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Rasmussen, Helen 1915-2000
Rawson, Martha Amelia 1866-1910
Rees, Beverly 1934-2001
Richardson, Reed C 1917-2000
Roberts, Phoebe Ann 1842-1919
Robertson, Robert Earl 1922-2000
Rolen, Nora Ellen 1874-1956
Rone, Sarah Elizabeth 1808-1867
Runner, Loren D -2000
Runner, Mary Elizabeth 1827-1893
Martha Amelia Rawson (1866-1910)
Martha Amelia Rawson (1866-1910)

Martha Amelia Rawson was born April 4, 1866 to Arthur Morrison Rawson and Margaret Angeline Pace in New Harmony, Washington County, Utah.  Her parents moved the family to West Harrisville in the fall of 1866 while Martha Amelia was still an infant.

Martha Amelia (Millie) was the 4th child in a family of 12 children.  Her siblings are Lucinda Elizabeth, Amanda Jane, Margaret Ann, Arthur Franklin, Dora May, William John, Mary Louette, Horace Edward, James Daniel, Laura, and Samantha Percilla.  Millie’s mother had taught her daughters very well in the skills of homemaking.  Her sister Mary Louette said, “Everything that Mother did around the house we learned to do with her.  She taught us to crochet, knit, and sew.  This was the way we spent our time.  We also learned to cook and bake bread.  Everything Mother did, we did.”  She also recalled, “Grandfather Rawson, did not want any of the Rawson girls curling their hair, so Father was very strict about how we dressed and wore our hair.  I wanted to curl my hair as the other girls did, so one evening I put my hair in curlers.  It was time for family prayers when I finished.  When I marched into the room with curlers in my hair, Father said, ‘What is the matter with your hair daughter?  If God wanted you to have curls, He’d have made them for you.  March right into your room and take them out.’  The family waited for me while I took the curlers out and combed my hair back the way it should be.”

Martha Amelia was fifteen when James Henry Taylor, then twenty-three, stopped at the Arthur Rawson home upon his return from Montana.  Young Martha Amelia greeted him warmly and invited him to have some breakfast.  James Henry declined, saying how anxious he was to see his family.  He was most likely very surprised to learn that both Amanda Jane and Margaret Ann, Millie’s older sisters,  had been married while he was away, but he was probably most surprised at the change in young Martha Amelia (Millie).  She was no longer a child but was now a very beautiful young lady with dancing blue eyes and golden blonde hair.  One gentleman said of her, that she was the prettiest girl he had ever seen.

James Henry began to court the charming young Millie Rawson soon after his return home.  He wanted to have a home prepared for the lovely lady he hoped to make his bride, so he worked very hard and saved his money carefully for two years until he was finally able make a down payment on a farm of about 50 acres with a three room house on it.

On January 11, 1883, in the Salt Lake Endowment House, Martha Amelia Rawson married James Henry Taylor for time and all eternity.

James Henry brought his radiant bride into their lovely home.   Jim and Millie planted a lovely garden every year, raised chickens, and kept cows from which they sold milk and butter.  They also grew hay, grain, and potatoes on their farm.  The family was almost self sustaining making cider from their apples as well as vinegar.  They kept bees for honey, raised their own meat animals, curing and smoking the meat to preserve it, and making soap from the fat off the meat.  Obviously both Jim and Millie had learned to be industrious from their childhood. 

In the fall of 1889, Millie’s parents and their family of seven children still at home moved from West Harrisville to Ammon, Idaho.  No doubt young Millie missed her family extremely.  They had lived so close and had been so much help to the very young bride.

In 1890 James Henry and Martha Amelia bought a molasses mill on Six Mile Creek which had been built by Millie’s brother, Daniel Berry Rawson who had recently died.  Molasses was made by grinding the cane, then crushing it to extract the juice which was boiled in huge vats until the molasses was the proper consistency.  Then it was poured into cans to be used and sold.  Jim’s children, Dora Evaline and James were given the responsibility of keeping the fires going under the vats to keep the syrup boiling.  They later recalled how they disliked that job!

Jim was a very hard working man and worked in the winter to supplement the family income.  On his last winter trip, James Henry carried home $300.00 in $20.00 gold pieces and while telling this story, Jim’s daughter, Dora, said, “I remember playing with the gold pieces and how worried mother was that someone might see so much money in the house and try to steal it.  She kept all the blinds pulled and was greatly relieved the next day when daddy took the money and paid off the farm.  Dad’s happiness was unbounded now that he could finish paying for his home.”

Now that the home was all paid for Jim and Millie launched big plans to enlarge it to meet the needs of their growing family; two more children had arrived (Rozella on December 17, 1889 and Joseph Arthur on 30 January 1892, and another was on the way).  Jim began to haul rock for the foundation of the planned construction but before he could complete the project his old leg injury had become malignant and he was also stricken with diabetes.

The baby, Horace Hyrum was born to Millie on 21 January 1894 and only ten months later Millie’s husband died at age 37 leaving her at the tender age of 28 years old with six children to support and care for:  ages ten, eight, six, four, two, and ten months.

The farm had to be worked so Millie rented it for shares of the crop.  There were ten or twelve cows to be milked twice each day by hand and the children were still so small that most of the work was Millie’s.

Millie made about 60 pounds of butter a week and delivered it to customers in Ogden.  She also did sewing and nursing of sick for her neighbors and thus she was able to provide for her young family.

Busy as she was, Millie always saved time to serve the Lord by filling her church assignments.  She was secretary in the Relief Society for sixteen years and a counselor then President of the Y.W.M.I.A. and also a Sunday School teacher.

In 1902, almost eight years after she had become a widow, Millie married William Richard Summers of Plain City.  They became the parents of four sons: Clarence William born on December 10, 1902; Franklin LaVaughn born on August 10, 1904; Loran Parley born on October 6, 1906; and Maurice born on July 12, 1909.

When Maurice was only nine months old Millie became very ill and on April 16, 1910 she passed away at the age of 44, leaving her sad husband with 10 children.  Ellen, Dora, James, and Rozella were all married and had homes of their own.  Joseph Arthur was 18 and Horace was now 16; therefore, these young men could quite ably take care of themselves.  But Millie’s four young sons by her second marriage were only seven, five, three, and nine months when she died.  She was buried in the Ogden City Cemetery on April 19, 1910 next to her first husband, James Henry Taylor.


History compiled and written by Margaret LaRue Taylor Mietchen
Edited by Ruth H. Barker
Sources: Biography of James Henry Taylor written by Lucille Bates Sommers, a granddaughter from information provided her by Jim and Millie’s daughters Ellen and Dora.
Transcript of a talk given at the Joseph Taylor Family reunion (July 1975) by Dora Bates (daughter of James Henry).
Family Records in the possession of Ethel Bates Holt, a granddaughter.
Historical Sketch of Ogden City and Weber County (1880) by Joseph Stanford.
History of Farr West (1959)
Life Story of Daniel Berry Rawson (1892), written by himself.
Life Story of Arthur Morrison Rawson (1905), written by himself.
Beneath Ben Lomond’s Peaks by Milton R. Hunter
Big Sky Country - Montana by Collins and Libby.

Headstone of James Henry Taylor and Martha Amelia Rawson
Ogden City Cemetery, Ogden, Utah

TaylorAssociation.org