Zemira Palmer is my third-great grandfather. In 2010 I was given tons of information about him by two angel cousins. With their permission I share it all!! - Deniane Kartchner

Contact: denianek@gmail.com

Sally Knight Palmer

Sally Knight Palmer

Zemira's Wives

The photos of Zemira's two wives were contributed by Lucile Brubaker

and her mother, Lenna Cox Wilcock. Thanks!

Caroline Jacques Palmer

Caroline Jacques Palmer


Unless otherwise noted, the main source for this blog (including the introduction) is a history titled “ZEMIRA PALMER, 1831 – 1880, His Life and Family in Early L.D.S. Church History.” This history was prepared by Lenna Cox Wilcock and sent to Deniane Kartchner via email by Lenna's daughter, Lucile Brubaker, with Lenna and Lucile's permission to post on this blog with the stipulation it be used for family history purposes only and not for financial gain. Lenna and Lucile are descendants of Zemira Palmer through his wife Caroline Jacques.

I have posted the history in segments exactly as Lenna wrote them (with the exception of adding details needed to help the sections stand alone).


Zemira Palmer was born the year after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints was organized in Fayette, New York. Living amongst the earliest “Mormon” converts, his entire life and that of his family was inextricably inter-woven with that of the early Saints.

The faith of the Palmer and Draper families, as with all the Saints, was severely tried and tested as they were swept along in the turbulent stream of Mormonism in its desperate struggle for survival while defending their freedom to worship their God as they chose. As Utah Pioneers they contributed greatly in making the desert blossom as a rose in the rugged western American frontier.

One month before his death, in a letter to his sister Zemira made the following statement, and by living according to what it expresses, he was worthy to gain the great reward of which it speaks:

“. . . There is one thing which seems to be true, the Lord is fulfilling His promises. He has said by the mouths of His prophets that He would send judgments on the wicked & trials on the faithful, so that everyone that can be shaken, will be, and those who cannot be shaken, shall gain the great reward of eternal life & supreme happiness.”1

1- Excerpt from letter written by Zemira Palmer to his sister Lovina Palmer Munroe Sept. 18, 1880.

* * * * *

Zemira Palmer History on this blog


Capt. Z. Palmer celebrates Pioneer Day

The following article appeared in the Deseret News on 8 August 1860. Zemira Palmer is the grandfather of William Zemira Palmer.

Zemira was born in Canada in 1831 to George and Pheobe Palmer. His father died when he was a toddler. His mother moved to Kirtland, remarried to Ebenezer Brown, and when he was 15-years-old, the three of them joined the Mormon Battalion. They were all at Sutter's Mill in California when gold was discovered in the stream there.

Zemira later helped rescue the members of the Willie and Martin Handcart companies, helped defeat Johnson's army, married Sally Knight and helped to establish the United Order in Orderville, Utah. He died 22 Oct. 1880 in Orderville.


Deniane said...

Hi, Necia. Where did you see Zemira's name listed as a rescuer of Willie and Martin Handcart Companies? I hadn't heard that before.

J/E Palmers said...

Dad had heard it, I found a Z. Palmer listed in the book The Sweetwater Rescue: The Willie & Martin Handcart Story, by Heidi Swinton and Lee Groberg.
Also, I found a history online about Gurnsey Brown, Zemira's half brother that speaks of going with family members to help rescue them.
The following is from www.historyofmormonism.com: "Ephraim Hanks was a man renowned for his skills on the plains. He made the journey across the frontier nearly 60 times during his life. When he heard about the Saints stranded in the severe winter weather in handcart companies, he responded immediately to the call, leaving before the others were prepared to leave Salt Lake. He was far from Salt Lake the night before Brigham Young issued his call for help, but relates his experiences in his own words of how he heard of the situation and what he did to help.

Friday, October 24, 1856, Draper, Utah

In the fall of 1856, I spent considerable of my time fishing in Utah Lake; and in traveling backward and forward between that lake and Salt Lake City. I had occasion to stop once overnight with Gurnsey Brown, in Draper, about nineteen miles south of Salt Lake City. Being somewhat fatigued after the day’s journey, I retired to rest quite early, and while I still lay wide awake in my bed I heard a voice calling me by name, and then saying: “The handcart people are in trouble and you are wanted; will you go and help them?” I turned instinctively in the direction from whence the voice came and beheld an ordinary-sized man in the room. Without hesitation I answered, “Yes, I will go if I am called.” I then turned around to go to sleep, but had laid only a few minutes when the voice called a second time, repeating almost the same words as on the first occasion. My answer was the same as before. This was repeated a third time. When I got up the next morning I says to Brother Brown, “The hand-cart people are in trouble, and I have promised to go out and help them,” but I did not tell him of my experiences during the night. I now hastened to Salt Lake City."

There's more, but I have to find it again. Then I'll post it.
Love, Necia


Lucile Brubaker (and her mother Lenna Cox Wilcock) are also contributing to this blog.