John Samuel Barton Sr.

February 19, 1796 - November 13, 1846




(Copied from Arta Barton Smith, Lehi, Utah — April 1962)

"Facts taken from the Family Record of William P. Barton, a grandson, and verbal information given by John B. Topham, Jr., a great grandson. Arranged by Nora Lund of the Paragonah Ward Genealogical Committee - 1955."

Since I have been working with the fine Barton people of this Ward in getting more complete family records of their own, I have felt the just pride they have in their ancestor, Sally Penn Barton. As no written account of her life is available, I am taking it upon myself to write down a few of the known facts. It is with deep incompetance and humility that I attempt to write of this noble woman.

Sally Penn was born 15 May 1800 in Elbert County, Georgia, the fourth child of Joseph Penn and Sally King Penn. Other members of the family were:

Name Born Married Died
Susannah Penn 2 Aug 1790 Phillip Smith  
Phillip Penn 16 July 1792 Mary Ann Starr Nov 1850
William Penn 19 Nov 1796 Rhoma Reciman 25 May 1851
Joseph Penn 6 June 1798 Candis Barton 25 Nov 1841
Sally Penn 15 May 1800 John Barton 11 May 1882
John Penn 16 Mar 1804 Nancy Anderson  
Elizabeth (Betsy) 19 July 1808 Joel Barton (twin?)  
Julia Penn 19 July 1808 1 Oct 1819 (twin?)  

Family records show that Sally*s branch of the family were living in Virginia in the early 1700*s. It is believed that the Penn family came to Virginia from Massachussets. However, Sally*s parents were living in Georgia at the time of her birth. Nothing is known to this generation of her early life. It was perhaps in 1817 that she married John Barton, son of William Barton and Nancy Hunter Barton. He was born 19 Feb 1796 in North Carolina. It would be interesting to know the details of their courtship and marriage. They took up a homestead in Lebanon, St. Clair County, Illinois, where they were blessed with 10 children.

Sally heard the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter—day Saints preached by the humble servant of God, Elder Wilford Woodruff, and believed. She was baptized in 1835. (It is presumed that her husband, John, was baptized at this time also.)

After joining the Church, it was her one desire to see the Prophet Joseph Smith and hear him preach. So, no doubt accompanied by her husband, she rode horseback to Nauvoo to accomplish this great desire.

It was a sad time for Sally when her dear companion was called by death the 13th of Nov. 1846 at their home in Lebanon, leaving her a widow at the age of 46. These would be trying times for her and her family because the Saints were enduring severe persecution at the hands of wicked mobs. As fast as possible the church leaders were arranging for the Saints to make the Journey to the Rocky Mountains so they could live in peace and safety.

William, Sally*s oldest son, with his wife Esther and son Alma came West in 1850. But it was not until 1852 that Sally and the rest of the children were able to come. Elizabeth, John Wesley, Sarah and Eliza Ann had all died previously.

John B. Topham says that the Bartons journeyed to Iowa and were making final preparations for the long trek when the daughters, Matilda Jane, a widow with three small children, and Julia King, heard of the encouraged practice of plural marriage in Utah. They vowed that they would not live as "seconds" to anyone. If they had to be married to some man who already had a wife, they refused to go another step. (Julia may have been married before this according to an old letter found.)

Julia remained in Iowa, married William Gedney and had a family. Matilda Jane went back to the old home in Illinois. She had quite a hard time getting along though the RELATIVES who lived there were good to her and the children (old letters.)

In 1860 she married her cousin, Jessie Barton Nicholls, who provided well for her needs the rest of her life. She had one son by this marriage, George Stevens Nicholls.

The girls kept close contact with their folks in Utah by correspondence as long as they lived. Sally would naturally be somewhat grieved to be separated from her only living daughters but she felt that she must go on with her sons to Zion. Joseph was a man of 21 years and so, of course, took the responsibility of his 52 year old mother and the younger boys, Stephen 13 and Samuel 11 years old, in their travels.

According to Church History and known facts the mode of conveyance at that time was in covered wagons drawn by ox teams. The wagons were loaded with the necessities for the long journey, but many of the people were obliged to walk.

The Saints were organized into companies of 100 wagons with a Captain over each 100, then sub—divided into 1st and 2nd 50*s with a Captain over each and those into 10*s. At times the journey was quite pleasant, other times the Indians were bad and they were often short of food and the climatic conditions made traveling miserable.

Sally Barton and her sons arrived in the Great Salt Lake Valley in September of 1852, being from between 3 or 4 months on the way. It is regrettable that it is not known by the family members in whose Company the Bartons traveled. They did not remain long in Salt Lake but came right on South to Parowan to join their son and brother, William. (He met them there — S.L.)

The first company of the Iron Mission Pioneers arrived in Parowan 13 Jan 1851. Others followed in the Spring. It was with this company of 30 wagons that William and his family traveled, arriving 4 April 1851. He with others were quick to see the possibilities of good farms, watered with the streams coming down Red Creek Canyon and Little Creek Canyons. The Indians were bad, so to protect themselves and their stock from the plundering red men, they built a post stockade. They also traveled back and forth from Parowan. (William P.)

The next year or so President Brigham Young instructed all those who wished to build a fort in Paragonah for protection against the Indians and move their families here. Hence, the Bartons helped build the Fort and were among the very first settlers of this town. The rooms, with the doors facing toward the center of the fort, were assigned to each family. Sally and her boys lived in the Southeast corner, while William and his family occupied the Southwest corner. When the Indian troubles were over and it was safe to leave, the people moved out of the fort and laid out a town site, built homes and did more extensive farming in the fields.

Joseph married Eliza Anderson (and later married Lucy Ann Butler.) Stephen married Jane Evans (later married Eliza Hoy or May Smith) and John Samuel married Eliza Jane Gingell. (William took Mary Williamson for his plural wife.)

The older boys decided to help build a nice adobe house for John Samuel and their mother could live with him until they got their homes built, then she could stay with each of them in turn as she pleased. John Samuel*s home then, was built on a lot secured across the street East from the fort. (The house stood just North of where the Topham store is located today, on the same lot.) Joseph built his house a block East across the street. Stephen went one block South on the same block as Joseph*s. William moved to Beaver County to run the gist mill over there. In his late years he brought his wife Mary and came back to Paragonah and made his home on the lot across the street West of the old fort*s Southwest corner on a lot given his wife Mary, by her mother, Ann Williamson.

As Grandma Sally Penn Barton grew older she was obliged to walk with a cane and her eye sight failed completely. On one occasion she was living with her son Stephen when a big steer he was fattening for beef got out of the corral. Sally was out in the "door yard" when the steer spied her and charged. She did her best to fight him off with her cane but he continued to blow and snort over her and bunt her around. She was a slight woman, weighing about 125 lbs. and was about 5*6" tall, so she was no match for her opponent. In her haste to get inside of the house she fell over backwards in the door and was helpless until the women folks inside heard the commotion and came to her rescue.

Even in her blindness her hands were never idle, she knitted constantly, helping out with the clothing needs of her loved ones.

She died at the age of 82 at the home of her son, Joseph, on 11 May 1882, in Paragonah and was taken to Parowan for burial because there was no cemetery here at that time. She lived almost one half of her life a widow and we can imagine her husband, John, was happy to welcome her HOME.

NOTE: On some records Sally is called "Sarah" Penn. Also Elizabeth Penn is called Betsy. Pioneers of 1851 — Daughters of Utah Pioneers "Heart Throbs" Vol 12 p. 431.

NOTE: When she left Lebanon to come west she gave her brother-in-law Hugh power of attorney, and those records are signed Sally Barton. I have a copy of this document. Gaye Bateman.


Copied from Arta Barton Smith, Lehi, Utah, April 1962

Information from sons William H. and Dave Barton 1954, Dates from family records. Facts arranged by Nora Lund.

John Samuel Barton was the 10th and last child born to his parents, John Barton and Sally Penn Barton. His birth place was the family farm at Lebanon, St. Clair County, Illinois. The date was 29 July 1841. His father died when the lad was but 5 years of age.

This time was a difficult one for the Mormon people and they were being persecuted by the mobs. Sammie would no doubt be impressed when his oldest brother William and family left Illinois with a group of immigrants for the West in the year of 1850, with the promise that he would prepare a place in the Valleys of the Mountains for his mother and the rest of the family.

Samuel*s mother, Sally, brothers Joseph and Stephen and sisters Matilda Jane and Julia King (the other 4 children having died previously) all worked hard to make preparations to join William in Utah. It so happened that his sisters didn*t cross the plains after all. Matilda returned to the old home and remarried while Julia married and made her home in Iowa, I believe. They crossed the plains in the summer of 1852, arriving in September. Samuel was 11 years old at this time and could help some with the camp chores.

William met the family in Salt Lake City and brought them right on to his home in Parowan. When the fort was built in Paragonah, Samuel came with the family and lived in the Fort. When the Indians became more friendly the people started moving from the Fort and building homes in the newly surveyed town site. Samuel had an excellent location for his new home, it was just across the street east from the Fort. It was of adobe and had three rooms, a log kitchen and a cellar out in the lot to keep their potatoes, carrots, etc. in. His mother, Sally, lived with him most of the time.

Samuel grew to be a fine looking man, tall and straight, perhaps a little better than six feet in height, his average weight was about 180 pounds. He wore a beard and mustache which was in style in those days. He was quite a sport and enjoyed dancing, theaters, and such activities. He and his pals thought nothing of walking to Parowan for such entertainment. Shoes were quite a luxury and these young men would walk the 4˝ miles to Parowan bare footed and carry their precious shoes to keep them nice for their appearance in public.

Such a fine young man would naturally want to find a companion early in life, so he was just 20 years old when he persuaded pretty Eliza Jane Gingell to become his wife on the 6th of November 1861, here in Paragonah. They took the long journey to Salt Lake City and received their endowments and were sealed for time and eternity on the 9th of November 1866. This was in the Endowment House. Samuel was also sealed to his parents in the St. George Temple 22 Feb 1941.

Eliza Jane was a daughter of William and Mary Ann Woodham Gingell, converts to the L.D.S. Church in Australia. Eliza remembered well her trip across the Pacific ocean on a flat boat and what a hazardous journey they had, finally landing at San Pedro, Calif. This company of saints came on to Paragonah by the southern route.

The new home (of this young Barton couple) was in the process of building when Samuel and Eliza were married. It still wasn*t comple1ted when their first child, John Samuel Penn Barton was born 3 Aug 1862 (Note: before they were sealed), so he put in his appearance at the Silas S. Smith home adjoining the Bartons, but all the others were born in the family home. It might be well to mention now each member of the family and when they arrived:

Name Born Married
John Samuel Penn 3 Aug 1862 Martha Elizabeth Williamson
Stephen Alma 20 May 1864 Ellen Sophia Lund
Matilda Jane 14 July 1866 James Burrus Davenport
Joseph Wesley 3 Nov 1868 Margaret Ann Ownes
William Henry 17 Apr 1871 Sarah Ann Hanks
Sally Ann 30 Mar 1873 1st - Win. G. Bleak
    2nd - George Harris
Charlotte Caroline 6 Feb 1876 Edward Bardsley
David Philip 28 Nov 1877 Cornelia Page
Eliza Esther 17 Nov 1880 Albert Dailey Robb

(At this time Dec. 1956 all have passed on but Wm and David – William passed away a few days after this account was written.)

Samuel*s life long occupation was that of a farmer and rancher. He homesteaded 160 acres of land ˝ mile North and 1 mile West of town. This was valuable meadow land in the early days due to the sub—irrigation condition. The grass grew lush and abundant and was cut and stacked for winter use. It took five years of residence during the summer months on an entry to fulfill the law and prove upon a homestead such as this. So, the Barton family built a lumber cabin and proceeded to prove upon their property. It was while living down on the Meadows in the Summer of 1877 that Dave Phillip put in his appearance in this little cabin.

It was a nice place to spend the summer. Five or six cows were milked and the woman folks made butter and cheese. Sam needed farm land to raise hay, grain and other crops, so he bought 15 acres of land from Ben Watts in the South field, what is known as the Black Rock area. He also bought 5 acres from Bro. Hunt.

His sons say he was a good farmer and raised abundant crops. He and the older boys cut grain with the "cradle" until more modern machinery was brought into the Valley, then he hired his grain cut and thrashed by the easier method. He used a hand plow to prepare the land for planting.

In the early days the range land near to the communities of Parowan and Paragonah were used jointly to range their stock on. To make use of the feed on the land in a more systematic manner a Cooperative Sheep and also a Cattle Company was formed.

Along with the other progressive stock men, Samuel took stock in these Companies. When he drew out beef or mutton for family use it was charged against his account or company*s stock. He had charge of the Co-op sheep herd for awhile. Then for about 12 years he took his family and spent the summers there making butter and cheese from the 75 cows he rented from the Co—op herd. He and his boys also did lots of fencing for the Company. He was paid some cash and some butter and cheese for this work.

Samuel was a very ambitious man and to better support his family he freighted to Silver Reef. The load consisted of commodities such as butter, cheese, eggs, meat and grain and such things that brought ready cash at this flourishing mining town.

He was a lover of horses and always drove a good team. Some of the horses he owned which were remembered well by his sons were Sam, a yellow, Charlie, a brown, Don a brown, Dan a gray, and Jim, a bay.

Samuel was a friend to the Indians and could talk their language fluently. He had much contact with them in town and also in Bear Valley. He would trade flour and other things to them for deer meat. Some of the best known Indians to the family were: Curley Jim, Punus, Pharashant and Kanosh. Curley Jim would borrow Sam*s gun and keep it for months while he hunted in the hills. When he returned it he would always bring meat for the Bartons.

Dick was a Paiute Indian. When he became old and blind his tribe went off and left him to die out to Black Rock. However, he lived 10 or 12 years after that because of the tender care given him by Samuel Barton and Jonathan Prothero. They fixed up a tent for him, warm and comfortable, and provided him with food as long as he lived.

His sons remember him as a strict disciplinarian. When he said a thing he meant it. He was also kind and considerate to his family. He was a good neighbor and friendly in his manner to the towns people.

Della Davenport Marsden, a grand daughter of Parowan remembers what a loving, kind grandfather he was and how he enjoyed having her stop in after school and play the organ.

She loved to hear him tell the story of the little boy who got lost up Little Creek Canyon. It went something like this: The Openshaw family lived out to Little Creek on their farm. One day little Jobbie went for a walk. He walked and walked until he got tired. He tried to find his way home, but he couldn*t. He sat down by some rocks and bushes to rest and pretty soon he was sound asleep. His mother missed him and called loudly for him to come, all the time searching frantically for her little boy. The father came and they both searched, but to no avail. The father then came to town for help. Samuel Barton was one who came to the Openshaws to give assistance. With him went his pet dog. The men gave a good search to the house, the field, and then made their way to the mouth of Little Creek Canyon. The dog ran ahead of his master and there he found the sleeping boy by the creek, the rocks and the brush.

Samuel was very prompt and punctual in his habits. He always went to the field in the mornings at the same time, came back for lunch at exactly 12 o*clock noon, gave his horses a chance to eat and rest for an hour before he took them out again for the afternoon*s work. He quit for the evening and was back home exactly at 6 O*clock P.M. People in Paragonah vowed they could set their clocks accurately by the goings and comings of Brother Barton.

When his chores were done in the evening he was home. He was never one to take himself off away from his family.

John's youngest son, John Samuel Barton Jr.

John's sister, Matilda Jane Barton


This page last updated on September 11, 2011 .