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


(46) Zemira moves to Fort Heber (Heber City)

Now back to when Zemira’s family left Provo (they lived there from 1853 to 1859 or ‘60) at which time at least part of their family was living in Heber City, Wasatch County, Utah.  Heber is located east up above Provo Canyon.  Some information has been found concerning this period of Zemira’s life.  It has been similar to putting a jig-saw puzzle together, here a piece and there a piece, fitting it together to produce a picture. The following is from How Beautiful Upon the Mountains.73

By 1858, after the danger of the war was mostly over, new colonization and expansion began again, and in that year the “Provo Kanyon Company” was formed.  Laborers proceeded to make a road through Provo Canyon, eventually building a bridge over the Provo River.  The road saved many miles for transcontinental teamsters and travelers in and out of Utah County, but more importantly it opened up Wasatch County for permanent settlement.

In 1858 there were 11 pioneer families in Utah Valley who planned to move to homes high in the Wasatch Mountains. These 11 men left Provo the following spring to check out the land, and their families were to come later.  They found good land, set up their camp, cleared away the thick sagebrush, prepared the ground, planted their crops, and built cabins.

They had laid out a town site, deciding to build within a fort so they could protect themselves from Indians if that became necessary.  Their families and others joined them, and within the fort area the company of men built their houses with green cottonwood logs that were cut on the river bottoms. They built their houses close together, with sufficient openings to let their stock in and out.  Zemira wasn’t one of the original 11 men, and the specific time of when he and other families went to Heber, and how they were involved in the preparations remains to be found.

A list of names of those who spent the winter of 1860-61 in the fort with their families shows Zemira Palmer as being on the West side of Fort Heber—John Crook’s journal, p. 15.  On Map 9, entitled “Old Fort Heber” which shows the locations of the families who built their cabins there in 1859, it pictures Zemira’s house as being first on the northwest corner of the area.

A Deseret Newspaper article telling of a celebration on the 24th of July 1860 at Heber reads as follows:  “Zemira Palmer sang an appropriate song following the speaker, and the day was ushered in by the firing of Musketry under the direction of Capt. Zemira Palmer.” From that we suppose he was, or previously had been, a Captain of a Military company.   (See endnote #69, page 55 of this history for his rank as a Sergeant)

Wasatch County was one of 17 new counties created in the state of Utah in 1862.  With the establishment of a county, officers were needed to administer judicial affairs.   Zemira Palmer was appointed as constable for precinct No. l.74   It is evident that he was a prominent resident at Heber.

(Incidentally, referring to the report above where Zemira sang an appropriate song, we read in  Sarah’s book that Zemira loved poetry and wrote poems and also wrote words to songs for different occasions, which some of his grandchildren have heard sung, one of which was his Echo Canyon song. There are those of his descendants who are accomplished musicians, and some of us may hope, and consider this to be a talent inherited from Zemira.)

While they lived inside the Fort at Heber City, Zemira’s wives each gave birth to two children. The children’s birth dates help substantiate part of the picture.  Sally’s were George Asahel in November 1862, and Jesse Milo in December 1864.  Caroline’s were Susan Louisa born June 1863, and Mary Dell, who was born in September1864 and died at the age of 6 weeks.  By then the two families totaled 9 living children.

73- How Beautiful Upon the Mountains, pp. 7-17 – Zemira in Heber
74- Ibid, p. 16-17 – Zemira constable in Wasatch County.

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