the banks of a creek in the slush by our campfires eating our corn, we then moved on, exerting ourselves to the utmost to get out of the state of Missouri before the winter closed upon us.  We found ourselves with only bitter enemies to depend upon for work and to supply us with our food.  As we were traveling, one of the sisters became sick.  We camped a few hours and a child was born.  Then we moved on again and the mother and child were so blessed of the Lord that they thrived as well as if they had been in a comfortable home.”

“Our corn gave out, and as has been stated, we went without food of any kind for two and a half days.  Then we got a sack of flour which was divided between eight families.  This we ate in water cakes for breakfast one morning and then had no food of any sort until the next evening.  During the next forenoon my husband picked up by the side of the roadside a box of pill labeled “for fever and Ague”.  We camped about the middle of the afternoon, our teams being exhausted as well as ourselves.  They only got prairie grass for feed and no grain.  It was hard for them to drag our wagons along through the snow that had become quite deep.”

“After we camped some of the men went in search of food and I, unobserved by the rest of the company wended my way across a field to a small house which I entered.  I found several of the family sick with fever and ague of very long standing.  I produced the box of pills we had found.  They were very anxious to buy them, so they gave me about 25 pounds of unbolted flour and a bucket of frozen apples.   I hurried to the camp and distributed the flour and apples among the hungry families; notwithstanding we had only water to mix our bread with and no sugar for the stewed apples, but it seemed I never ate such a delicious meal.  The brethern returned, having procured a little food.”

“That evening If my memory serves me right, we held a council to find out what was best to be done.  The snow was getting so deep, the roads so bad, and our teams so worn;  and ourselves in such a destitute and worn out condition, having traveled all the summer and fall, suffering so many hardships and exposures that it became impossible for us to go further.”

“Now came a serious question to consider.  We all belonged to one branch of the church in St. Lawrence Co. N.Y. and when we started for Missouri we made solemn covenant that we would stick together until we reached the settlements of the Saints, but now it seemed impossible for all of us to get into one neighborhood for winter quarters.  There were reasons for this.  First, it seemed it might arouse the mob spirit to see so many of us together; notwithstanding, we had gotten out of the districts where the bitter feelings existed; second, it would be hard for so many of us to get in one township, so we agreed to part.  We sang hymns of Zion, offered our prayers to the Lord, asked his forgiveness if we did wrong in separating for a while and invoked His special blessings upon each to guide us to food and shelter.  That farewell meeting in the snow by our campfires will never be forgotten by me.  The next morning, we separated; two families going together–each in a different direction to find homes for the winter.  My sister, Ruth Crozier, with her husband and children went with us.  We soon got a house to live in for the winter; and Mr. Palmer (being a carpenter by trade) took a contract to build and finish a frame church.”

“See how the hand of the Lord was over us that we might keep our covenants with each other and receive the necessities of life, also?  The word soon noised about that Mr. Palmer was a Mormon preacher and he was asked to preach at their schoolhouse the following Sunday.  An appointment was given out accordingly.  Imagine our surprise on going to the meeting to find all our brethern and sisters of the company there, and to learn that we were all within two miles of the schoolhouse.  Mr. Palmer gave employment to all the brothers to work on the church.  Thus the Lord opened the way for us to get food and clothing.  We held our meetings every Sunday and greatly rejoiced in the Gospel.”

“In March 1839 we again started to leave the state, ourselves and our teams being now recruited.  We had bought food and clothing with the product of our labor, but could take but little of the former with us, as our teams were light, and winter was just breaking up.  The roads were muddy and we encountered frequent storms, all of which made the journey unpleasant though not so bad as during the previous fall when mobs were tantalizing us and we were destitute and hungry, wading through mud, slush and snow.”

“At last we arrived at the Mississippi opposite the city of Quincy.  There we found hundreds of families of Saints camped on the banks of the river awaiting their turns to cross on the one ferry boat that was plying back and forth carrying the exiled Saints from the cruel state of Missouri to the friendly shores of Illinois.  What a scene; thousands of honest humble followers of Christ destitute of the necessities of life, fleeing before a relentless mob made up of our own countrymen backed by the cruel extermination order of the Governor, and all because we believed in new revelation that “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

“I hope my young readers will stop and consider these things and ask themselves the question.  Was not the Lord our Father with us?  Yes, and He has never forsaken me to this day, and as I stand upon the brink of the grave and expect to soon meet my Maker:  let me once more bear testimony that I know Joseph Smith to be a true Prophet of God, and Mormonism, so-called to be the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Abraham and Patience Palmer wrote a letter to Abraham’s sister back in New York in June of 1839.  In it, they relate more about their experiences in Missouri.

“Through the tender mercies of our God, we are still well.  It is now one year since we left that place, and various and strange have been the scenes through which we have passed.  But we yet live and praised be the name of the Lord.”

“No doubt you have heard many things from Missouri, respecting our people.  I will now tell you what I know of the transaction in as few words as I can.  A mob of about 200 drove about 80 families from Hewitten the Missouri. (DeWitt in the Missouri?)  They fired upon our brethern, but killed none.  Thus we were left to be murdered by brutes in the form of men or defend ourselves”

“We had been smitten twice, yes, three times and had born it, but we said we would bear it no longer without resistance.  Many of our brethern were shot and thrown into the brush while at work–their bodies left to be devoured and without doubt their bones lie bleaching in the sun.  About the first of November we got to Livingston County, Missouri, and here 38 men with rifles surrounded our wagons and robbed us of 3 guns and gave us much abuse.”

“Then we passed on into Caldwell County.  I went to a place 4 or 5 miles from our camp, where our brethern, forty or fifty, had collected to defend themselves at the mill from a lawless bandit.  I had just returned to our camp when to our surprise, news came that the mob had fallen upon our friends at the mill and were killing men, women, and children.  This was near sunset.  The next moment we expected to share the same fate.  No pen can describe, no tongue can tell.  The horrors of the scenes found mothers weeping over their smiling babies and helpless children, which they soon expected to see strangling in death–yet, God was our deliverance.  Well do I remember that dreadful night when in company with two brothers, we went in search of some of the survivors of the slaughtered men, women and children who had fled into the woods for safety, yea they hid themselves in the hole of the earth awaiting in solemn silence, the approach of day; their grief was beyond tears.”

“The mob which murdered our brethern was 250 in number; our brethern 40 or 50.  No warning was given them.  Two boys were killed.  Some of the wounded were shot again for fear they would not die.  One little boy was pleading for his father’s life, who lay bleeding with wounds when one of the mob put his gun to the boy’s head and blew his brains out.”
“Two women had their dresses shot full of holes.  One was shot through the hand and many were wounded; and all this for our religion.  The next night the mob told us we might have our choice;  either to deny our Faith or leave the country, or death would be our portion.  We chose the latter, preferring rather afflictions with the people of God than enjoying the treasures of the earth,  knowing it is for righteousness sake.  Many were cast into prison where some yet remain.  Brother Joseph is set free.  Our people were not the aggressors, but stood in their own defense.  The governor called out troops to protect the mob and drive the Saints out of the State.  Drive or exterminate was the order.  O, my God, has it come to this that nothing but mobs law can prevail?  We were all condemned to banishment without a trial.”

“We came back 75 miles through the snow and rain during the coldest time we had last winter to Hunkville, Missouri.  There we stayed until spring where I took a job to build a meeting house.  In April Isaac Pierce took my family to Illinois, but I stayed until my job was finished.  I am now at work in this place on the State house at $2 per day.”  –by Abraham Palmer

“If any of our friends ask you if we have denied the faith tell them NO: NO: nor would not for our lives, for if we should we would expect nothing to follow us but eternal damnation for we do know for a surety that it is eternal truth and the angels bear witness of it, and so do we.  For we know that heaven and earth may pass away, but this work will stand forever.  So my dear brother and sister I do entreat you by the grace of God to enlist in the work before it is too late.  Oh, how I feel for the welfare of the souls of my friends.”–by Patience Palmer

After moving to Nauvoo, Abraham Palmer was called to work on the Temple as he was a carpenter and a joiner.  He was also made a member of the Nauvoo police force.  Patience Palmer received her patriarchal blessing in Nauvoo under the hands of Joseph Smith, Sr., the first patriarch.

Patience was present at the organization of the first Relief Society and was there set apart by the prophet Joseph as one of the visiting committee whose duties were to visit all the families.  They were also to discover if any pecuniary aid was needed.   During the winter of 1845-6 she and her husband worked in the Temple all the time that ordinances were given and they received all the blessings pertaining to that house.

In the spring of 1846 Patience became very sick.  Apostle Heber C. Kimball was called to administer to her.  Holding her by the hand, he said, “Sister Palmer, you want me to say something to you, and I will say in the name of the Lord that you shall not die and that I shall shake hands with you in the great American Wilderness.”  The leaders of the church were about to leave for the west at that time.

She often related the scenes in Nauvoo at that time the two martyrs were brought from Carthage.  She said you could meet no one but what they were weeping.

One day Abraham Palmer came home and said, “We have agreed with the mob to leave the state.”  After leaving Nauvoo they moved into a little log hut that had been built by trappers.  It had no door and there were large cracks between the logs.  On the 10th day of December, in this little log hut in a snow storm which was driven through the cracks, Patience Palmer’s 10th child, William Moroni, was born.  There were two families, consisting of 14 people, living in this hut.  Then they went to Montrose.  There, 15 families got into one house with several rooms.  All the men at least found work and the women took in sewing and washing.

After their day’s work was finished, the men would work to build vehicles to go West in.  They saved all they could to buy oxen and cows for teams.  Thus, for two years they struggled on, traveling part of the time, and stopping to work part of the time.  Very late in the Fall of 1848, this small company arrived upon Potawattomie Creek at an Indian village 50 miles from Kanesville (now Council Bluffs).  The snow had become so deep they could travel no further.  The houses in this village were built of grass and bark.  Into these the 15 families went.  On account of the deep snow they could not obtain provisions, but fortunately they found a cache of corn left there by the Indians.  During the greater part of this winter they lived upon parched corn and hominy which they made by soaking the corn in lye water.  The lye was some they made from ashes.  This soaking was done to remove the hulls, then washing and boiling the corn without meat or butter.  They also ground corn with two great stones, which the Indians had left.

The young men would sometimes kill pheasants which were always divided among all of them.  On one occasion an ox broke through the ice and was drowned, but they pulled it out and used the meat.  They saved their cattle by shoveling the snow off the tall grass and chopping down trees for them to browse on.  There was an Indian hut 20 by 30 feet which they used for a meeting house.

In this colony of 15 families, 8 children were born during the winter and spring, including Patience Palmer’s last child, a son, named Hyrum Smith Palmer.  Among the 15 families Patience mentioned the names Ferrin, Pettingill, Marsh, Warner, Clyde, Carpenter, David, and Pierce; the latter being the family of her brother, Isaac Pierce.

In the fall of 1849, all these families went to Kanesville where Abraham Palmer was appointed Bishop by Apostle Orson Hyde.  He was also chosen to remain and fit out companies for the journey to the West.  At last, in the spring of 1852, having built their own wagons and gathered oxen and cows for teams, they started for the Great Salt Lake Basin.

While the family was traveling to Utah, an epidemic of Pinkeye broke out in the camp.  Among the children attacked was William Palmer, then a child of 5 years.  A quack doctor prescribed a copper-sulfate application as a remedy, but the application proved disastrous, for the child was rendered totally blind.  He was blind until he was 17 when he was miraculously healed under the direction of President Heber C. Kimball.

On arriving in Salt Lake in October, they went up into the main part of the city where they met Apostle Heber C. Kimball, who grasped them by the hand and said to her, “The last time I saw you, you were in Nauvoo in your sick bed and now here you are in the wilderness.,”–thus fulfilling the prophecy he had made.

In 1854 they moved to Ogden which then was but a small village.  There Abraham Palmer was chosen counselor to Lorin Farr in the first Stake Presidency of Weber County.  Patience Delila was made first President of the Relief Society in Weber Co.  She worked diligently in this capacity, helping the poor during the grasshopper ravages.  She and her assistants went from house to house gathering cast off clothing, remodling and distributing them among the poor.

During this time a tabernacle was built in Ogden.  The Relief Society took useless rags and made carpet to cover the aisles and carded and spun wool which they colored with dye made from brush, bark, and ocher from Ogden Canyon to make enough carpet to cover the stand, vestry and prayer circle chamber.

In 1857 news came that the government was sending an army against them.  In the spring of 1858 they were told to prepare to flee to the south.  Their homes were to be prepared to be burned if necessary.  The Relief Society distributed the carpet for wagon covers and the woolen carpet for skirts for women and shirts for men and children.

One could see trains of families by the hundreds leaving their homes, gardens, fields and everything.  Abraham and Patience went to Spanish Fork where they lived all summer in a willow shack which they built.  Then the government found out through Colonel Kane who was investigating that the stories of disloyalty of the Mormons were all lies and they soon made a treaty with the Saints asking them to return to their homes, which they did.

Later they moved to Sanpete County where some of their children were located and where Abraham Palmer died in May 1875 at Fayette.  Patience then went to live with her son, William Moroni at Glenwood, Sevier Co. where she died 25 March 1894, and was buried beside her husband.

During her strenuous life she acted as a midwife and a doctor, administering help and comfort to all in need.  Of the hundreds of women she waited on, she never lost one case or child, which she ascribed to the fact that a prayer was always on her lips for divine assistance whenever she waited on the sick.

She was also a school teacher of considerable success, having taught in Annabelle, Sevier Co; Deseret, Millard Co; and Chicken Creek, Juab Co.

She was very genial, had a kind disposition, and was beloved by all who knew her, especially the children.  Truly a more righteous, patient, and humble woman never lived, for she devoted her whole life to the Gospel of Christ and has now gone to her reward.

Most of this story is taken from a story written by Ardean Palmer Hatch with excerpts quoted directly from the journal of Patience Palmer.

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WILLIAM MORONI PALMER (1846-1929)

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE LIFE OF

WILLIAM MORONI PALMER (1846-1929)

Written by his son and daughter, Asael E. Palmer and Ada A. Palmer (Orgill)

William Moroni Palmer When the Pilgrims from England settled at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620, they had a little army, under the command of Captain Miles Standish, to help protect them from the Indians.  In 1630 there was a Sergeant William Palmer, who later was commissioned a lieutenant in Captain Standish’s command.  Lt. William Palmer married Judith Feake, who had emigrated from London, England.  Whether they were married in England or in America is not known as the record of their marriage has not been found.  Lt. William and Judith had seven children — five sons and two daughters — before Lt. William’s death (about 1660).

After her husband William’s death, Judith married Jeffery Ferris and moved, with him and her seven children, to Greenwich, Connecticut.  The children grew up in Greenwich where the fourth son, William, married Mary Tyler.  They had three sons and one daughter, all born in Greenwich.  William and Mary may have become Quakers.  Likely they died in Greenwich.

William, the oldest child of William and Mary Tyler Palmer, was born in Greenwich on November 6, 1694.  He married Rachel Fowler about 1716-1718, and they had a large family of 13 or 14 children.  They moved to Nine Partners, Dutchess County, New York, about 1738.  They were Quakers and their names appear frequently in the minutes of the Quaker meetings.

Abraham, son of William and Rachel Palmer, was born about 1723, presumably in Greenwich, Conn.  On December 24, 1747, he married Abigail Bull in Nine Partners, Dutchess county, New York (Oblong Monthly Meetings, Society of Friends “Quakers”, Minutes Vol. 1149).  Abraham apparently discontinued his affiliation with the Quakers and his name does not appear in their record after his marriage.  While there have been no records found definitely giving the names of the children of Abraham and Abigail, it is quite evident from information secured that they had at least eight, and that two of these were British Soldiers; and that at least one, Noah, was an American Revolutionary soldier.

Noah Palmer, perhaps the fourth child of Abraham and Abigail, was born February 9, 1756, at Amenia, Dutchess County, New York.  He married (1) Miss Sutherland and they had four children.  After his first wife’s death, he married (2) Tirzah Whitney and they had six sons and four daughters.  As stated, he was an American Revolutionary soldier.  Noah died in September 1840.

Noah and Tirzah Palmer’s next-to-youngest child was a son named Abraham, who was born on December 4, 1807, at Sherbourne, Chenango County, New York.  He married Patience Delila Pierce on July 10, 1825.  Patience was born in Oswegatchie, St. Lawrence County, New York, on February 15, 1809.  They lived on Oswegatchie, New York, until after the birth of their fourth child on May 13, 1831, when they must have moved from this northeastern New York locality to Castile, Wyoming County, New York, in the northwest part of the state, where two of their children were born.  Undoubtedly, it was while they were living at Castile, about fifty miles southwest of Palmyra, that they became acquainted with the newly organized Mormon Church on February 14, 1835 — an event, which completely changed their future lives.  Abraham and patience had two children born in Castile, one on August 27, 1833, and the other on October 15, 1835.  Their next child was born at their old home in Oswegatchie on February 19, 1838, so they apparently returned there.  In 1839, they, with seven other families, including one of Patience’s brothers, Isaac Pierce, her sister Ruth Crosier, and their families, left by wagon train to join the Mormons in Missouri.  (For an account of some of the hardships and persecutions they experienced in common with other Latter – Day Saints, see “A Sketch of the Life of Patience Delila Pierce Palmer”, written by her son William Moroni Palmer.)

Abraham and Patience Palmer had endured the sufferings incident with the mobbings and the final expulsion of the Later-day Saints from Missouri and had helped build up the beautiful city of Nauvoo, Illinois.  Abraham literally helped to build the city and the Nauvoo Temple as he was a carpenter and building contractor.  When the Saints were finally driven out of Nauvoo, Abraham and Patience, with their four children ranging in age from two to nineteen years, crossed the Mississippi River west into Iowa.  William Moroni Palmer, in the sketch of the life of his mother previously referred to, describes that experience thus:

“Twenty thousand people without homes, with not enough to feed themselves only           for a few days, getting shelter the best they could.  The subject of this sketch with her    family got into a little log hut that had been built by trappers.  It had no door and there   were large cracks between the logs.  There were two families, consisting of fourteen            people living in this hut.

“On the 10th of December, 1846, in this little log hut, in a snow storm which was driven through the cracks, Sister Palmer’s tenth child, William Moroni, was born.”

And so began the life of the subject of this history, William Moroni Palmer.

For two years these people struggled on across Iowa, traveling part of the time and stopping to work at times.  Very late in the fall of 1848 they, with a small company, arrived at an abandoned Indian village on Pottawattamie Creek, fifty miles east of Kanesville, later called Council Bluffs, Iowa.  Here on February 9, 1849, Patience Delila Pierce Palmer’s last (eleventh) child, a son named Hyrum Smith Palmer, was born.

In the fall on 1849, all of the families at Pottawattamie Creek moved to Kanesville, Iowa, where others had gathered.  Abraham Palmer was appointed Bishop of Kanesville by Apostle Orson Hyde and chosen to remain there and fit out companies to travel to the West.  In the spring of 1852, having built their own wagons and secured oxen and cows for teams, the Palmer family, along with others started for Utah.  During the trip an epidemic of pinkeye (acute conjunctivitis) broke out in the camp.  William Moroni Palmer, then a child of five years, contracted the inflammation and his mother, on the advice of someone who thought they knew, bathed his eyes with a solution of verdigris.  The result was that William was blinded and remained blind throughout the remainder of his childhood.  His sight was restored seven years later after an administration by President Heber C. Kimball.  A beautiful account of this healing was written by Helen Harding Atwood and is included here as she wrote the story.  (Helen Atwood is the daughter of William M. and Christina’s oldest child Helen who died when the baby Helen was born.  The baby was raised by the grandparents as if she were their own child, and she called them “mamma and papa.”)

“You have asked me to write down what I remember of this story as told to me by Papa.

Of course I was a little girl with a vivid imagination and a romantic heart, and so if the story is not as you remember it, please bear this in mind, for I shall tell it as I have always held it dearly in my heart.

“William Moroni Palmer (what a grown-up name for such a little boy!) was a happy and playful young lad, who dearly loved his parents and his brothers and sisters.  At the tender age of five years he contracted pinkeye.  A “doctor” washed his eyes with a solution of blue  viteral, which, of course, made him completely blind.

“What a tragedy for everyone in the Palmer home, but especially for William who could  see no more the beauty of his mother’s face, the kind eyes of his father, and the rest of his family whom he loved so dearly.  Nor could he see the blue skies, grass and flowers where he loved to romp and play.

“William’s mother spent many hours every day reading to him.  His favorite stories were   from the Bible, and she would read them and explain them to him until he knew them by heart.  He could quote scripture as no other young boy could, and in later years they called him the “Walking Bible.”

“The years passed by, and William’s faith grew.  He knew there was a God in Heaven.  He knew about Jesus Christ.  His testimony was wonderful to hear.  He could feel the love of his family around him.  He was happy, but sober and thoughtful.

“One day, after he had been blind for seven years, he heard his family talking about a Church conference which was to be held near them in a few days, and at which Elder Heber C. Kimball was to preside and speak.  When William was alone with his mother, he took her hands in his and said, “Mother, would you ask Brother Heber C. Kimball to come to our place after the conference, and bless me so that I can see?”

“This loving mother, Patience Delila, took her son (who was not so small any more) into here arms, and said, “Dear William, do you believe you can be healed?”  And William answered, “I know I can, Momma,  if he will come.”

“Conference day arrived.  The family knelt in prayer, and while his parents were away William spent much of his time in his mother’s room where he could be alone to pray.

“William was first to hear the surrey returning from Conference, and his keen ears listened for the sound of the Apostle’s voice.  He heard it, and gave thanks again to God.

“When Brother Kimball entered the house, he saw the eager face of William and said, “Is this the boy you told me of?”  William’s mother said, “It is, but would you like to eat with us first?”

“This must come first.  He has waited long enough.”  A chair was placed for William to  sit upon and the two Elders anointed him, and then Elder Kimball sealed the anointing with a wonderful blessing, and then said, “Open you eyes, Brother William, and you shall see.”

“William’s eyes flew open, he sat as if stunned for a moment, then he was out of the chair, through the door crying, “Oh!  I can see!  I can see!   Oh, Momma, I can see!”  and he fell down upon the grass and hugged himself to the wonderful earth.  No more were the trees and flowers, the grass and sky, the streams and his home and family a dim memory, but real to him forever more, and he thanked God.

“That day a miracle was wrought, and William’s testimony grew, and in years to come William set the example for his family, and taught them to trust in God, and to keep His commandments.”

(End of Helen Atwood’s narrative.)

After receiving his sight, William had good vision at a distance of about six inches from his eyes.  Beyond that he could see objects, but they were blurred.  Throughout his life he could not recognize a person a few feet from his eyes unless they spoke.  This caused him to develop a keen sense of voice recognition.  His children considered it a great joke when they would pass him on the street and nod, and he would nod back without recognizing them unless they spoke.  When reading, he held the book about six inches from his face, and at that distance could read for hours without tiring his eyes.  He was a constant reader up until his death and never used glasses.  Many times he tried to be fitted with glasses to correct his distance vision, but without success.

The Palmer family arrived in Salt Lake City in October 1852, and lived there until 1854 when they moved to Ogden, then a small village.  The family at that time consisted of the father Abraham (46), the mother Patience Delila (44), Luther M. M. (27), Ann Eliza Stephens (21, married), William Moroni (7), and Hyrum Smith (4).  (Numbers in brackets are years of age at that time.)  There was also a granddaughter Ann Hutchings, whose mother, Susan Charlotte Palmer Hutchings had died at the baby’s birth on October 3, 1853.  Patience Delila raised Ann as her own child until her maturity.  It is possible that Luther and Ann Eliza did not go with their parents to Ogden.  As Ann Eliza married Alexander Stephens on September 8, 1852, they, apparently, were married while their company was travelling from Iowa to Utah.  Five of the Palmer children died at ages between one and twelve years, during the period of hardships in Missouri, Illinois, and on the plains.  William Moroni Palmer’s boyhood was spent in Ogden, Utah.  His father and mother were leading people in the community, the father having been a counsellor to the president of Weber Stake, Aaron Farr, and the mother was Stake President of the Relief Society.  They farmed and, undoubtedly, Abraham followed his trade as a carpenter.  They owned the land where the union Railway Station now stands and used it as a pasture.

William often talked about his boyhood in Ogden.  Their first year there was difficult as food was scarce and at times they lived on thistle and sego lily roots and bran bread.  Being blind until he was about 13, he never attended school and did not learn to read until he was in the mission field at the age of twenty-nine years.

One day, after having received he sight, he went with his father to the mountains for a load of wood, to use for fuel in their home.  As they were finishing loading the wood on their wagon, a heavy snowstorm came up and soon after starting for home they lost their way.  Traveling with a wagon in the mountains when they could not see to follow the road was impossible so they unhitched he oxen thinking that without being encumbered with the wagon the oxen would instinctively lead them home; but the oxen refused to face the storm and turned to their drivers as if wanting to know what to do.  Realizing the seriousness of their situation, as night was approaching, the father did what he had so often done during the quarter of a century since he and his wife had joined the Church in New York, he turned to the Lord.  He said to his son, “William, we have done all we canto find our way, now we must ask the Lord for help.”  The two knelt in the snow and explained their predicament to the Lord, asking for his help.  When they arose they started the oxen in the direction they thought was right and the animals put down their heads, faced into the storm, and without further hesitation lead them home.  The weather having cleared the next day, they went back and got their wagon with its load of wood.  This experience taught William a lesson which apparently he never forgot as repeatedly in his daily diary, which he kept during the many years he was a Latter-day Saint missionary, he tells of his he was helped by prayer after having exhausted his own resources.

As an illustration of the financial condition of the people in the pioneering days, William and a boyhood playmate, Heber McBride, when they met in Raymond, Alberta, where they both settled in 1903, in reminiscing on their childhood in Ogden, were amused to remember that in the winter as they had no shoes they would wrap old cloth around their feet and tie board on their soles to skate on the ice.  They seemed to feel, however, that they had as much fun as children raised in better conditions.

The family lived in Ogden for some time.  William, in his “Sketch of the Life of Patience Delila Pierce Palmer”, states the following:

“Afterwards they moved to Sanpete Count where some of their children were located, where Abraham Palmer died on May 25, 1875, at Fayette, Sanpete County, Utah.  Sister Palmer then lived with her son, William M., at Glenwood and later at Aurora, Sevier County, where she died on March 25, 1894, and was buried by the side of her husband in Fayette.”

Their graves are marked by a stone in the cemetery east of the Fayette village.

In the spring of 1866, William engaged as a teamster, of “mule-skinner”, to drive a six-mule team with two wagons in a mule train that was loaded with flour to freight from Gunnison, Sanpete Co., Utah, to Virginia City, Montana.  They brought the first food supply to the new mining town of Virginia City that spring, and as flour was scarce and gold plentiful they got $125.00 per 100-pound bag for their flour.  The mule train went on from Virginia City to Fort Benton, Montana, at the head of navigation on the Missouri River, to bring back a load of supplies for the mining camp.  The nineteen-year-old William did not go to Fort Benton but went to work as an irrigator on a ranch on the Madison River, ten to fifteen miles east of Virginia City.  One day when in town, William saw a group of people coming up the street, headed by members of the Vigilante Committee who had a rope around the neck of a man they were leading to the hanging room.  Immediately behind the man were his wife and three small children, weeping and pleading for the life of their husband and father, who was taken into the room.  The rope was thrown over the hanging beam and the Vigilantes started to pull the man up, but the pleadings of the wife and children prevailed.  They let him down, took the rope from his neck, and told him to leave and never come back to those parts.  Needless to say, the culprit took his family and left.  He had operated a meat market in the town and had been stealing hogs from a nearby ranch.  Such was the administration of justice in the frontier mining camps of that day.

William Moroni Palmer married Mary Ann Mellor Oglvie in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City on April 5, 1869.  Mary Ann was a young widow, 22 years old with two children:  Alexander and Miranda.  These two were sealed to William and Mary Ann.  After their marriage, the young couple established a home in Fayette, Sanpete Co., Utah, where their first three children, William Moroni, Patience Delila, and James Lindsey, were born.  Sometime after the birth of James Lindsey on April 12, 1875, and before the birth of Charles Abraham on July 28, 1878, they had moved to Glenwood, Sevier County, Utah, where their other five sons, Don Carlos, Parley Parker, Wilford Woodruff, Delbert, and Francis Marion, were born.

What William did for a livelihood during the first few years of his marriage is not clear, except that he told of hauling farm produce from the farming communities to Sevier Valley, Utah, to the Pioche mining area of eastern Nevada, which was the main market for their products.  He also spoke of having sheep, which he turned over to the United Order in Glenwood when the Order was established in that community, so he must have had some land, which he farmed to produce winter-feed for the sheep that were pastured in the mountains in the summer.

One story he told of his freighting to Nevada was that on arrival at Pioche, food was so scarce that there was a ready sale, at good prices, for the flour, eggs and other products of his load.  He found himself in possession of considerable cash, which presented a problem as highwaymen occasionally held up the returning freighters and relieved them of the cash they had received for their load.  As a precaution, William tied most of his silver and gold coins in a handkerchief and dropped it into his water barrel.  The paper bills he his in the woollen lining of an old quilt.  He kept enough money in his pocket to represent the amount he would have received under normal market conditions, thinking that if he was waylaid the robbers would think they had secured all his cash and would not search further.  Fortunately he was not molested, but when he arrived home they had to search for some time for the last twenty-dollar bill in the old quilt.

Those freight outfits hauling into eastern Nevada usually consisted of two covered wagons, the one hitched as a trailer to the other.  The two-horse teams were hitched in tandem to the front wagon.  There were brakes on the rear wheels of each wagon, which the driver operated by means of a lever at his right side.  Each wagon carried a payload of about on ton, and in addition there was a forty-gallon barrel of water fastened to the side of each wagon box for use by man and gorses when a dry camp was necessary at noon, or at night in the desert country that they crossed.  Food for the driver and animals also had to be taken along.  Generally two or more outfits would travel together for company, and to help each other in case of a broken wheel or other trouble.  The journey of about 200 miles to Nevada took about five days going with loads, and four days or less coming back empty.  This method of team freighting was common before the days of railroads or trucks.  There was no road grading or other construction, except wooden bridges across canals or other streams that could not be forded, and doorways on the sides of hills or mountains.  The only road regulations were that when meeting, each driver turned to the right, leaving half the road track to the approaching team.  If one vehicle was loaded and the other one not, the one with the load kept to the road and the other turned completely out.  It was the custom to stop and help anyone in trouble.

When William M. Palmer was twenty-nine years old, and had five children (two of them stepchildren), he was called by Brigham Young to go on a mission to explain Mormonism to the people of the Central United States.  When he reported for service to the First Presidency Office in Salt Lake city, and was set apart April 10, 1876 to labor in the United States, President Young asked him if he had any relatives in the Central or Eastern States.  His answer was that he had an aunt living in Michigan who was Mormon.  President Young told him to go there and make that his headquarters, which he did.  The aunt was Ruth Pierce Crosier Harrington.  She and her first husband, John Crosier, and children, were one of the eight families that went with Abraham and Patience Delilah Palmer, William’s parents, form New York to Missouri and Nauvoo.  The Crosier family did not go west with the Saints.  The father died and Ruth had married John Harrington who was not a member of the Church.

The Harrington’s welcomed William and invited him to make their home his headquarters.  He was glad to do this as he felt entirely incapable of doing missionary work, and wanted some time to prepare before he started his ministry.  Later, in describing himself when he arrived at his aunt’s home, he said that he was a rough-looking Westerner, wearing homespun clothes, a shaggy beard, his left eye was crossed due to the injury to his eyes while crossing the plains (this eye was straightened by an operation in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on November 4, 1881), and he could not read or write.  His Aunt Ruth undertook to teach him to read, so he decided to delay missionary activity until he could read.  He was no wholly unprepared, however, as he stated in his diary written in September of 1884.  He had presided over a Priests’ Quorum of Chicken Creek, Utah, had been president of the Glenwood YMMIA, and had been a Ward Teacher and counsellor to the president of the Sevier Stake YMMIA.  This indicates that he was active in the church before his mission call.

While William planned to postpone missionary work, the Lord had other ideas.  One night he was staying at a hotel operated by his cousin in a town near the Harrington farm home.  A circuit minister was a guest at the same hotel, and in the evening they engaged in a religious discussion.  In the morning as William approached the head of the stairs leading to the hotel parlor below, he heard the minister say to others in the parlor that it was a disgrace for the Mormon Church to send an uncouth, ignorant person as Elder Palmer to try to convert civilized Christian people to Mormonism.  The minister said that he would show those present how ignorant the elder was by asking him some questions regarding the Bible.  This frightened William, as he agreed with the minister’s appraisal of his own ignorance.  He tried to find another stairway to go down in order to avoid the clergyman, but there was none.  He then went back to his room, knelt and asked the Lord for help, stating that he had been called to do His work and seriously needed help.  This gave him courage and he went down to the parlor where he was net by the clergyman with an open Bible in his hand, who said, “Mr. Palmer, I have a passage of scripture I would like you, as a minister, to explain to me.”  The clergyman then read a passage from his Bible.  The Elder had no idea as to the meaning of the verses read, but this reply flashed into his mind:  “It is interesting that you should ask me this as I have a scripture I would like you to explain to me.”  He then quoted a verse which his mother had taught her blind boy sitting at her knee:  “And I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.”  “Oh, Mr. Palmer,” the minister said, “That is not in our Bible.  It must be in your Mormon Bible.”   But the former blind boy had been taught to memorize chapter and verse along with his scripture, and he told his antagonist that he would find it in Revelations 14:6.  The minister turned to the reference, read it, and said rather sheepishly, “Well, well.  I have never seen that before.  I will have to look it up in my Bible commentary.”  Elder Palmer replied, “That is the position I am in with your scripture reference.  Perhaps when we meet again we can explain to each other.”

And so that little tilt ended–but not the results.  Those who witnessed the encounter saw the Mormon missionary, instead of being exposed as ignorant, come out the winner; and they must have thought that he was more intelligent that he appeared.  At least that is what they told others, and they added that the Mormon had bested their minister in a scriptural argument.  The story grew, as stories do, and soon it was that Elder Palmer was a very intelligent man who had a wonderful knowledge of the scriptures.  So people started to come to  him for explanations of scriptures they did not understand.  Here, William said, the Lord came to his assistance again by giving him two wonderful gifts:  (1) the ability to understand and explain scriptures that were presented to him, and (2) to remember the passages verbatim.  Soon he had many Bible passages stored in his memory, with a clear knowledge of their meaning.

Another blessing he gained from this experience was that it assisted him greatly in learning to read.  When anyone came to him with a scripture reference for explanation, he would have them read from their Bible and he would follow along in his, asking them to read slowly.  At first he had to spell the words in his mind as they read.  Soon he was able to recognize the words and to read–he became a prolific reader, especially of the Bible.  Not only did he read the Bible, but he committed much of it to memory, often quoting entire chapters.  His sermons, always, were interspersed with biblical quotations interwoven in such a way that they were convincing and almost poetic.  His wide use and knowledge of the Bible caused him to be called “The Walking Bible”.

The experience with the clergyman was not the only thing that forced him to start his missionary activities without further delay.  When he returned to his aunt’s home, her husband, who was not a member but was becoming interested (later baptized), said to him, “William, I am glad to know that you are going to start to preach today.”  “No, Uncle John, I am not speaking today, nor for some time, until I am much better prepared.”  “But,” said the uncle, “You will have to preach today.  Word has gone around the entire area that you are to speak in that schoolhouse over there, and people are gathering.  I saw one wagon load that has come twenty miles.”  Although the missionary6 had known nothing about the meeting and suspected that his uncle and aunt had arranged it, he knew that he must speak to those people.  Again he went to his room and asked for help, telling the Lord that, although he had been trying, he was so unprepared that he could not speak to that gathering unless he could have the influence of the Holy Ghost to guide him.  As he walked to the schoolhouse, he saw that the one-room building was full to the door, with folks standing on the outside.  This added to his fright, but he worked his way to the teacher’s desk and led them up in a hymn; he had a good singing voice, as well as a wonderful speaking voice, but, as he said later, it was a voice trembling with fear on that day.  He then started to speak; his prayer was answered, and for over an hour the gift of the Holy Ghost directed his tongue and held the congregation spellbound.  Several were converted that day, and some of them who emigrated to Utah frequently told his family that the first sermon William Moroni Palmer preached was one of his greatest.

This gift of the Holy Ghost to assist him in preaching the Gospel was not temporary, but remained with him as an abiding gift if he was humble.  He soon received a lesson on the need for humility, as he began to feel a bit proud of his ability as people flocked to hear him speak.  One evening he arose to speak to a large congregation, fully confident in his ability to preach a forceful sermon, but the Spirit of the Lord was not there, and being left to himself he was a miserable failure.  This lesson was never forgotten, and when he thought he had given a good talk he usually said, “I had a good flow of the Spirit.”  But he realized that to get the help of the spirit he must do his part, so he was always preparing himself by reading and thinking.  He knew that one could not get a 4-inch flow through a 2-inch pipe.

William worked diligently on this first mission, and his labors met with success.  In a letter to the Deseret News of Salt Lake City dated October 23, 1876, from Sylvester, Michigan, he wrote:  “My labors have been crowned with success.  At first I met with much prejudice, but after much labor the Lord has blessed my labors so much that I have baptized 22 souls and shall baptize some more this week.”  In 1876 and 1877 branches of the Church were organized in Sylvester, Millbrook, and Westville (Michigan).

Elder Palmer worked alone in 1876, and perhaps was the first missionary in Michigan after the Civil War.  On May 6, 1877, additional missionaries were sent to Michigan and adjoining states.  Among these was Elder Cyrus H. Wheelock, a man of experience who had performed several missions before and had been an associate of Joseph smith.  A mission, called the Northwestern States Mission was organized, and Elder Wheelock was set apart as its president on May 6, 1878 (L.D.S. Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol. 4:362-3.  See also “History of the Northern States Mission”, Church Historian office, Salt Lake City).  This mission was comprised originally of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa.  Later, western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska and Dakota (perhaps South Dakota) were added to the mission.  The name of the mission was changed to the Northern States Mission on July 20, 1889.

Elder William Moroni Palmer was released from his mission to Michigan on October 1, 1877, and returned home where, apparently, he remained until April, 1880.  There is a statement in the notes on the

“History of the Northern States Mission” in the Church Historian’s Office, Salt Lake City, which reads:  “The Saints in Michigan, as well as a number of strangers, had spoken so complimentarily of Elder William M. Palmer, who had been so successful on his first mission, that President Wheelock, when he returned home in the fall of 1879 and reported his labors, recommended that William M. Palmer be called on a second mission to Michigan.  Brother Palmer received a call accordingly.”

This call came to Elder Palmer the following spring, and on April 9, 1880 (according to Church Historian records), he was set apart for the mission.  He was instructed by President John Taylor to preside over the Michigan – Wisconsin Conference of the North-western States Mission, and he presided over that conference until the fall of 1880.  In a letter written July 20, 1889 (Church Historian records), he says, “Late in the fall of 1880 I received word from President John Taylor to look after the rest of the mission.”  From that time until his release on July 20th, 1889, William Moroni Palmer presided as President of the North-western States Mission (later named Northern States Mission).

At that time, mission presidents did not take their families with them into the mission field but left them home, and the president returned occasionally to spend a few months with his family.  President Palmer’s diary and church Historian’s records show that President Palmer returned home November 16, 1881, left again for the mission April 10th, 1882, left for home October 21, 1882, returned to the mission April 3, 1883, accompanied a group of emigrating Saints to Utah October 8, 1883, arrived home October 17, and left again for the mission November 18.  The following December 26th, he again left the mission to accompany emigrants to Utah.  In a note in his diary of September 26, 1884, he states, “From January the 6th on until September the 26th, 1884, I worked part of the time on my farm and at home, but most of the time I spent travelling among the Saints preaching, teaching, and instructing them in their duty.  I also went to Salt Lake City at April Conference and appointed Elders who were called to the North-western States Mission to the different conferences, gave them instructions, and then returned home.  I went to the City again in august to see about mission matters, etc.”

This indicates that President Palmer, while presiding over the mission, did not spend all of his time in the mission field.  He accompanied emigrants to Utah quite frequently, and at such times spent a few days with his family.  About every year he spent four or five months at home working on his farm and traveling among the settlements in the interest of Salt Lake publications such the Juvenile Instructor and the Contributor, which were private periodicals, and the Deseret News.  In that way he was able to help finance himself and his family.  At that time the church did not provide a living allowance for mission presidents.  When in the mission field, he traveled, as did the other missionaries, “without purse nor scrip”.  He stated that during his entire mission he received only one dollar from his family, and he sent that back.  The missionaries depended on the Church members or friends in the mission for food and a place to sleep.  Occasionally they were given some money or clothes.  The Church did give President Palmer $500.00 to buy a 30 acre farm at Aurora, Sevier County, Utah.

When the mission president was absent from the mission, his assistant president directed it.  President Palmer in his diary mentions John E. Booth and later Dennis E. Harris as his assistants.  Both of these men were later presidents of the mission.

As might be expected, William Moroni Palmer had many interesting experiences as a missionary.  Some of these are given herewith as he related them around the family fireside or as they are recorded in his diary.  When copied from his diary, the date of the diary entry is shown.  Some incidents connected with his first work in Michigan have been related previously.

An interesting incident that happened in Sylvester, Michigan, he wrote as a story that was printed in the Juvenile Instructor(?) under his pen name of “Ken” and is given here in summary.  Elder Palmer arrived in Sylvester in the evening of a cold winter day.  All the money he had was one silver dollar.  As it was late in the evening and cold, with snow on the ground, and as the missionary was strange in the city, he thought he would ask a policeman to recommend a respectable hotel where he could get a room and breakfast for a dollar.  As he walked up the street looking for a policeman, a little boy darted out from an alley and looking up at him pleadingly said, “Please, Mister, could you give me ten cents to buy some bread for my sick mother and my little sister?”  The thinly clad little lad stood there lifting first one bare foot and then the other out of the snow to keep them from freezing.  As he looked down on the boy, the missionary automatically put his hand in his pocket, drew out the lone dollar and gave it to the boy, who thanked him profusely and said, “I’ll run and get you your change.”  “No, you keep it.  You need it more than I do.” said the man.  “But what is your name and where do you live?”  “Jimmy Rose and I live there,” replied Jimmy, pointing to a door a short distance down the alley.  He then darted away and entered the door he had indicated.

Elder Palmer made a note of the name of the alley and the location of the door then started up the street again, looking for a policeman.  Suddenly he realized that it was pointless to inquire about a hotel, as he had no money.  “Well,” he thought, “I guess the Lord id not want me to stay at a hotel tonight, so I will have to find some other place.”  As he proceeded, wondering where he should go, he noticed a lighted office facing the street, and a man standing before an open fire, putting on his coat.  The missionary stepped into the room and asked the occupant if he could warm himself by the fire.  He was graciously asked to take a seat before the fire, and as he was carrying a traveling bag, the host asked if he had just arrived in town and where he was from.  When informed that his visitor was a Mormon missionary from Utah, the man exclaimed, “Is it possible that I am looking at a real, live Mormon?”  “I hope I am not a dead one,” replied the guest.   The man then introduced himself as a physician, Dr. Gray, and asked at what hotel the missionary would be staying so that they could have further conversation.  The missionary explained that he was traveling, as did Christ’s apostles, without purse or scrip, having faith the Lord would provide.  “If you have that much faith in the Lord, the I will be his helper tonight,” said the doctor.  “You will come home with me.  My wife and I are alone in a large house and supper will soon be ready, so we had better go.”

When Dr. Gray introduced his guest to his wife as a Mormon missionary from Utah, Mrs. Gray registered some surprise on her face, but being and intelligent gentlewoman, acknowledged he introduction graciously.  At supper and until after midnight, the three talked about Utah, the Mormons, and the gospel as restored through Joseph Smith.  Dr. Gray showed a fair, intelligent interest, but the missionary could see that Mrs. Gray was listening with a deeper feeling.  Her spirit was attuned to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and she was receiving a testimony of the truth of the gospel that was being presented.

Elder Palmer told the Grays of his experience with the little boy on the street, and said he would visit the boy’s home on the morrow, which he did.  When he knocked at the door in the alley, Jimmy opened the door, grabbed his hand and led him across the room to the sick mother’s bed where Jimmy introduced him as the good man who had given him the dollar the night before.  Mrs. Rose was effusive in her gratitude and stated that she had been ill for some time.  She was a widow who had been supporting herself and two children on a small wage.  When she became sick she had no income, and yesterday their food and fuel was exhausted.  When Jimmy came in with the dollar, he put on his mother’s shoes and coat and went out and bought a bucket of coal and some food.  The missionary talked to her about the gospel and explained the ordinance of healing by faith and administration.  Mrs. Rose was impressed and requested administration, which was performed, and she said she felt she was healed.  While the Elder was there, groceries and coal, ordered by Mrs. Gray were delivered.  Dr. Gray came in to see Mrs. Rose and said that while she appeared to have been quite sick that she now seemed all right, and if careful, should be able to go about her usual work.  Mrs. Rose fully recovered, joined the Church, finally immigrated to Utah with her two children where she remarried and as a bishop’s wife, she and her family were active members.

Dr. Gray was a Spiritualist, and he thought Joseph Smith to have been just a Spiritualist medium.  He wanted Elder Palmer to go with him to a friend’s home where a noted Medium from Chicago was to hold a séance.  The Elder was reluctant to become involved with Spiritualism, but when Dr. Gray offered to secure a hall for him to speak in the following night, and to advertise the Mormon meeting in the press if he would go with the doctor to the séance, Elder Palmer consented.  When they arrived at the home where the séance was to be held, Dr. Gray introduced his guest as a friend from Utah.  When the people were seated in a room with a table at the front, the medium entered and rapped on the table.  This sent a shock, like and electric current through the missionary, but he breathed a quiet prayer and by the power of his priesthood, rebuked all unclean spirits from the room while he was present.  He felt perfectly calm when the medium rapped the second and the third time.  As the rapping produced no results, the medium left the room.  Upon returning she faced the audience and said, “The spirits tell me that there is a Mormon in this room and they refuse to come here while he is present.  It would be appreciated if he would leave so we may proceed with our séance.”  Elder Palmer immediately arose an asked the hostess for his hat and coat so he could leave.  Dr. Gray said, “Bring my had and coat too.  There is no God here.”  On their way home the Elder related what had happened, and explained that the priesthood he held, if exercised righteously, could have control over unclean spirits.

Dr. Gray had no further association with Spiritualism, but never joined the Mormon Church, although he continued to be friendly.  Mrs. Gray was baptized and although they did not emigrate to Utah, remained a faithful, active member and their home was always open to the Mormon missionaries.  Dr. Gray supported her in her Church activities.

After the Spiritualist meeting referred to, Dr. Gray kept his promise and rented a hall for the missionary, and advertised his meeting in the press.  There was a good attendance, but as the meeting started, a professional lecturer and debater, who introduced himself as Professor Allen, challenged the speaker to a debate the following night on the topic “The Mormon Teachings do Not Agree Wit the Bible”.  Elder Palmer stated that he would prefer not to debate, but when Professor Allen accused him of being afraid to have his church doctrines analyzed, and the man in charge of the hall refused to permit the meeting to proceed unless the challenge was accepted, the missionary consented and his meeting proceeded without further interruption.

Professor Allen was well known in the locality as he had debated this same subject successfully with various ministers.  When the meeting started the following evening, with a full house, Allen stated that he wanted it understood that they were to take the Bible to mean what is said, “If it said bread, it did not mean potatoes.”  Then, as the first speaker, he proceeded to give Bible quotations and arguments he had used to confound other ministers, such as baptism by immersion being essential, the necessity for authority and continuous revelation, etc.  Obviously he knew nothing about Mormon beliefs, and when Elder Palmer arose to speak he had only to agree with Allen and explain the teachings of the Latter-day Saints, and show their agreement with the scriptures the Professor had presented.  When Allen heard this, he was nonplussed, and when he arose for his rebuttal he started to explain that the Bible quotations did not mean just what they said.  The Elder arose and reminded him that when the Bible said bread it did not mean potatoes.  The audience saw the point and several shouted, “Allen’s beat!  Allen’s Beat!”  the Professor held up his Bible and in disgust said, “You people know I do not believe a word in this Bible.”  Then he threw the book on the floor with the remark, “I would not keep a Bible that upholds Mormonism.”  Turning to his debating opponent he said, “Mr. Palmer, I am through.  You may have the remainder of the time.”  Of course the missionary was glad to further explain the teachings of his church to an audience so well prepared to be receptive.

And so the missionary work was opened up in Sylvester, Michigan.  When retelling this story in future years, William M. Palmer usually added that that dollar he gave to little, barefooted Jimmy Rose on that cold November night was on of the best investments he ever made.  “But the lord directed it.”

Elder Palmer had other instances of the sick being healed under his administration besides that of Mrs. Rose.  During his first mission in Michigan he was holding meetings in a home.  And invalid, Mr. Backus, who had been bedridden for several years, lay in an adjoining room.  She asked to have her door, opening into the room where the meetings were being had, left open, so she could hear.  She was converted and asked for baptism, stating that she knew if she were baptized she would be healed.  It was winter and as the only place the baptism could be performed was in a nearby lake that was frozen over, her family wanted her to wait until spring.  She would not wait, and as Elder Palmer also felt inspired that the baptism should be done at that time and that she would be healed, the family consented.  A hole was cut in the ice, and Mrs. Backus was wrapped in a blanket and carried to the lake where Elder Palmer baptized her in the icy water.  She was again wrapped in a blanket and carried to the house.  When she was dressed in dry clothes she would not go back to bed but said she was well and wanted something to eat.  She lived for many years a healthy, devout, active member of the church.  Maydell Cazier, who later married Asael E. Palmer; and Leslie L. Palmer, son of William A. Palmer, when missionaries in Detroit, Michigan, in 1915 and 1917 respectively, both met Mr. Backus, husband of this woman who had died a few years before.  He continued to be an active Church member, and verified the story of his wife’s baptism and healing.

Other healings, following administration by the priesthood, are recorded in Elder Palmer’s diary.  Under the date of June 18, 1883 he records that he and other Elders who had met in Johnsonville, Indiana, for a Priesthood Conference, administered to the wife of Brother William R. Newell, who was critically ill with infection, following childbirth.  Three doctors had attended to her, but they gave little hope.  The Elders too had little faith following their administration.  The next day they again administered to Sister Newell, but still with little faith.  On June 20, President Palmer and four of his missionaries went to the Newell home and found Sister Newell much worse.  One leg and the lower part of her body were badly swollen and she was in extreme pain.  The doctors had given up all hope and had left.  The Elders went out into the woods and prayed fervently, asking the lord to heal her.  President Palmer felt inspired that they should return to the house, that Elder E. F. Durfee should lead the family in prayer; Elder M. W. Pratt should anoint Sister Newell, and that Elder S. R. Marks should be mouth in sealing the anointing.  This was done, and to quote from the diary entry, “The pain ceased, the swelling gradually went down and she was healed.”  On that same day’s entry President Palmer wrote, “I blessed Brother and Sister Newell’s babe and named it Asta Earl.”  On June 25 is the entry, “Held meeting at night at Brother William R. Newell’s.  His wife is well.”

In his diary entry of Monday, May 9, 1887, President Palmer wrote, “In the forenoon, two Elders and I went and administered to Mrs. Hatfield, who was a Josephite but did not have faith in their Elders.  She seemed to be dying.  They had worked over her for hours.  We anointed her and laid hands on her and rebuked the disease and she was healed instantly.”  In the margin of that day’s entry is the note, apparently written later, “Was baptized.”

Another instance of healing occurred in Utah while President Palmer was on home leave from his mission.  He was speaking at a Sake Conference in the Wayne Stake at Loa, Utah.  After Conference, he was asked to go to a nearby home to administer to a woman mentally violent who was thought by her family to be possessed by an evil spirit.  About the time the conference meeting was over, the sick lady in her bed at home commenced to rave violently, shouting that a man Palmer was coming from the meeting to administer to her.  She told her folks not to let him come into the house, as he was a bad man.  As President Palmer came to their door, she became more violent and had to be held by force.  As he came in she started to taunt him, saying that he was bad, a coward that he had no authority to administer to her.  She was held by force while an elder anointed her and then President Palmer, as mouth in sealing the anointing, commanded every evil spirit to leave her and that house, and blessed her that she would recover.  The woman sank back on her bed, relaxed and exhausted.  She soon recovered her normal health.  President Palmer was fully convinced that an evil spirit had possession of that woman.

Many instances of answer to prayer were related by Elder Palmer.  Some of these are recorded in his diary.  Under the date of April 20, 1886, he wrote that at 6:25 p.m. he took a train at Minneapolis, Minnesota, for Monneopa, where he arrived at 10:30 p.m.  Apparently this was a wayside station in the country, as his diary records:

“This night was very dark.  I knew it was a mile and a half to South Bend but I did not know the direction, whether north, east, or which way.  There was but one house besides the station.  The station was closed.  I went to the house; all was dark.  I rapped and called for a long time, but no answer.  A dog was there and he kept trying to get hold of my leg. I got away from him however, and went out in the road.  After offering a prayer to God, asking him to lead me he His Spirit to South Bend, I started in the direction I felt impressed was right.  The road led through the woods and was very muddy.  I soon came to a main road, which crossed at right angles.  I turned to the left and went on, but it did not seem right to me, and the farther I went the worse I felt.  When I had got about 100 yards, I turned back and went in exactly the opposite direction.  Other roads turned off but I went, as I felt led, keeping to the right.  At last I came to a house, which was all dark and rapped at the door.  Someone inside jumped and made a terrible racket, running about the room with boots on.  It was then after 11 o’clock and I could not imagine what was up.  He called, “Who is there?” When I replied, he tried to open first one door and then another, then told me to come to the back door.  There I met him and asked if I could stay overnight.  He said it was an empty house and that the Mormons had held a meeting in it that night.  He had gone to sleep and had thus been left there.  He escorted me to where the Elders were staying, about a quarter of a mile away.  I was exactly on the right road, and thus the Spirit of the Lord had led me.”

Another dark night, he was walking along a forest road and it started to rain very hard.  He soon became wet and cold, but die to the darkness and the lateness of the hour, with all home lights out, he could see no house where he could obtain shelter.  In this condition he knelt down in the muddy road and asked the Lord to lead him to a home where he could stay for the night.  As he arose and started on a light suddenly appeared in a window near the road.  He hurried to the house, knocked on the door and was admitted by a man in his nightclothes, who said they had been in bed and asleep when their baby suddenly started to cry violently.  The father got us and lighted a lamp to quiet the baby and so the light served as a beacon to direct the missionary to the house where he was invited to stay for the night.

In his diary, President Palmer tells of an interesting meeting he had with David Whitmer, one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon.  Under date of Wednesday, June 27, 1883, is this diary entry:  “Elders S. B. Marks, W. M. Pratt, F. Davis, myself and Mr. O. Shelby of Covington (Indiana), started for Richmond, Mo., to see Mr. David Whitmer, the last remaining witness to the Book of Mormon.”  On Saturday, June 30, is the entry (after their arrival in Richmond):

“Mr. David Whitmer came to the hotel to see us and we had a long talk with him.  He bore a strong testimony to the Book of Mormon, and said his testimony is now just the same as that his name is signed to in that book.  He told us how the Prophet Joseph Smith translated the plates; that he (David) and Oliver Cowdery were neighbors; they heard Joseph had the plates and was in Pennsylvania translating them.  Oliver went to see, was convinced and was chosen of the Lord to write for Joseph.  So Joseph and Oliver wrote to David for him to come and get them and take them to his father’s house to finish the translation.  David had some breaking to do and did not know how to leave it.  When he got up in the morning the plowing was done.  He said he never knew how it was done.  He took his team and went to Pennsylvania, which took him several days.  Joseph told Oliver the time David started, where he put up every night, and what was on the sign of each place.  Oliver wrote it down David saw it when he arrived, took the paper and noticed as he was going back; he signs were the same word for word.  David Whitmer told us many things: how the angel looked, how the table looked, and that the voice of God sounded like a man’s voice, only it seemed to pierce them through.  We enjoyed the visit very much.

When relating this story of his visit to David Whitmer, as President Palmer often did in later years, he usually stated the David, then 78 years old, seemed to be in good health and was mentally vigorous.  Further, that David stated that the angel who showed them the plates appeared to be a man, and that he stood by a table and turned the pages of the plates in showing them to the three men: Joseph, Oliver, and David.

An indication of the United States Governments crusade against the practice of polygamy by the Mormons, and prosecutions carried out under the Edmunds and Tucker Act and other anti-polygamy laws, is contained in a journal entry of Sunday, October 31, 1886, at Detroit, Michigan.  On that date President Palmer wrote:

“I went, in the morning, to the House of Correction to see the brethren from Idaho sent there for living with their wives.  I had a talk with the Superintendent, Captain Joseph Nicholson.  He said he was sorry there were any there in that house, put there for their religion, which e knew these men were, and they were honourable men.  That he has, and intends to be, kind to them, and make their burdens as light as the rules allow.  The Superintendent gave me from 1:30 until 2:30 p.m. with the 11 brethren who are confined there…

“I went to the pulpit and talked about ten minutes to them.  My emotions were so great I could hardly talk, to see my brethren thus bound.  We kneeled and I offered a prayer that came from the depths of my soul.  I then administered the sacrament to them, then spoke to them on the Signs of the Times and the Near Approach of our Deliverer and Lord.  Encouraged them to patience and good works.  Four or five of them spoke.  They bore testimony to the truth of the Gospel; and kindness of the officers; that they were glad they made no promises to the court.  I asked permission to shake hands and had a hearty handshake with all.  Many tears rolled down.:

An instance of experiencing the gift of the interpretation of tongues is recorded in President Palmer’s diary under date of Sunday, September 4, 1881.  A conference was being held at St. Francis, Minnesota, where there were many Swedish people.  The diary reads:

“Meetings at 10 a.m., 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.  The house was full of Saints and strangers.  The Spirit of the Lord was poured out upon us and we had a time of rejoicing.  I spoke, in the afternoon, on John’s Revelations and the Apostasy of the Primitive Church.  After meeting Scandinavian said he could not understand English but had understood every word I said, and believed it.”

Christina Helen Larson, who became William Moroni Palmer’s second wife, lived with her parents, Jonas Olof and Margret Olson Larson and brother John, on a farm near Isanti, Isanti County, Minnesota, not far from St. Francis referred to above.  Christina was born at Yttre, Bergsho, Sweden, on April 17, 1862.  She came to America with her parents and brother John when she was three years old, and settled on a homestead near Isanti, where a number of other Swedish immigrants had located.  President Palmer first referred to the Larson family in his diary on Tuesday, September 20, 1881, where he records:  “I went to Isanti to Sister Larson’s and talked a great deal to her husband.”  Apparently he stayed at the Larson home for a few days, as on September 23, he recorded:  “I held a meeting at Cambridge, Sister Larson’s son and daughter went and we returned after meeting, it being dark as pitch and seven miles.  After meeting a mob tried to throw a rope on me but did not make it.”  On Sunday, October 9, he held two meetings at Cambridge and states:  “After meeting went seven miles to Mr. Larson’s.  His wife and daughter are members.”  President Palmer recorded on October 15, 1881, that he held a night meeting at Spencer Brook, near St. Francis.  A mob disturbed their meeting and as they were leaving, the mob threw rotten eggs at them.  He wrote:  “As I went out, they threw a volley of rotten eggs at me – – 3 of which hit me, one on the back of the head and two on my back, running down my overcoat…  We went to Brother E. Clements’ and stayed that night.”  Christina cleaned President Palmer’s overcoat, but in telling the story to her children in later years she usually added that at that time she had no idea she would ever be his wife.  She was a young country girl of nineteen and he was a distinguished mission president.

But Christina’s life pattern changed rapidly in the next two months.  She had been a member of the L.D.S. Church for four years, having been baptized on July 26, 1877 and had been a close friend of the S.W. Clements family who, also, were converts to the Church.  Like most converts at that time, the Clements family wanted to emigrate to Utah.  In the fall of 1881 they sold their property in Minnesota and prepared to make the move west.  Christina had often lived with the Clements family to help Mrs. Clements with her work, and felt like some of their family, so she decided to go to Utah with them.  The J. Crawford family and Miss Gracie Erickson from the same locality also accompanied them.  President Palmer was instructed in a letter from President John Taylor, received November 2, to come home to Utah for the winter and to supervise the emigration of these Minnesota members and others from his mission who were emigrating at that time.  The Minnesota Saints left St. Paul, Minnesota, November 10, for Omaha, Nebraska where they met the emigrants from other parts of the mission, and arrived at Ogden, Utah, at 6 a.m., November 16 and at Salt Lake City the same day at 10. a.m.  President Palmer remained in Salt Lake City for a day to attend to mission business, and then went to his home and family in Glenwood.  Christina went to Provo with the Clements family.  Some time soon after their arrival in Utah and after William could get the consent of his first wife, Mary Ann, he asked Christina to become his plural wife.  She was hesitant, as she feared her father, who was not a member of the Church, might be opposed to her marrying in polygamy.  William told her that her father was a broadminded, intelligent man, and would consent to their marriage.  Further, William predicted that if Christina and he were married, her parents would move out to Utah.  They wrote to the mother, who was a member of the Church, asking her to present the proposal to the father.  His rely was  “If Christina wants to marry President Palmer of her own free will, I will give my consent, as he is the most outstanding man we have seen her; but if she has been coerced into this marriage I will get her out of it if it takes my last drop of blood.  We will sell our property here as soon as we can and move to Utah so we can help Christina if it is needed.”  And so the consent of the parents was given, and William and Christina were married in the Endowment House, Salt Lake City, December 15, 1881.

William stayed home that winter until May 1, 1882, when he left for the mission field.  An indication that mission presidents at that time had to finance themselves is shown in a diary entry of May 1st which reads:

“I had not enough money to get me a suit of clothes to carry me to my field of labour.  I expected to borrow $25, but knew not when I could pay it back; but by going to President Taylor’s office I found a free pass over the U.P.R.R. sent by the company’s agent, Mr. Stebbins of Omaha, on recommendation of Brother James H. Hart, our emigration agent.  This saved me $30 so I did not need to borrow.”

Under the date of My 16, 1882, is this diary entry:  “Brother Wulffenstijn and I got a horse of Mr. Heath and a buggy of a Mr. Bradford, and came to Isanti to my wife Christina’s father, mother and brothers house.  They welcomed me and were very kind to me.  My wife’s mother belongs to the Church and is a faithful member, but her father and brother do not, but they all intend to go to Zion as soon as they can sell.:  on august 6, President Palmer recorded:  “I came after dark to my wife Christina’s folks.  They welcomed me.  They have sold out and will go with me to Utah this fall.”  He was released to return home for the winter, and on October 17, 1882, left Omaha for Utah with 49 emigrants.  Some of these were from Minnesota, but there is no mention in the diary of Christina’s folds being with them; however the following March 30, when he left again for the mission field, President Palmer recorded that his wife Christina remained with her parents in Aurora, Utah.  Undoubtedly they were with the 49 emigrants the previous fall.  On March 29, 1883, William purchased a farm of 30 acres at Aurora from Joseph Noble for $500 cash, which the Church appropriated for that purpose.  Christina continued to live in Glenwood; 12 miles south of her parents home in Aurora, until the winter of 1886-87, when William built a house for her on their farm at Aurora.  Her first three children were born in Glenwood:  Helen Christina, July 26, 1883, John Melvin, December 24, 1884; and Willard Taylor, October 13, 1886.  Willard died of pneumonia June 26, 1888 in Aurora.  Soon after Willard’s death, Christina moved with two of her children to Salt Lake City where she lived incognito in a part of the City where she was not known, to avoid being arrested for polygamy under the federal anti-polygamy laws which the Mormons considered unconstitutional.  While she was living in the exiled condition, her son, Asael Exile was born on November 26, 1888.  The second name given this son was to commemorate the sacrifice his parents were making for a principle of their religion.  The practice of performing plural marriages was discontinued two years later.

William Moroni Palmer was released as President of the North-western States Mission, and from his missionary calling on July 20, 1889.  in a letter written to him by President Wilford Woodruff, giving him his release, President Wilford Woodruff praised him for his long, faithful, and effective labours and stared that one reason for the release was William’s poor health.  A major weakness of William, among his many strong traits of character was his tendency to magnify in his own mind all his aches and pains.  This trait remained with him throughout his later life.  He suffered from hemorrhoids from the time of his early missionary days until his death, which undoubtedly was very annoying and painful, and may have caused him to magnify other indispositions.  Dr. Steel of Minneapolis, Minnesota, removed the hemorrhoids in August 1882 and again by a doctor in Salt Lake City in January 1907, but they returned again each time.  Frequently in his diary he recorded that he was not feeling well but he did not let this interfere with his missionary activities.  He had one severe illness – an attack of malaria –, which was so severe that his life was despaired of for a time.  This started September 10, 1885 and became so bad that Apostle Franklin D. Richards wired from Salt Lake City instructing two Elders to bring him home.  Elder John C. Mellor and William Brown were appointed to accompany him, and they left September 17, arriving in Salt Lake City on the 20th.  President Palmer remained under the care of Dr. Seymour b. Young, at the Frink home, until the 29th when he left for his home in Glenwood.  He fully recovered, and returned to the mission field April 2, 1886.

About the time of William’s release from missionary activity, his wife Mary Ann left him, secured a divorce, and married Isaiah Huntsman.  Mary Ann and Isaiah Huntsman had one child, a daughter they named Mary An, who died shortly after birth.  Mary Ann also died at the time of this childbirth.  The family knows little about the cause of the separation of William and Mary Ann, as it was not discussed in later years.  Perhaps it was one of the fatalities of the difficult social situation that existed at that time, aggravated by Williams long absences form home.  After Mary Ann’s death, Christina took Mary Ann’s four youngest children, Parley, Wilford, Delbert, and Marion, and raised them as her own.  They and Christina’s children grew up together and hardly realized that they were not full brothers and sisters.  Mary Ann’s oldest son, James, went to work on a sheep ranch at the age of 16, when his father and mother separated, and made his own way form then on.  He visited home frequently, and often expressed to Christina his appreciation for her being such a good mother to his brothers.  He went to Alberta with Parley and Delbert in 1902, and spent part of the summer there, but did not like the country, as there was so much rain that season, and returned to Utah. He married Jane Kennedy of Aurora, Utah in 1903, bought a farm there, and lived in Aurora the remainder of his life.  James and Jane had a fine family of four girls: Ardene, Chloe, Belva, and Maydell and one boy, William.  William is the only one of the Palmers still living in Aurora, where he is counsellor in the presidency of the North Sevier Stake of the LDS Church.

Charles and Don lived with their mother’s relatives for a time and then went to work on their own.  They went to Jerome, Arizona, to work in the smeltering and their whereabouts were unknown to the others of the family for twenty years.  They were finally found in Los Angeles where both were prosperous citizens – Charles had become an electrical engineer and Dona mining engineer.  They also were engaged in mining development, and owned real estate.  Both married. Charles had a daughter, Ruth (adopted, married name is Greenhall), and Don a daughter, Edythe (married name is Tyler).  Charles died April 23, 1959 at 84 years and Don on March 21, 1957 at 79 years, both in Los Angeles.

William Moroni Palmer and all of his family, except James, Charles and Don, moved from Aurora, Utah, to Raymond, Alberta, Canada in March of 1903, arriving in Raymond March 27, 1903.  Those who came to Raymond were the parents, William Moroni and Christina Helen Palmer, and sons and daughters: Parley P., Wilford W., Helen C., J. Melvin, Delbert, F. Marion, Asael e., Ada A., Leslie L., Glen C, and Arlo V.  Christina’s father, Jonas O. Larson and her brother John and John’s family moved from Aurora to Raymond at the same time.  Raymond was a new town, 18 months old, with a population of a bout 1000 people when the Palmers and Larson’s arrived.  Theo only living accommodations they could secure were two rooms in an unfinished house Christopher Nilsson was building.  They cooked and ate and the women and girls slept in these two rooms, while the men slept in other parts of the unfinished, large building.  They lived in this house for about a month when each family secured a large Markee tent from the government immigration office in Lethbridge, and lived in these tents on land they purchased from the Canadian Northwest Irrigation Company, eight miles northwest of Raymond.  Fortunately the weather was mild during April and early May so they were quite comfortable.  However, on the 13th of May a storm developed which started as a heavy rain, and during the night turned into a severe blizzard with high north winds, which lasted for three days and left 18 inches of snow on the ground with drifts 6-8 feet high around the tent. The cattle and horses were running loose on the prairie and they drifted south with the storm fortunately y three horses, a cow and a calf were in a shed that had been built.  Thus there was a cow to provide milk for the family and horses to ride in search of the lost animals after the storm.  The cattle and horses were found 20 miles south of Milk River Ridge.  All were recovered except one horse that was drowned in a lake, and six newborn calves that perished.  No such May storm has been experienced since 1903.  A house was built in Raymond that summer, and the parents with the girls and the three small boys lived there during the school year so the children could attend school.  A one-room house had been built on the farm, and Melvin and Asael stayed there to care for the stock.  The other older boys secured work in the neighborhood.  Melvin contracted pneumonia and was taken to Raymond where he died January 2, 1904.  Delbert, who was working for the Knight Ranching Co. in Milk River Ridge, took typhoid fever in late June, and died in early July 1904.  Both Melvin and Delbert were 19 years old at the time of their deaths.

When the William Moroni Palmer family came to Raymond, they bough 500 acres of prairie land on a 10 years payment contract from the Canadian Northwest Irrigation Company, with the intention that all the boys would farm this together.  With the deaths of Melvin and Delbert, however, and a total crop failure on dry land in 1904, together with insufficient capital to purchase the required horsepower and machinery, the older boys decided to work for themselves and the father sold all but 206 acres of the land, which he continued to operate.

Parley married Ella LeBaron and settle at Barnwell, Alberta where Ella’s mother and family lived.  They had two daughters, Nellie (Gib) and Ruth (Lowry), and three sons, Edwin, Eldon and Lamar.  (Names in brackets are the girls married names.)  Parley died at the age of 79 years.  Wilford worked at various places before going into business in Raymond where he lived the remainder of his life.  He was killed in a collision between his car and a streetcar in Lethbridge in 1933, when he was 50 years old.  Helen taught school one year in Lemington, Utah, before going to Alberta.  She married John Hoarding on December 24, 1906.  They lived on a homesteaded farm south of Taber, Alberta, had one son, William and two daughters, Iola (Layton) and Helen (Atwood).  Helen died May 13, 1912, at the birth of her last daughter, Helen.  Marion married Carrie Lee on December 24, 1906.  They had seven daughters:  Mary (Hurley), Mable (died in infancy), Zelda (Wooley), Maurine (Roy), Eva (Pengilly), Elaine (Clarke), and Ardell (Prosk); and three sons: Merril, Lee and Gerald.  Marion and Carried secured a farm near Blackie, Alberta where all their children were born.  Later they returned to Raymond where Carried died in 1956.  Some year’s later Marion married Mrs. Rhoda Allred.  He died May 26, 1969 at Raymond, at the age of 82.

Asael stayed at home and helped operate the farm until October 1913 when he left to take a degree course at the Utah Agricultural College.  He married Maydell Cazier on October 5, 1916.  They have two sons, Delbert an Byron, and two daughters, Camille (Hawkins and Eileen (Smith).

Ada has lived in Raymond all her life, where she married Clarence O’Brien on October 2, 1908. They had four daughters: Helen (Sabey), Marie (Matkin), Nova (Thomas), and Sylvia (died in infancy); and two sons: Delman and Clayton.   Ada’s husband, Clarence died in 1922, and in 1957 she married Isaac Orgill.

Leslie remained at home and helped operate the farm until he was about 20 year sold, when he went on a two-year mission for the LDS Church.  On his return, he rented the farm for a few years, and then became postmaster at Raymond.  He married Florell Love on October 27, 1920.  they had two sons, Lamont and Harrison and tree daughters:  Mona (Macriss), Donna (Spackmann), and Geraldine (Ursenbach).  Leslie died of a stroke on September 6. 1969, at the age of 72 years, having been predeceased by his wife, Florell a few months.

Glen remained at home and died of rheumatic fever March 11, 1915, at 16 years of age.

Arlo remained at home until he went on an LDS mission at the age of 19.  He married Zina Heninger on December 9, 1926, and they had four daughters:  Donna Jean (McLean), Norma (Blankanagel), Arlene (Smith), and Nancy (died in infancy); and two sons, Douglas and Glen.  Arlo operated toe post office in Raymond for a time, then farmed at Wrentham, Calgary and Rosemary; he also operated the Rosemary Post Office.  He died in his 54th year at Rosemary on September 21, 1955.  Zina died in Salina, Utah, June 1, 1971.

William and Christina had a daughter, Margret Lucille, born at Raymond, April 20 1908.  She died the same day.

The firs few years of the William Palmer family in Alberta were difficult financially because of the lack of experience in that particular type of farming, lack of operating capital, and loss of crops by drought and hail.  However, they always had some income from the small herd of a bout 50 head of cattle, which pastured summer and winter on the open prairie.  Some of the cows were milked during the summers, and butter and cheese were made and sold in Lethbridge.  Pigs, chickens and white Peking ducks also brought in some revenue.  Sixty acres of the farm were irrigated, so in the driest years there was a good garden and hay and feed grain for the livestock.  The winter of 1905-06 was disastrous for the ranching industry, as the practice was to let the stock take care of themselves both summer and winter on the open prairie.  That winter, snow came early and continued to pile up without the usual Chinooks to melt it.  By New Year there was over a foot of snow, and as it was crusted the cattle could not get to the grass.  Literally thousands of cattle starved or froze to death on the open range.  In some localities 60% to 90% of the cattle perished.  The Palmers had put up hay and by confining their cattle to a feed corral during January and early February, they had no losses.  The very good crop years of 1915. 1916 and 1917 with high prices for grain, removed the financial stress.

After settling in Raymond, the family continued active in the LDS Church.  William was appointed president of the Seventies Quorum and was in demand to speak at ward and stake meetings.  He was sent as a missionary to outlying districts, such as Bow Island and Foremost on several occasions.  He continued to be a forceful and inspirational speaker.  About six months before his death, he accompanied his son Asael to a conference in the Claresholm Ward of the Lethbridge Stake, and spoke to a thrilled audience for half and hour.

On the morning of January 25, 1929, William awoke and asked Christina if she was going to get up and prepare breakfast.  When the mal was ready, Christina went to tell William, and found that he had peacefully passed away.  Thus, fifty days after his 82nd birthday ended the over eventful life of this great man, one of the Mormon Church’s outstanding missionaries.  His last years with his devoted wife, whom he loved very dearly, were happy and contented ones.  As old age approached, he looked forward with faith and assurance to an interesting, active, useful and so a happy eternal existence where he could use his gifts and powers to bring the unconverted to a knowledge and acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  That he considered to be is destiny.

Christina lived 24 years after Williams passing.  On the 26th of May 1953, shortly after her 91st birthday, she went to take her place beside him as his companion and helpmeet in whatever would be their glory.  With two such as these their station should be glorious.

PARENTAL PROGENTITORS OF WILLIAM MORONI PALMER

1. Abraham, born 4 December 1807 at Sherbourne, New York.  Died 25 May 1875 at Fayette, Utah.  Married Patience Delila PIERCE 10 July 1825

Children:           (M) Isaac Pierce

(M) Luther M.M.

(M) John Quincy

(F) Elizabeth

(F)    Ann Eliza

(F) Susan Charlotte

(M) Abraham P.

(M) James Albert

(M) Patience Delila

(M) William Moroni

(M) Hyrum Smith

2.  Noah, born 9 February 1756 at Armenia, New York.  Died September 1840 at Kingsbury, New York.  Married Tirzah WHITNEY 18 September 1787

Children:           (F) Submit

(M) Walter

(M) Reuben W.

(M) Timothy

(F) Nancy

(F) Betsy

(M) Alexander

(M) Orvil

(M) Abraham

(F) Sarah Ann

3.  Abraham, born 21 February 1723 at Armenia, New York.  Died 1775 ti 1779.  Married Abigail BULL or BUEHL 24 December 1747

Children:           (M) Ebenezer

(M) David

(M) Noah

(F) Abigail

(F) Rachel

(M) Isaac

(M) Darius

(M) Solomon

4.  William, born 6 November 1694 at Greenwich, Connecticut, USA.  Died about 1786.  Married Rachel FOWLER of Providence, Rhode Island about 1718

Children:           (F) Rachel

(M) William

(M) Abraham

(M) Reuben

(M) Jacomiah

(F) Esther

(M) Gilbert

(F) Phebe

(F) Rachel

(M) Ezekiel

(M) Edward

(M) Thomas

(F) Amy

(F) Mary

.  William, born about 1654 at Newton, Massachusetts.  Died about 1724.  Married Mary TYLER of Greenwich, Connecticut about 1693

Children:           (M) William

(F) Phebe

(M) Peter

(M) Abraham

6.  Lieutenant William Palmer, born about 1616.  Died about 1660.  Married Judith FEAKE about 1688.

Children:           (F) Susanna

(M) Ephraim

(F) Judith

(M) John

(M) James

(M) William

(M) Joseph

NOTE:  Lieutenant William Palmer’s birthplace or progenitors have not been found.

History of the Palmer Family

History of the Palmer Family

Pioneers of Southern Alberta

Compiled and Written by Ada P. Orgill

Published in Raymond paper September 24, 1969

W M Palmer  ChristinaWilliam M. Palmer came with his wife, Christina Larson Palmer, and a family of eight children.  They arrived at Stirling, by a narrow gauge railway from Coutts on March 30, 1903.  They were met at the station by their son, Parley, and with their baggage were brought to Raymond by team and wagon.

They left their home at Aurora, Utah for Salina a town five miles north of where they boarded the train.  Changing at Salt Lake City to a through train of immigrants for Stirling and Raymond Canada.  Upon reading a point in Montana their cattle were unloaded and the older boys of the families drove them through to Raymond.  Coming from the narrow valley in the Rockies, the great expanse of the unsettle prairies filled us with amazement and awe.  Before crossing the border we all had to be vaccinated for smallpox.  Sore arms were a part of our lives for some time.

Accompanying the Palmers were Jonas Larson and Mr. John Larson, daughter Ethel (later Mrs. Floyd Litchfield) and son, Ross.  The Larson were father and brother of our mother, Mrs. John Larson, Iona (West later), Lorin and Linden joined the family in June with them was our sister Helen who was teaching school at Price, Utah.  Upon arriving we went to the home of father’s sister, Mrs. Mary Pickett and were warmly welcomed by our uncle, Brigham and the family.

In a few days, Mr. Christopher Nilsson finished two rooms of the home he was building (now occupied by the Bob Graham family) and we, with the Larsons lived in those two rooms until we were able to get a large tent from the government when we moved to our farm (my brother, Parley, who came to Raymond in 1902) had arranged for father to buy.  He also bought a small one room camp house, which was moved to the farm.  In it was put a small wood heater (we had never used coal before, always wood) but now we had to get used to coal.  Our parents and the younger children used this place for sleeping quarters.

A lean-to of wood was built over the cook stove (coal of course) and then the large tent was put up.  Cupboards, table, chairs and two beds were put in.  To me it seemed the tent-covered acres, but of course it was not that large.  The Larsons bought land east of us and put up a tent with a wood floor.  The trail to their place from ours was an old buffalo trail.  Bordering our farm on the west was the AR and I Canal across this was the farm of Heber C. Christensen and farther west the home of Tom Collett.  All had families and we became fast friends.

The year 1904 brought sorrow to the family.  Our brother Melvin passed away suddenly at the age of 20 of a heart condition, on January 22.  His was the eighth grave in the Temple Hill Cemetery.

In the spring back to the farm where we learned to milk cows, how in the large garden (now on our own land).  Father found he could raise celery, which we kept in the cellar in sand and enjoyed it all winter.  We also had pigs, chickens and a number of tame ducks (Father’s joy, we used to call them).

Then again sadness hit us, our brother Delbert, 18 years of age, contracted typhoid fever, which at the time was usually fatal.  He passed away on July 14, 1904 and was laid beside his brother on Temple Hill.

At this time the family learned from the actions and beliefs of our parents – to stand upright in adversity and say, “This will be done, O Lord.”

Some of the years the crops were abundant; some years a failure; but the people here were happy because of general love for neighbors and their fellowman.

Father, who was born in the USA and loved his native land, became a naturalized citizen of Canada as soon as he was eligible.  His motto was, “Where you make your home and a living, there you owe allegiance.”  So we became Canadians.

The second year our crops prospered, people kept coming in as pioneers.  Our neighbors on the south were William Harris, Sydney Harding, and Mrs. Elmer Newell.

With some of the neighboring young people we would put three spring seats on a wagon and with a spirited team (sometimes a horse they were breaking was harnessed and third single-tree attached to the whipple-tree and we would have a three horse team) we would go out to the St. Mary’s River for a picnic.  One time we went to Whoop Up and to our surprise and joy the train from Calgary to Lethbridge came and we had never seen it cross the bridge before.  The track from Lethbridge to Calgary was where the Mayor Magrath Drive now is, following the highway over Six Mile Coulee then turning southwest past the west side of the air port then on west over a bridge of the St. Mary’s River and then straight through to Calgary.

The first time I went to Calgary on the train was in 1909 when my husband “Cody” O’Brien, as he was called in baseball, went to Calgary to pitch in a tournament for the Calgary team against Regina.

Sometimes our family would go to the river bottom where Russell’s Mine was, to enjoy a picnic.  It was beautiful there, threes and grass and the swift, shining water of the river where we often caught pike for our dinner cooked over a campfire.  The boys would go to this mine with a wagon with a double or triple bed and either a four or six-horse team to get as many tons of coal as possible at one time, as we used coal entirely for our stoves.  Everyone had a coalhouse, made purposely to store coal for winter, as the roads made it impossible to bring out any more coal in the winter.

We all looked forward to Dominion Day when we would ride our horses in the parade, grooming them for days before.  The girls had divided skirts so that when they walked they were full enough to look like and ordinary skirt.

There was always a demonstration of fancy work, cooking, garden vegetables and grain in sheaf and also shelled, under the grandstand.  The cowboys came from far and near to demonstrate their skill as they do today, but our cowboys were from the ranches and just came to town for Dominion Day.  Raymond Knight, noted cowboy and rancher who started stampedes in Canada, was always there and greeted with clapping of hands and friendly shouts from the crowd.

On July 24, our LDS Pioneer Day, we always had a parade and sports, such as sack racing, foot racing, horseshoes and always a baseball game, which was the real sport in the early times.  Much rivalry existed among the towns.  We do I remember watching games played between Lethbridge and Raymond where the Galt Gardens are now.  Polo was also played there by the Mounties and others.

Bounding our farm on the North was a barbed wire fence erected by the town of Raymond.  This extended a few miles east then south to a mile on the south of the town and west a few miles.  Unless herded, cattle were not allowed inside this fence.  Our farm boundary on the south was the then beautiful fifteen Mile Lake in some places it reached a depth of some 15 to 20 feet, a channel between two peninsulas jutting out from the north and south sides into the lake was very narrow, deep and swift.  Geese, swans, ducks, loans, and snips were in abundance.  Hunters came from Lethbridge and other places and on one Sunday afternoon a group found the dead body of a man floating in the canal.  Two men went to Lethbridge to report (no country phones at that time).  The RCMP came out to investigate and the hunters all received a fine for hunting on Sunday.

The man proved to be a tramp who often came that way and had drowned while trying to dross the channel.  There was a natural waterway between the fifteen and Eighteen Mile Lakes.  The Road to Lethbridge from Raymond was around the north end of Temple Hill on north through what was known as Gumbo Flat across a bridge over the lake’s waterway, past the Charley James Ranch, the Liffeu farm, over a bridge, on six mile coulee, west to cross the Railway Tracks that  (now Mayor Magrath Drive) about where 10th Ave now is, straight across country to the 7th Ave. past the RCMP Barracks to the fifth street south.

Most of our trading was done at the Hudson’s Bay store, which is now the Trianon.  This trek we made quite often to sell our butter to customers who would pay 25 cents per pound for ranch butter and in Raymond it was only 10 cents per pound, milk 5 cents per quart and cream 20 cents per quart.

On May 11 there came a drizzling rain, but on arising on the morning of May 12 we were astounded to find snow falling.  Soon a wind came up and the often spoken “May” blizzard had arrived.  The tent sagged under the weight of the snow, a few times the tent poles fell but were raised again by the men folk.

On the second morning huge drifts surrounded us.  We all wished ourselves back in our comfortable home in a warmer climate.  But the sun finally came out in all its bright glory, a warm Chinook wind began, the snow melted, water was everywhere, grass green as only our grass can be, a small pond one quarter mile south of our abode was full to over flowing with the run off water, wild flowers appeared and we as a family decided this is our land.  Here we will remain and we still feel that way.  Some of our cattle and horses perished from the cold or drowned in the ponds and lake.  It was a hectic time but we were a family whose parents always taught us that trials were to be overcome and also to put our complete trust in the Lord.

As soon as possible plowing was begun.  A four-horse team on a sulky plow, a disk and harrow, then the drill to plant the seed all were horse drawn.  Our father found a place for us where a Mr. Cannon had plowed a small plot of ground and becoming discouraged left for a warmer climate.  The place because it jutted out into the lake, was called Cannous Point.  Here we planted a garden and were amazed at the yield and size of our vegetables.

Our grain grew and ripened so our parents decided that a winter home in Raymond would be nice.  They bought an acre in the northeast corner of town.  Our grandfather Larson, who was a carpenter and ship builder in his younger days in Sweden and our brother Parley who was an experienced carpenter, built our home (the one owned by Mr. And Mrs. Red Matkin) and we came to town in the early fall so my brother, Less, and I could start to school in the building that is now the Japanese church.

There was a large bell in the Belfry, which rang at 8, 8:30, and 9 o’clock each school morning.  Miss Middlemiss, a French Canadian from Quebec, was my first teacher and she dearly loved to use the strap.  I remember the first Sunday after we moved to town my father, who had spent altogether 12 years on missions for the LDS church was asked to speak at the afternoon meeting.  Later he was called upon to speak in Magrath and Cardston.  Having been blind until the age of 12, his mother taught him the bible verse by verse.  He could give a verse or many verses verbatim at any time or place, never forgetting to the time of his passing at 83 years of age.

He also went with Charles McCarthy to cover the southern part of Alberta urging the people to plant sugar beets to get a sugar factory, which was later built by the Knight Sugar Company.

Raymond grew by leaps ad bounds.  A church house was built where the Stake House now stands.  This was a happy town full of friendly people.

Well do we remember Raymond’s Broadway!  Our town was laid out under the supervision of Raymond and William Knight, something on the same order of a large USA city (so they say).  Flag pole in the center of the First Street on Broadway, the Avenues going southeast and northeast and northwest and southwest.  What a cut off it made to school.

Along Broadway on the west side coming from the south was Kings Store.  Dry goods and groceries, J.O. Chance Grocery, oh how we liked to take two eggs and buy candy there.  It was close to the School House, the Kelley’s Implement Shop (later moved next to the Utah Café to make a Pool Room).  The Bank of Montreal was in the mercantile block, the one now the J.E. Anderson Apartment House was built later.

The Raymond Hotel built and managed by Mr. And Mrs. Charles McCarthy, a sample room where the store managers went to meet the travelers (Drummers they were then called) to select goods.  Mr. Woods Butcher Shop, a Chinese Café, some years later the Security Investment Co. built what is not the Broadway Store.  Plank walks were laid the full length of the business blocks.

Dances were held on the top floor in the Schoolhouse, which was our Recreation Hall.  These were held every Friday night.

On the east side of the street were a Chinese restaurant, a hat shop, Mr. Jones Café, and on the corner of 2 North, Mr. John Fairbanks Photo Studio.  East of that Frank (Poulaw) Browns restaurant, where the Canning Factory now is.

Across from the studio North Cooper and Lamb store, later O’Brien, Nalder, then Graham motors now.  The new Post office, North of this was a Chinese Laundry, a butcher shop, later H. McKean Lumber Yard where Jubilee Motors now operates.

Later years the block where Raymond Motors are was started with a number of nice restaurants, Taylor shop, Ladies Wear etc.

By this time our brother Parley married Ella LeBaron and they later moved to Barnwell, sister Helen married John Harding, they lived on their farm north of Raymond then sold it and they moved to Taber where she passed away in 1911 when a baby daughter was born.  The remainder of the family stayed with the farm for a few years.  How we worked.  The elder one married and left us to run the farm, oh yes we had a beet field west of Raymond where we learned to crawl on our knees to thin beets.  Some of our first Indian helpers were Chief Mountain Horse (Jim Snake) with his family.  Mike Mountain Horse who later became famous as a Mounted Police and writer and lecturer of Indian Lore, became a very dear friend of our family.  Chief Mountain Horse and my Father were fast friends throughout the years.  It was very interesting to listen to their tales of the years they remembered.

My father had a friend of his boyhood, Mr. Heber McBride who lived in Welling.  We listened intently to them recounting their young man-days at Ogden Utah.

The many people that came to our home to converse on religions, community, political or national subjects with my father would hold us spell bound b y the hour.  I often look back and think how full our home life was of happiness brought about by my fathers ability as a story teller, sometimes writing a poem or story for a magazine, and wewould be all agog to read them or listen.  My mother had a very real humor often, accompanied bythe family would burst into laughter and fun.  In ourhome was often heard, if you cannot say anything good of people better play dumb.  So life, went on in Canada.

How weall remember the water situation.  A few people had their own wells and the town drilled a well where the Ridge View lodge now stands.

James Turner used to have a large tank drawn by a team of horses and would fill barrels we had by our house or fence for 35 cents a barrel, we would place a large tub over the barrel to keep the water clean.  Some people had one barrel, some two or as many as the family needed.  In the winter one barrel was placed in the house to keep the water from freezing.  Just inside the door it was handy for the waterman’s hose.

How memory goes back to Mr. Turner has he was always cheerful, friendly and one could hear him whistling before he got to the house.  He was loved by everyone.

O how cold the first winter seemed to us, we had never worn overshoes or heavy coats before, but we got used to them and the snow, and would know that some morning (having heard a wind during the night) we would look out the window and see no snow, but water running around the snow all gone.  “The Chinook had arrived.”  No cement sidewalks, not even cinders for a time and they were cleared by a sort of scraper V-shaped; do not remember if the roads were cleared or not.

Oh, how rich we all felt when a Sugar Factory where men and girls could work was built.  The girls received one dollar for a twelve hour shift.  Riches to us who at tone time worked there.

Amusement for young and old were, children’s dances for children up to twelve in the afternoon ,junior dances from twelve to sixteen  from six to nine, and evening dances to which hyoung and married people attended from nine to twelve sometimes till one on special occasions.  This was before the time of movies.  Also home dramatics were put on in the church which had a very nice stage and gas lamps for lighting.

Oh yes, these were th days of lamp and unless they were kept filled with oil, the wicks well trimmed and chimneys clean, it would have been a dreary evening at home.  This was my job in our home and cannot say I was very happy about it.

In our kitchen was a very beautiful range called the jewel – chrome trimmed and of course, every Saturday the black part covered with polish and then brushed to a perfect shine, the chrome cleaned and polished until one could see their face inti.  We ahd a wood floor in the kitchen which had to be scrubbed several times a week.  No indoor plumbing.  Oh, we Palmers along with others learned to work which stood us in good stead in later years.

Many will remember the Presbyterian church that was on the northwest corner of the lot and the Manse or house on the eastern part of the same lot, later ownedby Mr. And Mrs. Gerald Harker.  Rev. McKillop was the misiter and with his wife and family lived in the manse.  He was a well educated and friendly man often visiting my father at ou home where he would discuss religion pro and con.  They became very good friends and I remember, nothing pleased father more than an argument on religion.  There was no swimming pool in town in the early years, and so we all went out to the flume southeast of town to swim.  We would let the water carry us through the flume and then get out and walk back for another go, and how we enjoyed it.

Many of the young people went to the Millpond in the winter to skate.  We had a pond a block north on which we spent many happy ours.  It wasn’t so large but what of that, we could skate couldn’t we?  The water was from an overflow of the irrigation ditches.  We milked a few cows and sold milk at 5 cents per quart and cream 30 cents per quart, to our neighbors who did not have cows, but many of the people living here had cows and a few horses in town, also pigs and chickens.  No refrigerators so cellars were made.  Inside we kept a screened cupboard to put out pans of milk in or after we had a separator, then we put the cream and our butter, which for a few years we churned in a dash churn and when we got a barrel churn we were proud people (my grandson in Calgary has my last churn on exhibition in his rumpus room).

So time went and our church was too small to accommodate everyone, the Wards were divided and J.W. Evans was our bishop.  We, the second ward, had the school house to hold meetings in and the first ward had the church house.

We were a very happy and untied ward.  We all had church work to do, teaching in the different organizations, putting on home dramiatic concerts etc. for money to keep the ward going.

There was just enough rivalry between the two wards to keep everyone  busy, especially in the Athletics.  Of course we attended the other ward when they had a bazaar or concert and they attended ours, ti was just a friendly rivalry.  If any one had illness the neighbnors were there to help in any way possible, we became almost as one family on our neighborhood.

Patience Delilah Pierce – 1809

A Sketch of the Life of

Patience Delila Pierce Palmer

Written by her son William Moroni Palmer

Patience Delila Pierce Palmer was born February 15, 1809, near Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence County, New York and was on of the daughters of Isaac Pierce and Elizabeth Taylor Pierce.  Her grandfather was a Revolutionary Soldier as was also her husband’s father.  Theses soldiers fought and bled to establish the right for all men to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences.  Her husband, Abraham Palmer, son of Noah Palmer, was born at Sherburn, Shenange County, New York.  They were married in 1825 and in 1834 two humble elders came to their home in St. Lawrence County bearing testimony that God had spoken again from the heavens and restored the fullness of His gospel to earth again.  They being chosen ones immediately receive the message with joy and on February 14, 1835, b y divine authority, they were baptized in a hole made through the ice, and had hands laid upon them for the gift of the Holy Ghost, which blessing never forsook them to their dying day.

Abraham Palmer was appointed president of a small branch of the church and in May 1838 this branch, consisting of eight families, started with their teams to gather at Far West, Missouri, having met many mobs who searched their wagons and took away their books and guns.  They arrived at Haun’s Mill, and went into camp four miles below the mill the night before the terrible massacre.  The following sketches written by Sister Palmer herself will tell graphically what followed.

FOLLOWING EXCERPT TAKEN FROM UTAH MAGAZINE OF FEBRUARY 1892

It was in the fall of 1838 that eight families of us were on our way from New York to Far West in Missouri where many of the Saints were gathered.  In our journey we had had our wagon searched by mobs and our books and guns taken from us.  When we came to Shoal Creek we could go no farther on account of surrounding mobs, so we camped there four miles below Haun’s Mill, the night before the massacre.  At the mill the saints and mob had made a treaty that neither party should molest the other.

The day following was beautiful and warm, and in the afternoon the other sister and myself were washing our clothes in the creek and the children, with shoes and stockings off, were playing about when a boy on a horse, came riding furiously down the creek.  He told us that the mob was killing the saints at the mill.  What were we to do?  There were no arms in camp, so we were unable to defend ourselves.  Without stopping to put shoes or stockings on our children we hastily fled towards the woods.  Our husbands remained.

I had six small children at my side and a baby at my breast.  We ran over brush, over hills and hollows and as our children ran over the rough untrodden ground stains of blood were left from their tender feet.  When we would stop for a short rest mothers would take their clothes from their backs to lay on the ground for the children to stand on and warm their cold raw feet.  Once for a rest, while in the woods, we drawled under a tree that had fallen down.  During the night we traveled through the woods and over burnt prairie.  In the morning we heard the call of our husbands, and returned with them to camp.

The mob at the mill killed eighteen and instead of coming down to our camp as they had intended, they became frightened lest an army of saints from Far West were coming down the creek and fled over a twenty five mile prairie that night.  Thus we see, “the wicked flee when no man pursueth.”  This we subsequently learned from Brother Standing, one of our company who had been taken prisoner previous to the massacre.

After our return to camp our husbands went to the mill to prepare the dead for burial.  While they were away, we saw a mob, armed and on horses, approaching.  They rode down toward us to the brow of a hill a short distance away and stopped.  Another sister and myself went to them and the captain with drawn sword advanced.  I asked him what they intended to do with us.  He said, to our surprise, his company should not harm us, but he advised us to leave the vicinity for a mob of furious men were coming.  He told us of an unguarded back wood road, from which the guard had been taken and also of a man who could act as guide.  He then requested us to promise we would not reveal what he had told us for, if it became know, his life would be in danger.

We did as advised, broke up camp and started for the woods.  When we had traveled about fifteen miles we stopped for several days waiting for orders from Far West.  While there, one of the brethren arrived with the news that the saints had agreed to leave the State.  We then moved on.  Our food soon gave out and we had nothing to eat.  My husband got some corn, and that was all we had for three weeks.  We would parch the corn and then eat it, but the small children could not do that.  We had to partly chew it ourselves, it having been parched, and then feed it to them.  We lived in this way for three long weeks, and then our corn gave out and we were without food of any kind for two days and a half.  On the night of the third day we procured a sack of flour and then having nothing but the flour, we lived several days on spoon cakes, made by mixing four with water and baking in dry skillets.

During all the time our children neither murmured nor complained.  Had it not been for the help of the Lord, we never could have endured as we did.

TRIALS OF FAITH IN DAYS GONE BY

As I could not give details in my competition “Experience” that appeared in your February number of your Magazine, I thought a little more of my personal experience might be of interest and perhaps a benefit to your many readers.

The reason for our company living for three weeks on parched corn was not due to us having no money, for there was money in the camp.  We repeatedly tried to buy provisions from the settlers as we moved along on our weary way in leaving the State of Missouri, in compliance with the Governor’s extermination order.  The whole country was stirred to a fever heat in persecuting the saints, and the people would not sell us food.  For example, my husband wanted to get a horse shod that had become so tender footed that he could travel no further without shoes.  He took him five or six miles in advance of the company to a small village.  As he was no known, they shod his horse and took him in the house for dinner.  While they were eating our company passed.  The women and larger children were walking, holding up their skirts, while wading through the mud and slush, which was ankle deep in many places as it rained and snowed nearly all the time.  The woman of the house, seeing us go by said:  “I wish all those women and children would take cold and die.”  The man said viciously,  “I wish I could see old Joe Smith tied to a pile of wood and I have the privilege of kindling it.  I would say to the fire, ‘burn slow’.”

One might ask why my husband did not buy food under this disguise as a single horseman.  He did try and at once was denounced as a “Mormon”.  During that never-to-be-forgotten journey coming out of Missouri, we traveled through mud, snow and ice as had been stated, nearly all the way.  All excepting the little children went on foot.  As we had already traveled a thousand miles or more that summer to get to Missouri, our horses were almost worn out, and it was all they could do to slowly move our wagons.

One day a company of mobber’s going to Far West surrounded us calling us to halt, and the leader, with drawn sword, asked for the captain of our company.  My husband stepped out to him.  The leader said:  “We have orders from the Governor to search your wagons and take your guns and books.”

Mr. Palmer told him our wagons had been searched and our guns taken from us, and showed a receipt to that effect.  They then rode on, and as they did so, one man placed the muzzle of his gun almost against my breast and said, “I swore I’d kill a d-d Mormon when I left home, and now is my chance.”  I looked him fearlessly in the eyes when the captain told to put down his gun, which he did, and then rode on.  One man, a more humane one said as he passed me:  “Good woman, you had better go and get into your wagon.  You will catch your death wading through this water and mud.”  They rode to the top of a hill we had just descended and simultaneously fired off their guns, making the air ring with demoniac yells.

One day I will ever remember, we traveled over a prairie.  It was covered with ice, slush and snow.  One step the ice would hold us up, and the next would break through hover our shoe tops; thus our feet were wet all the daylong.  At night we camped by a stream of water with timber and brush along its banks.  We parched our corn, of which we made our supper, after which some cut down brush to sleep upon to keep their beds out of the water that was running everywhere.  Some slept in the wagons, which was but little better, as the covers had become worn and torn from our long traveling.

Next morning I awoke and looked around.  My husband had a fire burning and was thawing out his clothes so that he could put them on.  I saw my little children covered with snow that had fallen during the night.  Everything was dreary.  Snow was sifting into my bed.  I knew when I should get up with my little ones shivering around the campfire, that I would have nothing to give them to eat but parched corn, and realizing that our supply of that was becoming short, my heart sank within me, and I burst into weeping.

What had we done to be thus treated by our fellow countrymen?  My husband’s father suffered untold hardships all through the Revolutionary War; and had fought and bled to establish American freedom; so had my grandfather.  They had labored and suffered that all men might enjoy religious liberty in this land, and there we were, fleeing before a relentless and bloodthirsty mob, composed of American citizens sent out by the Governor to compel us to leave the state, and all this because we believed that God was the same unchangeable Being, that He had spoken from the Heavens once more and restored the Gospel as it was revealed by Jesus Christ when He was on the earth, through His chosen servant Joseph Smith, the prophet.  My husband heard me crying, and with a tremor in his voice said:  “Cheer up, my dear, we will live and shine forth in the Kingdom of our God, when these murderous mobber’s are in perdition; and more, I will yet have the privilege of preaching the Gospel.”  This speech so comforted me, that I arose with a light heart and in the midst of snow, slush and ice around our campfires, parched our corn, ate it and praised the Lord our God.

Marvelous to say, notwithstanding all this exposure and the privations we endured, our health did not fail nor our strength desert us, for the Lord was always with us and blessed us, and we had a positive knowledge that Joseph was a prophet of God, and that we had been born of the water and of the Spirit and had received the truth, as it is in Christ Jesus.  That testimony is with me to this day.  Although I have passed through much, having been with the Church through hall its wanderings, having been a member since 1835, and am now eighty-three years old, still, I bear testimony that I do know that we have the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that this Church and Kingdom is God’s work and will stand forever.

The reader left us camped on the banks of a creek in the slush by our campfires eating our corn.  We then moved on, exerting ourselves to the utmost to get out of the State of Missouri before the winter closed in upon us.  We found ourselves with only bitter enemies to depend upon for work and to supply us with food.  As we were traveling, one of the sisters became sick.  We camped a few hours and a child was born.  Then we moved on again.  The mother and child were so blessed of the Lord that they thrived as well as if they had been in a comfortable house.  Our corn gave out, and as has been stated, we went without food of any kind for two and a half days.  Then we got one sack of flour, which was divided between eight families, and this we ate made into water cakes, as already described.  We ate the last of this flour, for breakfast one morning, and had no food of any kind until the next evening.  During the forenoon my husband picked up by the roadside a box of pills labeled, “For fever and ague.”  We camped about the middle of the afternoon, our teams being exhausted an well as ourselves, – they only getting prairie grass for fodder, and no grain, and having to drag our wagons through the snow, that had now become quite deep.

After we camped, some of the men went in search of food, and I unobserved by the rest of the company, wended my way across a field to a small farmhouse, which I entered.  I found several of the family sick with fever and ague of long standing.  I produced the box of pills we had found.  They were very anxious to buy them so they gave me about twenty-five pounds of unbolted flour and a bucket of frozen apples.  I hurried to the camp and distributed the flour and apples among the hungry families.  Notwithstanding we had only water to mix our bread with, and no sugar for the stewed apples, it seemed I never ate such a delicious meal.  The brethren returned, having procured a little food.

That evening, if memory serves me right, we held a council to find out what was best to be done.  The snow was getting so deep the road so bad, and our teams so worn out, and ourselves in such a destitute and worn out condition – having traveled all the summer and fall, and suffered so many hardships, and exposure – that it became impossible for us to go farther without recruiting ourselves and horses.

Now came a serious question to consider.  We all belonged to one branch of the church in St. Lawrence County, New York, and when we started for Missouri, we made a solemn covenant that we would stick together until we reached the settlements of the saints, but not is seemed almost impossible for all of us to get into one neighborhood for winter quarters.  There were reasons for this, viz:  First, it might arouse the mob spirit to see so many of us together, notwithstanding we had gotten out of the districts where the most bitter feelings existed.  Second, it would be hard for so many to get work in one township, so we agreed to part.  We sang the hymns of Zion, offered our prayers to the Lord, asked His forgiveness, if we did wrong in separating for a while, and invoked His special blessings upon each to guide us to food and shelter.  That farewell meeting, in the snow by our campfires, will never be forgotten by me.  The next morning we separated; two families going together, each in a different direction, to find homes for the winter.

My sister, Ruth Crosier, with husband and children went with us.  We soon got a house to live in for the winter and Mr. Palmer (being a carpenter by trade) took a contract to build and finish a frame church.

Now, young reader, see how the hand of the Lord was over us that we might keep our covenants with each other and receive the necessities of life also.  The word was soon noised about that Mr. Palmer was a “Mormon” preacher and he was asked to preach in their schoolhouse the following Sunday.  An appointment was given out accordingly.  Imagine our surprise, on going to the meeting, to find all our brethren and sisters of the company there, and to learn that we were all within two miles of the schoolhouse.  Mr. Palmer gave employment to all the brethren to work on the church.  Thus the Lord opened the way for us to get food and clothing.  We held our meetings every Sunday, and greatly rejoiced in the Gospel.

In March 1839, we again started to leave the state, ourselves and teams being now recruited.  We had bought food and clothing with the product of our labor, but could take but little of the former with us, as our teams were light, and the winter was just breaking up.  The roads were muddy and we encountered frequent storms, all of which made the journey unpleasant, though not so bad as during the previous fall, when mobs were tantalizing us and we destitute and hungry, wading through the med and slush.

At last, we arrived at the Mississippi, opposite the city of Quincy.  There we found hundreds of the families of the saints, camping of the banks of the river, awaiting their turns to cross in the one ferry boat that was plying back and forth carrying the exiled saints from the cruel State of Missouri to the friendly shores of Illinois.  What a scene!  Thousands of honest, humble followers of Christ, destitute of the necessities of life, fleeing before a relentless mob, made up of our own countrymen, backed by the cruel exterminating order of the Governor, and all this, because we believed in new revelation, that “God is the same, yesterday, today and forever.”

I hope my young readers will stop and consider these things and ask themselves the question “Was not the Lord, our Father, with us?”  Yes, and He has never forsaken me to this day, and as I stand upon the brink of the grave and expect to soon meet my Maker, let me once more bear testimony that I know Joseph Smith to be a prophet of God, and Mormonism, so called, to be the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

——-Patience D. Palmer

I cannot help copying a portion of the prayer and prophecy of Joseph Smith given while he was lying bound in Liberty Jail for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.  “O God, where art thou?  And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?  How long shall thy hand be stayed and thine eye, yea they pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people, and of thy servants and thine ear be penetrated with their cries?  Yea, O Lord, how long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful oppressions before thine heart shall be softened toward them, and they bowels be moved with compassion toward the?”   (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 121, verses 1,2, and 3.  Now we will hear what the Lord says in regard to the suffering of His people, verse 23 reads as follows:  “Woe unto all those that discomfort my people and drive and murder and testify against them, saith the Lord of Hosts; a generation of vipers shall not escape the damnation of hell.  Behold, mine eyes see and know all their works, and I have in reserve a swift judgment in the season thereof for them all; for there is a time appointed for every man, according as his works shall be.”  One should read this whole section.

Sister Palmer says in her record that these hundreds of exiles who were camped on the bank of the Mississippi met in a general prayer and thanksgiving meeting; that the gift of tongues and of prophecy were poured out upon them and Sister Davies, one of their company sang in tongues and Sister Palmer sang the interpretation, a part of which she remembered and recorded as follows:

“Come ye, my people, saith the Lord,

Come Israel, gather home.

Join hearts and hands with one accord,

Come out of Babylon.

A war with troops will soon appear

In battle all array

A bloody scene will soon take place

In North America.”

How literally was this prophecy fulfilled and the words of the Lord to Joseph Smith fulfilled in the outbreak of the Civil War, when the guerrillas raided Missouri.

After crossing the Mississippi River these exiles went whereever they could get work.  Mr. Palmer and family went to Springfield where he, being a carpenter, found work on the state house.  Mr. Palmer was appointed bishop there.  While residing in Now York state, an extract from which follows:  Their son, William M., while laboring as a missionary found this sister in Michigan in 1880 and found that the letter had done a wonderful wok.  It was like bread cast upon the water and seen after many days.  He baptized her just two years before her death.

“Springfield, Illinois, June 26, 1839

Dear Brother and Sister,

Through the tender mercies of our God, we are well until this time.  It is now one year since we left that place.  Various and strange have been the scenes through which we had passed, but we yet live and praised by the name of the Lord.  – No doubt you have heard many things from Missouri respecting our people.  I will now tell you what I know of the transactions in as few words as I can.  A mob of about two hundred drove about eight families from Dewitt on the Missouri.  They fired upon our brethren but killed none.  This was in October.  We called upon the Governor for aid but got none.  Thus we were left to be murdered by brutes in the form of men or defend ourselves.  We had been smitten twice, yes three times and had borne it, but we said, we would bear it no longer without resistance.  Many of our brethren were shot, thrown into the brush while at work, their bodies left to be devoured and without doubt their bones lie bleaching in the sun.  About the first of November we got to Livingston County, Missouri; here thirty-eight men with rifles surrounded our wagons and robbed us of three guns and gave us much abuse.  Then we passed on into Caldwell County.  I then went to a place four or five miles from our camp where our brethren, forty or fifty in number, had collected to defend themselves at a mill from a lawless bandit.  I had just returned to our camp when, to our surprise, news came that the mob had fallen upon our friends at the mill and were killing men, women and children.  This was near sunset; the next moment we expected to share the same fate.  No pen can describe, no tongue can tell the horrors of the scenes; fond mothers weeping over their smiling babies and helpless children which they soon expected to see strangling in death, yet God was our deliverance.  Well do I remember that dreadful night when, in company with two other brethren, we went in search of some of the survivors of the slaughtered mane, women and children who had fled to the woods for safety; yes, they his themselves in the holes of the earth awaiting in solemn silence the approach of day.  Their grief was beyond teats.  The mob that murdered our brethren was 250 in number; our brethren forty or fifty.  No quarter was given them.  Two boys were killed.  Some of the wounded were shot again for fear they would not die.  One little boy was pleading for his father’s life, who lay bleeding with wounds, when one of the mob put his gun to the boy’s head and blew his brains out.  Two of the women had their dresses shot full of holes; one was shot through the hand and many men were wounded and all this for our religion.  The next night the mob told us we might have our choice either to deny our faith or leave the country or death would be our portion.  We chose the latter preferring rather affliction with the people of God and enjoyment of the treasures of earth, knowing it is for righteousness sake.  Many were cast into prison where some yet remain.  Brother Joseph is set free.  Our people were not the aggressors but stood in their own defense.  The Governor called out 15,000 troops to protect the mob and drive us from the state; drive or exterminate was the order.  O my God, has it come to this that nothing but mob law can prevail?  We were all condemned to banishment without trial.  We came back seventy-five miles through snow and rain during the coldest time we had last winter to Hunkville, Missouri.  Here we stayed until spring where I took a job to build a meetinghouse.  In April, Isaac Pierce took my family into Illinois but I stayed until my job was finished.  I am now at work in this place on the state house at $2.00 per day.”

Sister Palmer wrote as follows:

“Dear Sister,

If any of our friends ask you if we have denied the faith tell them no, nor would not for our lives for it we should we would expect nothing to follow us but eternal damnation, for we do know for surety that it is eternal truth and the angels bear witness of it and so do we for we do know that heaven and earth may pass away but this work will stand forever.  So my dear brother and sister I do entreat you, by the grace of God, to enlist in the work before it is too late.  Oh, how I feel for the welfare of the souls of my friends.  My persecutions are nothing, death is nothing but to reign on the earth with our blessed Redeemer, Oh, what gain, what joy, what comfort, what satisfaction it is for the saints of God, in the hour of trouble, to look forward to that time when there will be no mob, no persecutions, no envyings, no strife, no murdering, no lying, no slandering of the saints!  My soul leaps within me for joy when I look forward to that time.”

Soon after this they were called to Nauvoo to work on the temple, as Mr. Palmer was a carpenter and joiner.  He was also made a member of the police force of that city.

After arriving in Nauvoo, Sister Palmer received a Patriarchal Blessing under the hands of Joseph Smith, Senior, the first Patriarch.  An extract from the blessing reads as follows, and show a wonderful fulfillment of prophecy:

“Thou has passed through many trials for the gospel’s sake and thou has been true and faithful and thou wilt pass through many more but the Lord will never forsake thee but will deliver thee from the hands of all thine enemies and thou shalt live until thou are eighty five years of age.”

Sister Palmer was eighty-five on the 15th of February and died on the 25th of March following.

She was present at the organization of the first Relief Society and was there set apart by the Prophet Joseph as one of the visiting committee whose duties were to visit all families, wash and anoint the sisters preparatory to their being administered to by the elders.  They were also to discover if any pecuniary aid was needed.  During the winter of 1845-46 she and her husband worked in the temple all the time that ordinances were given and they received all the blessings pertaining to that house.

A fulfillment of another prophecy is seen in the following incident.  In the spring of 1846, she became sick, nigh unto death.  Apostle Heber C. Kimball was called in to administer unto her.  Holding her by the hand he said, “Sister Palmer, you want me to say something to you, and I will say in the name of the Lord that you shall not die and that I shall shake hands with you in the great American wilderness.”  The leaders of the church were about to leave for the west at this time.

Sister Palmer often related the scenes in Nauvoo at the time the two martyrs were brought from Carthage; how their hearts were torn with sorrow; how tears poured down every cheek.  This mighty blow did not check the work in the least.  The people went to work with double diligence to finish the temple.  The women took their jewelry and sold it to get money to apply on the temple; and at last, oh, the joy when it was dedicated!  Sister Palmer relates at that service Brother Watts sang the hymn, “Come to me.  Will you come to the Saints that have died?”  It seemed to her as if the whole house was filled with angels.  They now had the privilege of going into that house and working for the living and the dead, but alas, that hatred that kills the prophets gathered more thickly around them.  The hand of persecution was upon them right and left.  Over 20,000 people had gathered at Nauvoo.

One day Sister Palmer’s husband came home and said, “We have agreed with the mob to leave the state.”  For a few moments her heart sank within her and she cried, “Oh cruelty, cruelty, why do we have to go into the wilderness?”  Her husband said, “Let us pray.”  So they kneeled down and prayed with tears streaming down their cheeks, and as they seemed to hear a voice say, “All will be well.  I am with you.”  They arose and Mr. Palmer picked up the Bible and read, “If the world hates you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  If ye were of the world the world would love her own; but because you are not of the world, therefore, the world hateth you.”  (John 15:18-19)  He closed the bible and said, “Shall we return to the world?  They will then love us.”  Sister Palmer cried, “No, no, a thousand times no.  We will go where he wants us to go.”

Can any pen describe or tongue relate the feelings of those thousands of innocent people driven into the wilds of Iowa as winter was approaching, leaving their homes and all they had, taking their little children and a very few things such as bedding and a few provisions such as they could carry and crossing the Mississippi into the woods and prairies of Iowa?  Twenty thousand people without homes, destitute with not enough to feed themselves only for a few days, getting shelter the best they could.  The subject of this sketch with her family got into a little log hut that had been built by trappers.  It had no door and there were large cracks between the logs.  While here they heard the bombarding and saw the smoke from their beautiful city.  Thousands of saints were in similar conditions along the river and some perhaps worse, for there were many poor and sick among them.  These people had all been driven from their homes because they believed God had again spoken from the heavens.

On the 10th of December in this little log hut in a snowstorm, which was driven through the cracks, Sister Palmer’s tenth child, William Moroni was born, and she never got along better in her life.  There were two families living in this hut consisting of fourteen people.  They went to Montrose and there fifteen families got into one house with several rooms.  All the men at last found work and the women took in sewing and washing.  After their day’s work was finished the men would work to build vehicles to go west in.  They saved all they could do to buy oxen and cows for teams and thus for two years they struggled on, traveling part of the time and stopping to work part of the time.  Sister Palmer relates that during this time, she saw hundreds of families in all kinds of vehicles traveling to the west not knowing where they were going, but following the prophets of God.

Very late in the fall of 1848 this small company arrived upon Potowattome Creek, at an Indian village, fifty miles from Kanesville, now Council Bluffs.  The snow had become so deep they could travel no farther.  The houses in this forsaken Indian village were guilt of poles and bark and into these the fifteen families went.  On account of the deep snow they could not obtain provisions but fortunately they found a cache of corn left by the Indians.  During the greater part of this winter they lived upon parched corn and hominy, which they made by soaking the corn in lye water, they having made the lye from ashes to remove the hulls, then washing and boiling it without meat or butter.  They also ground corn with the two great stones, which the Indians had left.  This is done by placing the corn in the hollow of a stone and crushing it by rolling another stone on top.  The young men would occasionally kill pheasants, which were always divided among all of them.  On one occasion an ox broke through the ice and was drowned but they pulled it out and used it for meat.  They saved their cattle by shoveling the snow off from the tall grass and chopping down trees for them to browse on.  There was an Indian hut twenty by thirty feet, which they used for a meetinghouse in which to worship God and praise His holy name for the restoration of the gospel.  In this colony of fifteen families eight children were born during the winter and spring.  There was born to Sister Palmer on the 9th of February 1849, in this Indian hut her last child, a son, which she named Hyrum Smith.  Among these families she mentions the names of Ferrin, Petingill Marshe, Warner, Clyde, Carpenter, David, and Pierce, the latter the family of Isaac Pierce, brother of Sister Palmer, who had died by the wayside.

In the fall of 1849 all these families went to Kanesville where Elder Palmer was appointed bishop by Apostle Orson Hyde and also chosen to remain and fit out companies for the west.  In the spring of 1852, having built their own wagons and gathered together oxen and cows for teams, they started for the great Salt Lake Basin where thousands of saints’ had preceded them.  Truly they all wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way and found no city to dwell in but the saints preceding them had begun to build the city of habitation and to sow the fields and plant the vineyards.

On arriving in Salt Lake City in October, they went up into the main part of the city where they met Apostle Heber C. Kimball who grasped them by the hand and said to Sister Palmer, “The last time I saw you, you were in Nauvoo in your sick bed and here you are in the wilderness,” thus fulfilling another prophecy.  They then went to work with the rest of the saints to make the wilderness blossom as the rose, which surely has been accomplished.  See Isaiah chapter 35.

In 1854 them moved to Ogden City, which then was a small village.  Abraham Palmer was chosen counselor to Lorin Farr in the first Stake Presidency of Weber County and Sister Palmer was made the first president of the Relief Society in Weber County.  She worked diligently in this capacity, helping the poor during the grasshopper ravages.  She and her assistants went form house to house, gathered cast off clothing, remodeled and distributed it among the poor.  During this time a tabernacle was built in Ogden and the Relief Society took useless rags and made carpet to cover the aisles and carded and spun wool which they colored with dyes made from brush and bark and ochre form Ogden Canyon and made enough carpet to cover the stand, the vestry and the prayer circle chamber.

Then, lo, the cry came in 1857, “Your old enemies are following you up.  The government is sending an army against you because of the influence of wicked and designing men.”  In the spring of 1858 the word of the Lord came through the Prophet.  “Pack up, Oh Israel and flee to the south.  Prepare your homes to be burned with fire if necessary.”  The Relief Society distributed the carpet, the rag carpet for wagon covers, and woolen carpet for skirts for women and shirts for men and children.  The spectacle of these thousands of people moving southward was a wonderful sight.  One could see trains of families by the hundred leaving their homes, their gardens, their fields and everything.  Sister Palmer went with her family to Spanish Fork where she lived all summer in a willow shack, which they built.  Then the government found out through Colonel Kane, who investigated, that the stories of disloyalty of the Mormons were all lies and they soon made a treaty with the saints asking them to return to their homes, which they did.

I have not stated that during their first year in Ogden, they lived upon greens and sego and bread made from bran and shorts.  Afterwards they moved to San Pete County where some of their children were located, where Abraham Palmer died in May 1875 at Fayette.  Sister Palmer then lived with her son, William Moroni at Glenwood and later at Aurora, Sevier County where she died March 25, 1894 and was buried by the side of her husband in Fayette, Sanpete County, Utah.

All during Sister Palmer’s strenuous life she acted as a midwife and doctor, administering help and comfort to all in need.  Of the hundreds of women she waited on she never lost one woman or child, which she ascribes to the fact that a prayer was always on her lips for divine assistance whenever she waited on the sick.

She was also a schoolteacher of considerable success, having taught in Annabel, Sevier County; Deseret, Millard County; and Chicken Creek, Juab County.  She was very genial, kind disposition, beloved by all and especially the children.  Truly a more righteous, patient and humble woman never lived.  She had devoted her whole life to the gospel of Christ and had now gone to her reward.

Helen Christina Palmer History – 1883

History of Helen Christina Palmer Harding

First Wife of John James Harding

–Written by W. J. and Jennie Harding

Helen PalmerHelen Christina Palmer was born July 29, 1883 in Glenwood, Sevier County, Utah.  She was the oldest child of William Moroni Palmer and Christina Helen Larson Palmer.  She was a very beautiful child, and her parents must have loved her very much.

Helen’s mother was the second wife of William Moroni Palmer.  At this time polygamy was practiced among the saints and they suffered much persecution for their religious beliefs.  U.S. Deputy Marshals searched everywhere to find anyone who lived in polygamy.  Many were put in prison, and so many sought to hide away in places they called ‘The Underground’ in order to escape persecution.

William Moroni Palmer had nine children by his first wife, Mary Ann Mellor.  When Helen’s father took her mother to live in Glenwood, she lived with his mother Patience Delilah Pierce Palmer for a while.  Some years later Mary Ann died and some of her children lived with Christina Helen and William Moroni and their family.  These were Wilford, Marian, Parley and Delbert.  These half-brothers were very close to the children of Christina Helen and William Moroni.

While they lived in Glenwood, there were two more children born, John Melvin, and Willard Taylor.  Willard only lived to be 1 one half years old.  In the fall of 1888, Helen’s mother took her two little children, Helen and Melvin and went to Salt Lake City where she hid out in what the saints called ‘The Underground’ and there Helen’s brother Asael Exile was born.  (Uncle Asael says in his history that they lived in Salt Lake for three and one half years).  Helen’s sister Ada was born in Salt Lake City also.

They moved back to Aurora, Sevier County, Utah, where Helen’s father had purchased land.  Helen lived with her family in Aurora in her growing up years.  Everyone in the family worked hard to make a living.  Helen was an obedient child, even-tempered, loved her parents and brothers and sisters.  She had a very good sense of humor, and must have been a happy child, willing and anxious to please her parents.  Her faith began to grow strong at an early age and in all her lifetime she thrilled to the gospel truths.

Four more children were born to her parents in Aurora.  They were Artie May, who lived only one year, Fern who also lived one year, Leslie Larson and Arlo Verling.  Artie May died of dysentery, and Fern died of scarlet fever.

Helen had many friends in Aurora.  Delia Curtis was one of her good friends, but when Delia was sixteen, she had an attack of appendicitis and she suffered a terrible death.  This grieved Helen a great deal.  These two girls had talked about death before Delia died and they agreed that whichever one died first, that they would come back and visit the other one.  So one night as Helen and Ada slept, Helen woke with a start and said to Ada, “Ada wake up, Delia has come back.”  They looked on the wall and there was something white, hanging in mid air, on further investigation, they found that it was a white dress their mother had hung there.

There was a young boy named Albert Curtiss who was quite sweet on Helen and she couldn’t stand him.  He did persist so much and became such a bother that finally one of Helens brothers helped her out.  One day he hitched up the surrey and invited the young folks to go for a ride.  He arranged for Albert to ride at the back and he had to stand.  The roads were very muddy so when Helens brother came to a very muddy place he whipped up the horses and Albert fell out in the mud and he was a mess.

One day Helen was chasing Ada, trying to get her to do the dishes.  Ada ran up on a straw covered shed.  Ada saw a big hole so she went around it but Helen didn’t see it and she fell right through, landed straddle of a sheep, well the sheep took off, around the pan with Helen hanging on and screaming and laughing.  Melvin came out and tried to help her but he was so doubled up with laughter that he couldn’t do anything.  Wilford finally rescued her.

Helen went to school and was an excellent student.  Always the head of her class.  In grade 8 she was the only one of the class to graduate, and the first one to graduate from grade 8 in Aurora.

At on time Helen’s brother Parley was working in Frisco, Nevada.  Helen wrote to him there and this was the poem she sent him:

“The wind is howling dismally,

The room is full of smoke

And as I sit here studying

It seems that I will choke

My thoughts are not on my books

They’ve glided far away

In spite of all that I can do,

Frisco holds them in her sway.”

Then Parley must have answered her letter because later she wrote to Jim who was working in Idaho.  This is the poetry she wrote to him.

“I received a longed for letter,

From Parley the other day,

But where in the world his thoughts were

‘Twould be hard for me to say.

But some pleasing features in it

He is well and earning cash

He will be home for Christmas

And of course he’s made a mash.”

After graduating from grade 8 in Aurora, Helen was 18 years old when she attended the Snow Academy in Ephraim, San Pete County, Utah in 1901 and 02.  During this year of schooling, she received her teacher’s certificate.  She was given the assignment of writing a short story for the Snow Academy paper, which was published.  It was entitled, “A Murdered B”.  During this time that Helen was attending the Academy her three half-brothers Jim, Parley and Delbert went to Canada to purchase a homestead for the family.  They purchased 480 acres 8 miles north west of Raymond.

After Helen finished the year at the Academy, she left that fall to teach school at Wellington, Carbon County, Utah.  She taught for the gull term, one year.  During this time she must have been very lonely for her family.  In the early spring of 1903, Helen’s parents and the rest of her brother s and sisters moved to Canada.  They put all their belongings etc. in a boxcar and moved to Canada on a train.  Helen’s grandfather Larson, and her Uncle John Larson and his children also came to Canada.  Uncle left his wife in Aurora to make arrangements to sell the store they owned.  When Helen finished teaching in Wellington, she and her Aunt Alice traveled to Canada.  They arrived in Raymond, Alberta.  I can imagine it was hard for her to get used to the flat prairies.  At this time there were so few people living here, no trees planted yet and very few buildings.  I am sure she was happy to be with her family again.  Her family had moved out to the farm and was living in a 9 x 18 cook car and a large Maque tent that they had borrowed from the government immigration office in Lethbridge.  There were 13 to live in these crowded conditions.

Helen’s Grandfather Larson and Parley who were both carpenters, built the Palmer home in Raymond with the funds they had brought from Utah.  When school opened in September, Helen’s parents, the two girls and the three small boys moved into the new house in town so that the younger children could go to school.  This left Asael and Melvin to take care of the farm.  (The older boys had gone to seek employment.)  At Christmas time, Melvin took a sever cold and Asael had to bring him to town, where he gradually worsened and finally died from the effects of rheumatic fever, which affected both his heart and his lungs.  He was 19 years old.  Asael went out and lived with his Uncle John, who lived just one mile from their farm and he was able to go to the farm every day to car for the animals.

Helen made friends in Canada.  Her dearest friend was Clara (Fullmer) Bullock, before she was married.  Helen worked in the Church.  She held many positi9ons and she seemed to love to work with children because Uncle Les said she handled children well.  She was president of the M.I.A. at one time in Canada and a counselor in Utah.  She took part in plays; also she liked to give readings and sang in the choir.  She was a good seamstress and kid beautiful handwork.

She did many other things to make money, such as taking in sewing, teaching her Uncles children during the winter months, working in homes doing housework and tending children.  She also helped he grandparents for there was so much to do.  Her mother made butter and sold it.  They also sold eggs to help with the living.  Helen and her Mother were just like sisters.  Sometimes Helen’s Mother, Ada, and Helen would laugh so much that they would go into hysterics.  I suppose that Helen’s Father was a little disgusted because I am told that he very seldom laughed out loud.

One time when Helen’s Mother and the girls were on their way up town, Grandma Palmer looked down and said, “My goodness I forgot to put on my skirt.” And she began to laugh.  She laughed so much that she could hardly get home.  (She did have a long petticoat on.)

In May Helen started a journal and this is what she said, “I am past 20 now and feel that it would be well to keep a journal, I have been among the Saints in dear old Canada almost a year now and have never before enjoyed the Spirit of the Lord to such an extent as I have since I came here.  We are indeed a blessed people and many choice blessings are being showered upon us.  Since coming here I have heard the gift of tongues and interpretation of them for the first time.  I have been granted the privilege, without asking for it, of being a teacher of the Junior Class in the Young Ladies Association, head teacher in one of the Religion classes and also teacher (head) in the 1st Primary, B Sunday School class.  I believe I have won the love of my pupils.  I hope so at least and I’ve tried to do so.  Last Sunday, Superintendent Holbrook visited my class.  I was alone with the children.  He praised my efforts, said I had a good way of teaching, I wonder if I deserve the praise.

I was at a Religion class social last night and had the honor of an introduction to Apostle Cowley, also to shake hands with him twice.  I had a very enjoyable time, and feel very much encouraged in Religion Class work.

May 3 ~ Clipping from Richfield Reaper

“No rules will be as important as the rules offered for the arithmetic of life; To add to the happiness, to subtract from the pains, multiply the days and divide the sorrows of as many souls as thou canst reach.”

In July 1904, Helen’s half brother Delbert died of typhoid fever.

One summer Helen and Ada went out to the farm to cook for the men who were working on a canal project.  The Palmer family used to move out to the farm every summer, but this particular summer there may have been sickness as just the two girls went out.  I imagine that Helen took great pride in her cooking, judging from all the recipes she had in her journal.

One day Helen and Ada went to town to attend M.I.A.  After mutual Ada wanted to go to the house in town and stay until morning, but Helen insisted that they walk home to the farm so they could get ready for the Dominion Day celebration in the morning.  They had 8 miles to walk and it was very dark.  There were very few fences in those days that they could use for a guide, so they walked in the dark and they did get off course before they knew where they were going; they found themselves out on a long peninsula on the lake.  They didn’t know where they were, so they decided to spend the night there and wait until morning light so they could see where they were going.  They spent a miserable night, fighting mosquitoes.  The next morning they found that they were nearly home.  They were very tired and so when they got home they went to bed.  Later a knock came at the door and Helen answered it.  It was a neighbor and he said that his wife was sick and was there anyone that could help him.  Helen said, No and then she went back to bed.

Helen met a young man, John James Harding.  She was very interested in Him.  He and his brothers were farming a piece of land a few miles from the Palmer place.

There was a story about this.  It was, “If you find a pod of peas with nine peas in it, put it over the door and the first one that comes through the door will be your future spouse.”  Well John did this and the first one to come in was Helen Palmer.  John had a horse and buggy so he could court Helen properly.

Apostle Cowley and Apostle Taylor were here in Canada to help Saints with problems concerning the Church.  At this time Bishop Anderson had a desire to take Helen as a plural wife.  Apostle Cowley and Apostle Taylor were in sympathy with him, and even though the manifesto had been agreed and signed in a conference on October 6, 1890, and William Moroni Palmer had been one of the men who had helped sign it.  Apostle Cowley insisted that it didn’t apply to Canada.  (Now Helen had been an obedient child and she was always by nature a diplomat.  She didn’t usually buck anything f her parents were in agreement, but she was terribly upset about this.)  One day Apostle Cowley and Apostle Taylor came to see Helen’s Father and Aunt Ada tells that they could hear them talking through an open transom above the door.  Helen’s mother was terrible upset too.  Helen said, “They are deciding my fate.”  But when the proposition was made by the Apostles, Helen’s father said, “NO you are out of line to propose such a thing.  It isn’t right.  I was one that helped sign the manifesto, and I know that it meant for any Saints in the world to honor it.”  Apostle Cowley said, “Do you know that you are speaking to an apostle of the Lord?”  Helen’s father replied, “Yes, and I know that you are wrong.”  Cowley was disfellowshipped from the Church soon after and Taylor was excommunicated.

Helen’s father went to Salt Lake City, in 1906 to have a hemorrhoid operation.  Soon after he returned, he broke his arm so he was not able to do much all year.

Here is a little memo from Clara Bullocks story, she said Helens family had all moved out to the farm and Helen was home alone, taking care of the garden, milking the cow and separating the milk.  Helen and Clara spent a lot of time together.  It was a beautiful evening in June.  They were at Helen’s home and while Helen was doing the milking and outside chores, Clara tidied up the house.  They always had such good times together.  The Palmer house was the favorite place for the young folks to gather.  There was a street lamp out in front of their home, which enabled them to play games after it was dark.

In December 1906, Helen and John were married.  Marian a half brother was also going to get married.  He was going to marry Carrie Lee.  Helen’s father went with them to Salt Lake City.  They were planning to get married in the temple, but when they arrived they found that the temple was closed.  Helen and John had a civil marriage on the 24th of December.  They visited with relatives until later when they went back to the temple and were sealed on January 17, 1907.

Their first baby William John was born, November 10, 1907.  He was born in the Palmer home.  I am sure that Helen and John were happy with their new little baby.  John soon took up homesteading in Taber, and he moved his family over there in a small home.  This must have been very lonely for Helen, but her friend Clara had married William E. Bullock and they moved to Taber also, and so their friendship continued.

Iola was born in October on the 13th, 1909 and now they had a little girl.  I am sure that Helen enjoyed the role of housewife and Mother to her little children and probably there were many visits to Raymond and probably her folks came to visit them in Taber.

May 2, 1911 Helen was expecting another child, and she had not been well at all.  Here is a copy of a letter that she wrote to her folks.

“Dear Parents and all,

Well we are still alive and pegging away.  Some days I feel like giving up and going to bed; but with a couple of little mischievous youngsters like ours that is easier said than done.  John and the children are well.  Iola tries to say everything she hears anyone say.  A great many of the words sound alike though.  Willie almost wears me out asking questions and saying, “I wish we could go over to Grandpa’s and Grandma’s, don’t you Mama?”

We were to have got Esther last Sunday, but her folks begged off for another week till they could get their garden in.  So I guess we’ll get her next Sunday.

I’m feeling very poorly lately.  My feet and ankles are swollen so I can scarcely get around some days and then the heartburn is a fright.

How are you all?  Are you living on the farm or in town?  I had a card from Asael a while ago.  They got to the homestead all right.

How is Ada feeling?  Tell her I got the doily all right.  I will write to her one of these days if I can find time and have enough ambition at the same time.  I saw Blanche Fisher Scovil Sunday and she says the Iola and Helen look alike; well I must close as John is waiting to go to town.  Write soon.”

Your loving daughter,

Helen

Helen had albumen poisoning.  She took convulsions before he baby was born, and her parents came over to see her.  She told them that she was not in pain when she had the convulsions.  On May 13, 1911 a little premature baby girl was born, Helen she was named after her Mother.  Helen took convulsions again and died.  The funeral was held in Raymond, in the old church where the Stake House now stands.  After the funeral I can imagine how sad John must have felt as he left all his little ones and went back to his home, that had held so much happiness for him just a few short days before, but his farming must be done and he couldn’t care for his little ones and farm.

The Grandparents took these little children and they nourished and helped little Helen to grow.  They said that Iola cried for a month for her Mother.  She would lay her head on a chair and cry.  Willie cried too.  Finally the Grandparents had to send for John to come.  John took Willie back with him and tried to manage the farm work with this little boy but found out he could not, so he took him in to his brother Reed Harding and they kept him for a while.  Iola stayed on with her Grandparents for a while, and then later she stayed with the Wilde family.  Helen was raised by her Grandparents.

On January 10, 1913 John married Mary Aspinoll who blessed his home with her love, and raised William John and Iola along with a family of her own.

ABRAHAM WHITNEY PALMER – 1807

Abraham Palmer was born December 4, 1807 in Sherburne, Chenango County, New York to Noah and Tirzah Whitney Palmer.  He was baptized a member of the L.D.S. Church when he was 28 years old.  He married in 1825 to Patience Delilia Pierce.  He was a bodyguard for the Prophet Joseph Smith for ten years.  This is one happening he told about.

Abraham and his wife had got to visit with Joseph and Emma Smith, not finding the Prophet at home.  While visiting with Emma the door opened and a black feathered arm came in.  The man outside asked for a blanket.  Emma Smith seeing that it was Joseph, fainted.  Abraham Palmer went with the Prophet to help get the tar and feathers off.  Grandmother Palmer stayed to help comfort Emma.  There were soon others who came to assist.

One time while doing baptisms for the dead in the Temple, Brother Abraham Palmer became uneasy.  He said he wasn’t completely convinced of Baptisms for the Dead, and shortly afterwards he fell to the floor.  The Prophet Joseph Smith told the men to lay him on the bench and let him be.  After lying there for a while he recovered.  The Prophet asked him where he had been and what did you see, being a man of few words, he said, “I believe Baptism for the Dead is right now.”

He was ordained a High Priest in OCT 1841.In 1850 he was a carpenter in Pottawattamie County, Iowa. He appeared in the census on 27 SEP 1850 in Pottawattamie County, Iowa. He appeared in the census on 5 JUL 1860 in Ogden, Weber County, Utah.

In February 1857 Abraham Palmer married Hulda Catherine Hill.  They had four girl and two boys.  Their fist child was born December 26, 1858, a girl named Delila Vilate Palmer.  She was the first white child born in Ogden, Utah.  She was born in a log cabin where the Union Pacific Depot now stands.

The Palmers lived in Mona and Levan.  In 1870 Abraham Palmer came to Fayette, Utah to teach school.  The school was a one-room log cabin, with split logs for the benches and the children used slates.  In the fall of 1870 his wife Hulda Catherine and children joined him.  She taught school also with her husband for many years.  The pay they received was produce of many kinds; this was used to support their families.  They were the firs schoolteachers that Fayette had.

His first wife and family also lived in Fayette, as there was built a large adobe house at the north end of Fayette, which had the name of “Palmer House” on it.  Grandmother Delila, as everyone called her in Fayette, went to work there of an older brother and wife when she was eight or nine.  She helped with the cooking and dishes.  It was at this place the stagecoach and Pony Express stopped and cared for the horses and something to eat for themselves.  Delila’s folks lived in a log house across the street.  That Palmer House has been remolded and is still in good living condition.

The two families lived and raised their families together.  They called the one wife mother and the other mama.

Abraham Palmer died and was buried on the Mellor plot in the Fayette Cemetery in May 1875.  His first wife, Patience Delila is buried at his side.  She died in 1894.

His second wife, Hulda Catharine, died in Canada during the flu epidemic.  Her one daughter also died of the flu about this time.  They were taking the caskets in a wagon to the Cemetery when the Police stopped them they opened the caskets to make sure it wasn’t liquor in them instead of bodies.  They died in 1918 in Sterling, Alberta, Canada.  They are buried in Raymond, Alberta, Canada.

Abraham Whitney Palmer has many progenitors in Utah and Canada.

ABRAHAM PALMER – 1807

Abraham Palmer, after a lengthy illness of dropsy for 18 months, died at Fayette, San Pete Co., Utah.  In his youth he emigrated to St. Lawrence Co., N.Y., was married to Patience Delila Pierce 10 July 1825, thence emigrated to Genesse Co., N.Y., where he embraced the hands of Joseph Smith Sr. and John Smith, and received his Patriarchal Blessing in the spring of 1836, after which he emigrated to Oswegatchie, St. Lawrence Co., N.Y.  He was there ordained an Elder under the hands of John E. Page.  He began to preach the gospel and raised up a Branch of 68 members.  Spent one summer in Kirtland, Ohio, then returned and led the Branch to Missouri in 1838 where they were met by a mob near Far West and were driven into the woods where they remained until after the treaty with the mob at Far West.  After which he immigrated to Springfield, Ill., where he presided over that Branch of the Church.

At the first conference held in Nauvoo he was ordained a Seventy.  While residing at Springfield he was ordained a High Priest and Bishop under the hands of Patriarch Hyrum Smith, after which he went on a mission to Logan Co., Ill., and there raised up a large Branch and led the members to Nauvoo, in about 1842.  He was in the Police Force in Nauvoo for three years and was intimately acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith.  At the time of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum, he was on a mission in Illinois, where he endured much hardship and privation but he baptized many into the Church.  As soon as he returned from this mission, he was sent to Schayler Co., where he baptized many and organized a Branch of the Saints in Maine.  He started on this mission and proceeded as far as Springfield, Ill., when he was called back to prepare for the Exodus from Illinois.  He received the ordinance in the Nauvoo Temple prior to leaving.  He was left as acting Bishop at Kanesville for three years to assist in fitting out the emigration for the West.  He immigrated to Salt Lake City in 1852, resided at Ogden City for 13 years and was counselor to President Lorin Farr.

Abraham worked in a number of different vocations, some of which included a farmer;  school teacher and carpenter.

During all the years of life after obeying the Gospel he never faltered or had a doubt to the truth of the same, and died in full faith and hope of a glorious resurrection unto eternal life.  He left a large family and numerous friends.  (Copied from film; Deseret 24: 333,1875)

Abraham Palmer in the year of 1833 was on a boat on Lake Champlain, and was reading and studying the Bible.  A middle-aged man came and sat down and talked to him asking him if he understood his Bible.  Abraham said, “No.”  They talked and he explained for an hour or more.  As he left he said, “You will hear about me a year from today.”  Abraham went on studying and came to another part that he didn’t understand and went to look up this gentleman.  He hunted all over the boat, then asked the Captain.  The Captain said there was no one by that description on the boat.

One year later to the day, two missionaries came to Mr. Palmer’s home, brought the Gospel to him and gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon.  One of the first things on opening the Book of Mormon was the story of the three Nephites, who asked of Jesus the privilege of staying upon this earth until the second coming.  (3 Nephi 28)  (Taken from the records of Leslie L. Palmer.)_