October 4th Grade Essay Contest Winner - Nathan Mathews
Each month we feature one of the essays from the Fourth Grade Pioneer Essay Contest sponsored annually by the Cotton Mission Chapter Sons of Utah Pioneers.
By Nathan Mathews, Little Valley Elementary
Guess what? My great, great, great, great grandfather Francis Lee was a Utah pioneer! In my research, I also found out some other cool things about him. If you read on, you will see many ways of how he contributed as a pioneer. In my opinion, I think Francis Lee did some pretty amazing things,
First of all, Francis Lee was born on the 26th of June, in 1811. He was raised in Clinton, Ohio. In his twenties he left Ohio and started traveling west as a Mormon pioneer. As a Mormon he had to fight against mobs that did not want them teaching the Mormon religion.
Around that time he married Jane Vail Johnson. Together they had 11 children, one of them adopted. Eight of those kids were on the trip at some point. On the journey west, the pioneers had to cross rivers, cook on open fires, and brave the cold of winter. Through much struggle Francis and his family finally made it to the Salt Lake Valley in 1850.
Although they had made it to Salt Lake, Francis and his family and 300 other families were sent to Dixie (St. George) to grow cotton. When they made it there, they helped build the St. George Hall. You might have seen this building before. Because a drought was taking place, Francis and a small group set off to find green grass. They found a whole area that was filled with nice grass, which they set up camp at. The area was called Meadow Valley, now Panaca, Nevada. They brought more people to this grassy area and made it into a town. Now 151 years old, Panaca is a happy little town in Lincoln County. Do you know who the official founder is? Francis Lee!
To wrap up, Francis Lee did some great things, like doing what he believed in, or helping others along the pioneer journey. I really think that pioneers should be more appreciated for what they did, and I hope you do too.