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


(53) Zemira, Caroline at Dry Valley

It is from Zemira’s diary and letters that we get added knowledge of his daily tasks, his talents, his leadership ability, and positions he held, his faithfulness and diligent activity in the Church, along with the more detailed and intimate aspect of his character—his thoughts, feelings, and beliefs; and of his families’ life, and the areas in which they lived.  From history books we learn of the political turmoil in southern Utah, difficulties with the Indians, privations and toils of the Saints to subdue the water and the land.  Zemira doesn’t emphasize these, but mentions them casually, as day-to-day occurrences.

His wife, Caroline and her children were living with him at Dry Valley in 1872.  They lived in a dug-out for awhile, then Zemira moved the log cabin they had at Panaca, to Dry Valley, a distance of 12 miles.  Almeda Eve was born there March 20, two of his children were baptized and confirmed (Arletta and Susan), and the baby, Almeda, was blessed on April 21.

While living at Dry Valley, Zemira did many different types of work.  The forepart of his diary lists the price of many goods.  He traded, bought and sold animals, wagons, wood, foodstuff, hay, and handled quite a bit of money for those times.  This coincides with Arletta’s history where she says her father bought cattle and moved to Dry Valley where there was good feed for his stock. 
Zemira doesn’t mention his sons helping him with his various work, and Caroline’s sons George Edwin 7, and Daniel Whitmore 4 years of age, really wouldn’t be much help yet; however pioneer wives and daughters were handy and helpful.  Also, as Arletta stated: “My father’s brother, William and family who were also pioneers joined us at this place and lived here until we went to Panguitch.”  Undoubtedly the brothers would work together when needful.

In June of 1872 Zemira tells of making a contract with the Meadow Valley Mining Company for 1,000 cords of wood at $5.25 per cord, which was a big undertaking, taking1-1/2 years to complete.  Incidentally, it’s very difficult to haul wood by oneself.

The interim between January 1 to November 30 of ‘73, at which time Zemira moved Caroline’s family to Panguitch, was a busy and interesting period.

Writing about his work while in Dry Valley, he mentions the following: “Went to Eagle Valley for a load of hay; hauled wood, mended shoes, moved two families to Boullionville, moved a cabin for a man; hauled several loads of hewn timber to Pioche from the sawmill; worked on water ditch; dug potatoes at Eagle Valley; planted potatoes and corn.” 

Other activities were such as: getting oxen and horses shod; mending harnesses, business trips to Panaca and Pioche; repairing wagons; writing letters, mending shoes, fixing road.  One interesting historical  item which he recorded on January 28, 1873, was: “Worked on road, today the Engine on the Pioche and Bullionville Railroad first made its appearance in this valley.”

While at Dry Valley, he attended Church quite regularly, having to travel to Eagle Valley to do so, and his family likely went with him.

Also, while there he had quite a bit to do with the law and court proceedings, both from his own complaints, and serving on juries.  He had quite a bit of trouble with his animals getting lost, stolen and being poisoned by the tailings from the Meadow Valley Mining Co.  He was summoned to appear in court as a trial witness.  He served on the Grand Jury at a murder trial for 12 days.  Served on a Coroners jury on a body supposed to have been killed.

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