Stephen Rollins Barton is a cousin of mine on my Father's side of the family. Richard
Easton -> (1938) -> Ray Easton (1911) -> Eva Jane Barton (1879) -> John Hunter Barton
(1858) -> William John Barton (1821)
Stephen Rollins Barton was the 5th son and 6th child born to William and Esther.
William had moved his family to establish a mine in Minersville, first called the
“Rollins Mine.” He built the first log home there, where Stephen was born. Even
though Stephen was born into a polygamist family (William had married Mary Williamson
in 1857), he would never remember both families living together. In 1862 Mary (first
child born in 1863) moved to a house near the mill where William worked in Beaver and
Esther and children lived in the adobe house William built on the corner of third East
and third North in Beaver, later moving to Greenville.
In 1874 at age 13 Steve went to work hauling water. He drove various teams for 45
days at $1/day. With the money he bought “an old cow, two changes of underwear and a
$9 pair of Buckingham Boots.” A few months later, 1875, he was kicked in the knee by a
horse that left him so lame he had to use a stick for a cane. Unfortunately just one
month later he was thrown off a horse. The horse’s heels hit him as she tipped over
and broke his leg in two places. He “bawled and cussed” but his new boot had to be
cut off! They did what they could to help him, but the upper break was never discovered,
which left his right leg nearly one inch shorter than the left. Because of being lame,
he was unable to do heavy work, so became a guard with his older brothers at the Beaver
County Jail. John D. Lee was incarcerated at the time in Beaver. Stephen became convinced
that Lee was made the “scape goat” for the Mountain Meadow Massacre. Unfortunately this
experience caused him to have very negative feelings towards the LDS church, influencing
his thinking the remainder of his life.
In 1883, at age 23, Stephen married Sarah Elizabeth Miller. He owned two cows and a
yellow horse named “Coyote.” Shortly after they were married, Sarah and Steve went on
a horseback ride together. Sarah was on Coyote, who took advantage of Sarah’s lack of
horsemanship as well as riding side saddle and ran just fast enough to stay some distance
away from the slower horse Steve was riding. Coyote nearly unsaddled Sarah as he headed
for home. The story was a source of friendly jibes for a long time.
The couple lived at Grandma Barton’s in Greenville for a short time till they could get
together enough furniture to move into one of the log homes Steve and his brother John built
in Greenville. The homes were about 18X 20 feet. Steve and Sarah lived in the log house
until 1903. All of the children (William, Adelaide, Fletcher, Blanch, Barbara, Sherman,
and Hilda) except for the youngest, Annie, were born in the log house. During this time
Stephen worked on a series of cattle drives, accumulating many harrowing and interesting
stories. Steve, along with his brothers, acquired a good deal of acreage in Greenville,
and made his living mostly by raising cattle.
Grandpa Stephen Rollins was a well educated man, having attended public and private school
for 12 years in Beaver, then the University of Deseret in Provo and the Beaver Central School.
He was very strict about honesty and attendance to duty, and made certain his children were
taught well. He took plenty of time to do a job well, was a self-made carpenter, practical
veterinarian, and expert horseman. He was a courageous and outspoken man who hated weakness
He passed away at his home in Greenville in February 1844 at the age of 83.