John Rowley and Sarah Wright Family Messenger

Reunion Report

 (unreadable) at 10 A.M., a (unreadable) thirty  (unreadable) cars left Fillmore (unreadable) Vivian Wade of Fillmore, (unreadable) of the (unreadable) of interest in the History of the John Rowley and Sarah Wright Families. Vivian Wade is a vice-president of our organization.

In the company was George Rowley, and his sisters Urina Neilson and Emily Wade, all children of James Rowley and Mary Day. George is the oldest living member in the family. He very graciously told us the many stories and incidents about the places and family sites we visited.

Stopping at the old homesite of Ralph Nephi Rowley, we found none of the buildings left. It was pretty much of an open field with the exception of the trees which showed where the house had stood.

Going farther on, we were shown where the Jane Paul and Jane Smith homes had been situated. They were wives of John Thompson Rowley. As before the buildings were all gone. But there was an old house here built by one John Barkdull still standing as a marker and which was about twenty rods? From the site of the Jane Paul Rowley home. Out in the field a short distance was the Jane Smith Rowley home-site, bit sites were marked by trees planted by those hearty pioneers, to bring comfort and beauty into their lives, though nothing of a material nature is left. This was where our forefathers toiled, suffered and fought to bring happiness into their lives and to bring their families up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Gone with the passing of time are their earthly possessions, but the real wealth, their children have survived the perils that have confronted them. How well they have sown. The teachings of life, love, honesty, virtue and the setting of a worthy example, which had been a bulwark in the lives of their children.

Going on from here we came to Cove Fort. Here we saw the Fort built under the direction of Brigham Young, supervised by Ira N. Hinkley, and the head mason being Nicholas Paul, helped by his son, William Paul. Ralph Nephi Rowley, James Rowley and Hugh Thompson also assisted in its construction. Here again we find our worthy forbearers coming to the front in establishing communities and protection for the Saints who were coming to make their homes in the Rocky Mountains.

Cove Fort was built as a fortification against hostile Indians and the only one that remains in a perfect state of preservation today. Its purpose was to serve as a junction and overnight campsite for the freighters and stage-coach travel of the times as well as any other traffic.

Leaving Cove Fort, we traveled to Sulphur Dale (so called because of the sulphur mine located there). The sulphur deposits were discovered by Ralph Nephi Rowley while looking for clay deposits to make pottery, as he was a potter by trade. Ralph Nephi hauled sulphur to Salt Lake for Brigham Young by team and wagon.

Returning to Fillmore, a lovely pot-luck dinner was served to over one hundred descendants of our common ancestor. A meeting was called to order, where the constitution and bylaws were passed on, and reports were given by various chairmen of the organization.

From here many returned to their homes feeling the day had been well spent in the renewing of friendships and acquaintances and the meetings of relatives they had never met before, and in relating incidents, history in the lives of many of us, and of interest to us all.

An executive meeting held with the presidency present, resulted in the appointing of two researchers with other committeemen to be appointed later. Also a new secretary was discussed as our past secretary is unable to carry on and has asked for her release.

While there many took advantage of visiting the State house, which was the first capital of Utah, but has since become a museum, operated by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. Also some school buildings which Ralph Nephi, James Rowley and Hugh Thompson along with many others help to build. They also assisted with the State House.

Deciding to take advantage of every opportunity to become better acquainted with the historical spots in our family history, Vivian Wade and his wife acted as guide for the Arthur Jones family of Cedar City. Luella Downard of Price, Mary Ann R. Jones of Salt Lake City, David Wm. Rowley family of Bountiful, Carol Lambertson of Aurora, Verda Murphy of Chinook, Montana, Eva and Arley Stoddard of Los Angeles, Cal. Went to the sites of the old grist mill and pottery plant, which was operated by James and Ralph Nephi Rowley. There is nothing left of them but the site where they had been, and where the course of the creek had been changed to give them the power needed to operate. Their old homes are still there in a good state of preservation, somewhat changed and altered, being lived in and kept up with fresh coats of paint.

From here we all went out to the craters, small and extinct, from which they are hauling cinders to make block for building purposes and for the roads throughout the area.

At this point we wish to express our thanks and gratitude to all those who made this excursion possible, and made us realize more fully the struggle and hardships our progenitors endured to make it possible for us to enjoy the blessings we have today.


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