LIFE OF SALLY PENN BARTON
(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
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
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
Penn 6 June 1798 Candis Barton 25 Nov 1841
Penn 15 May 1800 John Barton 11 May 1882
Penn 16 Mar 1804 Nancy Anderson
Elizabeth (Betsy) 19 July 1808 Joel Barton (twin?)
Penn 19 July 1808 1 Oct 1819 (twin?)
records show that Sally
branch of the family were living in Virginia in the early 1700
It is believed that the Penn family came to Virginia from
Massachusetts. However, Sally
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
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.)
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
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
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.
girls kept close contact with their folks in Utah by
correspondence as long as they lived.
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
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.
Saints were organized into companies of 100 wagons with a
Captain over each 100, then sub—divided into 1st and
with a Captain over each and those into 10
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.
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.)
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.
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
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.)
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
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
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
Southwest corner on a lot given his wife Mary, by her mother,
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
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.
in her blindness her hands were never idle, she knitted
constantly, helping out with the clothing needs of her loved
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.
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.
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