John Rowley and Sarah Wright Family Messenger


Dear Cousin Luella,

Your letter and the blanks came some time ago, and I am sorry to be so slow in acknowledging them. I filled in the blanks as far as I could, then sent them to the proper members of the family to be finished. Some of them I have not heard from yet, some came back to me to be sent to the Research Dept. with my own, which are now complete except for my youngest sister’s, Ina Dee Mort. My sister-in-law, Edith Lyman, sent hers directly to the Dept. I had to get information from Illinois, Alabama and Washington D.C., which has taken time, but I hope to have them all ready before too long.

Edith wrote me that she did not consider my father’s diary of any significance in a historical or genealogical sense, it being just a little pocket note book. If it were she would ask her son, Chester Lyman, to lend it to you. She recalled little things my brother had told her of his childhood years. How for instance, while we lived in Parowan, Utah, we kept the post office and one day while the man were all away from the then little town, the Indians (probably drunk), raided the town and came into the Post Office, scaring our mother very badly, but doing no damage. And I can remember, too, how we would take an egg or a paper to the store and trade them for candy. The papers were used for wrapping parcels.

And my sister, Nora, wrote me that she remembers how busy our mother was, and how clean and neat she always kept us. As we grow older we have realized how hard she must have worked, for she loved to dress us four girls in white, starched and ironed to perfection. She knitted all our stockings, crocheted, quilted and was a wonderful cook and housekeeper. Nora and I both have beautiful lace she knitted for pillow cases.

I remember hearing my father tell of meeting my mother when she first came to Fillmore from England. He was playing the accordion at a dance when she came in, and immediately he said to himself, “That’s my girl!”, not even knowing who she was. They were married in Fillmore, Nov. 21, 1874, by Edward Partridge, Probate Judge. I have the marriage certificate, with the Probate Court Seal of Millard County, W.T. She was born in Fenton, England August 15, 1855, daughter of James and Mary Shirlock Rowley, and died Feb. 12, 1889, in Alessandro, California.

My father’s mother, Cornelia Eliza Leavitt, was the daughter of Enoch Virgil Leavitt and Abigail Leonora Snow, and became the third wife of my grandfather, Amasa Mason Lyman in 1844. Aunt Eliza R. Snow was a descendant of that Snow family, ?? at the moment I cannot remember the connection – but she was one of the wives of Joseph Smith, and as I remember was later sealed to Brigham Young. She was known as the “Mormon Poetess”, and every now and then I hear one of her poems sung on the Salt Lake Tabernacle Program on Sunday mornings.


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