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 Martha <I>Raymer</I> Draper

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Martha Raymer Draper

  • Birth 8 Jul 1804 Pittstown, Rensselaer County, New York, USA
  • Death 28 Oct 1849 Winter Quarters / Florence, Douglas County, Nebraska, USA
  • Burial Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, USA
  • Memorial ID 37335518

Daughter of Conrad Raymer and Elizabeth Ladow

Married Edward Weaver, 8 Jul 1820, Dryden, Tompkins, New York

Children - Horace Racio Weaver, Miles Weaver, Franklin Weaver, Ezekial Weaver, Gilbert Weaver, Martha Elizabeth Weaver, Miranda Bridget Weaver, Julia Cecelia Weaver

Married William Draper, 28 Jan 1846, Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois

Son - Almon Draper

History - Martha Raymer was born July 8, 1804 at Pittstown, Rensselaer, New York. She married Edward Weaver and lived in Dryden, New York. Edward and family moved to a farm at Scio, New York, where Miles and Franklin were born, then moved to Porterville, New York, thence to Conneaut, Pennsylvania where their fourth son, Gilbert, was born. Here the family became interested in Mormonism and all except their oldest son joined the church. Edward and Martha Weaver were the first Weavers to accept the Gospel. There was a group of Mormons going to Nauvoo and the Edward Weaver family joined this group.

Edward Weaver was working on the Temple at Nauvoo when he contacted a bad cold. Pneumonia set in and he became worse until he died at 1845. Martha was left with seven children, Franklin, Miles, Horace, Gilbert, Martha Elizabeth, Miranda, and Cecelia. After Edward’s death, the mobs drove the Saints from Nauvoo. The leader of the mob was a large, burly and murderous demon. He told Martha if she would denounce Mormonism and deny that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, she would be unmolested and her home would not be burned. Her strength and faith in the gospel was very significant. She faced this wicked man with defiance and dignity, “You may burn it and be damned.” His answer was, “I’ll give you twenty minutes to get out.” With the help of her seven children, she got the most needful articles and threw them into the wagon. There was no time for packing. She had no team of horses. She had one ox and a cow. The boys yoked them together to the wagon and drove away, bidding farewell to their burning home. Martha remembered a nice fat pig, ready to kill at the back of the house, so she sent the boys back to see if it had been spared, but it was burned to a crisp. They joined a company of Saints who were on their way to Council Bluffs. Martha and her children found the way very hard going. On their way, she met a man by the name of William Draper Jr. He proposed marriage and with her large family she joined him in polygamy. She felt more secure having a husband for herself and a father for her children. She married William January 8, 1846 for time only, and he acted as proxy for her to be sealed to Edward Weaver in the Nauvoo Temple.

When they arrived in Winter Quarters the Mormon Battalion was calling for volunteers. Franklin and Miles were among the first 25 to enlist. Franklin was only 18 at the time, the younger of the two boys. Both served in Company A.

On July 13, 1846, as Franklin and Miles were leaving with their company to start the long trek to California they shed bitter tears at leaving their widowed mother, and brothers and sisters. The oldest brother, Horace, stayed to care for the family. The youngest brother, Gilbert, was not fourteen at the time, so Miles and Franklin felt that they should go, to represent the Weaver family in the ranks of the Battalion. Martha threw her arms around Franklin and begged him to watch over his brother Miles - “Guard him and support him, and promise me you’ll bring him back to me.” Miles’ health was far from robust and her anxious heart was wrung at seeing her two boys start off for unknown country. The parting was hard, as she had also suffered the loss of her husband at Nauvoo.

Her sons left and day after day, over the long weary miles, trudged the two brothers, cheering and helping one another along the way. After several weeks, Miles came down with a high fever. Franklin helped him along the line of march as best he could, giving him his own ration of water. Miles became weaker and weaker. Finally Jefferson Hunt, captain of the company, ordered Franklin to leave Miles. He was too weak to continue on, and they couldn’t hold up the whole company for one man, as they had to find a camp near water, by nightfall. Miles seemed unconscious as Franklin fixed a shelter for him with a blanket over some bushes. With a sad heart he went on with the others. That night, after camp was made and all were asleep, Franklin made his way back to his seriously ill brother. He found him weaker and could get no response from him. So he administered to Miles by the authority of the priesthood, and pleaded with the Lord for help, that his brother could be restored to health. He reminded the Lord of the promise he had made to his mother, that he would bring Miles back to her and beseeched the Lord to help him keep that promise. He had brought his portion of food with him, and after praying for his brother and massaging his limbs, Miles started to respond and near dawn he was able to sit up and take the food Franklin had brought. Strength returned hastily to Miles, and they were able to make it to camp, just as the company was awakening. With humble, grateful hearts, the two brothers were able to continue the long journey together, with thanks to their Heavenly Father who had heard and answered their prayers.

Franklin and Miles never saw their mother again, as she died before the Saints came West. In 1847 Martha gave birth to a baby boy, named Almon, in Kanesville, Iowa, (later called Council Bluffs). and died in childbirth. She was buried in Council Bluffs. Mr. Draper was preparing to go west with his family when she died, leaving him with her young baby and family. Her eldest son, Horace, was not a member of the Church and did not go west with them.

Family Members






  • Created by: SMSmith
  • Added: 21 May 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 37335518
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Martha Raymer Draper (8 Jul 1804–28 Oct 1849), Find A Grave Memorial no. 37335518, citing Mormon Pioneer Cemetery, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, USA ; Maintained by SMSmith (contributor 46491005) .