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Arthur Morrison Rawson

In his own words

  • A SHORT STORY OF ARTHUR MORRISON RAWSON As told by himself

    I,  Arthur Morrison Rawson, was the nineth child of Horace Strong and Elizabeth Coffin Rawson. I was born Jun 17, 1840 in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois. When I was about two years old Father moved to Lima Branch in the Yelrome Stake where we resided until the exodus from Nauvoo City in 1846.

    We first stopped at Mount Pisgah where we planted a crop and stayed until June or July, then we came to Kainsville and settled about two miles up the Muskcrat Creek, one mile west of the Old Indian Mill.

    There we cleared off a nice farm where we lived one year. Then father sold out to William Coffin, Mother's cousin, and we made another home about one half mile west, where we lived until the spring of 1850 when we sold to a Mr. Wolfe, and then we started for the Valley of the Mountains.

    We joined President Wilford Woodruff's Company and were in Captain E. Whipple's ten families. I helped to drive the cow herd part of the way across the plains. We had many experiences while traveling.

    I had many boy friends and shared in all the pastimes during the summer. There was nothing of importance that I remember until one day when we were traveling up the Platte River. In the afternoon the dogs got after an old buffalo and all at once he started toward the train and came over to one team and jumped over between the wheel, team and wagon, which frightened the team and in a few minutes a dozen or more of the teams were running in all directions.

    Our dear old mother was in the wagon, sick with cholera, but she took no harm for our team did not run, but the teams on both sides of us did. There was such terrible excitement, cattle bellering, men hollering and women crying.

    There was one woman run over and badly hurt. Her horse and buggy were all used up and all kinds of scared but we soon got everything in shape and arrived in Salt Lake pretty well tired out but glad to get there.

    In a day or two our brother Daniel came for us and we all went to Ogden and settled between 8th and 9th streets and resided there until Ogden City was layed out when we moved houses and everything we could on lots, in the city, lying just south and east of where the Post Office is now located.

    The winter of 1850 to 1851 I attended school in Browns Fort. We had a teacher by the name of Ingram, a gentleman who stopped and wintered. The next winter I went to school in the first school house built in this part, with Miss Chrille Abbot as the teacher and was always had a good time.

    In the early spring I hired out to John Thomas to drive a team and plow his farm. When I got through with him I worked for Edward Bunker and helped him until he got his crops in, then I went to school until fall.

    That fall Brother Critchello came to Ogden and taught school during the winter, in the house that was built first, and the next summer and winter he taught in a house a little beyond where Jenkins lived and the north west corner of the block where we lived.

    The next winter school was held in a doby house built on the west side of the Post Office. This school was taught by Critchello and by a man by the name of Truly. The next spring Father and family moved to Kaysville and bought a farm of Allen Taylor near the foot of the east mountains, near Bares saw mill and put a large crop and everything bid fare for a splendid harvest in the fall but in July the swarm of grasshoppers that came over the east mountains destroyed all the fine crops and that fall Father moved to Farmington and I attended school there and had a good time with the young people of Davis County and had spelling matches with the ward joining Farmington on the South. I don't remember what it was called. On two occasions William and I spelled them all down.

    The next spring we rented land of Brother Clark and planted it to corn after the wheat had all been eaten up by the grasshoppers and we raised a fine crop which made bread for us and fed the cattle. This was the hardest time we ever had in the valley.

    We saved some corn and fodder for Brother Clark and ourselves. We lost most of ours as well as everyone who turned their stock out on the range and most of the people had to, that winter.

    In the spring we sold out what we had there and moved to Payson, Utah. This was the spring of 1857. During this summer I worked for my brother Daniel and the fore part of the winter went to school and the latter part worked for the Church, helping Joseph and Brigham Young to take care of the Church stock.

    We drove them west of town on the lake shores as that was good feed grass and then to the east shore. We stayed home at night and went over and rounded the poor cattle up and drove them to parts that had the best feed. In that way we saved nearly all of the Church herd.

    In the spring I went to work for the Bishopric. Part of the time I worked in the canyon, lumbering and making roads, and in the latter part of the season I worked on the meeting-house.

    On May 24, 1857 I was ordained a Seventy by Daniel B. Rawson and joined the 46th Quorum.

    That fall Johnson's army came to Utah and our Militia was called out to keep them from coming into the valley. I was kept home to haul wood and ride express. I hauled wood for the families whose men were away and rode 1000 miles express, and as my brother William was brought home sick with rheumitism I had him to look after and brother Daniel's family, besides Father and Mother and others that needed help. This kept me busy till spring.

    I had sown part of the winter wheat. After getting William's crop in and Father's work done I, with seven or eight others, went up Provo Canyon and contracted two miles of road, which kept us busy that summer.

    We did pretty well and after putting up hay I went to Camp Floyd and made dobies until I had earned $300 in gold. I ran a wagon and peddled for awhile, then hired out to Brother Thorn to help thrash wheat, at Payson. Then Orville Child and Lehi Curtis and I went out to Fort Ephraim, in Sanpete County and thrashed.

    I came home to get married. On the 3rd of February 1859 I married Margaret Angeline Pace. We lived in Payson until 1860, then moved to Ogden. In March 1860 our first baby girl was born. In the fall of 1861 our second girl was born. We have raised a family of ten and have buried two.

     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    The above was taken from the Autobiography of Arthur Morrison Rawson. He died 28 February 1923 at Ogden, Weber County, Utah and was buried in Ogden City Cemetery.

    He was the son of Horace Strong and Elizabeth Coffin Rawson. His height was 5 feet 10 inches= weight was 180 pounds-complexion was dark-hair was dark.

    Ecclesiastical position (1915) was Patriarch. His date of birth was 17 June 1840 in Nauvoo City, Hancock County, Illinois.

    He was baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Pottawattamie County, Iowa on June 17, 1848 by his father, confirmed by Bishop Coon. Ordained a Seventy May 24, 1857 at Payson, Utah.

    He was elected Constable and served 20 years, at Harrisville. He was Sunday School Teacher there for sixteen years. He was ordained High Priest and Bishop on November 15, 1891, at Rexburg, Idaho, by Heber J. Grant, who later became President of the Church, and was set apart to preside over the Ammon Ward there in Idaho. He was ordained a Patriarch on June 9, 1901 by Mathias F. Cowley in the Union Stake and sustained Patriarch on 20 October 1915.


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