By Janeene Whitelock & Cynthia Peacock
Henry Elmer was born March 7, 1841, in Adams County, Ill. His parents were Hyrum and Lucina Elmer.
When he was 11 years old, the family started across the plains to Utah. He walked most of the way helping drive the cattle.
While living at Whites Fort, Utah, he worked at a church dairy. He was 12 years old. He made 50 cents a day milking 25 cows morning and night.
Later, he helped his father make shingles, and they also hauled blocks of granite for the building of the Salt Lake Temple.
After moving to Payson in 1858, he was able to attend some school. He learned to do many trades. Along with his father, they hauled rock from Spanish Fork Canyon to wall up the tithing cellar and the community well in the center of town. He was a surveyor of roads, canals and bridges.
He and his father continued freighting and selling commodities out to Camp Floyd where they were able to purchase items from the soldiers, including a U.S. Cavalry powder pouch. (Come in to the Payson City Center D.U.P. Museum to see the pouch.) Henry later used this pouch while serving in the Black Hawk War. The pouches were used to keep the black powder dry.
When Johnston’s Army left Utah, Henry took ox teams and hauled the wagons back to Payson for the blacksmiths and the nail factory.
In March of 1866, he married Sarah Ann Beckstead. They had their first of 12 children on April 7, 1867. He was married to Sarah for 63 years. He died at the age of 87 in 1928 as a result of the flu and pneumonia.