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


(77) Zemira works cotton farm, teaches school

Zemira had an interesting regime that Spring and Summer (1878):  There was the continual challenge to keep the water coming down the ditch, what with gophers making holes, having to clean out mud fills after a storm, plus repairing broken dams.  Also after grubbing the unbroken brush-covered land, the ground had to be harrowed, leveled, then plowed and the crops planted.  He even made his own harrow.  One incident he mentioned was, “Taking the level for a new ditch further up the river.  Found that the water can be brought on the Bench south of the house.”  That would expand the area under irrigation.

He had lots of planting to do, such as grape roots, mulberry cuttings, plus tamarisk and wild muscrew cuttings—he called it “setting them out.”  He planted potatoes, worked on the tunnel through the black hill between Washington and St. George, chopped timbers for dams, built a hen-house, mended shoes, and braided a whiplash.  Besides these labors he found time, as his daughter Almeda mentioned, to teach evening school to the youngsters for an hour each day, while on the farm.

They finally were ready to plant cotton, beginning March 23, 1878, and for the next three weeks they planted and watered cotton nearly every day.  They planted corn and more cotton in July, always with watering in between. Then, in the middle of July, right during the hot, hot time of the year, the ditch was filled with mud from a freshet—which is a sudden heavy rain shower—and all other work had to stop until the mud was cleaned out and water was back in the ditch.  The first crop of cotton was ready to start picking by the end of August. 

From Zemira Palmer's diary on dates mentioned.

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