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


(14) The family ends up in Pleasantvale, Illinois

So it was that on September 10th, having traveled 494 miles from Kirtland, our Draper relatives, plus others, left the group (*the main group leaving from Kirtland) and stopped at Edgar County, Illinois. Only the men were listed. They were Phebe’s father; her brothers Zemira, Alfred, and Marvin, her Uncle Thomas, and son-in-law Henry Munro (Lovina’s husband.) 25

By referring to the map of Illinois, we find Edgar County on the eastern border of the state of Illinois. They didn’t remain there any length of time but went on to Sangamon County which is near the western side of Illinois, where Lovina gave birth to a daughter, Ester in August of 1839. Then they moved on to Pleasantvale, a precinct of Pike County. (Refer to Map 4)

One incident recorded October 1839 by the Prophet Joseph, is of interest, and indicates the location of Zemira’s grandfather’s residence:  “Friday, 11—This evening, Elders Young, Kimball, George A. Smith, Hedlock, and Turley started from Springfield, traveled eight miles on their journey, and stayed with Father Draper.   Saturday, 12—The Elders of the British Mission left Father Draper’s and pursued their journey toward Terre Haute.”26  Pleasantvale is eight miles from Springfield. William Draper Sr. living there would undoubtedly be the Father Draper referred to.

It is interesting to note the following census 1840 information:  Zemira, age 9 is shown in the household of his uncle Zemira Draper and grandparents, William Sr. and Lydia. In the next house were his mother, his brother William George 19, and sisters Lydia 13, and Rhoda 8, and in the next house was his uncle William Draper.  Next was the house of his uncle Alfred R. Draper, then his uncle Marvin Draper and great uncle Thomas Draper Jr.’s family, in Rose Township, Pike County. 27

It is not known why, but for several years instead of living with his mother, young Zemira lived with his grandparents and his uncle Zemira Draper. It is evident that thus far the Drapers kept close together and even after migrating to Utah years later, several family members settled in the town appropriately called Draper, and some of them continued to keep track of each other somehow.
According to a history written by Estella Draper Magnus, the reason the group dropped out of Kirtland Camp on its way to Far West was because of lack of means and weariness, and they had stopped to recuperate.  Then she added: “William with his family and those who were with him went south to Pleasantvale where they joined William Draper Jr. Here, William Sr. assisted in building up a large branch of the Church.”28  

25- History of the Church, vol. 3, p. 138 - Drapers leave Kirtland Camp at Edgar Co., Illinois
26- Ibid, vol. 4, p. 14 - Father Draper, Terre Haute
27- Film 007,645, Pike County, IL;  Zemira Palmer Notes, LPA  p. l – Pleasantvale census
28- Estella Draper (Burt/Magnus) “Hist. of Wm Draper, Sr.”, DUP Libr, subm. by Janael Hendricks

No comments:


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