Sally Penn

May 15, 1800 - May 11, 1882



(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 in 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 incompetence 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:

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 Massachusetts. 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 Barton’s 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 Barton’s 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 Barton’s 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.



This page last updated on September 14, 2011 .