WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
FRANCIS "FRANK" MARION HARTLEY
BIOGRAPHYFrancis Marion Hartley was born October 10, 1836 in Jamestown, Russell County, Kentucky.
Francis' parents never married. His mother married Thomas Alexander Campbell, and Francis went by the surname Campbell for a while. When he was about sixteen, some friends told him that Tom Campbell wasn't his real father and it really upset him. He asked his mother and she told him that his father was William Hartley, that they had never married, and that he lived in Ohio and was a very good mason. Francis decided to find him. He located him at a rock quarry, introduced himself, and William began teaching him to be a stone mason. But Francis missed his step-brother Tom, and wanted to return to Iowa. His father offered him 160 acres of farmland in Mahaska County, Iowa, where his mother was living.
In 1860, Francis was a farmer, living with his mother and two step-siblings in Richland Township, Mahaska County, Iowa. He built a house on his acreage and hired others to do the farm work. He was known as "the gentleman" landowner. However, he didn't enjoy being a "gentleman", wearing the ruffled shirts, etc. He felt that all men should be treated equal. This became an important principle in his life.
One of the men who sharecropped his land was Henry Walton, and Francis started dating his daughter, Naomi. One night when Frank was playing the fiddle at a dance, a man came in the dance hall yelling "War!". Francis joined up, but when he returned on a furlough, he asked Naomi to marry him. Francis and Naomi Emma Eliza Walton were married on February 17, 1864 in Iowa. They eventually had ten children, three of which died young.
In 1870, Francis was a farmer living with his wife and three children in Prairie, Mahaska County, Iowa. A cousin, Jim Ballenger, had gone to Utah and joined the Mormon religion. He convinced Frank to go to Utah for a visit and to learn about the new religion. Frank liked what he heard, moved to Utah, bought some land, and built a home there. He joined the Mormon church in 1873. Frank was very interested in the United Order; he had always believed that all people should be equal. He gave the church all of his land in Iowa and the property he had acquired in Utah. They moved to Arizona by 1877. Francis burned a kiln of lime for mortar for the mill foundation at Jesse Ballinger's (probably one of his mother’s relations) dam near Sunset Pass, Arizona.
Brigham Young asked Francis to work at Ballenger Camp (now Brigham City) when something happened that changed his life. He saw some of Brigham Young's sons and other church leaders, wearing ruffled shirts and their wives dressed in fine linen. People were treating them as though they were better than the rest. Frank was very upset by this. He moved his family to Danish Ranch, Washington County, Utah. On the 1880 census, Francis was a stone mason living with his wife and five children in Silver Reef, Washington, Utah Territory.
Francis became more bitter as the years passed. Naomi tried to get him to forget the past and get on with living, but the harder he saw his family have to work, and the more he saw others prospering with his property, the worse he got. He became ill, both mentally and physically. Finally, Naomi took her children and left him. They were divorced in 1885 in St George. Naomi remarried twice and was living in Leeds in 1900.
Francis fell and struck his head on the hearthstone of his cabin and died April 2, 1907 in Washington. He was buried in the Washington City Cemetery.
Naomi died April 17, 1925 in Hurricane and was buried in the hurricane City Cemetery.
REFERENCESFrancis Marion Hartley
A research report by Elaine Young, PhD.
Find-A-Grave entry for Francis Marion Hartley
Find-A-Grave entry for Naomi Emma Eliza Walton Hartley