About Alma Zemira Palmer
History of Alzada Sophia Kartchner and husband Alma Zemira Palmer: Alma Zemira Palmer, son of Zemira and Sally (Knight) Palmer, was born of goodly parents, on June 12, 1853, at Provo, Utah, where his parents had started their home. He was the oldest of a family of twelve children. Here he spent the first part of his childhood, as a young Latter-Day Saint boy, helping with the chores, herding cows and sheep, cutting wood, hoeing weeds from the garden, etc.
At the age of 19 years he decided to go to Panguitch and work for himself. As he was leaving his mother, said, what will become of you, I can hardly keep you straight here where I can look after you. And I'm afraid you will never quit smoking. He had begun at the age of 16 years. But after he had gone a short distance from home he thought of what his mother had said, he stopped, turned his pockets inside out and dusted them. Then he said to the tobacco on the ground, At his is where we part, and he never touched it again.
Panguitch was a little farming town, settled by Latter-day Saint people sent by Brigham Young, several years before, to colonize there. There also was where William Decatur Kartchner and family settled after the church called them back from San Bernardino, California, where they were called to colonize, several years before.
The Kartchner family were very musical, several members played guitars. Father Kartchner played the violin while they danced and played and sang. Into this environment Alma was invited while at Panguitch.
A little incident in Panguitch; One evening at a party Alzada accepted his proposal to see her home. When outside she informed him that no boy had taken a girl home for some time because of a bunch of rowdies who would seize the young man and send the young girl home alone, and that they had nearly drowned one fellow who put up a fight, but they went on, and sure enough here came the clique and as they drew near Alma observed, well boys are you out for a good time? Yes, but it seems you've got the best of it. Then come and go with us. They did peacefully, and when they reached her home he bid her goodnight, and joined the boys, to get acquainted, so by making friends there was no trouble.
Alzada Sophia Kartchner was born in a wagon at Lower Water, on the Mohave Desert, California, where her parents had stopped due to the illness of her brother, January 5, 1858. They were on their way from San Bernardino to Beaver, Utah. The following night her brother James Peter died, leaving the family in sorrow in their joy. She was the seventh child of William Decator Kartchner and Margaret Jane Casteel in a family of eleven children. For eight years Alzada lived in Beaver, where she attended school. As her family was a musical one, she spent many happy hours dancing, singing and listening to music. She also learned to spin when she was so small she could hardly put the band on the wheel. Her parents moved to Muddy in Nevada, where men and women worked hard to build that place for five years.
In 1871 the family moved to Panguitch, Utah and it was here that she met Alma Z. Palmer in 1872. Later, two of his sisters joined the group at Panguitch and later the three Palmers were at the home of the Kartchner's. Into this family all three married, on the eleventh of May 1874, in the Endowment House, in Salt Lake City, Utah by Daniel H. Wells; Alma Palmer married Alzada Sophia Kartchner, John married Lydia Palmer, and Mark married Phoebe Palmer. They had their two mothers with them as they traveled to Salt Lake, and the trip was made by team and wagon and a joyous one, having many happy times along the way by the campfires.
Alma and Alzada went to Beaver for awhile, he was working for a William Flake, and at this place their first child was born 24 July 1875. They named him Wesley. But they soon moved back to Panguitch and was there two and one half years when a mission call came from President Brigham Young to go to Arizona and colonize there. They as well as her father William Decatur Kartchner and family, her brothers, Mark and John and families, and William Flake who married Prudence Kartchner her sister.
In 1877, Alma and Alzada and their little son, left for Arizona. Alma walked all the way from Panguitch to Arizona, and drove three yoke of oxen. He had two wagons of furniture and necessary clothes and supplies for one year till other crops could be raised. This trip took them weeks and they were confronted by hardships and dangers.
When they got to the Big Colorado River it was late in the day but Father Kartchner took the women across in a small boat but they could not get the wagons and animals across until morning so the women were brought back again. Alzada said she was so afraid she hated to go back knowing she would have to go again.
the next morning wagons and people were taken safely across but some of the animals had to have their heads held up by a rope before they would swim across. Then up over the Great Mountain, called Lee's Back Bone, where the road was only wide enough for a wagon if everything went well. While they were still on this road one of the front wheels went off the ledge, where one inch further and the wagon would have gone into the canyon 300 feet below, taking his family and all he possessed to the river below. Alma called Haw to his oxen which means left. He stepped on the opposite wheel to balance the wagons as they turned back sharply and on the road safely. Then he stopped the wagons and sat down, he was so weak and shaky he felt he must rest. Because of Alzada's faith in her husband and his judgement she had not fully realized the situation, she sat in the wagon and held her baby unafraid. I imagine he offered up a silent prayer for the safety of his young bride and little son as well as his possessions. You see he was answering a call from God and felt he had been helped.
He went on as far as the Little Colorado River, across the river from where Joseph City now is, to a camp or place that was called the Old Taylor Place and decided to stop. The men began fixing to farm, then they put two or three dams in the Little Colorado River to store water for their crops. They built a dining room and kitchen and prepared to live the United Order where all would eat together, take turns cooking, etc. While they were here a little girl was born to them and they called her Ida, she was born 13 June 1878, the first child in Arizona in their company.
Some Arkansas people joined them and there was quite a company. They worked hard but the quick floods would take out the dams every time one was built. It became very discouraging. Here Alma did some farming, but due to floods continually destroying their dams they moved.
Alma saddled up his horse to go look for another place and William Flake asked where he was going. He said, to find a better place. The latter part of August 1878, they went South about 30 miles or more where a man by the name of Stinson lived on a little creek called Silver Creek. They made a trade with him, then all the men went together with cattle and other things to pay him. Alma and his 2 brother's-in-law cut logs and built a dining room and a kitchen, and continued to use their wagons for bedrooms.
They went back and brought their families to the new place. Here they settled on the East side with the United Order in mind, and lived out of doors for a year. Then Apostle Snow came to visit them, and told them to move to the west side, and lay out a town, and build on their city lots, and eat at their own table. That just suited Alma fine as he liked to do things for himself and take care of his own horses, etc. Alma helped Mayor Lad lay out a town, then things were divided up the best way possible according to what each had put into the Order. As the United Order was broken up, Alma and Alzada received half of a dining room that they shared with John Kartchner, 2 horses and some cows, this made Alma very happy as he was a lover of animals. He built a house and when he completed the fireplace and chimney, it was the first one built in Snowflake. They lived in Snowflake from 1878 to 1895 and during this time the following children were born to them; Alma Jordan, 21 March 1881; Jesse, 21 May 1883; John E., 26 July 1885; Sally Jane, 20 November 1887; Arthur, 15 December 1890; Dora, 3 October, 1894. Sorrow came to their home on September 14, 1884 their son Jesse died of a stomach ailment. This new town was named for Apostle Snow and William Flake and called Snowflake.
Then they went up into the mountains and got logs to fix the end of the room and make clapboards for roofing. Clapboards are a little thicker than shingles. It looked nice but they had no floor so Alma got grass and fixed it all nice and smooth, then Alzada put her carpet down that she had brought from Panguitch and they had a nice home one year from the time they started from Panguitch.
By this time all their flour was gone and Alma obtained wheat at Nutrioso, this turned out to be dark flour and they had to learn to make decent bread. Many things they learned in their pioneering days which were of benefit to them and taught them obedience through sacrifice and to rely on the Lord for they were in his service. They had good years and bad as all people do for they came to this probation to learn by the things they suffered.
In Snowflake Alma and Mark Kartchner started a store. They lived here in Snowflake until 1895. They took part in the various organizations in the Snowflake Ward as they were given them. By this time they had a family of eight children and had taught them the laws of God, had taken part in the affairs of the little new town, and helped to make it thrive.
While in Snowflake he was a member of the High Council for many years. He also was a member of the Board of Education and his council and advice was sought by many in both positions. He was wise in his decisions. He did not talk a lot but when he said things people knew him to be wise. They had this store for many years, after 18 years in Snowflake, Alma moved to Taylor, where he built a larger store, and a nice 8 room house which still stands. For a few years they lived about two miles south on a ranch and from there they moved to the Taylor Ward, three miles south of Snowflake, to make their home. Again at Taylor they were comfortable and happy. While building a new home they lived in a lumber house. Here he built a store and had a good business. He had one of the biggest barns in town, a nice well, they put a pump in and soon their new 8 room brick home was finished, and well furnished. Some how most people enjoyed coming to their home. The members of the Apostles stopped there when coming to conference. They also had a fine orchard with many kinds of fruit, berries, grapes, & etc, and when it bore well was divided out with friends and relatives. Alma also did farming and cattle raising, and had many fine horses and cattle and took great pride in his animals. And all this time he carried on a profitable merchandising business up to near the time of his death. Here they lived and prospered and raised their family, two more daughters being born to them at Taylor, Rosetta, 25 December 1896, and Lula, 6 October 1899.
In Alma's early youth he acquired and was admired for honesty and fair dealing, and exemplified this by merchandising to all those with whom he had to deal with strict honesty. Many a widow or unfortunate person received a basket of groceries and many a child made happy by his generous helpings for their penny or egg, their eggs bought more candy at Alma's store than anywhere else if Alma waited on them, and most of the children went directly to him. There are many instances, of his kind generosity. He was conservative, never wasteful, yet never extremely close with anyone but himself. There were opportunities for him to take advantage of others, but never did such a thing enter his mind. Men put their trust in him to take care of their money. At one time a man handed him a thousand dollars in gold, and asked him to take care of it for some time, and without taking any evidence to prove that it was his. He told Alma that his word was good enough for him. Once when teaching a daughter to help in the store, he put his hand on the scale and said, You may let it register a little more, but never less when you are weighing out to a customer. He was a successful merchant as he had been a sheep and cattle man and people felt they would get a square deal if he waited on them. The Indians found him to be fair, at first if the corn they had to sell came to $1.87 they put the nickels and pennies back and wanted him to make it $2.00. They said Indian no like little money, like big money. So Alma would take the little money and the next time they came they liked the little money too. They watched carefully and they could see that they were not cheated so they came there to trade when they would go no other place.
Alma was a hard working man, thrifty and resourceful and it is said he did much for others financially and spiritually. He was a good provider and much concerned for the welfare of his family. As he, with his wife had a great desire to see their children grow up fine, honest men and women, and good Latter-Day-Saints, and their children did grow up to love and revere their parents.
Alma was also an active member of the Church. At Taylor, Alma was a member of the Bishopric around 1904-6, to Bishop Decker. In this position he was honored and respected very much. He expected his own family to be and to do the things he asked of others. They were expected to live and uphold the standards of the church. He was a member of the High Council in Snowflake Stake in 1887, and did many things to help in the work. He was an ardent tithe payer, always remembering to pay the Lord his share. Although he never filled a foreign mission, he preached the gospel by his every day life, and sending money to missionaries. Truly in the spiritual field it seemed that one was not without the other in exercising their faith in times of sickness and in behalf of others. Many have been made to rejoice because of their great faith. Both in Taylor and Snowflake he was ever ready to donate to build chapels or any other thing to be done. Or do his share of labor if labor was needed. His share was usually more than the others who had as much as he. Alma did not talk much but if anyone had sickness, he was there to see what he could do to help. Or if one of his neighbors was in need of food or clothing he would give what was needed. Many unpaid bills were marked off the record as people could not pay.
Alzada was looked up to as an example worthy to follow, by their friends, neighbors and relatives. Children were named for her, and young people confided in her. She was born a peacemaker, and was loved by all who knew her. Grand-children remember her cookie jar and apples. She seemed always to be taking care of some ones children, or preparing a meal for a crowd and in numerous ways sacrificing to make others happy. She was ill for many years, suffering from asthma and dropsy, being bed fast much of the time, and doctors said she could not live, but her faith lived on, and upon one occasion when her breath seemed to be leaving her, she said if the Elders would administer to her she would get well. The Elders came, and in their blessing promised her that she would get well, and in time resume her duties about home. She was immediately better, and the promise was fulfilled.
Despite Alzada's tender nature, she was calm and proficient in time of tragedy or danger. A daughter was thrown from a horse, and was as if dead, and all gathered around her, her mother told all to stand back and give her air, and she calmly adjusted the vertebrae in the girl=s neck, and she began to breathe. Numerous instances could be related where she was perfectly cool in time of danger. She was active in the Church. Her choice job was that of Relief Society teaching, both in Snowflake and in Taylor. She encouraged her children to take an active part,
On May 11, 1924 they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. This was a great day for them, with nearly all their descendants present. It was a glorious celebration. Many wonderful things were said of them at this time. Brother Decker said as neighbors I revere you, as friends I honor you, and as associates I Love You. President Samuel Smith said; they are an ordinary couple, so ordinary that they are extraordinary.
In 1923 Alma became ill and for one year he suffered, so it was decided they would try the climate in Mesa. When the ground was dedicated for the Temple in Mesa he decided to move there so he could go with Alzada to do temple work and spend his last days serving in another field, and see it that would help him, so in October 1924 they moved to Mesa, but his health did not improve, he was sick most of the time.
On the 25th January 1925, he passed away, at the age of 71 and a half years, having lived a fine and useful life, and his loss was mourned by many. For the first time in many years he was free from pain. He told Alzada she would not stay much longer and she probably didn't wish to. They were having a nice home built at the time of his death, but it was not finished until a few months after Alma had passed on. Alzada spent as much time as possible in the Arizona Temple, she went to the temple, and gave all her time and money to that work. She continued her beautiful life of bringing joy and peace to others. In December 1935 she was in a car accident, she received injuries from which she died on January the 8th 1936 and thus ended another life well lived.
Their lives were full of development, they overcame hardships, and made things much easier for the younger generation, and they left a light that will help guard others from pitfalls, and have earned a glorious reward. May God bless their memories by helping their children to follow in the footsteps of their noble parents, sown through the generations.
At this date they have 25 grandchildren, and over 130 great grandchildren. Wesley their oldest child wrote this little sketch in 1948. We thought this would be to his memory as well as our parents.
SOURCE: Family Search.org
Alma Zemira Palmer's Timeline
June 12, 1853
Provo, Utah, Utah, USA
Birth of Alma Zemira Palmer
June 12, 1861
May 11, 1874
July 24, 1875
Beaver, Beaver, Utah, USA
July 24, 1875
Beaver, Beaver County, Utah, United States
June 13, 1878
Old Taylor, Az.
March 21, 1881
Snowflake, Apache, Arizona