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HISTORY OF ZEMIRA AND AMY TERRY DRAPER
HISTORY OF ZEMIRA AND AMY TERRY DRAPER
Estella Draper Mangnus, a grand daughter
Zemira, the son of William Sr. and Lydia Lathrop Draper was born February 27, 1812, at Crambe Northumberland, Upper Canada.
He heard the Mormon Missionaries and accepted the gospel and was baptized by Brigham Young February 19, 1833, at Larborough, Canada. He was confirmed the same day by Brigham and his brother, Joseph Young. It was soon after he joined the church that, he joined the Kirtland Camp, and traveled with them. There he met Ellen Agnes Bradshaw. She was cook for the camp and was very badly treated. So, Zemira married her to protect her, on September 15, 1838. She died in childbirth August 15, 1839, and the baby died soon after.
Then he met Amy Terry, daughter of Parshall III and Hannah Terry. Zemira’s brother, William Jr., performed the ceremony January 30, 1842, in Pikes County, Illinois.
They had a nice home in Nauvoo, and were friends of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Although, according to old church records, at one time Draper disagreed with something, along with other men that walked out of the meeting. According to the minutes when Draper arose to join the other men that left, the Prophet said, "You're not going too, Draper'?" Draper said, "Yes, I am," and he left, But according to the records, a short time later the difficulty was straightened out and Draper gave the Prophet some money to settle some of Smith's debts.
They were in Nauvoo at the time of Smith's assassination, and were at the meeting at the time when Brigham Young was transfigured and spoke with the voice of Joseph Smith, and looked like him. So their testimonies were always very strong.
Zemira was ordained an Elder February 6, 1846, by Elder Brady, so that he and Amy received their endowments and did temple work before they left Nauvoo forever.
They were expelled from their homes just after this and the group left in the stormy weather and crossed the Mississippi, where they remained for a while because of the sickness and death of their frail little 73 year old mother, Lydia. She was buried on the banks of the Mississippi in a brown dress and a calico apron.
They were at Green Plains during the mobbing and burnings there in 1846, but they remained true to their faith and continued on their way. They had a baby born on the plains; but it died before it was a year old. Their oldest child was just three when they left Nauvoo so they had their full share of hardships.
They arrived in Salt Lake, tired but happy, on September 20, 1848 just two weeks to the day before they were blessed with another daughter, October 4, 1848. They moved into the new fort in Salt Lake, where they lived the rest of the winter.
When spring came, they moved into the tenth ward, where they lived until 1850, when Brigham Young asked him and his brother William Jr, to settle on Willow Creek. They again left their homes and went to Willow Creek. Zemira built the third house, and the first adobe one in Draper. The other families just had log houses.
In 1851, Zemira and Amy had their fourth daughter, Susannah Cathilda, born August 3, 1851. The first white child born in Willow Creek.
In 1851, when Indian troubles broke out, a fort was built, or commenced, but gates were never hung, so constant guards were needed. Most of the settlers moved into the fort and remained there until 1856.
In 1854 the settlement had a Post Office, and its name was changed to Draperville, in honor of these sturdy pioneers. Later the name was shortened to Draper. To illustrate the scarcity of food before the harvest of 1856, this item was in the Deseret News July 9, 1856.
Bishop William Draper, agent for the news in Draperville, brought to this office on the 5th inst. 48 lbs, flour and 38 lbs barley meal - the first breadstuffs offered on subscriptions or tithing, almost within our recollection.
In 1862, Zemira’s family had increased in number, so now they had six living girls and one boy. Ellen Agnes, the oldest, had married James Green, and at 19 and remained in Draper. The others were Lydia Hannah 14, Susannah Cathilda 11, Fannie Lucretia 8, Phebe Marilla 6, Zemira Terry (My father) 3, and Zelpha Amy was 1. With this family they had bravely left their third home in Utah.
Rockville had the finest location on the Virgin River. It was high enough, and rocky enough that the Virgin River didn't wash it away as it frequently did Grafton and Virgin. But it was 357 long hard miles from Salt Lake, over very bad and dangerous roads. Over a good distance the road just clung to the side of the mountain until wagon wheels would slip off of the edge, and for long distances it, was impossible for two wagons to pass.
Zemira was made Bishop in 1864, Was ordained Presiding Elder in 1865.
Brigham Young had a cotton mill in Southern Utah. It had been in St. George, but when Zemira moved to Rockville, Zemira. built several buildings, so Brigham Young brought his cotton mill machinery and put it in Zemira's buildings. Zemira. and his brother-in-law, James P. Terry, operated the mills. It was first operated by horse power, but that was too slow, so a water company was formed, with Zemira the largest shareholder. So water power was added to the mills to make them more efficient, Zemira finally bought out the other shareholders and so owned and operated the mills himself. Then he added a sawmill, and a molasses mill too.
In the fall of 1363, as he was getting ready to quit for the night, a sudden wind slammed the door and blew a spark from the lantern onto some loose cotton. Zemira tried to stamp it out, then he took the burning cotton in his arms and tried to squeeze it out. His clothes caught fire and he nearly lost his life. However he saved himself by jumping out, of the window where others could beat the flames out, The building, containing the cotton mill, and about 300 pounds of cotton were destroyed. He felt worse about the loss of the building and cotton mill because he felt that perhaps Brigham Young would think he had been careless. The mill wasn't rebuilt and as time went, on, the children gradually took over and used the ruins as a playground and gymnasium. One day Brigham Young was visiting the settlement and most of the grown-ups were in church, some of the children (two Draper girls among them) were playing and swinging from the rafters, when the building collapsed and two of the girls were killed.
Just a while after the family moved to Rockville, they were sitting down to a very frugal dinner when a knock came to the door. There was a strange elderly man with a long white beard. They invited him to share their meal, and after they had eaten, he said he would like to bless them. He put his hands on Amy's head, and although they had not mentioned the name, he said, "Sister Draper, I promise you, that because of your faith and charity you, nor your children will never know hunger, and your flour barrel will never be empty."
Then he left the house before Amy and Zemira could catch their breath. Soon, however, Zemira hurried out to invite the stranger to spend the night, His footprints were very clear and easy to follow in the dusty road, but just at the edge of town his footprints vanished, and they never saw him again. Very puzzled, Zemira returned home. The only explanation they could give was that he must have been one of the Three Nephites. The blessings however, stayed with them, and has also continued down through their children and children's children. My children have had the same blessing pronounced on them in their patriarchal blessings.
In 1866 while Zemira was presiding Elder there were 18 families (95 souls) 105 acres under cultivation, (20 acres of wheat, 12 sugar cane, 44 corn, 25 cotton, and 52 broom corn).
They had no thread, but what nature provided. Grandmother, and the others gathered ooze and dried it, and made thread to sew their clothes. My sister, Amy, still has a quilt that grandmother sewed with ooze in 1864 or 1865, It looks like khaki thread and is very strong.
Zemira died January 9, 1876, the father of eight living children (Carson was the last addition). He was buried in his beloved Rockville, after living a full, useful, happy, faithful life for all of his 64 years. Amy continued to live in Rockville, for several years. She was President of the Relief Society, from February, 1876 until 1877 in April.
Soon after coming to Rockville, Zemira and his brother William had seen a little Indian boy captive, that was going to be killed by the tribe that, had captured him. Rather than see him die, they bought him for a horse. William kept him for a year or two, and then turned him. over to Zemira who adopted him and gave him the name of Ammon Draper, He was raised as Zemira’s and Amy's son right along with their own family until he grew to manhood and left to live his own life. He was a bosom companion to Zemira Terry Draper, as there wasn't too much difference in their ages. He was a great help in the large busy family.
As the family grew and married, they moved to the four corners of the country, but they kept, returning home. When Zemira Terry was married to Olga Josephine Poulson, they lived in Draper for a year, but then Zemira Terry took his wife and son to Rockville. There was already a large family around the old home, as Amy was raising three of Marilla's children. Carson and his wife and baby were there, then in the yard in the log house Lucretia and her husband, John Terry and their six children, enough for any mother after she had raised her own family, but Amy's heart was big enough for them all and more. Then when Zemira Terry and family, and Carson and his wife moved to Hinckley, she went along with them. Then, before the two brothers moved to Idaho, Amy Draper went to Draper to live out her remaining days near her oldest daughters, Ellen Anges and Fannie Lucretia.
She died in Draper, April 5, 1900, and was buried by her father, and others of the family. But her memory lives on in her influence and teachings in the hearts of her children, and children's children.
(Information gathered from old church records in the Church Office, Old Draper Ward records, Deseret hews and family records).