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.

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Zemira Palmer History on this blog


(85) Letters to Lovina from Zemira

The following two letters written by Zemira while in Orderville the year he died, give a glimpse of his activities, and reveal somewhat the character of this noble man. The first letter was written to Lovina Palmer Munro by Zemira Palmer, four months before his death, and the last one was written one month before his death.

Orderville, Kane Co.  June 13th, 1880
Dear Sister, (Lovina)
You speak of trials, there are none of us without them, it is the object of our mission to this earth to learn by the opposite to realize the good, joy by sorrow, pleasure by pain, riches by poverty, contentment by discontentment, and the blessings of the spirit of God by being left to ourselves at times and in a measure subjected to the powers of evil.
          I have been sorely tried in my experience in mormonism so called, many times.  I have had my ordeal in the United Order calculated to sift one to the bottom, which reminds me of a saying Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, putting his hand on the shoulder of a brother by the name of Tubbs, he said “the day will come when every Tubb will have to stand on his own bottom” that day has come in my opinion, we cannot support ourselves in the faith and works of another if we have none for ourselves.  Well, I do not feel like giving up but look upon trials as Pres. Young once expressed it, “as blessing in disguise, for they will surely work out blessings if we hold fast to our integrity.”
Myself and family have been called back to Orderville.  We are in usual good health at present but Sally and I are breaking down pretty fast.  She says she would like to see you very much and would like to have you go and visit the children at Snowflake if possible.  She is now writing a letter to Lydia and will tell her about you.  In Phebes last letter she speaks of coming to see us next fall if she can.
I will say before closing that I am as strong in my faith in regard to the Order as ever I was, we do not (?) as fast as would like, but I have no notion of giving up trying nor do I believe we will ever. As ever your brother, Z. Palmer.


Orderville, Kane Co. U.O. 
Sept. 19th, 1880
Dear Sister (Lovina)
I received your welcome letter last night.  Was sorry to hear your health is so poor, mine is nothing to brag on. Still I keep at work the most of the time.  The rest of the family are well so far as I know.  There are none of the children at home now except Sally’s 4 youngest ones.  The balance are scattered about to the different sheep herds and ranches.
We had a pretty good harvest this year. I have been a farmer, but now I build Shanties and backhouses &c
You mentioned Lydia’s return to Sanpete.  What a strange life she is leading! I have a mind to write to her & see if she ever thinks of Mormonism. Who will be her husband in the next world, or will she have any at all?  How long has it been since you heard from Asahel, and where was he then?
You said tell all the good you know.  Well, that would not be much.  There is one thing which seems to be true however, the Lord is fullfiling 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, & those who cannot be shaken, shal gain the great reward of eternal life & supreme happiness.  It would be well, I think, for everyone to ask themselves the question seriously, can I stand?
While reflecting on this subject, I think of a dream I once had in which I saw myself floating down the stream of time strugling hard to reach the opposite shore, which I did, but the stream was rough with many rocks & whirlpools in it, the currant swift-dashing against the rocks & boiling over backward.  I closed my eyes on the appaling scene, but my faith in God carried me through.
So may it be.         Z. Palmer

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