Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network

Pioneer 1848-1868 Companies

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1846-7, Draper (Palmer) (Brown), Phebe (Mormon Battalion Wife and son, Zemira)

Mormon Battalion
Phebe Draper Palmer Brown, the daughter of William and Lydia Lothrop Draper, was born in Rome, Oneida County, New York, October 9, 1797. The Drapers originally came from England to America in 1645, locating near Boston. The family spread through the New England States. In 1800, Thomas Draper and wife moved to Canada. His son, William, had left New York and settled in Pennsylvania.

Phebe married George Palmer in 1815 in Canada, when she was eighteen years old. To them were born seven children, Lovina, Osahel, William, Eliza, Lydia, Zemira and Rhoda. They joined the Church in 1833 and gathered with the Saints in Kirtland, Ohio. He died in 1835, leaving her with these small children. In the year 1836, Joseph Smith, Sr., gave her a blessing of comfort and promise. He told her if she was faithful and wise she would be blessed with a companion who would be a man of God, and that she would be able to bring up her family right; that she would have good, happy days.

She suffered the hardships of the Saints, being driven from Kirtland to Missouri, and from Missouri to Nauvoo, Illinois, where the one promise of her blessing was fulfilled by her marriage to Ebenezer Brown in 1842, his wife having died leaving him with a family of four children. They were driven from their comfortable homes into the wilderness, where they were camping in the year 1846.

Phebe went with the Mormon Battalion, being chosen as one of the laundresses. She was a kind-hearted woman and throughout the entire journey many of the burdens of the soldiers were lightened by her sympathy. She was one of the women selected to make the trip to San Diego, California, as her husband was a 2nd Sergeant of Company A. He was not mustered out of service until March 14, 1848. She, with her husband, traveled north where they participated in the search for gold in and around Sacramento, California. She helped wash gold to aid them on their journey to join the Saints who had gathered in Utah. She rode a mule (whose name was Ginny), all the way from California. In 1849, Ebenezer settled in Draper. Phebe moved from Salt Lake in the spring of 1850 with the children, they being the first family to settle in Draper.

In 1853, her husband married Samantha Pulsipher, and in 1854, he married Mary Elizabeth Wright. In 1870, Mary died, leaving a family of small children, which Phebe took care of, making three families she had reared; her own and two of her husband's. She acted as first postmistress of Draper and held a responsible position in the Relief Society. She was a well read woman and had a fair education for that time. Ebenezer Brown died in 1878. Phebe lived in Draper until her death on February 28, 1879, being 82 years of age...

Zemira Palmer
Zemira Palmer was born August 9, 1831 in the Province of Upper Canada, the son of Phebe Draper and George Palmer. After the death of his father his mother married Ebenezer Brown, and when she was given the privilege of accompanying her husband on the march of the Mormon Battalion, Zemira asked to go with them. Although he was not old enough to be a soldier he was given permission by the officers in charge to go provided he could carry a gun and all the other necessary equipment. His mother, knowing the need of a growing boy for extra food, often purposely burned the bread served to the officers so that they would cut off the blackened crusts. These she saved for Zemira who said they tasted better than a piece of pie under other circumstances. After the disbanding of the Battalion in Los Angeles, Zemira helped his parents pan gold in order to get an outfit and enough provisions to join the Saints in Utah.

On December 1, 1851 Zemira married Sally Knight. They were the parents of fourteen children, Alma Zemira, Emma, Newell, Lydia, Phebe, James, William, George, Asael, Jesse Milo, Mary, Martha, Joseph and Chloe. In his later years he was called to live in the United Order in southern Utah where he served as one of the leaders. He died at the age of 49 years in Orderville, Utah in the year 1880.

Source: Our Pioneer Heritage © Carter, Kate B., ed. 20 vols. Salt Lake City: International Society, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1958-1977. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. Documents and images are exerpted by permission from the LDS Family History Suite CDROM from Ancestry.