Franklin Archibald Rawlins

Franklin Archibald Rawlins

Franklin Archable Rawlins, fifth child of Harvey McGalyard and Margaret Elzirah Frost, was born 22 Jan, 1857, at Draper, Salt Lake Co., Utah. He spent the first eight years of his life in Draper, possibly starting school there.

In the fall of 1865 the family moved to Richmond, Cache Co., Utah to make their home, spending the next seven years there. Here Franklin attended school also, and spent his spare time doing the work that falls to the average farm boy. In the spring of 1870 his father sold his property to the school board and built a house in the south part of Richmond where they lived for the winter.

They moved to Lewiston, Cache Co., Utah in the spring of 1871 but returned to their home at Richmond in the fall to spend the winter, returning to Lewiston the following spring to make their permanent home.

Franklin A. worked on the farm with his father and brothers for a few years, after which he worked on the Railroad and freighted on the Montana Road from Corinne, Utah to Helena, Montana. This work he enjoyed very much probably due to his work with horses and the associations with other fellows. His skill at handling and caring for his team was above the average, and he got to be quite an expert, able to drive several span of horses at the same time.

He was baptized into the church 18 July, 1875 by Elder J. E. Layne and ordained to the office of an Elder 15 Dec. 1879 by William H. Lewis. Three days later on 18 Dec., 1879, he married Leona Leavitt, a daughter of George Leavitt and Janette Brinkerhoff, in the Salt Lake Endowment House.

Their first year of married life was spent in a little log house in the south western part of lewiston where their first child, George Franklin, was born. Then a two room house was built on some property which his brother, harvey M., had home-steaded; about forty acres. This house was about 1½ miles west of Cub River on what is now the main highway leading into town.

As there wasn’t any coal brought to this area at this time, Franklin A. found it necessary to make trips to the canyon for fuel wood for a number of years.

He loved to whistle and was good at it. Many times he was called on to do some whistling at a party or on a program. His comings and goings at home were nearly always accompanied by a merry whistling.

The forty acres were farmed for a number of years, then Franklin A. and his brothers Harvey M. and Samuel, bought a ranch in Auburn, Wyoming. They secured some cattle and took some of the Bullen boys of Richmond, Utah to herd cattle during the summer. Samuel lived on the ranch and took care of the cattle in the winter. One fall they had a fire which burned up their feed and a number of their cattle starved to death.

After a few years the brothers divided up interests and Samuel stayed on the ranch while Harvey M. and Franklin A. started farming in Lewiston. Franklin A. bought another piece of land, 15 acres, farther east. This property was later sold to the Amalgamated Sugar Company, just west and south of where the factory now stand. He also bought 80 acres in what is now Cornish, on the west side of Bear River.

January 4, 1885, Franklin A. was ordained a Seventy by Andrew L. Hyer and received into the 117th Quorum. Twelve years later, in 1897, he was called to the California Mission, where he labored in the southern part of the state until Nov. 1899. While on this mission he had a number of interesting experiences, and at one time witnessed a remarkable case of healing by administration. The sick man had been suffering froma brain hemorrhage but was restored to his normal health.

After he returned home he served at various times as a Ward Teacher, and during the Diptheria Epidemic in 1901 he was called to go administer to the sick nearly every day as well as his services needed at other times in case of sickness and death.

He was sustained as a teacher in the Sunday School 15 Jan., 1901, then on 30 Jan., 1901 he was appointed as second councilor to Bishop William Waddoups of Lewiston Ward and served in this capacity until he became a High Councilman in Benson Stake. He was ordained a High Priest 30 June 1901 by William H. Lewis.

A little over two years (Aug., 8, 1903) after Franklin A. returned from the mission field his wife died following childbirth, leaving him to care for a new born babe and five other children, one of whom was an invalid. Two months later the new baby died.

He now found it too difficult to farm both in Cornish and Lewiston so he traded his 80 acres in Cornish to his brother Joseph W. for his farm in Lewiston. Later he sold this farm and bought land north of his home and across the street from the A D. Smith property, a 30 acre piece, from Abner Van Orden, William and D.H. Van Orden. Later he bought the Everett C. Van Orden fam north and west of this 30 acre piece and devoted his time to raising sugar beets and dairying, having at one time, one of the best herds of registered Holstein Cattle in Cache County.

About 1905-06 the Lewiston State Bank was built and opened for business, and he soon was chosen as on of its’ directors.

On the 10th of April, 1904 he was sustained as First Councilor to Bishop William Waddoups and on Dec. 17, 1905 this Bishopric was released and William Waddoups was sustained as second councilor to Alma Merrill in Benson Stake Presidency. Franklin A. was made a member of the Stake High Council. His special calling for part of this time while serving in this capacity was to work with the Stake Relief Society.

On June 21, 1906 he became a trustee in the Lewiston Town Board. Feb. 8, 1907 he and S.F. Wiser were selected to try to obtain a right of way for a street through Havey M. Rawlins Jr. and Edward Leavitt’s farms so the children could go to the school house that way from the east part of Lewiston.

March 12, 1907 he was chosen to supervise getting a drain running East and West of town. Jan 6, 1908 he became President of the Lewiston Town Board and on 13 April, 1909 met with the officials of the Amalgamated Sugar Co. on bonding the district to put in a water system. He was released as President of the town board 10 Jan., 1910. He was one of the judges of special election held Jan. 30, 1912 to bond the district for $47,000.00 for a water system. Franklin A. and Martin Pound were empowered by the Lewiston City, on April 20, 1915 to purchase the Comish Spring for the water supply for Lewiston.

When the transportation problem came along Franklin A. was one of a number of men who helped in getting the Electric Railroad into Lewiston and on 30 Jan., 1915 he made his last payment on this Railroad.

Friday, 21 Mar., 1913 he was made President of the First Dairymen Inspection Association in the State of Utah.

On Dec. 17, 1915 he was put in as President Pro-Tem of Lewiston City by the resignation of Martin Pound and on Jan. 4, 1916 hew was elected Mayor of Lewiston City, a position he held for two years. He was released Jan. 11, 1918.

Franklin A. was a dance manager in the Ward for a number of years and he was such a good neighbor that he won the love and respect of all who knew him. He was always a wise counselor to his children and others who asked for his advice, never believing in corporal punishment, rather taking the idea that a few words of encouragement and advise were more effective and above all, setting a good example for others to follow.

He sent two of his sons into the mission field and supported one daughter-in-law while her husband was on his mission.

On July 19, 1916 he married Caroline Jensine Weeding in the Logan Temple and had her son, John W., sealed to them. Caroline was born Sept. 1870 at Hyrum, Utah, a daughter of Hans A. Weeding and Jensine Frongner. Her first hustband and the father of her son was John Henry Hanson.

Caroline first came into the Rawlins home as a housekeeper and to care for Adith, the invalid daughter, Elzirah was getting married and leaving to care for a home of her own. After living in the Rawlins home for about a year she married Franklin A. She gave Adith very good care, in so much, that Adith became very fond of her. This marriage relieved Franklin A. of much work and made it possible for him to continue in his work for the public more effectively. 

Franklin always enjoyed a good, clean joke and could laugh just as heartily as anyone over a joke whether it be on himself or others. His oldest son’s wife, Nellie, relates the following experiences to illustrate this:

“Just a few weeks before my marriage, Elzirah told me she had plenty of rags and if I was willing, to come to their place and sew them, I could have them to make some rugs. I often went up on Friday evening after school and stayed all night and next day to sew carpet rags. One evening as I passed the barn on my way to the Rawlins home, I noticed some planks extending from the barn door to the top of a manure pile. At the moment Franklin A. came out of the barn door pushing a wheel barrow loaded with manure. As he got half way between the door and the pile of manure, the wheel-barrow began to wabble and in his struggle to keep it on the plank, he slipped. The wheel-barrow went to the ground and he sat on the plank, where he spun around as if he was on a pivet with his arms and legs flying in the air fighting desperately to try to keep from following the wheel-barrow.

“I didn’t know Brother Rawlins too well at that time and didn’t think I dared pay too much attention, so I hurried to the house pretending I hadn’t seen. I said nothing to anyone about it until a short time later, when he came to the house and the first words he said were: ‘Nellie, did you see me fall?’ I couldn’t keep still any longer and we all had a good laugh. I never was with him after that if we happened to pass a place where a plank extended from the barn door out into the corral but what he always called my attention to it and we enjoyed a good laugh again.

“This same evening, Elzirah and her father, Franklin A., went to a show and on the way home he had another fall. The ground was slippery from a recent rain. This time, in falling, he struck his head down in a narrow ditch, leaving his duffy hat open side up in the ditch. They came home laughing and telling George and me about it. Elzirah and I had a hard time quieting ourselves down to sleep after we went to bed that night.

“Only once did I ever see him a little bit angry and that was when he brought his coat to the house and asked Elzirah to sew the buttonholes up. I remember her that he said: ‘Sew them up,’ so she did. When he came in to get the coat he was in a hurry to take a load of beets to the factory. As he put the coat on he discovered what had been done pulling out his pocket knife, he cut the buttonholes open and left with never a word. We were too scared to laugh and never had the courage to ever mention it to him in after years.

Franklin A. died April 22, 1925 in the William Budge Memorial Hospital in Logan, Cache Co., Utah from appendicitis and complications. At the time of his death he was survived by five children and twelve grandchildren. He and Leona had eight living children, three of whom had died in infancy, and two still births.

His wife Caroline only lived four months after his death. Her death was caused by a broken neck from a fall down the cellar steps. She died on 1 Aug., 1925.