John Rowley and Sarah Wright Family Messenger


They (Mary Ann Thompson and Ralph Nephi, John Thompson, Hugh Thompson and Ephraim George Rowley) joined and made the journey with the first company of the Perpetual Emigration Fund Company which started across the plains June 1, 1852 under the command of Abraham Owen Smoot, Captain and Chris Layton, assistant Captain. They arrived in Salt Lake City on September 4, 1852 having been six months and three weeks on the journey.

They had plenty of Indian trouble. Father and brother John Thompson Rowley both fought Indians in one particular raiding party. These Indians came to Pahvant Valley with full intentions of massacring all the whites in Millard County. They landed at Corn Creek which was sometimes called Petersburg on account of Peter Robinson being so well known there. My folks then lived in Meadow. The Indians came in from the western part of Millard. That large company of Indians was met by the little tribe of Kanosh Indians but not in battle form but only as peacemakers and after a consultation which lasted about twelve hours, Kanosh won, the Snake Indians went back to their home in Nevada.

Father, Ralph Nephi Rowley, prospected for clay to make earthenware and found many deposits which some day may prove very valuable. He found the pummy stone deposits and also volcanic glass which is the mother of pummy. He also found feldspar in goodly quantities. Pummy stone deposits were near the Twin Peaks and bordering on the Beaver River, north and east of the Black Rock Springs, which are in the South Millard County on the Union Pacific Railroad. 

Back in the 1870’s a real man-killer by the name of James Hedges, held Black Rock as a range and lived there for some years.

My mother’s father was Hugh Thompson, born at Glasgow, Scotland and became a Scotland Yard Detective. During his early years he developed a love for a particular type of work, that of crime detection and remained with it even in his old age. He was baptized a Mormon in about 1842. Later he came to Utah.

My father Ralph and three friends in the building profession, following are their names:
                  Jackson Clothier, a good old drunk
                  Tarbuck, likewise a good old drunk
But neither of these two would ever get drunk on the job.

There was also Nicholas Paul (John Thompson Rowley’s father-in-law), who was a fine rock and bricklayer. For a period of twenty years these four men built almost every house in Millard County, except in Deseret and Scipio and Father Rowley and my Grandfather Thompson worked on the construction of the State House at Fillmore, the first Capital of Utah. He also worked on the Saint George Temple and on Cove Fort.


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