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 Franklin P Whitmore

Franklin P Whitmore

McMinn County, Tennessee, USA
Death 15 Feb 1902 (aged 67)
Springville, Utah County, Utah, USA
Burial Springville, Utah County, Utah, USA
Plot Blk. 25 Lot 4 Pos. 8
Memorial ID 85202 · View Source
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Following the War with Mexico, there was constant trouble with the Indian tribes. For this reason, James and Franklin Perry Whitmore joined the TEXAS RANGERS and fought in the skirmishes with the Indians.

Franklin was assigned the task of tracking down lawbreakers and renegades. Franklin became very adept with this assignment; he seemed to have a natural ability to be proficient with firearms. He gained quite a reputation as a lawman.

After a temporary lull with the Indian problem the Whitmore family seemed to settle down to a normal routine of living. The homestead, in South County, Texas was prospering. The development of the range cattle industry in Texas began with herds of longhorns, the wild cattle that descended from the stock introduced by Coronado in 1541, and had been free to roam the plains most of their existence since that time. Catching and domesticating them was a job for only the most hardy and experienced.

May 1857, James Montgomery “Doc” Whitmore and his family, Franklin Perry Whitmore, and their sister Mary Louisa Whitmore left Texas for Utah with other Saints in the Homer Duncan Company. Also in the group were Joseph, George, and William Dameron, and Elizabeth Shultz Dameron and her two daughters Cynthia and Matilda, who were good friends of Mary. They were with the 2nd Division of the fourth wagon company of Mormon Pioneers from Tyler, Texas.
Franklin Perry Whitmore removed to Springville, Utah thinking that there were better opportunities there. He lived with an old gentleman by the name of E. O. Haymond and learned the blacksmith trade from him. He became acquainted with Elmira Jeanette Day about 1857 when he first came to Springville. She was a tall, slim woman and lived across the street from him. They fell in love and were married on 25 April 1861 in Sanpete County. She was 15 years old and he was 26 (11 years older). Her parents, Abraham and Elmira Bulkley Day, had moved to Mr. Pleasant, Sanpete Co., Utah while they were courting. Franklin went to Sanpete for a load of coal for the blacksmith shop. It was but a short distance from the coal field to Mt. Pleasant. He made the trip with ox-team and Elmira Jeanette Day Whitmore rode with him from her home back to Springville on a load of coal, often speaking of their honeymoon with a hearty laugh.

They were the parents of ten children, all born in Springville, UT:, four sons and seven daughters: Joseph Franklin, Elmira Elizabeth (died at 11 months), James Montgomery Whitmore born 15 Jan. 1865, William Henry (died a few days after his 1st birthday), Julian (boy) and Julia (girl) (twins), Mary Ella, Alice Caldona, Effa Jane, Laura Evangeline.

Franklin was Marshall of Springville for many years. When the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad ran through Springville, he was called to arrest two very desperate characters. The weather was very cold and they resisted arrest. He drew his gun, but it locked when he tried to fire at them, for which he was always thankful for in later years. He arrested them however, and took them to jail. One of them was Fred Hopt who later shot John Turner, Jr. and stole his team and wagon but was apprehended and paid the extreme penalty for his crime.

Franklin married a second wife, Celestia Bulkley, a cousin to Elmira, 10 May 1875 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah. She bore him eight children.

Franklin and Elmira were in the first choir in Springville lead by Fred Wight. They always attended practice and after invited or were invited to other homes where they roasted potatoes, chestnuts, and apples in the fireplace instead of serving wine and cake. Elmira had a clear, beautiful treble voice. Franklin sang tenor.

Franklin took a prominent part in civic and religious affairs of Springville during his entire life, holding positions of trust. He was Senior President of Seventies and Elders for twenty-one years in Springville. At one time, the heads of the church called on all the officers in the different wards to observe the word of wisdom. He had always used tobacco from childhood, but quit smoking while yet a young man. When he quite chewing it for nine months and then was sick for nine weeks, Dr. Fredric Dunn, told him he would have to take tobacco again or he would not live a month. He gave him six small chews and he resumed the old habit of chewing tobacco. This prolonged his life for five years. The bishop told him he would have to give up his position as President of Seventies, but Golden Kimball came and said, “No, he has tried to quit at the risk of his life.” He remained president till his death. He was always a devout L.D.S. and always gave to the emigrants and the poor.

Captain in the Indian War trouble in Utah County in 1867, he left for Texas in the year 1870, on horse-back and brought back a herd of Texas range cattle and went into the cattle and butcher business; he being the pioneer butcher of Springville. He shipped beef to Speckhart Bros. of Provo and to a great many other localities in Utah raising his own cattle and buying from any one who had beef cattle. He also shipped beef cattle to the eastern markets. He gave meat to any widow in need without cost. 1891 Directory of Utah County: “Franklin P. Whitmore (F. P. Whitmore & Son) and “Franklin P. and Joseph F. Meat Market”.

During the time the government was making their raids on the polygamists, he was very active in taking them on the underground. He had a rubber tired white top and a splendid team of horses. After his days work was done, he was always ready and willing to travel around all night if needs be, to take a man or a family to any destination to escape being arrested and thrown into prison. Sometimes he was gone for days and weeks.

He always had plenty of room and hay for the Saints from the towns south. They would come and stay overnight or as long as they cared to stay and have feed for themselves and their animals, on their way to conference and back.
A devout Mormon, he had used tobacco since a child. After giving it up, he about died. A doctor told him that he needed to continue, which he did for the remainder of his life, even at the demand that he give it up.

"There are several websites that site John Whitmore as being the father of James M. Whitmore. John was the father of Franklin and Franklin had a brother named James Montgomery Whitmore (of Mormon fame, that settled pipe springs and was ambushed by Indians). So in that sense, John M. Whitmore's father is John. But the father of OUR James M. Whitmore (nephew of the "famous" James M. Whitmore) was Franklin P. Whitmore, and we can prove it by his birth certificate that state his father was "Frank Whitmore", and his mother was "Jennette Day". per Sasha Reid Neilson, 4/08
He traveled with the Homer Duncan train along with his brother and his bro's family, included on Roster:

Whitmore, Elizabeth Carter Flaherty (30/w/o/bro)
Whitmore, Franklin Perry (22) -- SUBJECT OF DISCUSSION
Whitmore, George Carter (3)
Whitmore, James Montgomery (30/bro)
Whitmore, James Montgomery, Jr. (1)
Whitmore, Joseph (infant)
Whitmore, Mary Louise (19/sister)

Homer Duncan served as presiding elder of the Texas conference from April 1856 to May 1857. Few doors were opened to the missionaries; one missionary narrowly escaped being tarred and feathered. However, many of those who did join the Church wanted to move to Utah, so plans were made for an 1857 emigration. The Saints assembled in Ellis County, Texas (south of present-day Dallas). In addition to the emigrants, the company started out with over 1,300 head of cattle. They trailed their herd northward up the Old Shawnee Trail across the Red River past Preston. Reaching Fort Gibson in Indian territory in present-day Oklahoma, they trailed northeastward on the Old Military Road to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Territory. Upon arriving at this post, one of the women, who had by then sold all her cattle, wanted to leave the company and return to Texas to settle her affairs. Duncan persuaded her to stay with the company. They then headed northwest and arrived at Ash Hollow on July 29.

They were on the south side of the Platte River on the Oregon Trail. Their animals were still in good shape and the people were all well in spite of having to contend with myriads of grasshoppers that reportedly infested the trail all the way from the Missouri River to Fort Bridger. Before reaching the last crossing of the Platte River (at present-day Casper), the company divided. On August 17, one group, under the leadership of John and William Moody, was near Willow Springs and heading for the Sweetwater. Duncan, trailing behind with the rest of the company and the herd, was seen by an eastbound missionary several miles below the Upper Crossing of the Platte. The distance between the two divisions lengthened as they neared Utah. Moody's contingent reached Salt Lake City on September 14. Duncan arrived on September 20, together with a few wagons from a St. Louis train. There were no reported deaths.

HISTORY SUBMITTED BY HOLLY HEFLIN BUNDY, w/o Great Grandson, Glendon B. Bundy (October 20, 2015)




  • Imported from: UT State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 85202
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Franklin P Whitmore (15 Nov 1834–15 Feb 1902), Find A Grave Memorial no. 85202, citing Historic Springville Cemetery, Springville, Utah County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Utah State Historical Society (contributor 4) .