Robert Walton Burton

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About Robert Walton Burton

Robert Walton Burton was born to James and Isabella Walton Burton, April 29, 1826, at Gayle, near Hawes, in the Parish of Aysgarth in Yorkshire, England – the oldest child in a family of twelve children. At a very young age he went to live with his uncle Robert and learned the trade of wheelwright and blacksmith, finishing his apprenticeship 11 July 1839, at the age of 13 years. He followed this trade in the countryside around Bradford until he left England four years later.

Near his 17th birthday (16 January 1843) Robert, in company with his Uncle and Aunt, Robert and Ann Tatham Burton, left England for America on the ship Swanton, with a company of Saints under the leadership of Lorenzo Snow. They landed in New Orleans 16 March 1843, then traveled up the Mississippi river in the Amasanth, arriving in Nauvoo the 12 April 1843. John Marriott, his wife Susan, and sister Elizabeth had been traveling with them during this journey.

The next day, April 13, the Prophet Joseph Smith preached to these newly arrived British Saints. Robert's Uncle later introduced the young Robert Walton Burton to the prophet, with the remark, "This young man has not yet been baptized." The prophet said, "He will be baptized before six months have passed." Robert was baptized shortly afterward.

On the 6 February 1845, Robert Walton Burton and Elizabeth Marriott were married by William Paine.

Robert was active in many things. He became a member of the 17th Quorum of Seventy in Nauvoo. He was one of the Prophet's bodyguards, and he said that he would gladly have given his life for him if it had been required of him. He received his Patriarchal blessing under the hands of Patriarch John Smith, on the 17th February 1845.

Like other members of the Church at that time, Robert and Elizabeth passed through many trying times. When the Saints were driven out of Nauvoo, they, with their baby daughter, Isabella, went with them, but Uncle Robert and Aunt Ann did not want to go. After three days of travel Robert went back and persuaded them to come with him, as he did not want to leave them to the mercy of the mobs. On the night of the 17th of November 1846, their baby, Isabelle, died. As Robert left his wagon to tell his Uncle about the baby, the Uncle said, "I know, and your aunt has just passed away also." The next morning they buried them in the same grave. A few months later his Uncle Robert died also.

As Robert was a wheelwright and a blacksmith, he was assigned by Brigham Young to remain for a time in Council Bluffs to assist the traveling Saints to prepare their wagons for the long westward trek. While here, two other children were born to Robert and Elizabeth: Robert James, born 3 Feb. 1848 and died 13 September. James was born 14 March 1851, and died 10 May.

Robert received two letters from his parents in Bradford, England – one dated 20 September 1843, interestingly addressed to: "Robert Burton - Hancock County - on the Prary - neer the Mound." Another, addressed to "Robert Burton - Council Bleff - one of the Seventy - America." and dated August 27th, 1849, brought sad news "--of the death of your kind and affectionate father he died on the 18 of July, not long after we heard of the death of your Uncle and Aunt we have mourned together---"

Robert and Elizabeth arrived in Salt Lake City in the fall of 1851 and moved on to Kaysville to make their home, and set up a blacksmith shop. One day he was shoeing a horse, when a neighbor walked in and said, "Robert, there is another Robert Burton in town." Much interested Robert said, "Hold this horse, won't you?" and left at once to find the other Robert Burton. He found that this new family were cousins from Yorkshire. He took them to his home and kept them until they moved to East Kaysville on the 'mountain road,' where he raised vegetables to sell. At this time, by the advice of Brigham Young, Robert put 'Walton' in his name and the other Robert put 'Lamb' in his, as these were their mothers’ maiden names, which gave them complete identity. Both Roberts resided in Kaysville until they died.

Four other children came to them in Kaysville: Elizabeth, William Parrish, Eliza and Vollice, which made them rejoice.

Robert went to Echo Canyon when Johnston's Army came into Fort Bridger. He was also Captain of a company of sixty-five men who were sent to assist in quelling the Indians in the Black Hawk War. He was called to go to the Salmon County in Idaho, and responded cheerfully. When Kaysville town was incorporated he was appointed as town marshal. He worked for the Union Pacific Railroad and was present with his son William when they drove the Golden Spike at Promontory, Utah.

Robert Walton Burton married a second wife, Mary Ann Matthews, on the 9th of May 1870, and they had twelve children, six girls and six boys.

On the 1st of June 1905 Robert Walton Burton died at his home at the age of 79 years. He was loved, honored, and respected by all who knew him.

Compiled by Bertha Call Assisted by Norma L. B. Humphrey and Eleanor L. Mortensen

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Robert Walton Burton's Timeline

April 29, 1826
Gayles, North Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
May 1826
Gayle, North Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
March 5, 1846
Age 19
Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, United States
February 3, 1848
Age 21
United States
March 14, 1851
Age 24
Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, United States
June 13, 1852
Age 26
Kaysville, Davis County, Utah, United States
February 22, 1855
Age 28
Kaysville, Davis County, Utah, United States
January 25, 1858
Age 31
Kaysville, Davis County, Utah, United States
May 7, 1861
Age 35
Kaysville, Davis County, Utah, United States