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


(58) Zemira presiding elder at Springdale

By April 20, after living less than 5 months in Panguitch, they were ready to move and headed for Springdale through Bear Valley on bad roads (the Bear Valley road was a narrow winding dirt road) and it snowed all day. 

He relates: “21- Reached the upper herd house with great difficulty, with one wagon, having left two behind, the distance traveled only about four miles.  22- went back and brought up the two wagons left behind, went on feeling out the road with our feet, (they couldn’t tell where the road was because of the deep snow)  crossed the divide and made it into little Creek canyon.  Very cold night.  On the 23rd I sent my son James back.  He had come thus far to help us over the mountain with an extra span of horses.”

He brought his second wife, Caroline and their children with him at first, and after eight days of traveling, they arrived at Springdale the place of their future home, having stayed the night before with his uncle Zemira and Aunt Amy Terry Draper at Rockville.

(Incidentally, this Zemira Draper who married Amy Terry, was the beloved uncle with whom our Zemira Palmer lived, in the household of his Draper grandparents during the days of Kirtland Camp and the Nauvoo period.  He died at Rockville January 9, 1876.)

A couple of days later Zemira examined the old Springdale town site, which had once been built up but was afterwards vacated on account of Indian troubles.  There were lots and un-surveyed land, enough to accommodate 40 or 50 families, but there were now only seven families living there.  He was the presiding elder of Springdale, but to attend Church they had to go to Rockville, which was four miles distant, or else go to Shonesburg two miles below Springdale then two miles or so up the east fork of the Virgin River.  These two places had the United Order.

He went right to work at Springdale.  He plowed and planted cane and a garden, hauled wood and helped care for the Order’s grape cuttings.  He purchased a farm from William Heaps, which was up the River in a little place called Zion (which had been settled, but no families there now). He paid $750 for it.  Concerning this farm, he mentions later, “Went up to my farm—found that 1 ½ acres of land had been washed away by high water”81 (a common occurrence along the Virgin River).

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