Birth: 11 July 1860
Marriage: 24 Dec 1883 Sarah Elizabeth Miller
Death: 10 Feb 1944
Parents: William Barton and Sarah Esther West
Stephen Rollins Barton was the 5th son and 6th child born to William and Esther. William had moved his family to establish a mine in Minersville, first called the “Rollins Mine.” He built the first log home there, where Stephen was born. Even though Stephen was born into a polygamist family (William had married Mary Williamson in 1857), he would never remember both families living together. In 1862 Mary (first child born in 1863) moved to a house near the mill where William worked in Beaver and Esther and children lived in the adobe house William built on the corner of third East and third North in Beaver, later moving to Greenville.
In 1874 at age 13 Steve went to work hauling water. He drove various teams for 45 days at $1/day. With the money he bought “an old cow, two changes of underwear and a $9 pair of Buckingham Boots.” A few months later, 1875, he was kicked in the knee by a horse that left him so lame he had to use a stick for a cane. Unfortunately just one month later he was thrown off a horse. The horse’s heels hit him as she tipped over and broke his leg in two places. He “bawled and cussed” but his new boot had to be cut off! They did what they could to help him, but the upper break was never discovered, which left his right leg nearly one inch shorter than the left. Because of being lame, he was unable to do heavy work, so became a guard with his older brothers at the Beaver County Jail. John D. Lee was incarcerated at the time in Beaver. Stephen became convinced that Lee was made the “scape goat” for the Mountain Meadow Massacre. Unfortunately this experience caused him to have very negative feelings towards the LDS church, influencing his thinking the remainder of his life.
Sarah Elizabeth Miller Barton
Sarah Elizabeth Miller Barton
In 1883, at age 23, Stephen married Sarah Elizabeth Miller. He owned two cows and a yellow horse named “Coyote.” Shortly after they were married, Sarah and Steve went on a horseback ride together. Sarah was on Coyote, who took advantage of Sarah’s lack of horsemanship as well as riding side saddle and ran just fast enough to stay some distance away from the slower horse Steve was riding. Coyote nearly unsaddled Sarah as he headed for home. The story was a source of friendly jibes for a long time.
The couple lived at Grandma Barton’s in Greenville for a short time till they could get together enough furniture to move into one of the log homes Steve and his brother John built in Greenville. The homes were about 18X 20 feet. Steve and Sarah lived in the log house until 1903. All of the children (William, Adelaide, Fletcher, Blanch, Barbara, Sherman, and Hilda) except for the youngest, Annie, were born in the log house. During this time Stephen worked on a series of cattle drives, accumulating many harrowing and interesting stories. Steve, along with his brothers, acquired a good deal of acreage in Greenville, and made his living mostly by raising cattle.
Grandpa Stephen Rollins was a well educated man, having attended public and private school for 12 years in Beaver, then the University of Deseret in Provo and the Beaver Central School. He was very strict about honesty and attendance to duty, and made certain his children were taught well. He took plenty of time to do a job well, was a self-made carpenter, practical veterinarian, and expert horseman. He was a courageous and outspoken man who hated weakness in others.
He passed away at his home in Greenville in February 1844 at the age of 83.