Henry Eastman Day

Henry Day was born in the town of Limerick, York County, Maine, on February 6, 1824. He was the son of Henry Day Sr. and Nancy Eastman, and the brother of four boys and three girls.

At the age of five years, his parents moved to the town of Bridgeton, Cumberland County, Maine, to settle a new territory. He stayed with his Grandfather and Grandmother Eastman, at Cornish, Maine, until he was about ten years old. He then moved to Bridgeton and lived with his parents. From that time on he started to work the best he could to gain means to help support himself and his parents. He worked in this way until his seventeenth year. He then left Maine on September 3, 1841, to go to the state of Mississippi. He was hired along with nine other men to go there for the purpose of clearing a plantation and to prepare for cultivation.

They worked for eight months at $24.00 a month. Henry lived on $15.00 and sent the rest home to his parents. When they had finished clearing for a plantation, most of the young men took their money and went back to Maine. Henry worked his way up the river doing whatever odd job he could find and finally reached Nauvoo, Illinois. In Nauvoo he was repairing a bridge that had been washed out between Carthage and Warsaw, when a drunken mob came along threatening the life of Joseph Smith, who was then in the Carthage Jail. They were going to kill Henry because he didn't have the bridge repaired, but a man recognized him and said, "No he isn't one of those **** Mormons. Don't kill him!" So his life was spared. The mob had a barrel of whisky and a tin cup on a flatbed wagon and most of the ruffians were very drunk. They had to take a longer route to Carthage that day.

Henry decided to go west. None of his histories say so, but it looks as if he followed Leah Rawlins who had gone west with her family. He left for the Salt Lake Valley on April 8, 1850, with a wagon and team, but when he arrived he was on horseback. He traveled alone, but was not alone all the way, for there were many people in wagons on the way to California to hunt for gold. He arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on July 2, 1850. That same year, September, 1850, he went to what is now Draper, Utah, and took up land for a farm. The next year he built a home, the second one built in Draper. On July 13, 1851, he joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and soon after, on January 1, 1852, he married Leah Rawlins. She was born on September 19, 1827, in Apple Creek, Illinois, the daughter of James and Jane (Sharp) Rawlins.

When the Mormons sent teams to bring the Saints across the plains, Henry was always on hand to do his part in furnishing teams and wagons. In fact, he was always on hand to help build up the country. He helped to buitd a fort in Draper to prepare for the protection of the people from the Indians and was involved in all the Indian trouble at that time.

In 1857 Johnston's Army was on the way to wipe out the Mormons. Henry was called under Captain Samuel Bennion to go to Fort Bridger with 50 men. There he was selected by General Daniel H. Wells to go east with Captain Lot Smith under sealed orders. At Black Fork the orders were opened and they learned they were to burn the supply wagons of Johnston's Army. Henry was one of the 25 men who marched up to the army and told those in command what they intended to do. They were angrily told that there were not enough of them to do it. Lott Smith told them that all he had to do was whistle if he needed more help, even though his men all knew there were no more men within 40 miles. The soldiers handed over their "bill of laden" and Lott Smith and his men took all the firearms, put the men, about 100, under guard and burned the wagons. Henry said he cut up the yoke the oxen wore for kindling to light the wagons. When peace was negotiated Henry Day returned home.

He moved his family, along with the other Draper families, to Mountainville, now Alpine, while Johnston's Army passed through the valley and located at Camp Floyd. While at Mountainville their third child, Leah Jane, was born.

Henry Day and his wife Leah were the parents of seven children; James Henry, Joseph Elisha, Leah Jane, EInora Anjuline, Charles Eastman, Derias Rawlins, and Harriet Lucinda. The last three children died while small.

He married Elizabeth Cottrell on November 1, 1862. Nine children were born to them; Samuel C., Nancy Catherine, George Addison, Elias John, Andrew Jackson, Mary Elizabeth, David William (who died in infancy), Ellen Lucretia, and Rachel Ann.

He married Caroline Eugenia Augusta Nylander on September 21, 1867. Two children were born to them: Matilda Caroline and Eugenia Augusta, who died in infancy.

In 1873 Henry was called to help colonize Arizona. He was released and returned home with the rest of the company that was called because of the drought.

Henry Day was set apart as a counselor to Bishop Isaac M. Stewart of Draper and served in that capacity for 28 years. He worked on many railroad grades built in Utah in the early days. Henry Day, Joseph Rawlins, and Milo Andrus took the contract and built the sand cut and the fill beyond the Point of the Mountain, and the strip just this side of the point. The railroad was being built through Draper at this time.

Henry E. Day and Joseph S. Rawlins helped form a company so a canal could be built on the east side of the Jordan River to irrigate lands that would not get water from any other source. Farmers could work out their water rights on the canal during construction. Consequently, it took about ten years to build the canal to South Cottonwood. Bishop Joseph S. Rawlins was president of the canal and Henry Day was superintendent until their declining years.

Henry was very kind to the poor and let many a poor man get their first cow from him. He let them wait until they were in better circumstances to pay him back.

In 1884, and again in 1890, he went back to his old home in Maine to visit his people, preach the gospel to them, and also to gather genealogy. After having spent a very useful and successful life as a Latter-day Saint, he died on October 17, 1898, in Draper, Utah, and was buried in the Draper Cemetery.

Rachel Day Patience

Draper Historical Society. The History of Draper, Utah, Volume One: People of Draper 1849-1924. (Salt Lake City, UT: Agreka History Publishing, 1999), pp. 221-224, Draper Library.

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