Sunday, July 19, 2020


    Hyrum King Elmer was the seventh child and third son born to John and Sally (Polly) Peake Elmer on June 4, 1816 in Norwich, Orange County, Vermont.  Nothing more is known of his early years growing up in Vermont.
    Hyrum’s first marriage was to his cousin, Lucina Elmer.  To this couple were born two children.  Henry Elmer was born March 7, 1841 in Sand Prairie, Adams, Illinois.  Lucy Lodia Elmer was born July 3, 1843 in Lee County, Iowa.  Lucina Elmer died January 4, 1844, leaving the two young children in the care of an aunt, Hannah Child Elmer.  Hyrum’s mother, Sally Peake, had died about 1832 and is buried in Indiana.
    Hyrum was a river-runner. He would go up the river and cut logs, which were then bound together in a raft and floated down river to their destination. His father was a shingle maker. After his marriage to Mary she was often left alone while Hyrym rode the rafts down the Mississippi River to keep the logs floating.  She knew how dangerous this could be for more than one man had slipped between the logs to fade forever out of sight.
    The Mississippi River was frightening and many times when she was left alone, she would ppick up her babies and go to her father’s for the night.  It was said she would place Henry in the horse and the baby o a large stump.  She would get on the horse with Henry and then pick up the baby.
    Ont night she was alone with only a younger brother for companym she heard a prowler.  She realized the possibility they might be murdered.  Once again her prayers were answered, for when her young brother called of to the would-be intruder, his voice was so gruff and mature it frightened the prowler away..
    Hyrum grew up hearing and reading the Bible. He was ready when the missionaries came with the gospel in 1835 and was soon baptized, as was his family.  In 1835 Abram Butterfield, a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints paid a visit to the Elmer home.  Hyrum was baptized by Elder Butterfield and confirmed by Elder Hazen Eldrege.
    He lived in Vermont for 22 years and after his conversion, he went to Massachusetts to work to earn the money for his parents and family to join the saints. After two years, he went home, got his parents and left for Missouri .

    On June 9, 1845, eighteen months after the death of his first wife, Hyrum married sixteen year old, Mary Huffman, the daughter of James and Nancy Summers Huffman in Lee County, Iowa.  Mary was born April 16, 1829 in Columbia, Wood County, Ohio.   Mary took these two children of Hyrum to her heart and became a real mother to them.
    To this union were born twelve children, three sons and nine daughters as follows:
One unnamed son born in 1846 and died in infancy; Francis Marion Elmer, born November 11, 1847;  Cynthia Elmer, born May 13, 1850; Sally Elmer, born March 14, 1852; Mary Elizabeth Elmer, born June 7, 1854; Diana Elmer, born December 12, 1857; Tryphena Elmer, born April 5, 1860; Lovina Ursula Elmer, born December 1, 1862; Almira Jane Elmer, born April 18, 1865; Lucinda  Elmer, born September 20, 1867; Hyrum John Elmer, born April 1, 1871; Roxy Ann Elmer, born January 7, 1873.  The last seven of these children were born in Payson, Utah County, Utah.
    The Elmer family were in the midst of the wandering and persecutions of the Saints.  They eventually made the decision to come to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake.  They prepared to leave for their westward trek.  Their team consisted of one yoike of oxen and two yokes of cows. After making the necessary preparations, they departed Kanesville, Iowa June 28, 1852 in a company under the direction of Capt. Uriah Curtis.  Traveling in this same company were two of Hyrum’s brothers, William and Ira and their young families.  This company arrived in the Salt Lake Valley between September 29 and October 1, 1852.
    The rest of the family gradually made their way west. Upon their arrival they made their home near Bingham Canyon in Wight's Fort . Hyrum made shingles and ran Bishop Hunter 's cattle and dairy. In the spring of 1857 , Hyrum moved his family to Payson where they remained. He helped build up the community, where he was well liked and respected. Besides his own children, he and his wife took five children into their home to raise.
    Family records indicate that Hyrum King Elmer married twenty-one year old Margaret Huffman, sister to his wife, Mary, in 1852.  This marriage probably took place before their departure west.  Margaret died in 1854.
    The family spent their first year in Provo and then moved to  Whites Fort in 1853, where they made shingles from logs hauled from Bingham Canyon.  They also engaged in farming and raising livestock.
    In the spring of 1857, Hyrum moved his family to Payson, Utah County, Utah.  He and his son, Henry, remained at Whites Fort to continue working there for a few months.  Henry worked for Bishop Hunter who had charge of the church cattle, and operated a dairy near the fort.
In 1857 they moved to Payson, Utah where they acquired a good acreage of farm land.  Their first home was a log house with a mud roof, on the East bench or Hungry Slope as it was called.  They later built an adobe home which was one of the better homes in Payson at the time.
    Most of Hyrum’s family remained in Payson and helped to build up the community.  They passed through many trials and hardships pioneering the west.  Hyrum was well known for his thrift and industry and his kindly disposition.  Besides their own large family, Hyrum and Mary took five children into their home to raise and care for.
     Mary was a good motherly type woman and loved her family very much.  In her later years she loved to sit on one side of the heating stove in her rocker with her husband on the other side enjoying each other's companionship.
    Mary Huffman Elmer suffered a stroke in January 1900 and was ill for several months and passed away on December 10, 1902 at the age of 73..  Hyrum departed from this life on September 30, 1909 at the age of 93,  He passed away at his old home, owned then by his daughter, Mary McBeth.  He was survived by two sons, seven daughters, 76 grandchildren, 169 great-grandchildren and 3 great great-grandchildren.  Both Hyrum and Mary are buried in the Payson City Cemetery.

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