Thursday, June 25, 2009

James Henry Rollins Faithful Pioneer

The following life history of James Henry Rollins was presented by Roland Lee, third great grandson, at the monthly meeting of the Cotton Mission Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers June 2009.

My third great grandfather, James Henry Rollins, was one of those early saints who seemed to always be in the thick of things during the restoration period of the Gospel.

Henry was born in Lima New York on May 27, 1816 to John Porter Rollins and Keziah Van Benthuysen. At age four, Henry's father drowned in a shipwreck on Lake Erie. With no way to care for the children, his widowed mother sent Henry and his two sisters, Mary Elizabeth and Caroline to live with their Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle Algernon Sidney Gilbert who had no children of their own. Here they found a wonderful home.

Sidney Gilbert moved the family to Mentor, Ohio, then nearby Kirtland, where he opened a store in partnership with Newel K. Whitney. As soon as he was old enough, young Henry began working in the store and became a great help to Uncle Sidney.

Newell K. Whitney store in Kirtland Ohio
Above: The Newell K. Whitney store in Kirtland Ohio

In the fall of 1830 when Henry was just 14 years old, four Mormon missionaries stopped in the Kirtland area on their way to preach to the Indians. These missionaries were Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt, David Whitmer Jr, and Ziba Peterson. Many in the area had been prepared to receive the restored Gospel and were baptized including Henry's family. Henry too joined the church later in Missouri, but at this time was given a marvelous vision which shaped his testimony. The following spring Joseph Smith himself came to Kirtland where he walked in the front door of the store and announced, "Newel K. Whitney, thou art the man…I am Joseph the prophet… You prayed me here, now what do you want from me?"

Above: Painting of the Whitney Store in Kirtland where James Henry Rollins first met the Prophet Joseph Smith. Painted by Rollins' third great grandson Roland L. Lee.(Painting copyright 2008, Courtesy of Grant and Joyce Lee Collection.)

Soon thereafter in the Whitney store, Joseph met the Rollins children. He walked over to Mary Elizabeth, placed his hands on her head and pronounced a great blessing. When he saw Henry he said, "Well the Lord has shown him great things." The Rollins children became well acquainted with Joseph and his family who lived in the Whitney home next to theirs. Henry said he "was chums" with William and Don Carlos Smith and they played together often. Henry read the Book of Mormon by firelight while lying on the floor.

After being baptized James Henry Rollins became a faithful member of the church, and a valiant friend to Joseph Smith. When the Saints moved to Nauvoo, Joseph sent for him to come help him in Joseph's Red Brick Store. He did whatever the prophet asked of him, and on May 3, 1842, recalls carrying water to the upper room of the red brick store where the brethren were preparing the room for special ordinances. The next day on May 4, 1842 nine people received their endowments there.

Later, when the store closed, Joseph told Henry to go to work on the Nauvoo Temple. Here, he learned to cut stones and personally made many of the window and door sills as well as the capital stones and the cap stone on the northeast corner of the temple.

As the history of the early church rolled forward, Henry and his wife Evaline Walker were called to make great sacrifices, but they remained resolute through it all. He was a bodyguard to the prophet, was with him in the Richmond Jail, served him at Zion's Camp, and mourned with the others when the prophet was martyred at Carthage. When the saints were expelled from Nauvoo by angry mobs he was with them—and he was with them still when they crossed the plains to Utah. Soon after, they were sent to California where he and other saints settled what is now San Bernardino. There he served as school commissioner, district attorney, and started a mercantile business.

San Bernardino Monument to founders including James Henry RollinsThe San Bernardino colonizers were called back to Utah by Brigham Young when Johnson's Army threatened. Henry and his family heeded the call, leaving behind still another home. In Utah, they settled in Minersville where he opened a lead mine. He spent most of his life there serving faithfully in the church as a Bishop and in other callings well into his 80's. He spent his last years in Lyman Wyoming to be near his children, where he passed away February 7, 1899.

James Henry Rollins was one of those many quiet faithful pioneers who gave everything they had to honor their covenants and serve the Lord. I'm certain that the Lord chose and prepared many such people with the courage and stamina to withstand the trials faced by the early church so that it could roll forward as a "Stone cut out without hands" in the last days.

I often wonder if those special pioneers really knew the impact their lives would have on future generations. Today as the church nears 14 million with members around the globe, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to our ancestors -- those early pioneers.

-- Roland Lee, June 2009
SUP Cotton Mission Chapter President-elect

Eveline Walker, Wife of James Henry Rollins

Eveline Walker Rollins

Eveline Walker RollinsEveline Walker was born 16 May 1823 in Indiana to Oliver and Nancy Cressy Walker.

She married James Henry Rollins 4 Sep 1838 in Shoal Creek near Far West, Missouri, at her father's farm 4 miles from Haun's Mill about 4 weeks before the Massacre.

Eveline supported her husband in his work and his church callings even though sometimes she was ill and twice was close to death. Eveline died 25 Sep 1912 in Lyman, Wyoming.

Son Horace Alganon Rollins born 30 June 1839 in Alton, Madison, Illinois and died 6 November 1839.

Son John Henry Rollins
born 17 February 1841 in Lee County, Iowa, and died 19 Oct 1887 in Safford, Graham, Arizona, and buried there. He married Nancy Malinda West (1844-1917) 1 April 1860 in Parowan, Iron, Utah. Children: Edward Ephraim Rollins 1861-1887, Nancy Melinda Rollins 1863-1945/6, John Henry Rollins 1865-1889, William Samuel Rollins 1867-1934, Guy Washington Rollins 1870-1955, Jesse West Rollins 1872-1930, Iles Marion Rollins 1873-1900/1922, Moses Porter Rollins 1875-1896, Charles Watson Rollins 1876-1879, Margaret Eve Rollins 1881-1967, Emma Jane Rollins 1883-1947.

Daughter Mary Amelia Rollins born 27 December 1843 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois, died 9 September 1917 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and buried in Salt Lake 11 September. She married John H. Osborn (1833-1891) 9 September 1857 in San Bernardino, California. Children: Eva Amelia Osborn 1858-1889, John Wesley Osborn 1860-1941, Lydia Adell Osborn 1861-1945, Mary Minerva Osborn 1864-1941, Harriet Addelia Osborn 1865-1914, Ephraim Henery Osborn 1867-1936, William V Osborn 1869-1949, Melissa Jane Osborn 1872-1959, Frank Lorin Osborn 1875-1952, Daniel Boone Osborn 1878-1879, Walter Le Roy Osbortn 1881-1898, Melissa Jane Osborn 1892-.

Son Ephraim Edward Rollins born 7 July 1845 Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois and died 19 August 1848 Winter Quarters, Nebraska.

Daughter Nancy Eveline Rollins born 16 February 1849 Salt Lake City, Utah and died 5 October 1854.

Daughter Melissa Keziah Rollins born 13 July 1851 at Cajon Pass, San Bernardino, California, died 1 September 1949 in Pananca, Lincoln, Nevada and buried 3 September in Panaca. Married John Nelson Lee (1841-1914) 30 December 1868 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah. Panaca. Eleven Children. More at John Nelson Lee and Melissa Kaziah Rollins Pioneer Blog.

Son Charles Lyman Rollins
born 10 November 1854 in San Bernardino, California, died16 September 1916 in Lyman, Uinta, Wyoming and buried 19 September in Lyman. He married Ada Dotson (1859-1942) 30 June 1875 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah. Children: Daisy Estella Rollins 1876-1957, William Clarence Rollins (1878-1945, Charles Watson Rollins 1880-1962, Hardiman Ezra Rollins 1884-1959, Henrietta Rollins 1886-1965, Stanley Tine Rollins 1888-1918.

Son James Watson Rollins
born 24 May 1856 in San Bernardino, California, died 10 December 1917 in Lyman, Uinta, Wyoming and buried in Lyman. He married Harriet Ann Eyre (1864-1934) 14 December 1881 in St. George, Washington, Utah. Children: Watson Loraine Rollins 1881-1978, Henry Melvin Rollins 1886-1971, Leona June Rollins 1889-1931, George Leon Rollins 1892-1995, Irene Rollins 1894-1991, James Hayward Rollins 1896-1986, Harriet Evelyn Rollins 1900-1992, Joseph Leslie Rollins 1902-1988, Porter Eyre Rollins 1904-1992, Ruby Rollins 1907-1991.

Daughter Ida M. Rollins born 2 October 1862 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah, died 5 October 1949 in Rock Springs, Sweetwater, Wyoming, and buried 8 October 1949 in Lyman, Uinta, Wyoming. She married Wallace Hamblin (1862-1937) 14 December 1881. Children: Wallace Eugene Hamblin 1882-1918, Claudius Lee Hamblin 1884-1969, Edwin Rollins Hamblin 1887-1970, Addie Hamblin 1887-1970, Ida Melissa Hamblin 1891-, William Clark Hamblin 1893-1963, Henry Marcene Hamblin 1896-1969, James Robert Hamblin 1901-1971, Vella Lucille Hamblin 1906-1996.

Hannah Hulme, Second wife of James Henry Rollins

Hannah Hulme was born 24 November 1838 in Dukinfield, Cheshire, England, died 30 September 1896 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah, and was buried 2 October 1896 in Beaver. Hannah married James Henry Rollins 3 March 1851 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (See additional information in "Life History of Hannah Hulme and William Hulme" below.)
Hannah Hulme, plural wife of James Henry Rollins
Son Alonzo Leoniadas Rollins born 29 April 1852 in San Bernardino, California and died 1 May 1852 in San Bernardino, California.

Daughter Elizabeth Caroline Rollins born 11 February 1854 in San Bernardino, California and died 15 January 1862.

Son George Woodville Rollins born 19 March 1856 in San Bernardino, California, died 24 January 1920 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah, and buried 29 January in Minersville. George married Jennet McKnight (1860-1883) 13 October 1875 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah. Children: Thressia Rollins 1876-, Jeannette Isabell Rollins 1876-1919, James Henry Rollins 1880-1952, and William P Rollins 1881-1940.

Son Francis Robert Rollins born 18 November 1858 in Parowan, Iron County, Utah, died 29 September 1933 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah, and buried 2 October 1933 in Minersville. Francis married Frances Rosena Roberts (1860-1950) 29 May 1879 in St George, Washington, Utah or Salt Lake City, Utah. Children: Robert Marion Rolllins 1880-1915, Nellie Rosina Rollins 1882-1961, Frank Vernon Rollins 1884-1955, Chloe Ester Rollins 1889-1974, Druella Rollins 1893-1965, Mark D Rollins 1895-1946, Inez Edna Rollins 1897-1974, Daniel Henry Rollins 1900-1912, and George Elmer Rollins 1905-1905.

Daughter Lois Adelaide Rollins
born 6 January 1861 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah and died 11 March 1937. She married Joseph P Colton (1856-) 23 January 1879 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah. Children Minnie Elizabeth Colton 1880-, Ella Minerva Colton 1882-, and Earl Joseph Colton (1884-1887).

Daughter Alice Phoebe Rollins born 29 January 1863 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah and died 18 February 1866.

Son Isaiah Earnest Rollins born 14 July 1865 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah and died 11 January 1936. Isaiah married Sarah Ann McKnight (1881-1960) about 20 October 1909 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah. Child: Leona McKnight 1900-1970.

Daughter Jane Losaine Rollins born 28 September 1867 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah, died 29 June 1941 and buried 2 July 1941 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah. She married John R Banks (1857-1946) 10 January 1898 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah. Children: Clarence Banks 1898-1931, John Raymond Banks 1902-1942, and Ronald E Banks 1904-1927 or 1982.

Son Edger Williard Rollins
born 6 October 1869 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah and died 15 August 1904. He married 6 May 1889 to Mary Moore.

Son Edwin William Rollins
born 6 October 1869 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah and died 2 August 1871 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah.

Son Julian Bosman Rollins born 4 June 1872 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah, died 31 October 1942 in Cedar City, Iron, Utah, and was buried 4 November 1942 in Parowan, Iron, Utah. He married Phoebe Madora Evans (1874-1959) 23 November 1897 in Parowan, Iron, Utah. Children: Julian Evan Rollins 1898-1963, Phoebe Venice Rollins 1900-1976, Clarice Rollins 1902-1993, Carmen A Rollins 1904-1994, and Gladys Rollins 1907-1997.

Son Levi Marian Rollins born and died 8 November 1874 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah and buried in Minersville.

Daughter Hannah Burdette Rollins
born 27 November 1876 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah, died 16 October 1961 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and buried 19 October 1961 in Bountiful, Davis, Utah. She married Abraham Hollingshead (1871-1949) 8 January 1896 in Minersville, Beaver, Utah. Children: Nelson Humbs Hollingshead 1896-1956, Juanita Burdette Hollingshead 1898-1991, Abraham Loraine Hollingshead 1900-1988, Henry Golden Hollingshead 1902-1994, Theodore Hollingshead 1904-1995, Kenneth G Hollingshead 1906-1996, Inez Elizabeth Hollingshead 1909-1985, Delilah Jane Hollingshead 1911-1989, Effa Hannah Hollingshead 1913-1997, Clarence Hollingshead 1916-2004, Carl Hollingshead 1916-1916, and Bruce W Hollingshead 1919-1998.

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