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Orson Pratt Brown's Granddaughter's Great-Great-Father-in-Law

section header - biography

William Draper Jr. 1807-1886

William Draper Jr.

Born: April 24, 1807 at Richmond, Frontanact County, Canada
Died: May 28, 1886 at Freedom, San Pete County, Utah

A Biographal Sketch Of The Life and Travels, Birth and Parentage of William Draper Jr,
Who Was The Son Of William Draper Sr. and Lydia Lathrop.

My grandfather's name was Thomas Draper II and my grandmother's maiden name was Lydia Rogers; My father, William Draper Sr. and grandfather were born in Pennsylvania State; and I was born in the Providence of Upper Canada, Township of Richmond, County of Frontenac, Midland District, April 24, 1807.

[The Midland District was a historic district in Upper Canada which existed until 1849. It was one of four districts that was originally created in 1788. It was called Mecklenburg District when it was created but was renamed to Midland in 1792.
The district was originally bounded to the east by a line running north from the mouth of the Gananoque River and to the west by a line running north from the mouth of the Trent River. The district town was Kingston. In 1798, the district was reorganized to consist of the counties of: Addington, Frontenac, Hastings, Lennox, and Prince Edward.
In 1831, Prince Edward County was separated to form Prince Edward District. In 1837, Hastings County was split off to form Victoria District. In 1849, the district was replaced by Frontenac and Lennox and Addington counties.]

I married (1) Elizabeth Staker on June 11, 1827 [at St. George Anglican Church, Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario,Canada. Elizabeth was born February 25, 1805 and died in 1888 at Draper, Utah County, Utah. They were sealed in Nauvoo on January 28, 1846.]

In June 1932 for the first time I heard the Gospel preached by Elder Miller and others in company with him. And in January, 1933 I heard Brigham Young preach the same Gospel and I believed it. This was all in the Township of Longbarough, Upper Canada. And I was baptized the 20th of March, 1933. And in June the same year I was ordained a Priest under the hands of Brigham Young. And I have bore the testimony and traveled and preached as circumstances permitted until the 11th of September, 1934. I then, in company with Daniel Wood and family; with my family that consisted of a wife and three children; I then and there bid adieu to Canada, my birth­place and to my father, mother, brothers, and sisters for the sake of the Gospel. Together with saints to Kirtland, Ohio, which was reached the 24th of the same month. I was satisfied and rejoiced at meeting some of my old friends and brothers from Canada, and more satisfied to see the face and hear the voice of the Prophet, Joseph; and from him and his brethern received some valuable instruction. I then went to work and found a location, built a house and by hard labor provided a comfortable living for my family, which consisted of a wife and three children, but I was quite poor as to the world's goods.

But I labored faithfully and prospered exceedingly, and next Spring, 1935, at the April Conference, by a unanimous vote of the conference, the wall of the basement of the Temple, which had been covered the Fall previous, was uncovered and the work of the build­ing the Temple resumed with a covenent to finish the walls that season. I threw in my might of labor with the rest of the brethern which were few to do so great a work. But it was done. I also went to Canada that summer on a short mission and was abundantly blessed, and returned again in safety to my family and to the church in Kirtland. The following winter I had the privelege of attending Theological School, which was superintended by the Prophet Joseph and his councilors; from which I received much good instructions preparatory to the endowments. When the Temple was finished, during which time I was put into the Presidency of the Priests Quorums, which the Bishops presided over. During the meetings and endowments which gave me another opportunity of forming more new and valuable acquaintences. To wit: Bishop Edward Partridge of Zion or Missouri, and Bishop N. K. Whitney of Kirtland. With their respective coun­cilors, under whose hands I received the ordinances and blessings which were many and great. They being the only Bishops in the Church at that time. The twelve Apostles and their first Quorum of Seventies were chosen about that time and there in the Temple on the day of Pentecost or the sixth of April, 1936, there was such a time of the outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord that my pen is inadequate to write it in full or my tongue to express it.

But I will here say that the Spirit was poured out and came like a mighty rushing wind and filled the house. That many that were present spoke in tongues and had visions and saw angels and prophecies; and had a general time of rejoicing such as had not been known in this genera all things remained quiet until the first of June. The Quorum of the Twelve was sent to the Eastern States and Canada to hold conference, regulate affairs in the Church abroad in that direction. And I was counseled by the Prophet to go on a mission with them to Longborough in Canada, where I had formerly lived and joined the Church. We there, and in the vicinity around held many meetings and conferences and set the branches in order and baptized quite a number and had a time of rejoicing together. To think and to see that the Lord was blessing our labors with success. But in this place we separated and the Twelve continued their mission down the River St. Lawrence. And crossed into the States and by the route they went home. But I took up on the North side of Lake Ontario to Lewiston and by that route home. Found all well and rejoicing in the blessing of the Gospel.

Things went on comfortable and pleasantly during the fall and winter. And by the assistance and council of the Prophet I prospered exceedingly. So that I got a nice little farm of twenty acres on which I built a good comfortable house and made other suitable improvements. Suitable for the comforts of life. All went well until sometime in the summer of 1837 when travelers began to creep in which changed the state of affairs financially throughout Kirtland. Which damaged me to the am t over one thousand dollars which took my team and other good property. But during the ensuing winter we had a good time in the Temple. And I was called upon to be ordained a High Priest and was ordained under the hands of Don Carlos Smith ,and Councilors, who was the President of the High Priests Quorum and a brother to the Prophet Joseph. And I was set apart to go to Illinois the coming Spring to take charge and preside in the branch of the Church that had been previously raised up. I then went to work with might and main to make up an outfit, and I succeeded in procuring a team and wagon as I intended to take my family with me. For many of the Saints were making preparations to leave Kirtland in the Spring and I expected the returns of my little farms and home to supply me with means to get me another home if I should ever by so happy to reach Far West, where we were all aiming to go and make a permanent home as we thought. But let me say that I sadly mistaken and seriously dissappointed for instead of having means to buy me another home in the Far West, to and behold a Christian Gentile had me in his clutches and swindled me out of my little home so I never got a dime for the whole thin but he made me a very liberal offer; that was if I would stay and live on the farm, I should have it all my life to support my family on; and if not he would keep it. And so he kept it. Although he had every dollar of his pay for it. This was the fruit of Mr. William Branches' religion; although a stray Presbyterian. But as I do not intend this to expose other people's faults I will let the above suffice. And resume my own travels. And say the above affair afforded another opportunity for me to leave father, mother, brothers, and sisters, house and land for the Gospel's sake. And I hastened to start on my mission to Morgan County Illinois, which I accomplished and started April 16th, 1939. Only having my family which consisted of a wife an d five children. That was all the company I had to travel with for the first hundred and twenty miles. I there lay weather bound for a week on account of a storm which made the roads so bad I could not travel; and while laying by a number of brethern came up. Some from Canada and some from Kirtland, Ohio. Among that company was George A. Smith and his father and mother and his brother John Smith. I fell in with them and we traveled on through mud and mire for two or three weeks and finally reached the place of destination for me. Sometime in May namely, Morgan County Illinois, there I stopped, finding the place of my appointment filled by previous actions of the Church. I was satisfied and concluded to make my way on to the far west. So I took leave of the Brethern and traveled on in that direction until sometime in the fore part of June.

When I was brought down with a severe attack of sickness so that I was obliged to camp. By the wayside stood a large oak tree and under it a nice plat of grass. There I took up my abode for a little season. This was at Wuntsville, Randolph County, Missouri. About one hundred and twenty-five miles from Far West. After laying there for a few days I was taken up by a good Samaritan and lodged in the house of a Brother by the name of Edward Weaver. Where my wants were amply provided for. I soon began to revive and get better; after laying there a few days there came along mother company from Kirtland bound for the Far West. And in that company was the Prophet's father, mother, and two brothers, Hirum and William Smith and their families. The old gentleman, the only living Patriarch then known in the Church, was invited and en­treated upon to stop -!?d hold a meeting, which he did and it was a glorious meeting too, for the Spirit of the Lord was poured out upon us, and I there had an open vision or presentment, to the surprise of the saints and especially that of the Smith Family. And I proclaimed it to the corgregation; and it affected the old Patriarch so that he wept like a child and said the vision was true and from the Lord. Which in a few weeks or more proved to be true. As will be seen by what happened in the coming fall.

But Father Smith and two sons tarried five days with us after the meeting and organized the place of meeting and turned the branch into a temporary Stake of Zion for a resting place for the Saints that were worn out in traveling from the East. In which organization I was set apart by them, meaning the Smiths to take charge and preside over the same to which I saw that I did to the best of my ability. Until sometime in August when a message came to us to break up our organization and come to Caldwell County as there was strong indications of hostilities by the mob. So we hastened to camp to comply with the instructions received from the Prophet and in a few days we were on our way for Far West. But the mob was getting so hostile that after traveling a few days we began to feel as though it was not safe to keep on the main traveled road through the settlements as the spirit of Mobacracy was opposed to any more Saints gathering to Far West. So we concluded to leave the main road and took a by-road that leads through a thin settled county for about 15 or twenty miles where the settlement and road ended and we took across the uninhabited county without any road for about forty miles which brought us out at renounced, Haun's Mill and from there through the Caldwell County to within about four or five miles from Far West. Where we concluded to stop and make our home in that place.

There was a large branch of the Church known as the Log Creek Branch. So I bought a snug little home consisting of a log house and Blacksmith Shop and seven acres of good land. Under cultivation with a good rail fence around it. That took all my means to pay for it. But one yoke.of oxen, one horse, and two cows. Corn and pork were plenty. Corn being the main bread stuff then. So I set to work at shoe making and made my family comfortable again.

In a short time I was called to take the Presidency of this Branch. I accepted the appointment and all things went on comfortable again, not withstanding excitement reigned in the country around and hostilities increased daily by the mobs in the outside settlements in the adjoining counties. And finally by the middle of October hostilities ran so high that we received another message from the Prophet requesting us all in out settlements to come in Far West City, We readily complied with the council given and many of the Brethern tore down their log houses and moved to the city. But I did not tear down my house, but went to the city with the rest of my Brethern from the Branch and took shelter in an old log cabin with three other families. This required some little patience. For one family by the name of Towles did apostitize and went with the mob and I never heard from them again.

I will here say that after we arrived in the city there was quite a stir among the people for reports were daily and almost hourly that the mob was gathering on every side so it kept us on the look out all the time day and night. Until on or about the 22nd of October, there came a report that the mob was ruining houses, destroying property and killing our Brethern that had not gathered into Far West. On hearing the report there was a company of about seventy-five men, raised and dispatched to see what the trouble might be. They traveled on till they came to the place of trouble near Crooked River, as it was called. They came in contact with the mob which opened fire on our Brethern and quite a skirmish ensued which resulted in the death of David W. Patten, one of the twelve Apostles. Also Simean Carter and a young man by the name of Paterson O'bunion and several more of the Brethern were bodily wounded. On their arrival to the city it threw a gloom over the whole place but the most of the Brethern maintained their integrity. But some faltered; yet there was faithful ones enough to keep on the lookout and stand guard and do what was required of them until about three or four, after or on the 27th of October, 1938, while on duty or watching for the mob. Lo, and behold, we spied their glittering armor some two miles distant. They came in the direction of our city which produced some little stir in the place and in a few minutes there were about two hundred men, old and young, mustered to the public square in the city, the rest of the men being absent. We immediately marched to the South boundary line of the city in the direction of the mob, to defend our wives and children, and property from destruction. As we-arrived to our post the mob was coming down to a -low piece of ground on the borders of Goose Creek where there were some scattering timber that took them out of sight, but some of them climbed up in trees, looked over into the city and swore that they saw an army of men that would number thousands. This we learned from our Brethern that were prisoners then in their camp. The sight of this great army brought terror to their camp, which caused them to halt for a little time; but we saw a flag raised by a few men coming toward us. A detatchment or. committee of four men, namely Col. George M. Hinkle, Judge Phelps, John Carrell and Major Reed Pack, were chosen and sent with a white flag to meet the flag that was coming. They met in our sight but we couldn't hear what passed between the parties, but they all went to the enemies camp together and in a short time the committee returned to our ranks and siad, that it was a Government Army sent out by Governor Boggs to investigate the difficulty existing between the mob and Mormons and settle the difficulty if possible.

They wanted Joseph and his councilors and the twelve to come immediately to their camp and hold council with them concerning the matter. On hearing this Joseph said he would go as he did not wish to contend or resist the Government. So he, with all the required Brethern that was present, started with the committee immediately for the army camp.

They soon met the flag borne by a number of officers, and to their great surprise was delivered over by the committee to the officers as prisoners of war. They then turned and went to the enemies camp. When they commenced yelling and howling as if some ugly demon had come from their regions; but we didn't know what all this noise.meant.

Soon then our committee returned to us saying that Joseph and the Brethern would stay all night in council with the officers. And would be sent home at eight o'clock in the morning and there was some rough and ungovernable characteristics in the crowd and we had better stand to arms and be prepared to defend ourselves, and wives and children, it being our sunset.. We set to work with all our might and put up a breastwork of such material as house legs, pole wagons, slabs, wagon boxes, and other material such as we could gather through the night, and when morning came, had about a half or three quarters of a mile of breastwork considering our circumstances. We had neither eaten ór drunk since the morning before. For our wives nor children dared come to us; but after waiting some time in the morning our committee went again to the camp to learn the results of the council. After a short absence returned to us saying that a treaty had been affected in which we were to lay down our arms in evidence of our living as peaceful citizens, and sign over our property to the State to pay the expense of the war. Joseph had agreed to do all of this and that the army would be up soon to carry the treaty into affect, and that we must act accordingly. That was a tough pill to swallow, however, if Joseph says so alright. Sure enough in a short time we saw the army approaching and they marched up to our ranks and formed a hollow square into which we were all marched to Commander Col. Hinkle, so we were divested of every weapon of defence. We were there ordered to lay down our arms, which we did, even our large pocket knives were taken.

While this was going on another hollow square was formed and we marched into that away from our arms in a helpless condition and we stood there waiting further orders. Every now and then a woman would come in crying saying we would all be shot down in a few minutes. The soldiers at the same time were busy picking their flints and priming their guns and making ready to fire, when their noble general said, "I suppose you are tired, you can sit down and rest on the grass for a little while." Which was quite a favor and we sat down. The side of the square where my lot was cast was made up with painted demons which proved to be the old Jackson County Malitia, and I .lay on the grass with my feet towards the painted demons, when I became drowsy from fatigue and hunger, and soon fell into a snooze. On hearing some sudden move, I raised up thinking they might shoot me in the legs I changed my position and lay down again with my head towards the demons and soon fell into a pleasant sleep, but I was soon awakened by the word of command. "Men, arise to your feet." and we were soon marched away into the city by the side of the army. After getting some instructions from the General we were allowed to go to our families within the city, but not to attempt to go out of the city at our own peril; yet this was quite a privilege as many of us had not eaten anything for nearly two days. After supper we retired to our beds, for we were glad to get a little rest, and we had been advised to keep our houses dark or we would be liable to get shot. We could hear guns fired dogs yelping, hogs squeeling and demons howling and yelling. Cursing and swearing. After spending the night thus amused we rose in the morning and could see hogs, dogs and sheep lying dead in the street and gateways that led out of the city. They had been shot by the roughens that claimed they thought they were Mormons running away on all fours.

They also committed many other deprivations such as robbing and steal­ing and the worst of all did outrage and shamefully abuse some of our most worthy and virtuous females. I will here relate a short conver­sation that took place between a little boy about twelve years old by the name of Budwas Dustin. A Methodist preacher, a captain of the company and Chaplin for the Army, by the name of Bogard, which took place as follows: One evening when the little boy was present, the Army was called to order to attend services and a solemn prayer and thanks to their unknown God for the glorious work that he was permitting and assisting them to perform, and when the prayer was finished, the boy stood as if in deep meditation and said, "Mr. Bogard, can I ask you one question?" "Yes, boy," was the answer. The boy proceeded by saying, "Mr. Bogard, sir, which way do you think is right, for a person to have their eyes closed or open when they pray?" "Well, my boy, I suppose either would be acceptable if done in humility, but it looks more humiliating to have our eves closed against the transitory objects around us and from the world." "Well," said the boy, "I think if I was engaged in such a work as you are, I should fear the Devil would carry me off if they were shut." Then they threatened his life for a young Mormon, but he said, "I am no Mormon." And he was not one so he escaped but subsequently he joined the Church. I will now turn to the doings or some of the doings of the dav, after breakfast. We were all called to the public square in the city and there required to sign a deed to our property to pay the expense of the war, yet Joseph didn't come nore we did not know but little what was going on. I will here mention one thing that occured. The first night in camp there were four of our Brethern that were prisoners in camp. They were allowed to come to the city with a Brother by the name of William Carey that lived in the house with th me. And old acqaintance that I had baptized in Canada some three years before. They brought him home on a board with his skull broken in with his own gun, by the hands of a member by the name of William Donnihee, Brother Carey died the next day. An innocent, harmless man and giving no offence, but for his religion must and did die a martyr. I will now say that after we had gotten mostly through the business of signing the deeds, we were called to witness one of the most heartrending scenes. Joseph and his Brethern were brought up to their dear ones, where they were permitted to see their wives and children a few moments to bid them an everlasting farewell; being told that they would never see them again. They were then driven off, leaving wives and children overwhelmed in a flood of tears when one of the wives was in a condition not to be left without the assistance of her husband, let alone having him dragged off by a ruthless mob, never to return. But such was their condition. Both husbands and wives being in the hands and to the mercy of an unmerciful set of beings, but the Lord overruled all and delivered them out of their hands in His own due time.

We then learned when Joseph and his Brethern were in camp. Instead of being in an honorable council with the officers for which they were competent and abundantly qualified, they were suffering abuse and undergoing a mock trial being made by a court martial for crimes alleged which they were never guilty, and sentenced. Joseph and his Brethern in company to be shot the nest morning at 8 o'clock. General Daniphare with his command was appointed by the court to execute the sentence. But he swore he would not do it, for he said it would be nothing but a cold blooded murder. Consequently early the next morning Danipharege command was placed under marching orders and marched away about three miles from the main army so that he might not witness the scene, or be implicated with the same. He, Daniphare, being a noted lawyer, it began to create some uneasiness with the rest of the officers of the court martial, and they concluded to change their decision and made a new one that would give Joseph and his followers a fair chance for their life. So they decided on sending them to Liberty Jail among the old Jackson County mobbers, and so they did and sent some of them to guard them safely through. Now after the prisoners were gone and the business of the day finished, we were called upon to listen to a piece of valuable council and advice from one noble General Clark and then be dismissed, which was the best of all the doings.

The speech was nearly as follows: "Now, men, I will say thus far you have complied with the treaty ad made with your leaders by giving up your arms and deeding over your property to pay the expence of this war, which you have been the instigators of, and I think you must feel as though you had been dealt very leniently with as our orders were to exterminate you all without discrimination, but as you have thus far complied with the treaty made you will now be let go to carry out the rest of the stipulations which is to leave the state of Missouri by planting time in the spring, or be exterminated or driven out at the point of the bayonet or rifle and one of the two things must and will be done.

Now on your dismissal I will give you a piece of good advice; when you are discharged to go and provide for the wants of your families and speedy preparations to leave this state and hunt a place wherever you can and scatter about like other people, and never gather together again in companies not even of ten under Presidents, Prophets, or Bishops, and Apostles to give governing advice, you will bring down the wrath of a just people upon you, as you have heretofore done. Now men, if you will heed this command and advice it will be well with you and I will here invite the blessings of the great unknown God upon you to help you do so. You are now dismissed to carry out these measures;" now after prowling about the city for a day or two more and gathering what they could best manage of our most valuables. They concluded to leave which they did, taking with them a few apostates which we could well spare. Now was the time for us to go back to our homes that we had been obliged to leave and which most of us did.

I soon set about hunting my team which I had turned on the prairie, when I came to the city. I went in the direction of the Soldiers camping place and soon found the heads of my oxen laying in the road near their camp. This stopped me from hunting any more. I returned to the city and got the Widow Carey's team to move us back home on the conditions that I would take her with us and keep her and the team until she could leave the state. The mob having just killed her husband a few days before. I agreed to do so wh ich I did, on arriving home I could find but one cow. I had left two, but on looking a short time I found the head and hide of the other where she had been destroyed. That left me with one horse and one cow to make up a team with which to leave the state in the Spring. I will here say that the mose of the Brethern from this branch came back in their old homes and soon forgot to observe or keep the council that was given out at our dismissal from the army, for we did soon assemble ourselves together and rejoiced to think that we were worthy to suffer for the Gospel's sake. We did not have the Prophet or Bishops to govern us, but we would have rejoiced to have had them. I suffice to say I went to work at shoemaking and pork and corn were plenty and cheap and we had plenty to eat and through the course of the Winter I traded my horse and cow and some spare clothing for a good yoke of oxen and through the generosity of a Brother by the name of Ebenezer Brown, I obtained money, bought me another yoke of oxen which made me a good outfit for a team arad on the 17th of March, 1839, I, with my family, in company of Brother Brown and others, bid farewell to our Missouri home and started to seek a new home in more congenial clime. We traveled on without anything particular taking place until the latter part of March. We then landed all safe in a little town by the name of Atlas, on the border of the Great Mississippi, botton in the state of Illinois.

There we met a brother-in-law of mine who begged me to stop with him a few days to which I consented; that separated me and Brother Brown, he taking the road leading North up the river in the direction of what subsequently became Nauvoo. I stayed a few days in Atlas and in that time had a chance to sell my team which I did, and being indebted to Brother Brown for the money that brought me or part of it, I immediately set out to find him and pay him what I owed him; which I did by traveling about twelve miles up the river to a little town called Pleasantvale. I there met Brother Brown and family; we were glad to meet again, not knowing when we parted that we should ever meet again in this world. I paid him what I owed him and he insisted on my coming and settling in this place as the people were friendly and everything plenty to live on. So I looked around and soon found an old log cabin and three acres of ground which I rented for the season. I soon moved my family into it and went to work to put the ground in corn and garden truck. I had plenty the coming year. I will here say that about this time Joseph and Hyrum made their escape from Missouri and came to Quincy, about thirty miles up the river from where I had stopped.

They soon called a meeting and gave some general instructions to the Saints that were at the meeting and to be sent abroad to all the Saints scattered about the country, and then we went immediately looking for a location to gather the Saints so that they might be on one place as a body

They soon succeeded in obtaining a place b y purchasing a little town called Commerce, that had been mostly vacated on account of its being so very sickly. But the Saints commenced gathering in Commerce like doves to their windows. This was about fifty miles up the Mississippi River from Quincy. I will now return to my own doings for a while. I went to work on my little rented place making garden and also to shoemaking and enjoyed my new home very well, until sometime in the month of June. I was visited by one of the old original high council. After he found there were several of the Saints in that part of the country he called them together and organized us into a Branch of the Church and I was chosen and set apart to take charge of the same and to hold meetings among ourselves, and if invited by good responsible citizens to preach, and so preach to them, which I did. And the Lord blessed my labors and many believed and were baptized and the work prospered until October. Then there was to be a conference held in Commerce October 6, 1939. I went and another such sight my eyes never beheld. That portion of the assembly that had lived in Commerce during the Summer looked more like ghosts that had neither flesh nor blood or but very little of both. Yet they seemed to be satisfied and glad to think that they were able to attend conference. They organized the place into a stake of Zion and changed the name of the place from Commerce to that of Nauvoo. A resting place and in the organization I was chosen as one of the high council but was subsequently released by telling Joseph what I was doing, and what the prospects were in Pike County wh ere I had been laboring during the summer months. About eighty miles from Nauvoo. He told me to return and continue preaching and when the Branch reached the number of one hundred he would come and organize the Branch into a Stake of Zion.

I went home and to my field of labor. Doors were open on every hand, I preached and baptized and in about two weeks the Branch numbered 112, but he being overtaxed with business sent his brother Hyrum who was his first councilor and Bishop George Miller. They came and organized the Branch into a Stake of Zion, for a resting place for the Saints that were gathered from the East and from the South. I was ordained and set apart to preside and William Alfred Bishop. We were then instructed to obtain a piece of land and lay it off in town lots, and build a meeting house and provide for the comforts and conveniences of the Saints as they gathered in, which was succeeded in doing. We built a frame meeting house if I remember right, 36 by 40 feet and so far completed it that we held our meetings in it. Many of the old citizens joined the Church and all went on comfortably until sometime in the summer or fall of 1842, when mobocracy and persecution began to show their intent again. By this time I had a nice little home and was comfortably situated, but a message from the Prophet came to discontinue our organization and immigrate to Hancock County, and most all of the Branch submitted to the call. In the Spring of 1843, I moved with my family and located in a place called Greenplain in the vicinity of Warsaw in Hancock County with the notorious Levi Williams for one of my neighbors. I there bought a farm on the terms and went to improving it. I built me a good house and small grist mill and put about twenty acres of land in a good state of cultivation with a good fence around it. I was on good terms with my neighbors although most of them were gentiles, but they professed to be much pleased with my enterprise in the place, and all went well with me until sometime in June 1844 then there frequent reports about Joseph from Nauvoo that produced some little excitement, for priests and lawyers and apostates had combined together again to make trouble. The men in the neighborhood where I lived organized to go to Nauvoo and arrest Joseph. They came and invited me to go with them to take Joseph, but I refused. They wanted to know if I would go if the Governor ordered me to go. I said, "No," I will not go if the Devil himseif ordered me to go against Joseph, for his people are my people and where he goes, I go also."

This appeared to vex them a little although we had always been on good terms as neighbors. They said, "You will have to leave for you cannot live here although we like you as a neighbor." So they left me and soon, started for Nauvoo with old Col. Williams as their leader. Which resulted in the martyrdom of Joseph, the Prophet, and Hyrum, the Patriarch. This was done in Carthage jail, June 27, 1844. Then the desperadoes came back to Green Plain without having the black thoroughly washed off their necks and faces, and they never could get it from their characters or conscious but they did not interfere with me any more.

About the 20th of September 1845, although they engaged in a little town called Lima that was settled mostly with Saints in burning houses and plundering and sometimes killing our Brethern and one day there came an armed force of about sixty men. They set fire to my hay and grain that was in the stack and than set fire to the house. I will just say here that at the time I had two little boys laying at the point of death. One four and a half years old and the other two and a half years old. Albert Edward Draper, eldest, Parley Rine Draper next. They were carried out into the weeds and a bed made on the ground with bed and bedding under them. A large bedstead set over them with plenty of bedding and clothes over them to keep them from getting wet with heavy rain that was rapidly approaching. I will here say that while my wife and some of the generous crowd that had volunteered to help her were carrying out some of the things, the rest of the crowd divided the straw out of a bed into four corners of the room and set fire to it. My wife tried to put it out but some of the ruffians took her by the shoulders and put her out doors. She was not in a condition to be handled roughly with safety. The house burned down with the rest of its contents.

I was obliged to flee to save my life. I remained out until there came on a very heavy thunder storm. I then ventured out to see what had become of my family. I found them all alive and personal injury done but my house and my hay, and considerable fencing was burned to the ground. Which threw my field open to the cattle, where I had about a thousand bushels of corn mostly in the shock, but all exposed to the ravages of hogs, sheep, and cattle which were roaming around at large in abundance. My wife begged me to leave as the mob was hunting me the last she saw of them. So I was obliged to take shelter in a large shock of corn as it was raining very hard. I lay there until it began to leak through on me. So I was obliged to crawl out and I then went to see how my family was getting along and found them more comfortably situated for a Brother came along and accompanied my wife and carried the sick children and their bed and bedding into the mill which they did not burn. Supposing it to belong to another man.

Although they had wet some in changing locations. I remained with them until near day light then I ventured to my nearest neighbors, a Baptist Preacher by the name of George Walker. When I arrived and began to tell what the mob had done, he said, "Mr. Draper, I know it, I saw it all but I could do you no good for I feared they would destroy mine next. Is there anything I can do for you?" I said, "I wished to get your wagon to move my family from this mob, then I will return it." He said, "There is my wagon, take it, and if you return it all well and if not all well."

I then went back to help my wife gather up the little fragments left. By this time daylight appeared and while we were busy preparing to leave, lo, and behold, we saw the armed men; they were in pursuit of me again, so I was obliged to flee and I made my escape but it was upon my hands and knees through the brush. I succeeded in reaching another neighborhood. There I got a young man to go and let my folks know where I was and help them pack up their things and bring them to me, which he did. I took them to Pike County, a distance of sixty miles. Where I got them into a house with my wife's brother. After that I had them comfortably situated.

The next being 6th of October, 1845. My wife was confined and brought me another son, Isaac Grant Draper, and the other two boys that were sick began to get better. After all was apparantly safe and provided for, I then took leave and started for Nauvoo. A distance of about eighty miles. Some part of this I had to pass through a section of country where the mob was daily parading about doing damage and seeking the lives of men that would claim to be Latter-Day-Saints or Mormons. I passed through unharmed and arrived safe in Nauvoo where Brigham and Heber, who were Presidencies of the Church. I told them what I had done, how and where I left my home which they highly approved. I then asked their council for my further movements. Which they gave as follows: "William, if you wish to remain with the Saints, go back and take care of your family where they are, the best you can through the winter and make every effort you can to go with us in the Spring to the Rocky Mountains, but come again to Nauvoo in about two months and get your endowments, which I did on the 27th of January, 1946.

[William married (2) Martha W. Weaver in 1846, she died two years later at Gainesville, Iowa leaving him with one son, Almon W. Draper born in March 1847; died January 1, 1919.]

While I was there several of the Brethern crossed the Mississippi River over into Iowa, then on their way for the mountains, but I returned back to Pike County, and there made speedy preparations to follow in the spring, which I did and left Pike County about the 20th of April 1946 and went to Nauvoo and added some to my family and to the outfit. On the first day of May we crossed the Mississippi River and took the trail to follow those that had started before for the mountains. Through a wilderness country where no white lived. We made quite a company and I was chosen their captain. We traveled on some 200 miles and nothing worthy of note took place. But some night where we camped, to our great surprise up came Brigham and Heber returning from the Missouri River. The place where they had reached. They brought us the information that the United States Officers had met them there and called for 500 able-bodied men from our traveling company to go to Mexico to fight their battles. This was quite a damper to us.

Notwithstanding we traveled on but Brigham and Heber went on East to meet their companies. When we got within about six miles of the Missouri River we came to a halt and struck camp to wait for Brigham to return, which he did in two or three days. Then the place was prepared and the men were called together and met with Brigham and the army officers and Col. Thomas L Cane who had heard of the call made on us and after he took council with Brigham and the officers, it was decided to respond to the call made. And a call made for volunteers then which was readily responded to and within twenty four hours the required number of 500 men was more than made up. There was immediately a large bowery erected at a little place known as Trading Point, settled only by Indians and their traders on the bank of the Missouri. There we had a jolly parting dance, and the next morning being the 16th of July, 1846, which was the parting between husband and wife, father and children, brother and sister. And so 500 of our most able bodies men were marched away across a 2000 mile desert to fight the battles of the United States from which we had just been driven. I will leave those that have gone and turn to those who were left on the parching prairies.

We could look in every direction and see the prairies dotted with wagons and tents and speckled with cattle whose owners were gene. Now it was that something must be done for the women and children that were left unprovided for and without protection in an Indian country. So a meeting was immediately called and the country divided up into districts or wards. And Bishops appointed, with a Bishop to each ward. It fell my lot to be one of them, and when I went to look up those that were in my district there were 33 families and each Bishop was to take charge and provide for all that was left in the ward that fell to him.

So we immediately set about the work of gathering up cattle and getting up herdsmen to take care of them; and the next move was providing shelter for the folks and provide for the stock. As we were left with so few men that we could not move on any farther until the Brethern returned from the army or some other way was provided for our deliverance. So we set to with all our might, mind and strength. We built log cabins and bought some from the Indians that were about to be driven from their homes by the Government as we had always been driven.

I will here mention that Brigham and a large number of Saints crossed the river to the west on to the Omaha lands not yet owned by the United States. They built up quite a little town with over 500 houses. But the rest of the Saints remained on the East side of the river on the Potomac land that the Government was about to take possession of, but they were soon gathered into more compact bodies where they could be better provided for and more easily protected. I located at a little place called Council Point, where there was quite a settlement of half breed and Indians.

I bought one of their farms with quite a comfortable house on it. I had built two log cabins as my family was large. I was soon comfortably situated. The Saints kept flocking so that in a short time we had a fine little town and it soon became necessary to have a better organization and it was desired to organize Council Point into a branch of the Church and have ordained a Bishop to do business in a Church capacity. So I was again chosen and ordained a Bishop and did whatever business that became necessary in the Branch of the Church law.

By this time there was circumstances and characters in our midst that were not willing to be governed by that law we had. Iowa was not organized with a Territorial Government. Consequently was without any civil code to govern it. So in the absence of other law we went to work and organized a provisional government with a law making and appointed or elected officers to administrate the law as they were made of as occasion required in which department I held position. We went on administering the laws as they were made by issuing writes. Punishing crime, assessing fines and collecting them. And sitting in judgement in cases of debt and using the means for inforcing the Missourians and all other business necessary to preserve peace and safety in the country.

Everything moved on quietly. Some went to farming and some to peddling off their surplus clothing and such articles as they could best spare to the merchant to obtain bread for the destitute. As you know we were all provided for. The next year we raised plenty for our own consumption and the country soon bore testimony on favor of its new settlers for their perserverence, industry, tact, and thrift. All things moved on well under our new mode of government until the United States organized Iowa with a Territorial Government. Then we ceased further operations under our provisional government and sent our court records to Washington which there met with highest approval.

I will now say a few words about the company that crossed the river and built up Winter quarters of which a large number sickened and died from privation and hardships they had to undergo. However those that were sick and did survive the winter set in and Spring had so far recovered that a company was raised and some time in April with Brigham at their head started as a company of Pioneers consisting of about 100 men to cross the trackless plains where nothing but the savages and the wild beasts roamed. This was to seek a home for the Saints in their travels.

[William married (3) Mariel Thompson Crosby in 1847. She had one son, Nephi Draper born March 28, 1848; Marial died at Tooele, Utah.]

I shall not attempt to write about their travels, but leave that for better writers, and those that had the sad experiences. But let it suffice by saying that they arrived in safety to the valleys of the Great Salt Lake, 24th of July, 1847, and there located the present Salt Lake City site. With its Temple Block and other public grounds which stands forth in evidence of the greatness and wisdom and perserverence of its founders. I will say in the year of 1848 all that was able left Winter Quarters as it was called with its 500 houses and started to join the Saints in Salt Lake Valley, and those that were not able were taken back across the river into Iowa and there provided for by the Brethern who were doing well.

Building up flourishing towns and making and cultivating large farms which produced abundance for the inhabitants. The chief place or headquarters for public business was Canesville, so called because of the kindness and gentlemanly conduct of one Thomas L. Cane who came to visit and witness our afflictions. Soon the gentiles began to come into Canesville with stores of goods, which offered abundance of goods. About this time those that stayed longer, the men had returned from the Mexican War and resumed care of their own families. That liberated those that the responsibility before they came.

Now it was in the Spring of 1849, I was counciled to emigrate to Salt Lake that season. I responded to the call and made speedy preparations to go with a company that was to emigrate that season. And on the 5th of July, I bid farewell to my home and friends at Council Point and started to join the Company at old Winter quarters, where they were waiting to organize for travel and when I arrived we were organized.

I was appointed by George A. Smith to take part in overseeing to the traveling company in connection with Judge Appleby and Judge Clark. We then started out to cross the plains for Great Salt Lake. We traveled on plains very slowly and nothing special occured worthy of note.

There was but little sickness and no deaths in camp, but I will name one little incident that occured on the 2nd day of October, near the south pass. We were caught in a great storm that lasted thirty six-hours which killed over seventy head of our cattle and horses; that weakened our teams but after the storm ceased we shoveled our way out and traveled on again. We did not travel many miles until we came to where there was no snow and all was fair weather, which continued until the 26th of October when we arrived safe in Salt Lake City, and broke camp entirely having been four and a half months on the plains. We were happy now to meet with our Brethern. That had also come through the great tribulations and made them a home in the mountains.

I then stopped a few days with my brother Zemira Draper, in which time I met with a chance to rent a house and lot for one year. My family being large it required some little exertion to provide for their wants For flour raised before harvest to the enormous price of seventy-five cents to one dollar per pound. And it was hard to get seed grain but I succeeded in getting both so my family did not suffer or do without bread. During another winter I bought me a little farm and rented another about six miles south of the city, it being too far to go back and forth from it and tend to crops I bought a small log cabin, and sometime in February moved a part of my family to Mill Creek, where my farm was.

I put the city lot in with potatoes and the farm with wheat and corn and raised a good crop of each. So I had plenty for the ensuing year and some to spare. In the summer of fifty [1850] there was a new settlement started [by my sister Phoebe Draper's husband Ebenezer Brown] on what was then called South Willow Creek, now Draper, about twenty miles south of Salt Lake City. I was invited to come and settle there which I did. In November 1850, moved my whole family there, I took up land and made me a good farm and raised plenty of grain and cattle and horses.

The settlement increased so it became necessary to have the place organized into a Branch of the Church. I was called to preside and serve them as a Bishop having been ordained to that office before I served in that capacity until the close of 1857 and in the spring of l859 I was obliged to leave a good home again and go south in the general move. I went as far south as Spanish Fork about 42 miles in the distance, I there stopped and located. I never expected to.go back to my home again.

I there purchased four houses and lots and about eighty acres of land of which 50 acres was good farming land and the rest was grass land. I used this to raise plenty of grain for my own use and lots to spare. I did well until the year 1862, then the grasshoppers and crickets destroyed my crops so they proved almost an entire failure. The year of 1863 was also followed with another failure and grain of all kinds raised to an enormous price.

Wheat to $5.00 per bushel, wood was hard to get being a long way off and I had four fires to keep up and my oldest boys had all married and left me with a large family of little helpless children with only their mothers to help me. Putting all these disadvantages together I did find it taking off my best property faster than I could well stand; one bushel of wheat per day for bread or five dollars, and two loads of wood per week and it took from two to three days to get one load and I found I couldn't stand that way of living much longer, so I decided to sell out and immigrate to San Pete where cedar wood was plenty and where we got the most of our breadstuff from.

So in the fall of 1864 I sold out my property in Spanish fork for less than half of what I put into it. Early in 1865 immigrated to Moroni, San Pete County, Utah where I bought a house and lot and about 15 acres of land for which I paid nine hundred dollars in property. I also bought a one third share of an old grist mill worth about four or five hundred dollars, for which I agreed to pay fifteen hundred dollars for. My property was going very fast for bread at five dollars a bushel and I could make my bread at the mill although I had to pay five hundred dollars down in property. I thought I would have my share in the mill left and if I paid it out for bread I should have nothing and I got as near that as I wanted for I only realized for the whole.

After spending about two or three hundred dollars in repairs I got about one hundred dollars, but I made bread with it by working hard and raising some on the land I bought. Since mill and land are all gone I have had some anxieties but I have got nearly through with all for my young and helpless children that I spoke of before are now all grown to be men and women and are able to take care of themselves and lend a helping hand to their mothers. As for myself I think I shall not need any help for I do not wish to be burdensome to my children or anyone else.

I will here say that I lived in Moroni, Utah hardly seventeen years, but I am sorry to say that in this short period I have suffered more in body and in mind than I have all the rest of my life although I have spent nearly 55 years of my life in the Church. When I was about to sink under the weight and influence of temptation the Lord verified this promise wherein He said, ''You shall not be tempted more than you are able to bear. But in every hour of temptation I make way for your escape;" and He did by sending His servant President John Taylor on or about 18th of August 1880, he invited me into the house of Bishop J. W. Drones and after being seated he asked me a few questions which I answered briefly. He then called upon one of the councilors George Q. Cannon and one of the Apostles Erastus Snow, and they layed their hands upon my headland reordained me to all the offices and all the various grades of Priesthood that I ever had been ordained to previously and confirmed. And in addition ordained me to the office of Patriarch after the ancient order. And reconfirmed all the blessings that had ever been pronounced upon my head by those that had administered to me before my ordination otherwise.

That seemed to impart new life and vigor to both body and mind and spirit. Now I find I am on the decline so far as bodily strength is concerned and must long lay off this mortal tabernacle and my spirit go to rest or to join those that have gone before, who have passed throught great tribulations and have conquered the last enemy. And for this reason I have written this imperfect narrative that my children and grandchildren and finally all my posterity to the latest generation my relatives may see what their progeniter and those that he associated with in this Church had to pass through for the sake of the Gospel. I now feel thankful that I now have the privilege of the bearing of my testimony to the truth of what I have written although there may be some little errors in dates. But nothing designly or that would destroy the truthfulness of the narrative. I also feel to bear my testimony to the truth of the Everlasting Gospel as introduced to this generation by Joseph Smith the Prophet and is now being preached by his successors, and Elders of Israel that are going forth to carry glad tidings of salvation to the nations of the earth, and I feel to join in the labor by calling upon all Jew and gentile, bond or free Priest and people at home or abroad; all who have not obeyed the Gospel to listen and hear and believe and be baptised for the remission of your sins, and have hands layed on you by one who has authority for the gift of the Holy Ghost and you shall receive it. For the Promise is to you and your children and to all that are afar off as man as the Lord our God shall call.

Now in conclusion will say I have seen some two weeks writing this imperfect narrative and will now come to close on the 11th of December 1881, which makes me 74 years 7 months and 17 days old and the husband of 5 living wives and the father of 51 children. Grandfather to about a hundred or more and great grandfather to about twenty or more.

I will now leave my blessing upon them all and ask my Heavenly rather to seal the blessings of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob upon their heads that they may be honorable members in this Church and Kingdom even so Lord, let it be, Amen.



Marriages of William Draper Jr.
who was the son of William Draper Sr. and Lydia Lothrop Draper.

1st Wife: Elizabeth Staker
Born February 25, 1805
Married 11 June 1827 at St. George Anglican Church, Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada
Died 1888 at Draper, Utah

2nd Wife: Martha Raimer or Raymer
Married 28 January 1846 at Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois
Died 1848 at Gainesville, Iowa

3rd Wife: Mariel Thompson Crosby
Married 1847
Died at Tooele, Utah

4th Wife: Mary Ann Manhardt
Born August 15, 1927
Married 27 April 1848 at Winter Quarters, Pottawattamie, Iowa
Died July 30, 1909 at Sandy

5th Wife: Mary Howarth
Born February 14, 1831
Married January 18, 1853 in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory
Died March 9, 1902 at Moroni, SanpeteUtah

6th Wife: Fanny Newton
Born March 1, 1834
Married December 18, 1853 in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory
Died March 18, 1907 at Moroni, Sanpete, Utah

7th Wife: Ruth Hannah Newton
Born April 1, 1837
Married April 17, 1853 in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory
Died April 4, 1896 at Moroni, Sanpete, Utah

Children of Elizabeth Staker (1st Wife)





Harri et


William Lothrop

Albert Edward

Parley Pine Draper 1843-1924. See American Civil War - Captain Lot Smith Company

Issac Grant

Amanda Melvina

Children of Martha

Almon W.

Children of Muriel

Nephi Draper

Children of Mary Ann

Mary Ann


David Parry

Eliza Jane

Brigham Manhard






Sarah Mellessia



Children of Mary Howath (5th Wife

George Howath June ) 1855

Luna Adelaide April 8, 1857

March 19, 1859

March 8, 1961

July 9, 1863

April 10, 1865


February 16, 1826

July 1, 1829

Feb. 3, 1830

July 9, 1832

December 1, 1834

February 3. 1837

March 5, 1839

December 13, 1840

March 30, 1843

October 6, 1845

July 3, 184$

W. Weaver (2nd Wife)

March 1847

Thomson Crosby (3rd Wife)

March 28, 1849

Manhard (4th Wife)

February 21, 1849

October 2, 1850

May 6, 1852

January 13, 1854

October 11, 1855

August 20, 1857

April 19, 1859

December 13, 1860

February 3. 1862

May 26, l864

October 21, 1866

October 7, 1869

August 9, 1871

Children of Elizabeth






Harri et


William Lothrop

Albert Edward

Parley Pine

Issac Grant

Amanda Melvina

Children of Martha

Almon W.

Children of Mariel

Nephi Draper

Children of Mary Ann

Mary Ann


David Parry

Eliza Jane

Brigham Manhard






Sarah Mellessia



Children of Mary Howath (5th Wife

George Howath June ) 1855

Luna Adelaide April 8, 1857

March 19, 1859

March 8, 1961

July 9, 1863

April 10, 1865


I rene



Mary Ellen December 24, 1866

Alfred February 6, 1869 May 20, 1915

Charles Thomas September 3, 1871 1873

Children of Fanny Newton (6th Wife) October 1926

Emmeline June 8, 1855

Riley Newton May 7. 1857 March 14, 1927

Martha Jane February 6, 1859 April 1933

Loi s May 8, 1 862

Althera July 29, 1869

Morvin Carson February 5, 1867

Fanny Loui sa

July 14, 1870

Children of Ruth Hannah Newton (7th Wife)

Almira September 22, 1855 June 25, 1875

Kimball Newton July 21, 1857 May 21, 1923

Barnabas September 4, 1859 September 15, 1859

Joseph Oscar March I7, 1861 May 30, 1926

Amos March 4, 1863

Tranquilla may 18, I865

Ruth Hannah November 22, l867

Launy Olive November 29, 1869

Chester September 22, 1873 April 15, 1888

Myrum Elenor September 22, 1873




December 4, 1910



May 3, 1887

November 1910

November 28, 1924

March 24, 1923

January 1,

August 1921

April 17, 1926


January 14,



June 1867

October 1871


June 13, 1912

January 21, 1927



PAF - Archer files = Orson Pratt Brown + Angela Gabaldon > Bertha Brown + Everardo Navas > Ana Lucia Navas de Brown + Michael Leo Murphy < Glenn Eugene Murphy + Ila May Draper < Erastus Carmon Draper < Almon Draper < William Draper 1807-1886.

Autobiography of William Draper, Jr.1807-1886 Autobiography (1807-1881), BYU-S..


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- (Mary McRee) Joseph Smith Brown 1856-1903

- (Mary McRee) Josephine Vilate Brown Newman 1858-1917

- (Phebe Abbott) Stephen Abbott Brown (child) 1851-1853

- (Phebe Abbott) Phoebe Adelaide Brown 1855-1930

- (Cecelia Cornu) Charles David Brown 1856-1926

- (Cecelia Cornu) James Fredrick Brown 1859-1923

- (Lavinia Mitchell) Sarah Brown c. 1857-

- (Lavinia Mitchell) Augustus Hezekiah Brown c. 1859


- (Diane Davis) Sarah Jane Fife White 1855-1932

- (Diane Davis) William Wilson Fife 1857-1897

- (Diane Davis) Diana Fife Farr 1859-1904

- (Diane Davis) John Daniel Fife 1863-1944

- (Diane Davis) Walter Thompson Fife 1866-1827

- (Diane Davis) Agnes Ann "Aggie" Fife 1869-1891

- (Diane Davis ) Emma Fife (child) 1871-1874

- (Diane Davis) Robert Nicol Fife (infant) 1873-1874

- (Diane Davis) Barnard Fife (infant) 1881-1881

- (Cynthia Abbott) Mary Lucina Fife Hutchins 1868-1950

- (Cynthia Abbott) Child Fife (infant) 1869-1869

- (Cynthia Abbott) David Nicol Fife 1871-1924

- (Cynthia Abbott) Joseph Stephen Fife (child) 1873-1878

- (Cynthia Abbott) James Abbott Fife (infant) 1877-1878


- (Diana) Caroline Lambourne 18461979

- (Diana)  Miles Park Romney 1843-1904

- (Jane) Emma Sarah Bodily 1858-1935

- (Jane) William Wilkie Galbraith 1838-1898

- (Elizabeth) Alexander F. Macdonald 1825-1903

- (Elizabeth) Elizabeth Atkinson 1841-1922

- (Eliza) Anne Kirstine Hansen 1845-1916

- (Eliza) James Niels Skousen 1828-1912

- (Angela) Maria Durán de Holguin 1876-1955

- (Angela) José Tomás Gabaldón 1874-1915












Contact Us:
Orson Pratt Brown Family Organization
P.O. Box 980111
Park City, Utah 84098-0111